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Frick vs. Frack

By Michael J. Smith on Monday July 3, 2006 09:57 AM

Somebody tell me what this ridiculous batrachomyomachia between Rahm Emanuel and Howard Dean is really all about. Supposedly it's a battle between a "50-state" strategy (Dean) and a "targeted" strategy for '06 (Rahm) -- long-term infrastructure vs. short-term cream-skimming. But I have to think that some kind of factional struggle lies behind it, and it would make a more interesting story if there were some real difference between the factions.

The New Republic, not surprisingly, has been consistently in Rahm's corner, but now cub reporter Ari Berman (shown left) has loosed the fateful lightning of The Nation's terrible swift sword with a faux-balanced but objectively pro-Rahm thumbsucker there. Excerpt:

...Like it or not, Dean will be judged on how the party performs in this mid-term election. Party leaders like Emanuel worry that the DNC's effort will be too little, too late--and wonder whether Democrats are doing enough to win the game on the ground.... Whatever short-term plan the DNC has... leaders in labor, the progressive community and the House and Senate working on '06 strategy have yet to see it, prompting fears that Democrats are once again lagging behind the other side....Dean's 50 State Strategy could be the blueprint for his party's revival. But winning elections--particularly this November--would help, too.

So somebody, help me out here -- who's carrying whose water in this nasty little spat?

Comments (7)


I have no credentials or evidence for this comment, but it could be that Howard Dean still has a strong following in the left wing of the party, and is thus still a presidential possibility for 2008. Rahm Emanuel, I assume, is close to (or possibly even some weird offspring of) the Clintons, so this may be a way of putting down a potential rival. Further, the Emanuel/Schumer strategy, of top-down candidate selection and message management, may fail, once again, and HD makes a nice scapegoat if it does.

js paine:

i agree about the faction motivation
but its not wing against wing here
its pure faction

the two lines in struggle here

are just tricked out
in the usual disguises

personal ambitions
are dressed up as
contending forces
in a struggle over
whats best for the party
as a whole

06 ers vs 08 ers

what i might say
is dean has the weaker position
in fact i can't see why the lines are drawn as press stated
unlesss this is the rahm version

seems the 08ers are framed as the dopery department
or as the goatery squad

if rahm wins his take over bid
deans king of the dopes
and if rahm loses
dean is top he goat
among the scape-niks
for diverting funds and effort
from the main chance

What gets me is the notion that the DLC strategy has been failing now in terms of long-term benefits for the DP for going on three decades now. The only way it can be sold as a long-term success is by looking at what it's done for the wallets of Bill and his cronies.

Yet they have been allowed to continue this strategy forever. McAuliffe may have been the sacrificial lamb after their last drubbing, but his departure was largely symbolic;I assume that most of the other hacks were left to continue as they had been.

Just watch, though. If Dean's strategy doesn't bring in some kind of thunderous take-back for the team, it will be thrown on the dung-heap unceremoniously. Despite the fact that even the most competent party head in the world could scarcely be realistically expected to undo the damage of over two decades in less than three years.

I don't write this to defend Dean. He deserves whatever he gets. I'm only trying to defend the notion of long-term goals rather than this constant obsession with instant gratification. Running Democrats in regions of the country that they long ago left for dead would be a fine strategy-- if they were running as anything but bad photocopies of their rivals. Perhaps some are, and we don't hear about it because they're being cut dead by their leaders and the supposed Big Pwog Blogs as though they were honorary Greens. I wouldn't know.

J. Alva Scruggs:

It's a fence straddler. I think bobw has good angle on it. Berman looks like he's trying hard not to be wrong rather than hoping to present any accurate aanalysis.

Berman has all the political acumen of a lightly retarded weasel. The CA CD50 Busby/Bilbray brouhaha was a republican / republican-lite contest in which the real republican won (as most often happens.)

Both Howard the Donk and Emperor Rahmses are hoping to buy the election. There's money aplenty to fund both lame-brain plans, but Rahm threw one of his famous Cheney-like tantrums and now the dem echo chamber is all atwitter with fainthearted cries of 'Party Unity Uber Alles!'


I believe that conventional wisdom has Rahm running things for the Clintons while Dean is aligned with the Gores of the party.


Ari Berman is a wasts of ink and trees yet again.

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