Archive for ‘Rahm Emanuel’

August 7, 2009

Rahm’s Grasp of Democracy

by Smitty (h/t PuffHo)

In the military, blue-on-blue is a Bad Thing. Here, not sure much.

Sources at the meeting tell me that Emanuel really teed off on the Dem-versus-Dem attacks, calling them “f–king stupid.” This was a direct attack on some of the attendees in the room, who are running ads against Dems right now.

Tellingly, Rahm raised the specter of a loss on health care, sources at the meeting say — which suggests that the White House may be less certain about victory than officials allow publicly.

Which seems at odds with SEIU, whose propaganda ends with “health care deserves a democratic debate”. To the extent that debate drives towards a Constitutional Amendment to state just how the 10th Amendment is over-ridden in the case of health care, one can agree with the SEIU.

‘Raised the specter’ raises Joe Sestak against Arlen Specter in PA. May they decimate each other, and make room for a non-Progressive of some stripe. The fact that “We the People” have allowed these accretions of power is to our detriment.

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May 23, 2009

Against the Politics of Niceness

At the library Friday, I picked up Naftali Bendavid’s book, The Thumpin’: How Rahm Emanuel and the Democrats Learned to Be Ruthless and Ended the Republican Revolution.

It’s an excellent insider account of the 2006 congressional campaign, with DCCC chairman Rahm F—ing Emanuel as the protagonist. This outburst, from a May 2005 meeting between Emanuel, DSCC chairman Chuck Schumer and DNC chairman Howard Dean, is typical:

“You’re nowhere, Howard. Your field plan is not a field plan. That’s f—ing bulls—. . . . Look, Chuck comes from Brooklyn. I come from Chicago. It’s not Burlington, Vermont. . . . I know your field plan — it doesn’t exist. I’ve gone around the country with these races. I’ve seen your plan. There’s no plan, Howard.”

The old adage that nice guys finish last is quite true in politics. Some people have a 10th-grade civics class concept of “democracy” as something pure and noble, but if you’ve spent much time close to the process, you understand that “democracy” is a brutal, ugly business. It is not for fainthearts and starry-eyed dreamers.

So when Rod Dreher gets sniffy about Mark Levin or people act horrified by an implied slur in an RNC video, I just want to pound those weenies on the head and scream: “Wake the f— up, you clueless dingbats! The Democrats are eating Republican babies for breakfast, bankrupting our grandchildren, and giving major industrial corporations as gift-wrapped presents to their labor goon buddies! If you want to award gold stars for ‘plays well with others,’ go be a kindergarten teacher and leave politics the hell alone!”

Maybe when the grown-ups are through beating the Democrats, then we’ll have time to mind our manners like we were eating watercress-and-endive finger sandwiches at the Ladies Cotillion Society luncheon.

This is fight time, and the neurasthenic wussie-boys need to shut the f— up with their ceaseless whining. Meanwhile, anyone who’s interested in actually fighting the Democrats needs to read this book. We’ve got to find a way to reverse-engineer Emanuel’s take-no-prisoners approach to politics.

UPDATE: Stogie calls our attention to his post about Saul Alinsky’s Rules for Radicals, a book I read more than 10 years ago. It’s very insightful in terms of basic principles of political organizing.

I think Stogie would enjoy The Thumpin’ , because it gives excellent detailed accounts of various aspects of practical politics. One of the things I hate about intellectual-type pundits is their habit of “trendmongering,” where they’re always offering a “Big Picture” idea of where the country is going. But if you know anything about actual politics, you know that it doesn’t work that way.

Every “trend” is a function of mulitple distinct events. The objective of the political activist is to make those events happen or, as the case may be, to capitalize on events that happen beyond his control.

The defeatist attitude of Republicans toward MSM bias is an example of how people surrender the initiative because they see a “trend” — something beyond their control — rather than looking for ways they can make something happen to change the trend.

Another example is how Republicans allow themselves to believe that certain groups — minorities, women, gays, academics — are effectively off-limits to them as potential voters. Look, if only 4% of black voters are Republican, that’s still hundreds of thousands of voters. If you could identify those voters, organize and train them as activists, and support them in an effective outreach program, there’s no telling what you might achieve. But you’re never going to accomplish anything if you accept the “trend” and surrender the initiative.

A defeatist mentality guarantees defeat, because that mentality always counsels doing nothing and accepting the status quo. If the enemy is winning, and you do nothing, the enemy will continue to win. But even if you’re winning, if you content yourself with a do-nothing approach of defending the status quo, the enemy will sooner or later seize the initiative — as Rahm Emanuel did in 2006 — and then you’ll be forced to fight with an army grown weak and lazy by years of do-nothingism.

BTW, I also recommend Bare Knuckles and Back Rooms by veteran Republican campaign operative Ed Rollins. It gives you lots of detailed stories about individual campaigns, including the 1994 Senate campaign of Michael Huffington, where Rollins’ efforts were effectively sabotaged by Huffington’s idiot wife, Arianna. She’s typical of a certain type of dilettante who turns to politics as a fasiohable hobby, but can’t be taught anything because she is too arrogant to think she has anything to learn.

December 14, 2008

Obama’s Bert Lance

Liberals are complaining bitterly about press coverage of the Rod Blagojevich scandal. “[T]he media have tried to shoehorn Barack Obama into the Rod Blagojevich scandal,” as Jamison Foser of Media Matters put it in a 2,900-word tirade Friday:

Most telling is the tendency of many journalists to speculate that the Blagojevich scandal may ensnare Obama without acknowledging that the complaint against Blagojevich contained absolutely no evidence of wrongdoing by Obama . . .
Associated Press reporter Liz Sidoti set the standard for pointlessly speculative news reports with an “analysis” piece declaring that “President-elect Barack Obama hasn’t even stepped into office and already a scandal is threatening to dog him.” . . .
We cannot afford to be distracted from serious problems by overheated conjecture and baseless insinuation masquerading as journalism.
That’s how the media behaved the last time we had a Democratic president. They devoted wall-to-wall coverage to invented “scandals,” ignored exculpatory evidence, saw evidence of guilt everywhere, took people out of context in order to accuse them of lying, and generally behaved like a pack of wild animals who couldn’t tell right from wrong or truth from fiction — or who simply didn’t care. As a group, they behaved without ethical standards and without regard for the truth.

Foser is correct that nothing now known indicates wrongdoing on Obama’s part. However, the revelation that Obama’s choice for chief of staff, Rahm Emanuel, was in communication with Blagojevich — sending him a list of potential Senate replacement appointees acceptable to Obama — undermined Obama’s press conference claim that “no representative of mine would have any part in any deals related to this seat.”

Foser compares the press coverage to how the Whitewater scandal dogged the Clintons, but a more accurate analogy would be to the scandal that felled Jimmy Carter’s OMB director, Bert Lance. A Georgia banker and influential figure in state Democratic Party politics, Lance was forced to resign eight months into the Carter administration by revelations about his financial dealings. Lance was never convicted of any crime, and the scandal involved no suggestion of wrongdoing by Carter, and yet the swirl of accusations damaged — if it did not entirely destroy — Carter’s image as a squeaky-clean reformer. Perhaps most importantly, the Lance scandal brought an early end to whatever honeymoon Carter had enjoyed with the Washington press corps.

The scolding of Foser and other liberals won’t undo the damage that the Blagojevich scandal has already done to Obama, and more damage is likely. The Republican National Committee has issued a Web video aiming to cement in the public mind the idea that Obama (a) is a close ally of Blagojevich, and (b) has been dishonest in his responses to the scandal:

(Cross-posted at AmSpecBlog.)

UPDATE: Linked at Hot Air, where Ed Morrissey points to Andrew Malcolm of the LA Times:

What’s puzzled some people and raised suspicions among others is Emanuel’s refusal to talk about it (reportedly physically pushing one reporter’s tape recorder away and having a verbal altercation with another) and the delay on Obama’s part in releasing the promised diary of contacts.
From a practical point of view, if everything is above board, what’s to hide?

It’s the appearance of impropriety, which would make a great book title, BTW.

UPDATE II: The Instalanche — what every blogger wants for Christmas. And, of course, it was the professor’s book, The Appearance of Impropriety, that I had in mind. Speaking of books and Christmas, now would be a great time to shop the 2008 Holiday Book Sale, and let’s go ahead and plug two great books about political scandal:

UPDATE III: Obama’s staff has experience in dealing with scandals.

UPDATE IV: Chigago Democrats and the Mob, also accusations of a Blagojevich-Mob connection.

December 13, 2008

Rahm ‘Let’s Make a Deal’ Emanuel

Couldn’t happen to a nicer guy:

Rahm Emanuel, President-elect Barack Obama’s pick to be White House chief of staff, had conversations with Gov. Rod Blagojevich’s administration about who would replace Obama in the U.S. Senate, the Tribune has learned. . . .
Obama said Thursday he had never spoken to Blagojevich about the Senate vacancy and was “confident that no representatives” of his had engaged in any dealmaking over the seat with the governor or his team. . . .
Emanuel delivered a list of candidates who would be “acceptable” to Obama, the source said. On the list were Obama adviser Valerie Jarrett, Illinois Veterans Affairs director Tammy Duckworth, state Comptroller Dan Hynes and U.S. Rep. Jan Schakowsky of Chicago, the source said. All are Democrats.
Sometime after the election, Emanuel called Harris back to add the name of Democratic Atty. Gen. Lisa Madigan to the approved list, the source said.

Michelle Malkin notes an ABC report that Emanuel is “pissed” about negative press coverage of his role in the scandal.

UPDATE: Ed Morrissey:

[N]o one would be surprised to hear that Emanuel and Obama had enough interest in the latter’s replacement to get in contact with the man who would normally make that appointment, Governor Blagojevich. . . .
However, Barack Obama and his team chose not to give that honest and common-sense explanation. Instead, they issued categorical denials that Obama and his staff had contacted Blagojevich or his staff about the succession. It’s a mystifying claim, and one that will apparently get proven false fairly easily.

It’s not the crime, it’s the cover-up.