Wednesday, June 09, 2010

It's a shame there isn't a toilet big enough to flush Master Rahm down


One of these clowns is the president of the United States and one is his chief of staff. I'm not exactly sure which is which, but apparently it doesn't really matter.

"Organized labor just flushed $10 million of their members' money down the toilet on a pointless exercise. If even half that total had been well-targeted and applied in key House races across this country, that could have made a real difference in November."
-- "a senior White House official," who called
Politico's Ben Smith to deliver this message

"Another senior Democrat (who also would not be quoted by name) echoed the point in an exchange with the Huffington Post. 'Labor is humiliated,' the source said. '$10 million flushed down the toilet at a time when Democrats across the country are fighting for their lives, they look like absolute idiots.' "
-- from Sam Stein's Huffpost report, "Blanche Lincoln Win

by Ken

Howie was just fulminating ("Obama Should Flush Jm Messina And Rahm Emanuel Down The Toilet") about the first quote above, the one from the "senior White House official who called Politico's Ben Smith to wage war on American labor, but I'm in uncontrollable-fulminating mood too.

First off, especially in light of Sam Stein's uncovering of yet "another senior Democrat" talking trash about labor, there's no longer any doubt in my mind that Doodyhead A is Master Rahm, leaving the role of Doodyhead B free for the other possibility Howie was considering, Jim Messina (Mini-Rahm?). If Doodyhead A isn't Master Rahm, it's only because for purposes of deniability he wrote the script for the Smith phone jihad and handed it off to an aide. Surely there can't be any question about whose sensibility and politics are being expressed.

(Technical note: This afternoon I have been unable to get the alleged permalink [see above] for the original Ben Smith blogpost reporting the White House official's call to work, and to access the post had to log onto our Ben's blog and scroll, scroll, scroll down. I'm not making an accusation here regarding this technical glitch, or even insinuating that there might be a reason for it. I'm just noting the fact.)

The thing about Master Rahm is only partly that he's a vicious, politically fraudulent demon, totally without principle and totally ruthless, although it would be nice if he would make clear that calling himself a "Democrat" says nothing about his political beliefs. The point I would stress in this connection is that as a political operative he's borderline incompetent -- not only flushing vast sums of money down the toilet for unelectable thug candidates, and vast sums of money for unfortunately electable ones.

He's incompetent as a political operative simply because his first priority is his own aggrandizement -- a good operative's job is to make the boss look good. And he's minimally competent as a majority-builder because so many of his congressional candidates were not only inferior to better ones he opposed, but so many deserving candidates could have made a serious showing with even minimal support, support he withheld because those are candidates who were too far to the left of the Bushist "center."

The Democratic congressional majorities happened much more in spite of than because of him, for the simple reason that he was less interested in a Democratic majority as such than in a docile, corporately controllable right-wing Democratic majority, the only significant difference being the initial, "R" or "D," on the T-shirts of the sleazoids who tap the way larger share of all that corporate cash flowing down.

And now, since I have heard no indication that the Master has either been fired or submitted his resignation in order to be able to spend time with his family (whether his family wants it or not), I am declaring officially that Master Rahm's politics are President Obama's politics. I have to admit that, as much as I've learned to loathe this hateful troll, I thought Howie was being overdramatic, or at least a bit premature, when he responded to the news that the president-elect wanted Rahm to be his chief of staff as the death knell for the Obama presidency. Now I think he was simply being prescient.

In response to my latest musings last night on whatever the hell it is that the president thinks he's doing, our friend Balakirev opined in a comment:
Ken, the way I figure it, he's either completely clueless, spineless, and will always be rolled from the right, or he's been a Conservadem all along who talks a good progressive game. And--quel surprise!- Obama's pre-presidential voting record shows he was one of the most conservative Dems in Congress. So "bipartisanship," in his lexicon, could well mean "I want to go corporatist on this issue, and will rig any attempt to do anything else by calling in people who think like me."

No doubt about Obama's Senate voting record, B. Howie was bitching about it back when the 2008 Democratic presidential field was forming -- that and the fact that Senator Obama considered Joe Lieberman his mentor. We should have all learned from that.

What still leaves me baffled, though, is how poor his performance has been as a ConservaDem. Unless -- and this really gets conspiratorial -- that this year and a half of constant screwing up and seeming ineptitude on the part of the Obama administration is how corporatists pursue their agenda with a Democrat in the White House and Democrats in control of both houses of Congress. You can't expect the guy to come out and actively support their agenda, but what if he just ensures that key parts slip through and as little as possible happens that materially compromises the entrenched interests of the status quo-ers.

Way, way back in the early months of the Obama administration (I'm sorry to say I don't recall which of the administration's startling pushbacks against, not just a progressive agenda, but anything that could conceivable construed as a left-of-Bush one, was at issue), one of the smartest people I know mentioned that he had taken to speculating about the possibility that it was a "Nixon in China" moment -- a position on whatever the issue was that was so far right that a declared right-winger couldn't have sold it, because everyone to his left would have denounced it and him, but that from Obama was being accepted with only incidental murmuring and grumbling.

I no longer feel any need or even impulse to explain away the president's behavior in making Master Rahm the linchpin of his administration. The fact is that he did.

Of course what's really funny in what is mostly an appalling response to the election results (and remember, it wasn't a momentary off-the-cuff indiscretion; he -- or a henchman -- called Ben with the express intention of planting these remarks in Politico) is how little this administration has done for labor. Does the Master really believe it's possible to do less?

Maybe he's thinking that he could unleash the demon spawn of the Confederacy, whose goal would be to abolish labor unions altogether. Could Master Rahm be taking credit for saving unions from that fate as something he's done for labor?

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At 6:33 PM, Anonymous edgery said...

I take no pleasure in pointing out that Ive been saying since before the general election that Obama was not and is not a progressive. That he picked Rahm confirmed my worse concerns. For over a year, people have been grousing about Rahm (and Messina) as if somehow he was acting independently of his boss's intentions. He wasn't a year ago, and he wasn't Tuesday night. I'm no less pissed off than everyone else, just glad to be less lonely out in left field.

At 10:13 PM, Anonymous me said...

Yes, it was obvious all along that Obama was not progressive. Yet his main opposition, Hillary, was even worse.

The problem again comes back to that pos Reagan and his corporate-controlled media. The situation was bad even before Reagan; after him ... well, it could be the end of the US.

The MSM controls who we are allowed to vote for. It's as simple as that. They don't like Kucinich, they just refuse him a seat at the debate. They like Bush, they fill the newspapers with stories about how manly he looks chopping brush.

An uninformed citizenry can never make good decisions. I'm not joking, if this situation doesn't get fixed and soon, it will be the death of us.


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