Saturday, November 10, 2007

Leftists Call Rahm A "Racist"?

Okay, if it takes a "member of the vast right-wing conspiracy" to defend Rahm Emanuel (D-IL) then things are not going all that swimmingly over on the other side of the pool. Yesterday, Markos Moulitsas of the Daily Kos asked whether Rahm Emanuel is a racist. A few weeks ago I read a comment stream on Ellen's Tenth... concerning Rahm and Rep. Mark Kirk (R-IL) that was bizarre even for those folks. So what the heck is going on?

Methinks that some folks are trying to move any blame concerning the current congress away from the more outwardly liberal Pelosi and toward the more centrist Emanuel. Some commenters over at Ellen's place and on the regressive Daily Kos don't seem to understand what Rahm did last year. He recruited good centrist candidates in vulnerable districts around the nation and not only were those candidates successful but they gave the Democratic Party its current House majority. Amusingly one or more of the commenters thought that Rahm had attended high school with Mark Kirk, Rahm attended New Trier West at the same time that Mark attended New Trier East, so to answer one commenter, no Rahm did not beat up Mark in high school.

As I have noted a few times on this blog I have met and talked politics with Rahm on numerous occasions as we have mutual friends. In addition, as I wrote here, I have voted for Rahm, he is my congressman. This is in no way an endorsement of most of his policies but rather a statement that Rahm is generally reasonable, I certainly have taken him to task on this blog but I have also been supportive where need be.

More to the point, last year I talked to Rahm about the world of political blogging in general and the Daily Kos in particular, I wrote about that conversation here and here. The first time that I wrote about that conversation was before the 2006 election and I noted:

During our recent conversation we discussed the then upcoming Connecticut Senate primary and the involvement of certain blogs in the race. The conversation was private so I will not divulge anything past what one could reasonably discern from his public statements. Mr. Emanuel was animated at the mention of those blogs and he genuinely seemed to understand the possible problems that some of those bloggers and their readers could pose for the image of the Democratic Party. We were in a public place so those comments were made to me with a somewhat hushed voice; this district has a very large population of committed left wing moonbats.

A few days later I had a chance to speak to one of our mutual friends, a man who is one of the original Friends of Bill (Clinton), and we both agreed that although Mr. Emanuel uses the red meat rhetoric of the left wing, he was much more practical and down to earth than he often sounds. This gentleman (the FOB) said that he wasn’t surprised that Mr. Emanuel was leery of the left side of the blogosphere and that he was trying to blunt their effect on the party, Mr. Emanuel has always struck this Southern gentleman as more down to earth than the leftists who are in ascendancy in the Democratic Party.

After the election I wrote:

Last summer I had the chance to discuss politics with my Congressman, Rahm Emanuel; during that conversation (see this post) we discussed the problems that the unhinged left could cause for the Democrats. He clearly understood those problems and voiced serious concerns about them. As it is now after the election I feel less constrained to discuss our largely private conversation. He was very animated while discussing the folks over at the Daily Kos, saying that they had never won anything; on that point he sounded like a conservative blogger. Because Mr. Emanuel worked so closely with the Clintons I had no problem bringing up that issue with him, after all the triangulation strategy also relies on the center and the right. I believed then, as I believe today that the nation is better off without one of our two political parties going off of the deep end. He understood my concerns and as I said, he was as animated as one could be as an office holder in a public place in an area populated by very liberal people. At the end of our conversation I wished him well in his attempt to bring the party towards the center. Clearly Mr. Emanuel’s strategy was to find candidates who appeared to be centrist; they also seemed to lean towards former servicepersons. He certainly was successful.

Okay, so Rahm Emanuel is too centrist for Markos of the Daily Kos and the average leftists in the Democratic Party, that is a dog bites man story, or as President Clinton might say, that dog won't hunt. The interesting aspect is how this internecine warfare will affect the next election, which by the way is 51 weeks from next Tuesday. Rahm's concerns during the last election cycle centered around the tendency of some in the Democratic Party to undertake unproductive political projects and to be, for the lack of better phrasing, somewhat obnoxious. He also repeatedly pointed out that "they have never won anything."

Rahm left his post at the Democratic Congressional Committee and is currently the Chair of the Democratic Caucus, it is his actions in that office that currently have him in hot water with the Kos crowd. Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md) is currently in charge of the Democratic effort to keep control of the House so he may be the next one under the Kos gun.

Welcome Instapundit readers and thanks to Professor Reynolds for the link. After what I consider a less than successful audition at Second City Friday afternoon (sometimes improv doesn't work) it's nice to get an Instapundit link.

Hat Tip: Instapundit

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Blogger Team America said...

It's perhaps an oversimplification, but not an exaggeration, to say that many of the political problems we face as a nation today are due to the extremists in both parties. As a Republican, it's nice to know the Dems have just as many problems controlling their nutjobs as do we, but aside from psychological comfort, it does nothing to help the situation. If the Republican party has a future, it's in people like Mark Kirk. If your read on Rahm is accurate, he may be the equivalent on the Dem side, but they apparently need more of where he came from.

7:26 AM  
Anonymous Looking Glass said...

That is a great article. It just needs some tweaking. I wouldn't ordinarily comment but with Instapundit watching you need to pull up your socks.

El Rider wrote, "that was bazaar even for those folks."

A bazaar is a street market. That's bizarre.

"Methinks" is one word. Spelling is important when you're being pretentious.

"regressive Daily Kos" kind of works, actually.

"Democratic Party it's current House majority." Should be "its."

"blogasphere" is spelled blogosphere.

This may seem trivial, but they really stand out against the overall high quality of your insightful article.

This is your chance to shine. Go for it.

9:22 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I wish more of you on the Democrat side of the aisle would make this point, and do it more forcefully.

Democrats who unseated Republicans in 2006 and gave the Democrats a majority were overwhelmingly in the Kahn mold. They campaigned on the "Culture of Corruption" and do-nothing incompetence, and as a person who normally votes Republican I have to grit my teeth and say "good luck to them." Iraq and impeachment were subjects that were conspicuously avoided in most instances.

But once in office, the Democratic leadership immediately announced that their new majority was meant to Get Out of Iraq and Impeach Bush, their actions made it clear that the only thing they disliked about the "Culture of Corruption" is that they weren't getting enough of the pork, and there have been few Congresses in living memory that have accomplished less. I can't do much but sneer because I'm on the wrong side and nobody listens. Commenters like yourself need to be pointing out what's going on, because you can do something.


9:51 AM  
Blogger El Rider said...

Thank you Looking Glass, it may be that I studied Economics because I can't spell worth a darn. To paraphrase Dan Quayle, spell check is a terrible thing to lose. The spelling mistakes have been corrected, thanks again.

10:15 AM  
Anonymous Orion said...

"It's perhaps an oversimplification, but not an exaggeration, to say that many of the political problems we face as a nation today are due to the extremists in both parties."

That's a moral equivalence argument and I reject that out of hand. in 1960 we had an election rigged to put Kennedy in the White House: Nixon didn't challenge the results because he didn't think it would be good for the country. After the close-but-not-rigged 2000 election Al Gore told his staff that he was the most important person in America and to sue. After Bill Clinton illegally invaded the Balkans Republicans *didn't* vomit fake blood on courthouse steps across America in protest. And so on.

As far as I can see the only difference between "moderates" and the "radical right" is how noisy the latter are about protecting American interests at home and abroad. "Moderates" like the Boy Scouts, good teachers, being safe in their homes, and low taxes. The "radical right" demand these.

The radical left want to tear down everything and start over; rebuild the country in their image and they're the "take no prisoners!" kind of activists.

I have to disagree and say that most of the political problems we face as a nation today are due to the extremists on the left. W/O their insistance on "remaking" the country most on the right wouldn't be so radicalized.

10:19 AM  
Blogger Robert Holmgren said...

Today's Republicans are yesterday's Democrats.

12:28 PM  
Blogger M. Simon said...

The Dean strategy was to elect Republicans to Congress who identified themselves as Democrats.

It worked.

Except for the Democrats who haven't figured out that we have a Republican Congress.

I predict a Republican Congress after the '08 Election. It is possible they will actually call themselves Republican.

12:44 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"...although Mr. Emanuel uses the red meat rhetoric of the left wing, he was much more practical and down to earth than he often sounds."

"This gentleman (the FOB) said that he wasn’t surprised that Mr. Emanuel was leery of the left side of the blogosphere and that he was trying to blunt their effect on the party..."

Either you and your friend are deluding yourselves or Rahm is fooling you.

Don't you see the contradiction in those two statements?

Why would a supposed "centrist" adopt the rhetoric of the far left? How is that helpful to the country, or even to his party?

9:32 PM  
Blogger Publia said...

Ok TA, I won't chide you on YOUR blog, but extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice. And el rider, now that the cat is out of the bag about the Rahm-Mark high school thing, it is going to be much, much, harder to spot those Californians who troll the blogs at election time using Google to find posts to cheer for Seals, pretending that they are locals. Ah well, the truth will out, especially now that your blog is famous--Congratulations.

Looking glass you can come over to my blog any time and lend a hand. Just be kind, as I am sensitive. Since your name doesn't link to a blog, I assume you have not yet experienced the challenge of trying to finish a post while falling asleep!

12:03 AM  
Blogger Team America said...

Publia, don't worry about pulling punches with me on my blog. Lawyers have thick skins. But, I don't agree that you have to be an extremist to push your agenda; in fact, I think extremists are generally fairly unable to push their agendas because eventually they annoy and alienate so many people, they are left with a group that is ineffective about getting anything done. If that makes me willing to compromise the more extreme points of my personal philosphy in the interests of pragmastism, then sometimes it's a trade I'm willing to make, but sometimes not.

9:53 PM  
Anonymous The Wilmette Life said...

Someone polled me this week saying bad things about Jay Footlik. Something about Footlik not living here and working for foreigners. Looks like Dan Seals is taking Footlik out.


10:06 PM  
Blogger Team America said...

Bob- that's good to know. If you have a chance, come over to the Team America blog and comment, as we are looking for people who received that poll call to give their recollections of the questions and order, and obvious bias, if any.

12:35 PM  

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