Its about time that they change the saying from “pot calling the kettle black” to “liberals being liberals.” What I am referring to, in this instance, is a mindboggling Rolling Stone profile on Rep. Rahm Emanuel (D-IL) — one that happens to be indicative both of the innate hypocrisy that lies with minority politics and specifically, the contradiction within the Democratic Party.
The article begins with what can be described as nothing but pure opinion on behalf of the writer. He simultaneously asserts both his opinion and utter lack of credentials in the realm of politics with this gem from the fourth paragraph:
“Unlike others in the Democratic leadership who seem reluctant to criticize the president and are fearful of their own party’s grass roots…”
Others like Howard Dean, the head of the DNC who said, “I hate Republicans and everything they stand for”? Or the recent cries for impeachment? Or the vote of the Senate to override Bush’s military action in Iraq?
Take a little credit, buddy. Bush’s approval ratings aren’t at 30 percent because the public closely monitors his actions. They sink lower and lower every day because of a concerted and united Democratic front that both undermines and belittles his authority. The president’s poll numbers are horrifically disappointing because Republicans, of late, have no answer to the mounting criticism from Democratic leadership. Bush is incompetent, sure, but he didn’t self-destruct. He was dismantled.
But let’s get back to the article itself, one that unfortunately goes downhill from here.
“We’re the party of change,” Emanuel tells me. “We’re the party of a new direction — a break from rampant cronyism and the status quo. Period.”
That’s well and good, but it contradicts both reality and the facts presented in the article — by a Democrat-friendly writer. One might even call this an instance of “liberals being liberals.”
Rampant cronyism? That’s peculiar talk coming from the head advisor to Bill Clinton. You know, the guy who sold nights in the Lincoln bedroom and pardoned his brother’s crimes. The same man whose wife rode his coattails to a spot in the Senate.
Emanuel isn’t only guilty of cronyism by association, he actively participates in it himself.
The night after Clinton was elected, Emanuel was so angry at the president’s enemies that he stood up at a celebratory dinner with colleagues from the campaign, grabbed a steak knife and began rattling off a list of betrayers, shouting “Dead! . . . Dead! . . . Dead!” and plunging the knife into the table after every name. “When he was done, the table looked like a lunar landscape,” one campaign veteran recalls. “It was like something out of The Godfather. But that’s Rahm for you.”
Ahh, the hilarity… I mean hypocrisy. The public is supposed to be up in arms about a no-bid Haliburton contract, but be perfectly ok with oppositional political anger tha goes to the extreme of feigned stabbing? This guy sits back and rails against supposed “cronyism,” meanwhile his closest friends describe him as a modern day political gangster?
“Like [former House Majority Leader Newt] Gingrich in the early 1990s, Emanuel is trying to create a national wave of anti-Washington sentiment rooted in the mounting instances of corruption and sleaze that have piled up in the Republican-led Congress. “People aren’t happy with Washington!” he shouts, echoing the attitude that Gingrich capitalized on. “Look, we should be the party outside of Washington coming to goddamn kick ass out there!”
The reason that no one sees Democratic candidates as an “outside” party is the fact that they so obviously aren’t. Emanuel will not recreate the Republican Revolution, ironically because he refuses to follow a chief tenet of Gingrich’s philosophy–that “real changes requires real change”
Emanuel, like many liberals, still thinks and openly schemes about an illusion of change rather than real change. It, like the policies he enacts, comes down to valuing symbols of substance.
“You’ve got to have people that look and sound like they’re not career politicians,” he says.
No genius, you’ve got to have people that aren’t career politicans. Is this solution to a nationwide exhaustion at career politicians to find people who seem different? No, the solution is getting people that are different. When the polls show the public like values, strategy lies in getting values, not the illusion thereof.
Even then, the necessity of such an action is indicative of a greater, more troubling problem. The need for successful, charismatic leaders from outside the Beltway has always existed, and it shouldn’t come as a wake-up call. This should have been a continually reached quota, not some shiny new strategy. Its a sad, pathetic admission to declare a renewed effort to find new sources of leadership, because it means you haven’t been doing it the whole time.
And then there exists the irony in what the article is attempting to predict. We are supposed to be stunned and impressed with the Democrats’ go-to-guy, Rahm Emanuel. We are supposed to believe that we rest at the cusp of a liberal Congressional revolution and fear the wrath of a rising minority party. We are prompted to tremble at the political might of this strategic genius who aims to capitalize on Republican error.
The problem is that this ignores one crucial historical fact: Emanuel was the top political advisor to Clinton — the man whose political failings directly led to the Gingrich’s revolution and takeover. It’s more than ironic to believe that the man whose ineptitude led to his party’s downfall is going to be the one responsible for its rise to power. It’s stupid. Sure the party owes Emanuel a lot, mainly because their dismal political position is partially his fault, but you don’t put a loser in charge of your comeback.
Emanuel can rally against Washington until he’s blue in the face and it won’t change the fact that he’s campaigning against himself. The logic here is mindblowing. His plan is to use the same language and criticism that Gingrich used to rise to power even though Gingrich’s language and criticism were aimed at Emanuel. Its not just circular reasoning, it’s stupidity.
The Democratic approach begins with hypocrisy and that, naturally, is what it ends with.
The war, he says, exposed the administration’s “incompetence,” while the aftermath of Katrina revealed its corruption and cronyism.
That’s well and good, except for the fact that, I don’t know, even the compliments of his friends point to an attitude of “say one thing, do another”
“Unlike past DCCC chairmen, who simply dispersed money without demanding anything in return, Emanuel approaches the job with the sensibility of a Mob bookie. He forces candidates in the most competitive races who receive money to sign what he calls a “Memo of Understanding,”
Nothing says “merit-based politics” quite like a comparison to the mob, does it? Last time I checked, the word “cronyism” had its very origins in organized crime. We are supposed to see this guy as the second coming of honesty in Washington. Meanwhile, his friends have taken to likening him to a bookie? “Memo of Understanding,” now that sounds like a fair, open-ended agreement.
This is why, despite Republican errors, the Democrats will continue to lose. They embrace ridiculous politicians as the answer to their prayer, despite the fact that are utterly incompetent. They’ve picked the person responsible for a major Republican victory to head up an attack on the still-reigning victors. That’s like hiring the spoon that broke your garbage disposal to fix it.
For all Emanuel’s rhetoric, for all his campaigning against “cronyism,” this man was a integral part of one of the most corrupt administrations this nation has ever known. He was an advisor to the president who was not only impeached for lying under oath, but stole things from the White House on the way out. His nickname is the “Godfather,” and his scathing criticism of Bush is his use of political favors.
Despite his less than impressive political record, Emanuel would lose on his policies alone. His genius plan is not to get candidates from outside the system, but rather to get candidates who look like they come from outside the system. The American public may be negligent, but it isn’t completely stupid. Voters might — and I’m going way out on a limb here — prefer real politicians over puppets masquerading as leaders.
And lastly, we have what might be the most out-of-touch assertion I’ve heard in my entire life. Does the left really believe that it isn’t critical enough of the president? This is an honest question, because for the life of me, I can’t answer it on my own. I can’t recall the last time I heard anyone say anything positive about Bush, never mind someone even remotely liberal.
Is the key to progress in this country beating the dead horse that is the current administration? I don’t think so. Thus, Rahm Emanuel is about as original and honest as the last president he served.Powered by Sidelines