Thursday, September 14, 2006



With both Gallup and the Pew Research Center practically saying the Democrats can't lose in November-- at least in the House-- jockeying has broken among careerist Democratic insiders salivating over the spoils of victory.

But no one is taking in account the Republicans' best hope for victory: Rahm Emanuel. If anyone can snatch defeat out of the jaws of victory, Rahm's the man. A DLC bucket of slime, point-man for corporate-GOP policies like NAFTA and the man who has taken it on himself, as head of the DCCC, to prevent anti-war challengers from getting on the ballot, Emanuel's strategy for the midterms could hardly be better for the Republicans had they been written by Karl Rove himself.

The 10 most progressive voting records in the House belong to Raul Grijalva (AZ), Barbara Lee (CA), Jan Schakowsky (IL), John Olver (MA), Linda Sanchez (CA), Tammy Baldwin (WI), Hilda Solis (CA), Jesse Jackson (IL), Lynn Woolsey (CA), and Jim McDermott (WA). They all score above 94 at Progressive Punch. Also in the 90s you get genuine Democratic leaders like Nancy Pelosi, Barney Frank, Pete Stark, John Lewis, John Conyers, George Miller, Maxine Waters, Bernie Sanders, Xavier Becerra, Henry Waxman, Louise Slaughter, Charlie Rangel. You've got to dig down into the mid-80's to find the voting records of Emanuel and South Carolina's Jim Clyburn. Yet we are already being told that the Majority Whip position will boil down to a choice between Clyburn, a respected African-American moderate and Emanuel, a corporate shill and slimy prostitute. (The Majority Leader job comes down to a fight between Steny Hoyer, current whip and Emanuel henchman, and Jack Murtha, much respected-- and beloved for his stand on Iraq but, alas, an arch reactionary on almost everything else with a domestic voting record substantially to the right of Lieberman's.)

That Emanuel is bucking for a big leadership position after the miserable job he's done at the DCCC is particularly galling, but, of course, he is a master of political positioning and he and his allies aren't nearly as busy trying to win the midterms as they are trying to spin the idiots in the media that Rahm is doing a great job. "Many House Democrats believe the caucus will have to find a place in the leadership for Emanuel, the DCCC chair who will have engineered their victory..." That's the media talking; I mean regurgitating what they've been told to think. Jesus, are they ever not paying attention! And it gets worse:

"With strong ties to the centrist [corporate prostitute] Democratic Leadership Council (DLC), he appeals to many moderates [corporate prostitutes who think Congress represents career opportunities for self-enrichment as though they were Republicans]. He would also have considerable cachet among newly elected members, many of whom he would have personally recruited and funded."

Funny, almost every Democratic challenger I speak to tells me they hate him more than any Republican and say he's a backstabbing, lying asshole. I guess Heath Shuler, who tossed a coin and decided to run as a Democrat, and Ron Klein, a Florida doppleganger of Emanuel, just love him. And Christine Jennings and Tammy whatever-her-name-is, the two he managed to get nominated over grassroots progressives Jan Schneider and Christine Cegelis, I'm sure are forever in his thrall, though both of these promise to be right-of-center "business Democrats" anyway-- just like Heath and Klein.

If Rahm can be said to represent the Democratic Party, it is all that is wrong with the party and all that has made "the people's party" lose election after election to the Big Business party. Rahm didn't do it single-handedly; he's just the symbol of it. Last night I went to a screening of The U.S. vs John Lennon and although the film's arch villains were certainly Nixon, J. Edgar Hoover and Gordon Liddy, Mayor Richard Daley, whose modern day corrupt political machine Emanuel represents in Washington, probably generated as almost much loathing. I doubt many minds went as far as to say "As Nixon is to Bush, Daley is to Emanuel." But mine did. And, in all likelihood, yours will too someday. Bosses are poison to democracy, regardless if they are Boss Tweed, Mark Hanna, Richard Daley, Tom DeLay or Rahm Emanuel.


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