The Rahmbo Agenda

Dana Milbank's Apologia for Rahm Emanuel demonstrates precisely why he was a terrible choice for Chief of Staff. Leaving aside the questions of his political and policy judgment (which Milbank lauds, I think they are horrid), it is the fact that Rahmbo is interested in his own personal agenda first, that of the President's second. Indeed, the most telling part of Milbank''s piece is this:

No wonder Emanuel has set up his own small press operation and outreach function to circumvent the dysfunctional ones that Jarrett and Gibbs run.

(Emphasis supplied.) Think about it. The President's CoS has set up his own press operation to circumvent the one the serves his President. Its main goal is of course to flack for Rahmbo. What more need be said? Of course Emanuel is a force of the Village, so the Beltway Media will defend him. Sally Quinn famously wrote in her infamous 1998 piece about the Village:

[H]ere was Clinton's trusted adviser Rahm Emanuel, finishing up a speech at a fund-raiser to fight spina bifida before a gathering that could only be described as Establishment Washington.

"There are a lot of people in America who look at what we do here in Washington with nothing but cynicism," said Emanuel. "Heck, there are a lot of people in Washington who look at us with nothing but cynicism." But, he went on, "there are good people here. Decent people on both sides of the political aisle and on both sides of the reporter's notebook."

Emanuel, unlike the president, had become part of the Washington Establishment. "This is one of those extraordinary moments," he said at the fund-raiser, "when we come together as a community here in Washington -- setting aside personal, political and professional differences."

Actually, it wasn't extraordinary. When Establishment Washingtonians of all persuasions gather to support their own, they are not unlike any other small community in the country.

(Emphasis supplied.) Dana Milbank and other Beltway types are stepping up to support one of their own, Rahm Emanuel. If that damages the President, well that's the President's fault. The President should not have put Rahm in a vulnerable position. It's his fault, or so the Village will say and think.

Speaking for me only

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    I take a (5.00 / 1) (#1)
    by Ga6thDem on Sat Feb 20, 2010 at 08:46:46 AM EST
    couple of things from your synopsis. One is that this is what happens when you have a quisling as President. Everybody is left to their own devices because there is NO LEADERSHIP at the top. Now Rahm is the master of this kind of thing and he can turn a molehill into a mountain that's advantageous to him.

    Next time there is a candidate that is beloved by the village, voters should run away as quick as they can.

    The only thing I agree with w/r/t the village is that if it damages the president then it is the presidents fault but not because Rahm needs defending so much as Obama made a poor choice in picking Rahm and Obama should be held to account for that decision.

    What does this say about Obama-my 1st reaction (none / 0) (#12)
    by jawbone on Sat Feb 20, 2010 at 11:53:43 AM EST
    Yours is pretty on point.

    Others here? What does Milbank's writing say about the prez? And was Rahmbo working through Milbank to send some kind of message?

    This is pretty astonishing.


    Rahm is who got to be Obama's Cheney (5.00 / 1) (#2)
    by Pol C on Sat Feb 20, 2010 at 08:55:20 AM EST
    The purpose of the superdelegate vote in the primary system was to mitigate the damage of a candidate who racked up early victories but couldn't keep the momentum up. If things played out like they were supposed to, superdelegate support should have gone Hillary given how she cleaned his clock in the second half of the primary season, as well as outside the caucus and college-town states.

    Pelosi and a bunch of the Senators recognized how wet behind the ears Obama was, and they all thought they might get to play Cardinal Richelieu to the dauphin. Or, in modern terms, they would play Cheney to Obama's Dubya.

    Rahm Emanuel, the Democratic Party's answer to Tom DeLay, won the role.

    God help us.

    If Rahm is the answer, what was (none / 0) (#13)
    by oldpro on Sat Feb 20, 2010 at 03:24:18 PM EST
    the question?

    He's a pisspoor version of Tom DeLay.  The Hammer got his healthcare bill through...and signed!  Of course he had to hold the House vote open an extra five hours or so to do it...but he got it done.


    Flop sweat and pre-emptive blaming? (5.00 / 2) (#3)
    by Ellie on Sat Feb 20, 2010 at 09:14:52 AM EST
    Brekk-destroying hazmat warning applies:

    Contrast Emanuel's wisdom with that of Jarrett, in charge of "intergovernmental affairs and public engagement" -- two areas of conspicuous failure. Jarrett also brought in Desiree Rogers as White House social secretary; the Salahi embarrassment ensued.

    The "Salahi Embarrassment"? Rilly? That's not even a thing. It barely even makes the grade as a fake Robert Ludlum title, eg:

    If you liked The Holcroft Covenant ...
    If you yawned through half of The Scarlatti Inheritance only to forget it on a plane ...
    If you watched 3/4 of The Bourne Identity on the frail hope of seeing Matt Damon's actual butt ...

    Now we dredge the bottom of the Dems' political compost pail to bring you ... The Salahi Embarrassment!!

    This is dumb too:

    Then there's Gibbs. It's hard to make the case that you're a post-partisan president when your on-camera spokesman is a hyper-partisan former campaign flack.

    You can just hear the stenography at work. (Wait, say hyper-partisan for the goof in the last row who doesn't get the irony ... )

    Are you spying on me (none / 0) (#7)
    by Militarytracy on Sat Feb 20, 2010 at 10:26:56 AM EST
    as I travel from one Matt Damon movie to the next?  I feel naked.

    Heh. No dis to your @ss if I wish it were Matt's (5.00 / 1) (#10)
    by Ellie on Sat Feb 20, 2010 at 10:50:20 AM EST
    ... but jeez, that's two Bourne yawnfests now and no sign of the peaches.

    But as for the traveling, am I the only cheapo who does this at airports ... ?

    Flight by flight, hang out at the cheesy paperback kiosk slogging through, eg, The Scarlatti Inheritance chapter by chapter to avoid buying it again? I mean, I already paid for the POS once.

    I don't know why, but I tend to remember where I left off in an "airport book" only at the airport.


    When Josh and I went (5.00 / 1) (#11)
    by Militarytracy on Sat Feb 20, 2010 at 11:19:21 AM EST
    see 'The Wolfman', which was pretty disappointing, there is now a new movie with Matt's hot behind in it and it is called "The Green Zone".  The trailer starts and Matt Damon is a United States Army Chief Warrant Officer who goes after the bad guys.  I just about fell out of the chair onto the floor laughing.  I have one of those....one of those United States Army Chief Warrant Officer's trying to get bad guys and he doesn't look like Matt Damon.  What a ripoff!  Then I'm thinking....hmmmmmm, if the movie has some hot scene....if my husband loves me enough maybe he would wear a Matt Damon mask for me with his BDUs on.

    Oh, my Gawd! (5.00 / 1) (#5)
    by gyrfalcon on Sat Feb 20, 2010 at 09:54:52 AM EST
    It really is worth the time to read the whole Milbank piece.  His nut graph towards the top of the piece is this:

    "Obama's first year fell apart in large part because he didn't follow his chief of staff's advice on crucial matters. Arguably, Emanuel is the only person keeping Obama from becoming Jimmy Carter."

    Stenography 101.  Rahm should be sent back to wherever he crawled out from under just on the basis of having dictated this column to Milbank.

    But I do have to wonder, is Milbank the best Rahm could dig up to do a piece like this?

    To write THAT piece? (5.00 / 1) (#6)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sat Feb 20, 2010 at 09:58:49 AM EST
    Broder maybe, but Broder is not trusted by the audience Rahm wants. NEither is Milbank I would say, but it is not so obvious as with Broder.

    In comparison, Milbank's (5.00 / 1) (#8)
    by KeysDan on Sat Feb 20, 2010 at 10:31:45 AM EST
    "Mouthpiece Theatre" with Chris Cillizza is looking  good.  His off-color Hillary joke and bright- color smoking jacket was pretty bad, but this was pretty sad.

    Did he hire Malcolm Tucker? (none / 0) (#4)
    by Salo on Sat Feb 20, 2010 at 09:18:01 AM EST
    And a den of Demonic Scots?  

    Headache (none / 0) (#9)
    by Militarytracy on Sat Feb 20, 2010 at 10:34:53 AM EST
    Too many fumes from the village.  I thought they had indoor plumbing.  I skyped my spousal last night.  We had to talk about some really hard things.  Then we decided to talk about not important things I told him that there were two diaries on the Orange list last night about the successes in A-stan.  And this is what he says to me, "This is no indication one way or the other that anything in particular has happened, just know this honey....depending on who got their leader in....when it comes to my job, that is who is now drinking the kool aid."  The cynicism is so hot these days I can fry breakfast on it.

    The link to Quinn's piece (none / 0) (#14)
    by pfish on Sat Feb 20, 2010 at 07:48:13 PM EST
    was an excellent refresher on everything everybody outside the Beltway hates about Washington, starting with the self-importance and self-righteousness.