Back when Obama picked Rahm, I grudgingly accepted it. If, as seemed to be the plan, Obama picked Rahm because of his perceived ability to get things done legislatively, it at least signaled an intent to avoid the legislative problems Clinton had. Turns out, though (and I guess this was predictable), Rahm brought a legislative strategy that might be appropriate for 2004, but is a disaster given the majorities we have in 2009. And then Rahm failed to even effectively implement that outdated legislative strategy (someone at the surreal midget bar experience--someone who has a lot of respect for Rahm--called it "political malpractice").
And in exchange for this political malpractice, a tight, professional campaign turned literally overnight into a leaky sieve.
Within short order after his selection, Rahm was working hard to jerry-rig his replacement to make it easy for him to swoop back into the House in two years to take away Pelosi's gavel. As a result, Greg Craig was forced to jump through some ill-advised hoops to distract the press from Rahm's conversations with Rod Blagojevich; you can be sure Rahm's conversations with Blago will continue to be a liability as that case gets closer to trial.
But, we were promised, Rahm would get us health care. What that really meant though is that we had to clear the political landscape to give Rahm his opportunity to get us health care. And instead of doing the legislative work to get that done, Rahm and the loathsome Jim Messina have been trying to cut deals with big health care corporations to turn this into a welfare program for them. As even that effort is beginning to go south, Rahm has (predictably) already switched into scapegoat mode, trying to blame his utter failure on health care on someone else.
I have no doubt about Rahm Emanuel's culpability. But Rahm isn't President and just what has the President been doing all this time about one of his MAJOR campaign promises? Apparently either 1) agreeing with Rahm or 2) ignoring what Rahm was doing or 3) refusing to believe his 'lying' eyes. Irrespective of what his motivations were to allow Rahm to destroy all progress, Barack Obama has done just that. To concentrate on Emanuel alone is to relegate Obama to the status of George W. Bush, an immature, ignorant, arrogant bully. Even with Obama's apparent determination to undermine everything he was elected to do, Obama does not deserve to be relegated to the status of Bush. Give credit where credit is due. The outcomes which we deem as failures, many of which have been stage managed by Emanuel, must be attributed to Obama. Obama has done nothing to change Emanuels behavior. Either Obama wanted the outcome or he didn't. Either way it's Obama's doing and he should get the credit. As should Emanuel, but of course we know Emanuel never had a good outcome, that is good for the citizens of this country, in mind. What Obama thinks is less clear. But what Obama does is very clear. US President Barack Obama let Emanuel do his worst.