Whiner of the Cycle: Rahm Emanuel
by Matt Stoller, Mon Aug 28, 2006 at 09:13:58 AM EDT
I've noted on multiple occasions the whiny tendencies of Rahm Emanuel. Rather than running on a progressive winning set of messeages, Rahm has decided that primping before the press as 'Rahmbo' while whining about progressives will give him a win-win. If we win the house, he's a hero. If we lose the House, it's because of bloggers/Al Sharpton/Lamont/ Moveon/Soros/Pelosi.
Rahm snipes at Dean. He snipes at bloggers. He snipes at Al Sharpton. He writes a book, 'The Plan', that argues there is little difference between Democrats and Republicans while running the party committee designed to get Democrats elected.
And he does it in public, to journalists.
Now he's lying about Moveon.org, and bitching about George Soros's political giving.
"MoveOn goes into four districts, advertises, does a great job in each of those districts, and they literally moved on. The election is in November, and they moved on in June," he said. "I'm like, `What is going on here?' I don't get it. I'm bewildered. Do you think for a moment the Chamber of Commerce will not run another ad in one of these campaigns?"
MoveOn.org's Washington director, Tom Matzzie, responded sharply to Emanuel's criticism, saying the group had made an early impact in key races and plans to spend $25 million this year.
"I don't like him litigating election business through the newspapers. I think that's in poor taste," Matzzie said of Emanuel. Emanuel - who is in a similar feud with Democratic Party chief Howard Dean over the issue of spending on congressional races - expressed particular frustration with Soros, who personally spent more than $23 million in 2004, and wrote recently of the importance of "a resounding Democratic victory in 2006."
Is there anyone Rahm Emanuel isn't fighting with? I'm sure he's going to imagine that he's just saying what everyone's thinking, that's he's a strategist, a 'Rahmbo' who gets the job done.
And I hear a lot that even though progressives don't agree with him, he's at least a strategist. Let me just say that no he is not. Party strategists do not scream at major donors in public to journalists, because if they do then they create a disincentive for participation. Party strategists do not attack progressives in a progressive year and create policy platforms that immediately discount Democratic ability to accomplish anything. Party strategists do not race-bait against African-American leaders. Party strategists force candidates to do a good job, not to hire the right consultants. Party strategists do not call a right-wing Independent that needs Republican votes to win in Connecticut a 'Democrat'.
Rahm Emanuel is not a party strategist. He is an extremist ideologue, a Bourbon Democrat, and he will be a huge problem for progressives moving forward. Progressives would do well to develop our own set of strategic coordinators, rather than thinking that someone like Rahm Emanuel is at this point anything but destructive and selfish.