Wednesday, December 09, 2015

Rahm Emanuel Should Resign Immediately-- He Should Also Be Tried


First time I denounced Rahm Emanuel to a group of politically-active progressive bloggers (circa 2005), I was called out for being a "Republican Party plant." Lot of water under the bridge since then and today even the most obtuse Democrats have come to understand what Rahm Emanuel actually is and the incalculable damage he's done to the Democratic Party, as head of the DCCC-- with a still-operational recruitment strategy that makes it impossible for Democrats to ever win back the House-- and as Wall Street's man in Congress, as Obama's miserably failed Chief of Staff, as Chicago's incredibly Machiavellian and ineffective mayor and now as a principal in the year-long cover-up of the murder of 17 year old Laquan McDonald.

Starting with Black Lives Matter Chicago, SEIU Healthcare Illinois, Color of Change, and DFA, more and more groups have piled on demanding Rahm-- and equally corrupt State's Attorney Anita Alvarez-- resign and face the music. He's been the worst mayor anyone in Chicago can remember-- and that is saying a lot-- and his first term exacerbated every problem the city faces. Even the most disgusting of Beltway media hacks, Ron Fournier-- obviously for his own partisan agenda-- has called out Emanuel's perfidy: The Fish Rots From The Head In Chicago. "For the in­teg­rity of the party that rep­res­ents a vast ma­jor­ity of black voters," he begins, "Demo­crat­ic lead­ers every­where need to send the Chica­go may­or a mes­sage: You’re dead to us." Bernie Sanders already had. When Hillary was still crowing about her "confidence" in Rahm, Bernie called for any elected official implicated in the withholding of evidence to step down. No one had to guess twice who he was talking about.
A long­time lieu­ten­ant for the Clin­ton fam­ily and former chief of staff in the Obama White House, Emanuel nev­er hes­it­ated to muscle weak or dis­loy­al Demo­crats out of power. It’s time to flip the script on the en­for­cer nick­named “Rahmbo.”

Emanuel once sent a poll­ster who was late de­liv­er­ing a sur­vey res­ult a dead fish in a box. The night Bill Clin­ton won the 1992 pres­id­en­tial elec­tion, his aides were cel­eb­rat­ing around a pic­nic table when Emanuel picked up a knife and shouted the names of politi­cians who had “fucked us.” After each name, Emanuel de­clared, “Dead man!”

I’ve got noth­ing against Emanuel. I’ve known him since 1992 and be­nefited from his stra­tegic leaks in the Clin­ton White House. And I know this: Emanuel epi­tom­izes a brand of polit­ics that puts loy­alty and elect­or­al suc­cess above all else. He was edu­cated in the school of Clin­ton, where the ends jus­ti­fy the means, and ruled the Obama White House when it ca­pit­u­lated to the cul­ture of Wash­ing­ton that his boss had vowed to fight.

And then off he went to Chica­go, a his­tor­ic­ally cor­rupt city with a po­lice de­part­ment known for hid­ing mis­con­duct and bru­tal­ity.

On Oct. 20, 2014, po­lice of­ficer Jason Van Dyke fired 16 times at 17-year-old Laquan Mc­Don­ald, killing him. The next day, a po­lice de­part­ment state­ment claimed the teen­ager was shot while ap­proach­ing po­lice of­ficers. That was a lie.

A dash-cam video that au­thor­it­ies had ac­cess to with­in hours of the shoot­ing shows Mc­Don­ald hold­ing a knife and veer­ing away from of­ficers when he was shot. Why did the po­lice de­part­ment claim oth­er­wise? Why wasn’t the video re­leased to the pub­lic? Why didn’t the city in­vest­ig­ate the fact that 86 minutes of oth­er video sur­veil­lance foot­age of the crime scene was sus­pi­ciously miss­ing?

The most lo­gic­al con­clu­sion is that po­lice wanted to duck ac­count­ab­il­ity and Emanuel wanted to avoid los­ing his Feb. 24, 2015 reelec­tion amid na­tion­al un­rest over a po­lice shoot­ing in Fer­guson, Mis­souri.

The may­or nar­rowly won a second term after an April 7 run­off. Eight days later, the city made pub­lic a pree­mpt­ive $5 mil­lion set­tle­ment with the Mc­Don­ald fam­ily, an agree­ment reached quietly weeks pri­or. Emanuel’s team made sure to in­clude a clause that kept the video con­fid­en­tial.

Fight­ing a freel­ance journ­al­ist’s law­suit seek­ing the video, Emanuel ar­gued that re­leas­ing it might taint a fed­er­al in­vest­ig­a­tion. That was a lie. The Justice De­part­ment has said it did not ask the city to with­hold the video.

“That makes this whole epis­ode look like an at­tempt by the city, the po­lice and pro­sec­utors to keep the video un­der wraps, know­ing the polit­ic­al prob­lems it would most likely cre­ate,” reads a New York Times ed­it­or­i­al that ac­cused Emanuel of “will­ful ig­nor­ance” in “the cov­er-up.”

More than a year after the shoot­ing, a county judge ordered the city to re­lease the video. Only then was the of­ficer charged with Mc­Don­ald’s murder.
Before the tape was released at least five cops gave false statements to investigators about what happened when Laquan McDonald was gunned down by another officer. Emanuel then tried foisting the blame off on the police commissioner, who he unceremoniously fired. There is no way to recall a Chicago mayor. Neither Emanuel nor the oafish Alvarez can be trusted to be part of the much-needed reform of the Chicago Police Department nor of ensuring the safety of Chicago's residents. A just released poll indicates that more than half the city thinks Emanuel should resign. And so does DownWithTyranny.

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At 12:44 AM, Anonymous ap215 said...

There's a bill being introduced to Recall him. He's toast.

At 6:15 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why is it that the first neocon to face real justice is a Democrat when there are so many Republicans far more worthy of being publicly pilloried? If only the Democrats hadn't become Cowardly Lions after discovering how to remove Nixon from office! Did seeing first-hand how power can be used to rescue the nation from an evil man terrify them so much that they vowed as a party to never do that again? It's the only way to explain how we've had nothing but evil men in the Oval Office since Jimmy Carter was led astray by terrible advisors clearly intending to ruin him as president.


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