RAHMBO REDUX. OK, this whole business about who's allowed to spike the ball in the end zone gets to last until midnight tonight and then we all hold hands and sing together. On Rahm-v.-netroots, I'm more on Perlstein's side than Lizza's here -- and I think Sam makes a critical mistake by minimizing the fact that the DCCC's support in many cases came, as he put it, "relatively late." That, it seems to me, is understating what actually happened. As recently as the summer of 2005, when I was working on a piece for The Boston Globe Magazine about Howard Dean's chairmanship of the DNC, it was a ludicrously open secret that Rahm Emanuel and the DCCC believed that a nationwide strategy of the kind Dean was proposing likely would prove not only futile, but catastrophic, and a lot of them were already measuring the space on the wall where they'd hang the Doctor's head. They believed neither in the strategy nor, especially, in the guy pushing it, and any of them who says they did is simply dealing in a barefaced non-fact. There's no shame in admitting that other people saw an opportunity before you did. Nobody denies that the late money was valuable, but Emanuel can best be said to have produced a bumper crop out of ground that somebody else plowed.
In addition, there were and are a number of important issues on which the DCCC and the rest of the party establishment simply are unwilling or unable to address. These certainly include the serious economic dislocations that helped elect Sherrod Brown in Ohio, as well as the ongoing constitutional crisis caused by a rogue Executive branch, a grave problem that nobody in Washington seems to be willing to address head-on, but that energized not only Democratic activists, but also the libertarian slice of the Republican base.
And, it should be noted that a lot of the problem is that an awful lot of people in Washington really don't like Rahm Emanuel, who has a reputation as a supercilious gombeen that is remarkable even by the standards set by employees of the first Clinton Administration, which are considerable.
--Charles P. Pierce
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