Rahm-o-rama Archives

March 8, 2006

A mighty wind a-blowin'

Another Rahm-ogram, this in connection with Bill Thomas' retirement:
[Republicans are] "sensing the winds of change blowing at gale force," as Representative Rahm Emanuel of Illinois, the chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, put it. "... They have a sense of what's out there, politically, this year," said Mr. Emanuel, who predicts a Democratic wave in this fall's elections.
I bet they do have a pretty good sense of what's out there, politically -- and "wind" is certainly the right word for it.

Thomas himself got in a rather accurate shot:

Mr. Thomas, who had served 16 years under a Democratic majority, said that the Democrats simply could not accept their life in the minority, and that they viewed power as "their birthright."

March 15, 2006

Diogenes finds an honest Democrat

The Nation magazine sent me an e-mail today calling my attention to this piece by Ari Berman.
Iraq returned as a central theme in George W. Bush's State of the Union address this year. With the war on the minds of many members of the public and with the 2006 midterm elections approaching, it seemed natural that the opposition party would forcefully challenge the President's policy. Instead, the Democrats ducked and covered.
Dog bites man. Ari did drop, perhaps intentionally, perhaps not, a droll observation:
Rahm Emanuel, a leading party strategist, didn't even mention Iraq when asked on television what his party would do differently from the Republicans....
Well, Rahm was being truthful, then, if only by his silence. They wouldn't do anything different, in spite of the self-deluding hopes of donkey addicts -- people who just can't stop themselves from walking into that booth and pulling that lever and telling themselves they could stop any time they want to.

Lots of good stuff in this piece, actually:

[Demo "strategist" Paul] Begala praises Bob Casey Jr., a conservative Democrat from Pennsylvania who's criticized his opponent, Senator Rick Santorum, for his allegiance to President Bush but has also indicated that he would have voted for the Iraq War and has ruled out any plan for troop withdrawals. Karl Struble, a media consultant to Kaine and former Senator Tom Daschle who'll produce campaign spots for Democratic Senate candidates in Arizona, Nebraska, Washington and West Virginia, says that Iraq "can't or shouldn't be the primary thing Democrats talk about" in '06 campaigns. "When the tree's gonna fall, the best thing to do is stay out of the way," he says.
So Begala is praising this paragon Casey for -- well, for incoherent, demented, self-contradicting doubletalk, for word salad that would make a confabulating Korsakoff patient seem cogent by comparison, for tying himself in dialectical knots that would defeat the ingenuity of a topologist to describe.

And it's wonderful, in a way, how guilelessly candid they are. "Wait for the tree to fall" -- that's the "strategy," isn't it? It's interesting, really, that they think they can get away with being this honest. I guess it's because they're confident that the only people who will read this stuff are people who are already self-convinced that they have nowhere else to go.

April 13, 2006

Wunderkind, or dunderhead?

As a mastermind, Rahm's at best a B student, at least according to an article in the Washpost today. Seems Rahm's quarterbacking of the House takeback hasn't impressed the pros.

He's missed placing a strong candidate in some promising districts and some of his hand-picked candidates just plain miss. So despite an opposition looking like a late-round loser -- what with a rubber-legged White House wandering in circles, and managing to act both punch-drunk and punched-out all at the same time -- and more to the point, an elephant House team with more members earmarked for the felons-fiends-and-fools department then either party has fielded down there since Little Big Horn -- despite that, the Washpost would like us to believe the experts still rate the donks' House takeover odds at slightly south of 50/50.

What makes me think this is planted donkey hype -- lower expectations, keep it looking like a squeeeker -- a strategem to keep the electorate in line? A walkover mentality would breed actual thought, actual what-is-to-be-done type thought. Better it appear a very tight horse race between spinners and poll vaulters -- inside players -- a cramped piece of chamber music, not the bold expectation-raising opening chords of a nation rising in righteous anger.

May 3, 2006

Buckeye black eye for Rahm

Alan Smithee reports:

Yesterday was a bad day for Grand Viser Rahm Emanuel's master plan for DCCC donkey dominance in '06. Five out of seven RahmPuppets fell in the primary war zones of Ohio and Indiana. Oh, the Humanity!

As the smoke clears over the ballot-strewn battlefields in the breakaway state of Ohio, Rahm's Sockpuppet Army is in full retreat. The stench of defeated RahmPuppet candidacies hovers thickly over the Buckeye State, election day casualties shot down by insurgent natives staunchly defending their voting districts from Rahm's relentless onslaught.

Republican safe Ohio CD03 saw the candidacy of David Fierst brutally mauled by antiwar UAW endorsee Stephanie Studebaker, who flattened the prowar RahmPuppet in an easy 56% - 21% victory. This must be an especially disappointing loss for Rahm, since Fierst had garnered endorsements from both "Ohio Right to Life" and "Democrats For Life."

In Sherrod Brown's CD13 Democrat safe district, Murtha plan enthusiast John Wolfe (1.4%) and backup "Band of Brothers" brother Norbert Dennerll (0.7%) lost to union fave-rave Betty Sutton (30.7%) in a grisly primary slaughter that took the candidacies of no less than seven Democrat hopefuls. Reported amongst the casualties is Gary Kucinich (13.5%), real-life brother of CD10 congresscritter Dennis Kucinich.

On one of Ohio's more contested battlefields, Bob Ney's crater strewn CD18, RahmPuppet Joe Sulzer (24%) placed third behind Zack Space (38.75%) and Jennifer Steward (25.5%). Pundits generaly cite Ney's Abramoff connections as the major factor contributing to Republican woes in this highly red district.

Surveying the carnage, the last RamPuppet standing in Ohio is Richard Siferd in the soldily Republican CD04. Whether or not it helped Siferd's cause that he didn't have an opponent in the primary is difficult to say, but our contacts in the district suspect if may have played a role in Siferd's primary victory.

Meanwhile, in the solidly red state of Indiana, Rahm's Sockpuppet Army sustained 50% casualties. Rahm scored a victory in CD03 as Tom Hayhurst rolled over two challangers to win the primary. But in CD04, local democrat David Sanders handily defeated Rahm favorite Rick Cornstuble in 52% to 31% route.

What does this setback mean for Rahm's Sockpuppet Army? It would seem that, outside of Rahm's heavily fortified Illinios home base, local insurgents are holding their own against the invading Beltway Sockpuppets. Alternately, the Ohio route may have been caused by popular resentment against Rahm's shivving of local cause celeb Paul Hackett. However that may be, Rahm's Army will be further tested on May 16th when nine more RahmPuppets storm the primary battlefields of Kentucky and Pennsylvania. Can Rahm turn the tide of electoral war in his favor? Or is he throwing good corporate DCCC money after bad? Stay tuned!

May 17, 2006

The Rahmbler

Alan Smithee writes:

Here's the latest from the Rahm Sockpuppet front.


The democrat's Rove must have heaved a sigh of relief last night, especially after the dark night of the soul that was last week's Ohio Massacre. Finally, Rahmbo has something to show his Beltway buddies (besides millions in wasted DCCC dollars) - an almost 50% primary survival rate for his invading Sockpuppet Army!

In the bluegrass mountains of redstate Kentucky, local democrats in four out of five districts fiercely fought the invading Sockpuppet Army. After the smoke cleared two out of four WarDems, Eric Streit in KY-01 and Andrew Horne in KY03, had fallen in pitched primary skirmishes. while Mike Weaver and Ken Stepp (In KY-02 & KY-05, respectively) overran local partisans. A fifth RahmPuppet, Ken Lucas in KY-04 had no primary challanger.

Meanwhile in Pennsylvannia, local democrat insurgents led by Chad Kluko shot down Tom Kovach's bid in PA18 even as Wardem Patrick Murphy's DCCC funded candidacy rolled over local candidate Andrew Warren. Three other RahmPuppets advanced unchallanged to easy primary victories.

The fly in the ointment? The bluestate of Oregon proved too blue for the under-funded Dan Davis, who lost in OR-02 to La Resistance lead by Carol Voisin.

Where does this leave us vis-a-vis the RahmPuppet Army? Truly, the merry month of May hasn't been kind to Rahmses the First. Out of thirteen primary fights in six states, only four sockpuppets managed to overrun local democrat insurgents and advance to the general. With no troops in next week's Arkansas and Idaho primary fights, we're provided a short break in the action before the titanic battles sure to ensue in the California primary. Stay tuned!

May 31, 2006

Impeach cobbler

A coward and a softy Rahmbo ain't -- so why hasn't he called for impeachment, since the people's will is drifting that way?

Simple: he figures it gains no votes he can't already count on, and it all might backfire and energize now drowsy yokel elements of the 'Pubs faith-and-security base.

Mark my words, all you lovers of political theater -- there will be an impeachment move after the fall biennial classic. So possess your souls in patience, and focus your guns meanwhile on something important -- like the Iraq-Afghan quag.

July 3, 2006

Frick vs. Frack

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?

July 12, 2006

The pound of flesh

I didn't know this -- did you?
House Democrats are required to pay between $100,000 and $600,000 in quarterly dues to the DCCC, depending on leadership positions and committee assignments.

Reps. Charles Rangel (N.Y.) and Patrick Kennedy (R.I.) have each exceeded their dues obligation — $300,000 and $150,000, respectively — by $100,000. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (Calif.) surpassed her $600,000 requirement by $15,000. DCCC Chairman Rahm Emanuel (Ill.) contributed $70,000 over his $400,000 obligation. Reps. Barney Frank (Mass.) and Earl Blumenauer (Ore.) also donated more than required.

Among the 16 Democrats who had yet to make a contribution, despite leaders’ repeated urging and occasional threats, are several members who have been at odds with leaders.

Rep. Cynthia McKinney (Ga.), who drew national headlines earlier this year for scuffling with a Capitol Police officer, has yet to fork over funds to the DCCC. She drew public rebukes from both Pelosi and Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (Md.) for the incident.

Rep. Ed Towns (N.Y.) nearly lost his seat on the Energy and Commerce Committee last fall after missing several important budget votes. He has not contributed.

Some members in arrears were likely pooling funds for bids for higher office. Reps. Ben Cardin (Md.), Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), Ted Strickland (Ohio) and Harold Ford (Tenn.) all have not contributed to the DCCC but have launched gubernatorial or Senate campaigns.

The other lawmakers not making dues payments are Reps. Jim McDermott (Wash.), Jim Davis (Fla.), Julia Carson (Ind.), Darlene Hooley (Ore.), Brad Miller (N.C.), Eddie Bernice Johnson (Texas), Dennis Kucinich (Ohio) and Gene Taylor (Miss.) and Del. Eni Faleomavaega (American Samoa).

August 9, 2006

Rahm: spinning like a top

Here's boy genius Rahm Emanuel's take on the Lieberman debacle, quoted in Rolling Stone online:
“This shows what blind loyalty to George Bush and being his love child means. This is not about the war. It’s blind loyalty to Bush.”
"Not about the war," eh Rahm? Well, it's easy enough to see why you might want to think so.

Apparently intending to be complimentary, The Rolling Stone writer sagely comments,

Emanuel’s as smart as the Democrats have got.
... which is true enough, but in a sense that the RS commentator hasn't quite grasped.

Speaking of boy geniuses, Markos Moulitsas Zuniga approvingly quotesEmanuel's comment, and adds some wonderful silliness of his own:


People-powered politics.

Talk about spin. Kos himself, half a breath before this monumental piece of foolishness, observed that Lamont was a wealthy man who dropped a couple mil of his own money in this race. Does Kos' idea of "people-powered" politics include a dependence on the kindness of millionaires? Rich-people-powered politics, is that what he means?

It gets better:


Hillary, Bayh, and Edwards, who moved most aggressively to embrace Lamont after the winner was called.

Huh? If the Lieberman defeat means anything at all, it means something rather ominous for bloody-handed fanatical War Democrats. But Kos has so immersed himself in tactical, inside-baseball minutiae that the only thing he pays attention to is the Brownian movement of minute-by-minute positioning. Hillary a "winner" in the Lieberman defeat? That one really takes the Microscopic Eye to see.

August 30, 2006

Twinkletoes Emanuel

Here's Markos Moulitsas, crowing like Peter Pan after Lamont's primary victory in Connecticut:
Rahm slams Lieberman. Hard.
"This shows what blind loyalty to George Bush and being his love child means," said Representative Rahm Emanuel of Illinois, the leader of the Democratic House Congressional campaign. "This is not about the war. It's blind loyalty to Bush."
Love child? Last time he commented on this race, a couple of days ago, he used "politically dangerous to life-threatening". I like "love child" much better, and quite the apt description of Lieberman. You can feel the disdain. No subtlety at all.

I think we all like Rahm much better tonight, huh?

Fast-forward. Here's Rahm last week, on the subject of Lieberman's effect on the Connecticut House races:
Rahm Emanuel, the chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, expressed confidence that Democratic turnout would be strong for the House races in Connecticut.

“Explain to me how two Democrats running is bad,” Mr. Emanuel said in an interview. “Would I prefer it be simpler? Yeah. But everybody is hyperventilating, and my own view is that we have an energized base.”

Gotta love that Rahm. Guy makes Dr Pangloss look like H.L. Mencken. "Love-child" Lieberman is now a Democrat again, and it's all just great, really.

October 14, 2006

Selective hysteria

Over at Counterpunch, a nice expose of Col Rahmbo's war mule flog job. Note the fund starving of an "out now" locked in a close race:
[In] CA's 11th CD Dem primary... Emanuel poured in money, much of it apparently coming from his own district in Illinois, to bankroll Steve Filson, essentially a political unknown, who opposed immediate withdrawal from Iraq. But in this primary battle the grass roots prevailed and the strongly antiwar candidate, Jerry McNirney, who supports the Murtha bill for immediate withdrawal, defeated Emanuel's minion, Filson.

It is noteworthy that McNirney, strongly antiwar, won, whereas Cegelis, weakly antiwar, lost.

Now in the general election McNirney is pulling ahead of his pro-war Republican opponent by 48 to 46% in the most recent poll even though his opponent has outspent him by $1.6 million to $303,000! MicNirney has raised a total of only $452,000 to his opponent's $2.5 million.

Some cash from Rahm would ensure McNirney's victory it would appear, but it is not forthcoming. It seems that Rahm Emanuel is stanching the influx of money in this very competitive race"

So... winning those seats is important, sure, but there are higher imperatives as well.

October 16, 2006

Show us your... oh, never mind

J Alva Scruggs writes:

Rahmbo is looking for cute candidates:

Maybe Democratic candidate Michael Arcuri is running strong in this Republican House district because he pledges to expand health coverage, balance the budget and raise the minimum wage.

Or maybe it's his piercing Italian eyes and runner's physique.... By a combination of luck and design, Democrats seem to be fielding an uncommonly high number of uncommonly good-looking candidates.

The beauty gap between the parties, some on Capitol Hill muse, could even be a factor in who controls Congress after Election Day.

Democratic operatives do not publicly say that they went out of their way this year to recruit candidates with a high hotness quotient. Privately, however, they acknowledge that... it did not escape their notice that some of the most attractive prospects were indeed often quite attractive.

October 22, 2006

Riding upon an ass, and upon a colt, the foal of an ass

Get those palms and scattered garments ready: the Savior is coming to town, and his name is Rahm Emanuel. Rahm is God, and the Washington Post is his prophet:
As the member of Congress responsible for recruiting candidates for House races, raising money and vetting strategy for dozens of districts, [Rahm has] received raves from campaign connoisseurs in Washington for running a taut committee. Notably, he's nearly closed the perennial cash-on-hand gap between his team -- with $36 million in the bank at the end of September -- and its GOP counterpart. He's fielded credible candidates in districts no one had expected to be in play a year ago. And he's generally been flogging the party like a never-satisfied CEO.

"He has been an amazing success any way you look at it," says congressional scholar Thomas Mann of the Brookings Institution. "I think it's the best operation of any chairman of either party in several years."

If Democrats do take the House -- they need to gain 15 seats to do so -- Emanuel, in only his second term in Congress, stands to claim considerable credit for ending a 12-year electoral drought. That's the kind of triumph Johnson rode to the top of the Senate.

This veni-Emanuel outlook has been heartily embraced here and there in the blogsphere, e.g.
If Democrats win back the House, this guy gets all the credit

"They call Tammy Duckworth a cut-and-runner when she left two legs in Iraq?" [Rahm] shouts, jabbing a finger in the air, drawing stares from around the deli. "How dare they! I'm going to give them the medicine that they've been giving out. That's what shocks them."

It takes a Chicagoan to fight a Republican on their own turf.

This Americablog post attracted some grousing comments to the effect that hey, maybe Howard Dean deserves some credit too. Now I agree that Rahm Emanuel is no Lyndon Johnson, but then neither is Howard Dean. In fact, what none of the blog munchkins is willing to acknowledge is that the only people the Democrats will have to thank for any advances they make in November are... the Republicans. The Repubs may be flying the plane right into the ground, but they're still the ones at the controls.

November 6, 2006

Rahm baffled

Mike Flugennock passes along this tidbit from the Washington Post:
GOP strategists said they think their prospects continue to improve as voters digest the guilty verdict against former Iraqi President Saddam Hussein, positive economic statistics and the prospect of Democrats taking control of one or both chambers of the legislative branch. "I have always believed that Republican voters in many cases come home later, particularly this year," said Republican National Committee Chairman Ken Mehlman....

"I don't know what to make of it," said Rep. Rahm Emanuel (D-Ill.), chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.

Mike's observation:
Jayzus, how did this guy get to be such a Party big-shot, when he can't explain the late GOP "surge" in three words:


January 13, 2007

He's baaaack

Just when you thought it was safe to go back into the paper, St Ignatius of the Washpost indulges in a little hagiography of his own:
An Opening for the Democrats
By David Ignatius

Rep. Rahm Emanuel, the architect of the Democratic victory in November's congressional elections, watched President Bush's Iraq speech Wednesday night like the coach of an opposing debate team: "Tired," he said. "Too wooden." "Doesn't fill the screen."

Nobody understands the new Washington power dynamic better than Emanuel, who helped create it....

With House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Emanuel plans to use Bush's Iraq speech to pose what amounts to a vote of "no confidence" in Bush's leadership -- framing the new strategy as a congressional motion and voting it up or down.... Rather than try to restrict funds for the troops... Emanuel instead favors a proposal to set strict standards for readiness -- which would make it hard to finance the troop surge in Iraq without beefing up the military as a whole. The idea is to position the Democrats as friends of the military....

A key trend [last November] was what [Emanuel] calls "suburban populism."

Ask about universal health care, and he shakes his head....

Don't look to Emanuel's Democrats for solutions on Iraq. It's Bush's war, and as it splinters the structure of GOP power, the Democrats are waiting to pick up the pieces.

Love that phrase "suburban populism". And to give Ignatius his due, the observation "Don't look to the Democrats for soloutions on Iraq" is what we've been saying here since the site went up.

November 5, 2008

Nunc dimittis

Couldn't have asked for a better Guy Fawkes Day present: Rahm Emanuel as chief of staff in the Obama administration. Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace.

Rahm is an old favorite here at SMBIVA: not just a Clinton hatchet man, but an actual Israeli, to all intents and purposes, whether or not the guy has a Promised Land passport in a hidey-hole somewhere.

Rahm's dad was in the Irgun, Rahm himself flew back to the Heimat during the first Iraq war and served in the Israeli army (as some kind of unenlisted civilian volunteer, he says), and he was and has remained a stalwart promoter of the second and still ongoing Iraq war.

Don't look for any constructive developments anywhere between the Euphrates and the Nile with this ghoul roaming the White House corridors.

Nice to see that Mr Change And Hope is living up -- very quickly indeed -- to our low expectations of him.

January 24, 2011

The town that Billy Sunday couldn't shut down...

That would be Chicago, of course.

I've quarreled, unfortunately, with all my native informants in Chicago, that toddlin' town where I misspent eight irreplaceable youthful years, years I wish I had misspent almost anywhere else, including Waziristan.

So I don't have the benefit of any inside dope on the delightful reversal of fortune that the vile filthy Rahm Emanuel recently experienced: the Illinois courts have apparently determined -- at least, until the next appeal -- that this not-so-covert Israeli operative failed to maintain enough of a "residence" in the City Of The Big Shoulders, during his giddy years in Congress and the White House, to be eligible to run for mayor -- even though he left his piano there! And his wife's wedding dress.

Chicago is kind of a sui-generis place. There's a recent piece in Harper's, which I wish I had written, that places Obie quite nicely in the Chicago context:

Maybe I was being skeptical to the point of cynicism [at the height of Obie-mania, in 2008]; maybe, as one leading liberal editor argued to me, the Chicago machine itself had changed, that Mayor Richard M. Daley was significantly different from his thuggish father, Richard J. Daley. Maybe Obama was in the machine, not of it, and would use its power in the cause of peace and good government.

Now it seems I wasn’t skeptical enough. The appointment of the Chicago-trained liberal-baiter Rahm Emanuel as White House chief of staff confirmed my fundamental point that the machine’s political apparatus was moving to the White House, not some fresh-faced parvenu with an African name.

Apart from the tender-heartedness toward "liberals", of course. But the fundamental point is a good one -- seeing Obie as the entirely predictable hellspawn of the Chicago political machine, which really hasn't changed much since the palmy days of Richard J Daley -- or Big Bill Thompson, if it comes to that.

About Rahm-o-rama

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