Friday, December 4, 2015

Rahm fallout

"If Rahm Emanuel is anything, it’s a vindictive asshole. Being a vindictive asshole has gotten him very far in politics. Though if he isn’t careful, it may soon be his downfall." -- Jordan Sargent at Gawker

I'm wondering if Rahm's free-fall will help liberate some of his puppy-dog aldermen and local pols from their leashes, much the way that the fall of the old Daley machine and the ascendance of Harold Washington did back in the day.

It certainly seem like it's liberated some CPS principals.

It was Rahm's chief puppy-dog, Ald. Joe Moore who said it best:
 "The City Council is the only legislative body in the Western world that acts like the Soviet Politburo... He [Emanuel] doesn't have inherent power. We surrender it."
Rahm's bullying tactics won't be nearly as effective now that he's been wounded by the cover-up scandal. In his meeting with black ministers last week, Rahm threatened to take away resources and jobs from their communities if they didn't keep young protesters under control (as if they could). Let's see how that goes down, now that the word's out.

Also, let's see how all this plays out vis-a-vis the interplay between the city's teacher contract negotiations and Rauner's holding the school budget hostage. If I'm Karen Lewis right now, there's nobody I'd rather be sitting across the table from than Rahm Emanuel and Forrest Claypool. Remember, if Rahm goes down, Claypool goes with him. Now, more than ever, Rahm needs the unions, not only to help save his ass politically, but to be shock troops in Springfield -- not in the streets of Chicago.

On Wednesday, CTU's House of Delegates voted unanimously to approve a strike vote. A 90% membership strike vote on Monday will send a powerful message. Another teachers strike will all but seal Rahm's fate, or what's left of it.

Whether he resigns or remains, hanging in the wind, Rahm Emanuel's political free-fall makes him a liability for national Democrats. Remember, he was always the Clintons' boy and Barack Obama's bullying chief of staff.

Fred Hampton murdered by CPD 12/4/69.
It was Hillary's people who put the arm on Rahm Wednesday, getting him to flip the script and say he now supports a federal civil rights investigation in Chicago. I think they're all hoping that another investigation, because it's done out of the public eye, will buy Rahm some time and take him out of the daily news cycle for a while.

That's why we need a People's Task Force alongside of the federal task force -- and no Rahm Cover-up Task Force.

 It's not just about Hillary Clinton, or Bernie Sanders who are distancing themselves from Rahm, lickity-split. Dems running, especially in large urban districts, across the ticket from top to bottom, need black voters just to break even in 2016. The crisis in Chicago is a Democratic crisis and it impacts issues far beyond the police violence/corruption scandal, ie. education, labor, war, and the economy.

Natasha Korecki at POLITICO writes:
What's happening to Mayor Rahm Emanuel on both a local and national level is unlike anything we've seen. Long the powerful tactician, he was the man with connections who Democrats feared. Cross him and you'll be cut off at the knees. These days, every few hours it seems, another major Democrat or major news organization was publicly pulling away from Emanuel himself or his decisions, as questions mount in the shooting death of 17-year-old Laquan McDonald.
POLITICO's Sarah Wheaton on the same theme:
Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel's struggles are reverberating in Washington, where he's causing headaches for his most powerful of close friends and former bosses, the Obamas and the Clintons ... And even among the president's allies, the famously profane Emanuel is a polarizing figure after playing a key role in the tough-on-crime legislation of the mid-1990s that Obama has made his mission to undo... A top GOP strategist predicted that Emanuel would become a 'massive liability' for Hillary Clinton.
I can't wait to see Spike Lee's Chi-Raq this afternoon and I wish everyone in the city a violence-free weekend.


  1. But Rahm isn't up for re-election until 2019. Seems like, given Chicago's history, it's reasonable to assume that if he lays low for a while, maybe builds another nice park or two, pretty soon all this will blow over and people will forget all about it. I mean, many of the neighborhoods that got their schools closed in 2013 still voted for Rahm in 2015....

    1. I agree. As a Chicago transplant who moved here in 1990, I could never understand why Daley kept getting re-elected for 20 plus years. The same goes for Rahm. As bad as he is, people seemingly keep voting against their own self interest. having said that, I also think that one of the issues that remains un-addressed is that for most of the masses(poor or working class), they don't see electoral politics working for them. The only true progressive mayor the city has ever had was Harold, and I would dare say that things did not improve remarkably for the masses under his watch. Maybe the people who voted for Rahm or don't vote at all are actually smarter than dreamers like me. Because the only ones that seem to benefit from elections are members of the political class and those who are associated with them. The game seems rigged.

  2. I hear Tom Petty's "Free Fallin'" playing throughout City Hall.
    Rahm can kiss his dream of becoming president goodbye.

  3. Chicago politics are very corrupt, and it is hard to change things there. However, with multiple videos, there is a lot of political pressure building on the mayor and other involved. A strike by the teachers will certainly add to this pressure.

    Clinton and Sanders had better get out in front of these problems and African-American discontent in general if they want to win the general election. The Republicans will be using these scandals and others to highlight corruption in the Democratic party. The recent revelations involving Obama's buddy Kevin Johnson in California didn't help either.

  4. I lived in Chicago all of my 65 years and I am still astounded on how naïve voters are. People bought into the first Rahm 2011 campaign all wrapped around his love of kids. Then he shuts down 50 schools. The old adage of "fool me once" does not resonate with voters. The wards that were disenfranchised by his first term put him back in office for a second term. I guess they have to "own" the fact that are responsible for having this goof in office again

    People must believe in slick ads. Rauner gets elected with his "shake up " ads and the State is a disaster under his watch. On the national level if the polls are correct the outsider or shake up the status quo is alive and well with the Donald's campaign.

    When will people wake up??


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