How Dangerous To American Democracy Is Rahm Emanuel?
Rahm Emanuel was out trolling the Internet today, trying to get unsuspecting Democrats to send him their money so he can guarantee that George Bush's reactionary policies live on after he is tossed onto the garbage heap of history. Emanuel's disingenuous spam came from the DCCC and starts like this:
100 days from today, we can end the Congressional careers of every single Republican who stands ready to help John McCain continue the Bush-Cheney policies for another four years.
And what about the congressional careers of Democrats who stand ready to help continue the Bush-Cheney policies for another four years, Democrats like Rahm Emanuel? Emanuel is the #3 or 4 ranked Democrat in the House leadership, depending how you count. He controls caucus messaging and a great deal-- with his crony Steny Hoyer-- of institutional money that flows in to the House Democrats. Yesterday the Wall Street Journal, without even mentioning Emanuel's name, explains the depth of corruption that allows politicians like Emanuel to control political parties.
DWT has mentioned Rahm Emanuel once or twice before. Although he was the chief fundraiser for the mayoral campaign of Chicago Democratic boss Richard Daley in 1989 and worked as a fundraiser for Bill Clinton's presidential campaign, he first came to national prominence as the Clinton Regime operative-- a sort of lower key version of Karl Rove-- tasked with delivering enough Democratic votes to make sure the anti-union NAFTA bill passed the House in 1993. Although he had been unsuccessful in his first big job-- pushing through national health care-- he was able to buy off enough Democrats, and threaten enough others, so that the hated and disastrous NAFTA legislation passed. Before claiming his spoils-- a rotten borough congressional seat in Chicago-- Emanuel pivoted, briefly into the "private sector" for a cush investment banking job at Dresdener Kleinwort Wasserstein-- a 3 year stint that "earned" him $20 million and provided all the financing he would need for a political career.
When another corrupt political hack from the Daley Machine, Congressman Rod Blagojevich (currently on the verge of impeachment as Illinois governor), gave up a depopulated House seated slated for extinction, Daley saved the seat, by claiming, ironically, that all the undocumented residents, needed a representative too. (Emanuel has gone on to be a nightmare for undocumented immigrants.) Emanuel stole the 2002 primary, with the help of the Daley Machine (and criminal elements like his pal Don Tomczak), from progressive Democrat Nancy Kaszak. He supported Bush's attack on Iraq and still supports the Iraq occupation today. Last month he and Hoyer led enough Democrats across the aisle to vote with the Republicans and keep the Iraq War going. A few days later-- as the single biggest recipient of Telecom "donations"-- Emanuel led another minority of Democrats across the aisle to give Bush warrantless wiretapping powers and retroactive immunity for his (and Emanuel's) campaign contributors.
If those two votes aren't an indication that Rahm Emanuel would-- from a high perch within the Democratic leadership-- continue the Bush-Cheney policies for another four years, I don't know what is. As chair of the DCCC-- and now in de facto control of its recruitment efforts-- Emanuel has worked diligently to defeat grassroots and progressive Democrats and elect reactionary corporatist rubber stamps. His real caucus is the Republican wing of the Democratic Party-- Democrats like Heath Shuler (NC-one of Emanuel's only real "successes" in 2006), Tim Mahoney (FL-another one Rahm deserves the "credit" for), Jason Altmire (PA), Nick Lampson (TX), Joe Donnelly (IN), Brad Ellsworth (IN), Baron Hill (IN), Harry Mitchell (AZ), Chris Carney (PA), Gabby Giffords (AZ), all Democratic freshmen who have voted more frequently with the GOP than with the Democrats on contentious, substantive matters in the 2007-2008 session.
Donating grassroots money to corrupt, corporatist Insiders like Emanuel is a surefire way to guarantee a continuation of the worst of the Bush Regime policies long after he's just a very bad memory. Emanuel lusts for the speakership and if the grassroots doesn't stop him, no one will. Emanuel had no primary opponent and in November he will face an unfunded, self-described "liberal Republican," Tom Hanson and a Green Party opponent, Alan Augustson. A better choice might be to just write in "No Rahm."
And instead of giving any money to the DCCC, please consider donating to individual progressive canddiates who will be independent of bosses like Rahm Emanuel. You can find a list of some of those candidates at the Blue America ActBlue page.