At an open-forum meeting on Sunday, Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz openly pledged allegiance to her donors over single-payer healthcare, but she didn’t stop there–she managed to assist a local chapter of a “progressive resistance movement” in suppressing dissent.
Schultz was the headline guest at an anti-Trump resistance meeting held by the South Florida chapter of Indivisible, a relatively new group that sprung up as a result of Trump’s inauguration. According to their website, their mission is “to fuel a progressive grassroots network to defeat the Trump agenda.”
Progressive, you say? Your chapter invited Debbie Wasserman Schultz to speak at your progressive meeting? The same corporate shill who resigned as Chair of the DNC in disgrace, and is facing a heated lawsuit for failing to remain neutral (at the very least) during the 2016 Democratic primary? Are you fucking kidding me?
This “progressive” meeting with Schultz as the star was doomed from the beginning. Members of the chapter’s Facebook group were understandably shocked at the notion of inviting DWS to a resistance meeting; if neoliberals really wanted to resist against Trump’s administration, they wouldn’t have screwed over the man who was polling in the double digits against Trump during the primaries.
The South Florida Indivisible chapter that hosted Schultz is a prime example of why self-proclaimed progressives are not to be trusted until they’re fully vetted; not only did this group invite one of the most divisive women in liberal politics to speak at their meeting, but they openly prepared to silence dissent by banning signs, and promptly removed protestors who spoke up against her.
Banning and discouraging these activities directly contradicts Indivisible’s own guide to grassroots advocacy, which is “intended to be equally useful for stiffening Democratic spines and weakening pro-Trump Republican resolve”:
If Indivisible supposedly encourages sign-making and vocal assertiveness, why did this event single-handedly contradict the convictions on which their group was founded? As Donna Brazille so gracefully demonstrated, neoliberals put a lot of time and effort into keeping their stories and alliances straight, so they must be prepared for every possible scenario (and question). According to the Progressives of South Florida, she typically avoids public meetings out of fear of retaliation.
Clearly, the only way she knows how to handle true progressives is by attempting to silence them.
No matter how many times Schultz has rehearsed her spiel defending the Affordable Care Act, the truth seeps out eventually–if she truly believes in healthcare as a right, then she is currently putting her donors before her constituents by denying them a Medicare-for-All system. Protesters at the Indivisible event knew this, and vocally shared their disapproval of Schultz’s dirty politics (since they couldn’t have any signs).
What’s even more ironic is the fact that Debbie answered a question about reaching local officials shortly before the healthcare topic was introduced.
“I personally think the most effective way [to reach representatives] is to go to forums like this and have an opportunity to talk in person,” said Schultz. “I can’t tell you how many times I have even introduced legislation through the ideas I’ve drawn from meeting face-to-face with constituents.” She was silent as the protester was escorted out.
The members of the South Florida Indivisible chapter decided to act like children at the first sign of dissent against their beloved guest. Once Schultz left the stage, a protester screamed “you gave us Trump!”, and he and two others were removed from the event. Again, members of Indivisible contradicted their own bylaws by saying “we don’t do that here” and “if you’re a part of us, sit down” while waiting for a police escort.
The following tweet from the group’s chapter is a false account of the meeting’s events:
Clarification: I previously stated that the protesters did not have an opportunity to air their grievances, despite the implications made in the tweet above. It was an unclear generalization, meant to convey that the men were unfairly silenced by being removed from the event. After the protesters were escorted out, they were indeed invited back inside by Indivisible members, but they declined.
However, the above tweet from the chapter’s account insists they did not kick anyone out (which is false) and implies innocence, as if they welcomed them with open arms–this is not what happened. Given the intended nature of the Indivisible’s existence, this entire incident shouldn’t have happened, and the protesters did not deserve to return to a hostile environment.
Unfortunately, somewhat comically, supporters of neoliberal politics are just as butt-hurt about the downfalls of their favorite politicians as ever, and they are continuing to deflect their frustrations on the progressives who call them out. In Trump-like fashion, they’re now blocking users, deleting tweets, and throwing insults at those who know they’re lying, including a local journalist, Jerry Iannelli (strike three against their own advocacy guide, for those keeping count at home).
The tweets below show the Indivisible chapter’s pettiness, contradicting their attempts at reconciliation and bringing their sincerity into question:
These “progressives” also seem to really, really hate Bernie supporters:
If this meeting is indicative of the future, we’ve just witnessed the neoliberals’ new tactic: “resist” against Donald Trump as previously scheduled, pretend figureheads like DWS have become more liberal overnight, hilariously attempt a takeover of progressive politics, then lash out against the well-informed when it doesn’t work.
The fact of the matter is, Debbie Wasserman Schultz is the epitome of corruption amongst the Democrats, and any liberal group that endorses her is completely blind to the needs of the American people. And Schultz’s half-hearted endorsement of the theory of universal healthcare doesn’t fool any of us–it only exposes the fact that she can’t be a progressive.
“For the real reason Wasserman does not support single payer, just follow the money,” said Tim Canova, Schultz’s 2016 Democratic primary opponent, in a statement to Truth Against the Machine. “OpenSecrets.org shows that Wasserman has taken millions of dollars in campaign contributions from private health insurers, Big Pharma, other health care interests, as well as Wall Street banks and much of corporate America. Wasserman’s hands are tied because she’s bought and paid for.”
Indeed, Schultz has enjoyed a total of $1.1 million in campaign contributions from healthcare industries alone since 2006. Her puppet strings are attached to the wallets of her wealthy donors–she doesn’t care about her constituents. She will remain “just liberal enough” to paint herself as practical, but will continue the pie-in-the-sky rhetoric surrounding universal healthcare in exchange for money, denying her constituents what they truly want and deserve. Instead, she will continue using the tired-out excuse of “fixing” the broken Affordable Care Act.
To top off the irony of the entire Sunday meeting, Schultz ended on an inadvertent call to action: “If, politically, Medicare-for-All actually became viable, if we elected enough people to Congress that could make it happen, then I most definitely would be supportive of it.”
Follow this link to identify the Corporate Democrats who refuse to put voters before donors, and if they don’t change their tune, let’s elect them out of office in 2018. Additionally, if you want to send a clear message to the fake progressives running the South Florida chapter of Indivisible, feel free to tweet them at @Indivisible954, send them an email, or call them at (936) 463-8735.
Updated 5/3/2017 at 10:17 p.m. EDT: We have reached out to Debbie Wasserman Schultz’s Sunrise office and the South Florida chapter of Indivisible. Neither party has returned our request for comment at this time. We will update this article if more information becomes available.
Updated 5/4/2017 at 3:22 a.m. EDT: In-text clarification made regarding the facts surrounding the incident and the protester’s opportunity to speak.