(She speaks again Oct. 21 at 4 P.M. at D.C.'s Politics and Prose Bookstore, 5015 Connecticut Avenue, NW.)
The five-term Congresswoman, whose timely book "For the Next Generation: A Wake-Up Call to Solving Our Nation's Problems" (St. Martin's Press) was published during the shutdown, spoke at The Hyman S. & Freda Bernstein Jewish Literary Festival of the D.C. Jewish Community Center (DCJCC).
Rep. Wasserman Schultz, who is also Democratic National Committee Chair, decried the "internecine battle for the direction this country will take," and the "huge cleavage" between the two political parties, due primarily to an "infection" caused by the Republicans' Tea Party wing.
The Congresswoman blamed "the very hard core minority of tea party Republicans and electorate who don't think it's ever time to move forward."
A prime example -- many of them "don't accept President Obama as the legitimate President -- that's deeply disturbing in itself," she stressed.
"The Republicans have risked their majority in the House, and they realize it," said the DNC chair. I assume that more Republicans than have admitted it do not want to go through this again...But there is a chance that we'll be back in this situation."
(The bill passed late Oct. 16 reopened the government until Jan. 15 and raised the debt ceiling until Feb. 7, 2014.)
The Florida Democrat urged Members of Congress to show "more courage -- It's okay to spend political capital."
The Representative also called for electing more women because they are "more focused on consensus-building and are less committed to obliterating opponents on the other side of the room -- no offense to the testosterone in the room -- a little estrogen goes a long way."
The closing night audience applauded, as they did throughout her incisive, vivacious talk.
The Congresswoman and mother of three, made clear that "it's not just incumbent upon lawmakers to be engaged, it's up to everyone."
Her new book provides the tools -- so wake up and help solve the nation's problems, for the next generation and for all generations.
Wasserman Schultz was the last of 27 authors to appear at the literary festival, which presented:
- Gay activist-columnist-author Dan Savage, who drew more than 700 people to hear about his new book "American Savage: Insights, Slights, and Fights on Faith, Sex, Love, and Politics".
- Literary master E.L. Doctorow, who gave the first public preview of his forthcoming book "Andrew's Brain".
- Ben Urwand, who told the audience "I stand by everything" in his hotly controversial book,"The Collaboration: Hollywood's Pact with Hitler".
- Walter Mosley, whose 12th Easy Rawlins mystery, "Little Green", has just come out. Mosley, an African American Jew, has a favorite Yiddish curse: "You should be like a chandelier—hanging and burning."
No, that curse was not uttered by DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz, who just Tweeted, "It's unfathomable that Republicans are already saying they want to try to hold our economy hostage again."
So let's all listen to her "Wake-up Call". Attendees of this ten-day literary festival were fortunate to listen to these extraordinary authors -- a much-needed respite from the shutdown. Welcome back, Washington.