Rahm Emanuel: Don’t Worry About the Left

Saturday, December 19, 2009


I’ve always been distrustful of Senior White House Adviser Rahm Emanuel. He’s an cocky son-of-a-bitch, with a chip on his shoulder because of his diminutive size. Emanuel is well known on Capitol Hill for his short temper, angry outbursts and ego maniacal behavior.

So it came as no surprise to read Emanuel had told the Wall Street Journal: Don’t Worry About the Left.

Turn off MSNBC. Tune out Howard Dean and Keith Olbermann. The White House has its liberal wing in hand on health care, says White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel.

“There are no liberals left to get” in the Senate, Emanuel said in an interview, shrugging off some noise from the likes of Sen. Bernie Sanders (I., Vt.) that a few liberals might bolt over the compromises made with conservative Democrats.

As the White House leans on conservative Democrat Sen. Ben Nelson of Nebraska for the 60th health care vote, Emanuel has made the case that this generation of liberal political figures will not make the mistake of their predecessors. The late Sen. Edward M. Kennedy’s greatest regret was not cutting a deal with Richard Nixon on universal health care. Former President Bill Clinton has forever rued the day he did not take moderate Republican Sen. John Chafee up on a compromise that could have secured a health care bill early in his presidency.

Liberal senators nearly scuttled the creation of the State Children’s Health Insurance Program -– S-CHIP –- because Clinton compromised with Republicans and agreed to take the program out of Medicaid and involve private insurers.

“Every time they’ve gotten close to the deal, they’ve passed up the opportunity and chosen to walk away from a particular where they’ve lost the forest for the trees,” Emanuel said.

The comments may not endear the powerful White House chief of staff to liberal activists, furious that Senate Democratic leaders, at Emanuel’s urging, cut a deal with Sen. Joe Lieberman to drop a federally run insurance policy option, then eliminate a Medicare buy-in proposal.

“I don’t think the White House recognizes how much trouble they’re in,” said one former Democratic official this morning. “I think they’re miscalaculating what’s happening with progressives and the left. They feel like they’re being taken for granted.”

But Emanuel pointed to a New York Times column by economist Paul Krugman and another coming from National Journal writer Ronald Brownstein pressing for passage of the Senate health bill. “What you’re seeing is the progressive backlash against the progressive backlash,” he said.

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15 Responses to Rahm Emanuel: Don’t Worry About the Left

  1. JollyRoger says:

    As I said yesterday, I’m not going to discount what Krugman is saying; he’s been on the right side of way too many issues and we know for sure that the President doesn’t have any coin with him insofar as what he writes.

    However….. none of that means that Rahm isn’t a dick.

  2. Arizona Leatherneck says:

    The devil is in the details.

    So far, the only details I’ve seen is no public option, no coverage for abortions and hefty fines if you don’t buy a health plan.

    Can anyone tell me what the fine for failing to buy one of the health plans will be? How will the Federal subsidy work? Will my veterans benefits be reduced?

  3. Pechanga says:

    Arizona Leatherneck –

    I read an article that claimed the penalty for NOT buying a policy is $7,500 per year.

    Federal income tax returns can be seized. It’s fairly draconian. And, because it’s the Feds, we have no recourse other than buy up. The good news is, the subsidy is available to people making up to 400% of poverty.

  4. mbmdl says:

    Obama will regret bringing Rahm on board the team. I think Rahm will be gone before the 2012 election. The ill-will he engenders has been felt on both sides of the political aisle. Just my opinion.

  5. bill says:

    re: krugman’s article, he makes the case that, like social security, a basic health care bill now will continue to grow and improve. I wholeheartedly disagree. there were no entrenched corporate interests arguing against social security changes; corporate interests are what got us this limp bill and those same interests will fight against any future attempt to make progressive change. and unless something changes, they will win.

  6. libhomo says:

    Emanuel is completely bought and paid for by the HMOs. He should be fired immediately.

  7. bradfrmphnx says:

    For something I really wanted to have happen…all of a sudden I’m starting to feel like the opposite is happening. Why is that so? Do I have faith in my leaders? Do I have faith in my government? No, No, No….No I don’t. I feel swindled.

  8. Tiny Dancer says:

    Rahm Emanuel is full of shit. Let’s revisit his comments in, let’s say, Sept. 2012 or Oct. 2012, and see if he still thinks it’s an appropriate strategy to not worry about the left.

    Obama can try to win reelection with all of his support from the right.

  9. JollyRoger says:

    I’m not savvy enough to disagree with Krugman; he knows his economics. He sees the imperfections, but he believes it makes a good front door. Given how right he is, how often he is right, I have to trust him. His record leaves me no reason not to.

  10. obama made a lot of mistakes with his staff – but rahm is the worst of the bunch.

  11. Big Hank says:

    Rahm Emanuel, Hillary Clinton, Robert Gates, and Kathleen Sebelius, all deserve immediate pink slips.

    I don’t know if it’s a lack of judgment or political payback on Obama’s part but, these four need to be replaced.

  12. I want to see that evil piece of shit finally kicked to the curb. He has money, he’ll be ok. But he won’t have power. That will torment him til the end of time. Good. I hope it hurts.

  13. libhomo says:

    Jolly Roger: Krugman always has been clueless on healthcare. He thinks people who can’t afford astronomical healthcare premiums are “gaming the system.” He needs to get out of his cloistered academic world and find out what life is like for middle class and poor Americans. Healthcare is one subject where I can’t even take Krugman seriously.

  14. Sokar101 says:

    Lesson learned: Republicans embrace the conservative edges of their party; Democrats retreat from the progressive wing of their party.

  15. Lenny says:

    Emanuel is a genius; he’s the best advisor in presidential history! He’s just what our Dear Leader needs: a tough, non-nonsense, take no prisoners enforcer! A perfect complement to the greatness inspired by Saul Alinsky exhibited by our Dear Leader! In order to implement the Marxist agenda of us progressives, our Dear Leader needs the best, most dedicated and capable people he can find who share his vision of destroying traditional racist, capitalistic America and rebuilding it in the image we cherish! And all of his cabinet members and advisers share the vision!

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