RAHMBO. I think Ryan Lizza more or less has the goods in his rejoinder to Rick Perlstein's piece, which had played down Rahm Emanuel and played up the netroots in assessing who should get the lion's share of credit for the Dems' House gains. Lizza points out that most of the candidates Perlstein cites as examples of netroots-backed and largely DCCC-ignored campaigns actually received plenty of financial and strategic support from the DCCC. Certainly, as in the case of John Hall in New York and many others, the DCCC attention and money came relatively late in the campaign as the races began to tighten and the DCCC expanded its roster of targets, and one can thus argue both that activists are the true source of such eventual victories and that the DCCC should have done more sooner; but each individual candidate always wants more resources from the DCCC and always thinks they're not getting enough fast enough, and weighing counterfactual claims becomes pretty difficult. At any rate, I think Kevin Drum and Zack Roth strike the right note in emphasizing that credit for Tuesday's outcomes is a both-and rather than either-or kind of thing.
Indeed, now that the election's over it's worth disentangling a bit what might be objectionable to liberals and activists about Emanuel. For me it's mainly an objection to some of his substantive positions on policy, to his association with the Hoyer K Street-friendly wing of the caucus, and to a lot of loose talk from folks in town about how it would be better for him to be Speaker rather than Nancy Pelosi.