Monday, October 23, 2006



Is Emanuel really as bad as Tom DeLay? Depends what you mean by "bad" but the short, fundamental answer is yes, the Democratic Party insiders' two-bit Machiavelli is exactly as dangerous to democracy as DeLay was. The main difference-- outside the ideological policy contrasts-- is that DeLay has had power to abuse; Emanuel is about to get it. Today, Steve Hendrix examines the would-be Democratic Hammer at the Washington Post; DWT has been examining it since Nancy Pelosi blundered into giving him the chairmanship of the DCCC.

His mouth filled with lox or pastrami or corned beef, Emanuel boasts that "there's no clean way to do this," refering to his swinish eating habits, not his swinish way of running the D-Trip. Without ever refering to Rahm's self-aggrandizing bullshit of hand-to-hand or hand-to-tank fighting in the Golan Heights with the Israeli Army-- a putz' fantasy, meant to intimidate and coerce putzier putzes, like the aforementioned future Madame Speaker-- Hendrix gives away the true story of Rahm's 9-fingered conditon, a childhood boo-boo gone band.

"As the member of Congress responsible for recruiting candidates for House races, raising money and vetting strategy for dozens of districts, he's received raves from campaign connoisseurs in Washington for running a taut committee. Notably, he's nearly closed the perennial cash-on-hand gap between his team -- with $36 million in the bank at the end of September -- and its GOP counterpart. He's fielded credible candidates in districts no one had expected to be in play a year ago. And he's generally been flogging the party like a never-satisfied CEO." Thanks Mr. hendrix; we're heard it all before, a lot. Emanuel has a great p.r. shop.

If recruiting candidates means finding self-financing Republicans to run as "Democrats," we wind up with corporate shills devoid of any Democratic values-- like Tim Mahoney in Foley's old seat-- or wasting god-only-knows-how-much money trying to defeat anti-war, progressive grassroots Democrats like Jerry McNerney with right-of-center rubber stamps (yeah, our side has that type too). Rahm's recruiting job has been terrible-- unless your idea of a good Democrat is a conservative, anti-choice, homophobic Big Business pretty boy like Heath Shuler (who basically tossed a coin to decide if he'd run as a Democrat or a Republican). Meanwhile, did Rahm find a real opponent to take on Jerry Lewis, the most corrupt Republican in the House-- and the one most likely to be be indicted and join his pals Ney and Cunningham and Abramoff in prison? (Answer: no; Lewis seems to have found his own "opponent," one who doesn't do any opposing.)

And if he's such a great fundraiser-- and I'm not even talking about God having to save us from the Wall Street chits that will be cashed in after the Democrats take over-- where are some funds for grassroots candidates an inch and a half from knocking off cash-rich GOP incumbents? Think Angie Paccione v Marilyn Musgrave or John Laesch v Denny Hastert or Coleen Rowley v John Kline or Victoria Wulsin v Mean Jean Schmidt or Steve Porter v Phil English. And every single district that has been a surprise, came not from Emanuel's efforts-- except FL-16, which were probably very much his efforts-- but despite him. He's always aimed at 15 seats. Democrats will probably take more than double that. Nothing to do with Emanuel at all.

And as far as vetting campaign strategy, I'd say I've talked in-depth to at least 50 Democrats. Exactly one seemed happy about Emanuel's DLC-oriented vetting and that one told me he had it out with Emanuel's attempt to impose his reactionary politics on his campaign and that he was able to convince Emanuel to back off. Most of the other campaigns see him and his anti-liberal interference as much an enemy as the Republicans.

After he left the Clinton Administration, the vulgar, corner-cutting, amoral Emanuel managed to amass $18 million in two years as an investment banker. Does this mean he's a crook who belongs in prison? I'd say "definitely" but I can't be 100% certain so I'd leave it as a "probably." Right now my biggest fear is how this ex-ballet dancer turned would-be thug is going to mire the Democratic Party caucus in corruption and tar our party with his own reactionary, power-mogering instincts. His toxic influence of Pelosi could make a Democratic victory November 7... less valuable to progressives and grassroots Democrats that we hoped. Can he do to us what DeLay did to the GOP? See my "definately/probably" dichotomy above.


Today's L.A. Times is reporting that the DCCC will start spreading some campaign money around to another few races around the country. Democrats who will benefit inclide progressive Tom Walz (MN), hideously reactionary, quasi-Republican Mike Weaver (KY), progressive Jerry McNerney (CA), and conservative Jason Altmire (PA). Looks like Emanuel is giving up on Angie. We shouldn't. Let's raise her some more money so she can compete against the mentally unbalanced homophobe Marilyn Musgrave.


At 6:19 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great Post here! A whole lot of truth for sure.


At 6:23 AM, Blogger Phoenix Woman said...

BlueDogger Ellen Tauscher’s doing the exact same thing. She was on the front page of yesterday’s NYT spewing very similar crap in an effort to disparage the fifty-state strategy and Dean (and us, who are the biggest backers thereof).


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