In one corner, the forces of good, in the other... bitterness

The difference between the Bad Boss contest sponsored by Working America (AFL-CIO) and the SEIU's Since Sliced Bread contest redoubles my already heald impressions of both organizations. It also reinforces the two ways liberals/Democratics/Progressives are approaching things these days.

The AFL-CIO represents bad politics: bitter, tearing down, win at all costs (also represented by the DSCC and the DCCC).

The SEIU represents a positive, constructive, win as much as we can, but make it all good, type of politics (also represented by the DNC's 50 state strategy).

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Rahm to Quit DCCC in November

After virtually erasing the $12 million debt of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee and helping the DCCC go from an $8 million cash-on-hand deficit as compated to the National Republican Congressional Committee to leading the NRCC by close to $3 million, DCCC chairman Rahm Emanuel has announced that this will be his only term leading his party's House campaign apparatus, reports The Hill's Josephine Hearn.

Rep. Rahm Emanuel (D-Ill.) will step down from the House Democrats’ campaign operation after the November elections to spend more time with his family, he told The Hill yesterday.

[...]

Although most DCCC chairmen serve only a single term, many Democrats welcomed Emanuel's presence and held out hope he would serve a second term.

There is no doubt that Emanuel has not been a favorite of the netroots during his term, and even some Congressional Dems are not fully on board with his tactics -- a fact that Emanuel freely admits (Hearn writes, "The DCCC chairman acknowledges that he has had a rocky relationship with some colleagues").

All the same, Emanuel has been strikingly successful in the fundraising department, and perhaps more importantly, in the cash-flow department. Despite having raised only about $66.2 million to the $93.3 million brought in by the NRCC, the DCCC under Emanuel's watch has still been able to pay off it's massive debts and take a cash-on-hand lead over the Republicans for the first time since perhaps 1994.

But even aside from Emanuel's fundraising prowess, he has shown some willingness to reach out to the blogosphere -- even if he has not followed the netroots' strategic advice. In May, Emanuel agreed to sit down for an interview with MyDD and responded to some of the criticisms of the progressive blogosphere, including complaints about his role in the Illinois 6th primary. While it would certainly be preferable for Congressional leaders to buy into the ideas cultivated inside the netroots, it is a decent first step to at least open up a dialogue.

This all said, we will not be able to accurately gauge Rahm Emanuel's term at the DCCC until November 8, at the earliest -- after we know if the Democrats have retaken the House. Although the odds are stacked against the Democrats and gerrymandering makes it difficult to unseat incumbents of either party, it will be difficult to give any member of the House Democratic leadership (Emanuel included) stellar ratings should the party not win in November. The stakes are fairly high, but I have not yet lost faith in the Democrats' ability to finally pull off victory this fall.

(poll below)

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Rahm Emanuel Says He Needs To Spend More W/ Family

Although I would have preferred an announcement of his immediate resignation, DCCC Chair Rahm Emanuel has just done the best thing of his entire tenure at the Committee. He told colleagues he needs to spend more time with the family and will take his contentious ass out of the running for the next term, leaving open the possibility that the Democratic Leadership will find a DCCC head who will support candidates espousing and fighting for Democratic values and principles. What a concept!

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Restoring American Values

That's my slogan, which I believe is better than "Let's get Real" and certainly better than "Together We Can Do Better."

I will explain why in the extended...

Crossposted at the Third Avenue

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Memo to Senate Democrats: Get Meaner

Asking William Jefferson to step down from the Ways and Means Committee, which is a very powerful post, is something a leader does. Walking into the hornet's nest that is the CBC, as Pelosi did, will cause her problems, but she believes that it is worth the sacrifice.  The Senate side, not so much.  I hope that Harry Reid, a brave man and a partisan, learns a thing or two from her about whipping a caucus, because what Glenn writes is simply spot-on.

In other words, there are serious questions about whether Gen. Hayden will comply with the law and whether he believes in the rule of law, so perhaps it's not a good idea to install him as CIA Director. Is there some reason Democrats were afraid to make that clear, straightforward, critically important point?

Yet again, Senate Democrats show that they have no more concern for the rule of law and for the excesses of this administration than Senate Republicans do. Due to their really pitiful passivity, they are every bit as much to blame for the excesses and abuses of the administration as the compliant Republicans are.

I've written before that, at least to me, the principal if not exclusive benefit of the Democrats taking over one or both of the Congressional houses in November is that it will impose some checks and limitations on the behavior of the administration and, specifically, will finally result in meaningful investigations into what has happened in our country and to our government over the last five years. But I have serious doubts about whether that would really happen.

After November, 2006, the presidential elections are not far away. The same paralyzing, stagnating, fatally passive Democratic voices who always counsel against standing up to the administration aren't going anywhere...

Is there any doubt that the likes of Senators Feinstein, Rockefeller, Levin, etc. are going to follow that thinking, as they always do? I don't see how that can be doubted. I think Congressional Democrats will be more cautious and passive, not less so, if they take over one of the Congressional houses in 2006. People who operate from a place of fear and excess caution become even more timid and fearful when they have something to lose. The Democratic Congressional Chairs are going to be desperate not to lose that newfound power, and they will be very, very vulnerable to the whiny whispers of the consultant class that they should not spend their time and energy investigating this administration or vigorously opposing them on national security matters.

John Cole is absolutely right that Democrats have managed to change virtually nothing as a result of the collapse of the Bush presidency. That's because they think the same and behave the same as they did when they were getting pushed around by Bush as a highly popular "war president." As a result, there is no reason to believe they will be any better than they are now (and have been for the past four years) if and when they take over one or both Congressional Houses. One could make a compelling case that they will be even worse.

I don't agree entirely with Glenn's sweeping generalization of Democrats, but he's right about the Senate.  The House can be governed to oppose the President, and I believe that Pelosi is serious about making that happen.  The Senate doesn't have the will and never has.

On the other hand, I'm hearing bad things about goings on in the House with regards to the net neutrality bill in the Judiciary Committee.  Pelosi's been very helpful in fighting for internet freedom there, and all of us on the blogs are going to need to step up later today on the issue.

Get ready for some people-powered politics.

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