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New Entry Into Rahm Emanuel Pity Party Profile Genre

By Matthew Yglesias on March 2, 2010 at 10:44 am

"New Entry Into Rahm Emanuel Pity Party Profile Genre"

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The second paragraph of Jason Horowitz Washington Post article about how everything would be fine if only Obama listened to Rahm Emanuel instead of wasting time trying to implement progressive policies, ought to be taught in J-Schools all-across the land:

But a contrarian narrative is emerging: Emanuel is a force of political reason within the White House and could have helped the administration avoid its current bind if the president had heeded his advice on some of the most sensitive subjects of the year: health-care reform, jobs and trying alleged terrorists in civilian courts.

But a sentence is being phrased in the passive voice! An article is being written, and within in a narrative emerges, but nobody knows what’s causing its emergence.

At any rate, I have no idea what the truth of the matter in internal White House disputes is. But I’m struck by the extent to which national security issues play a role in all these Rahm Pity Party Profiles. You’d think that Obama’s national security record was deeply unpopular and dragging the rest of his agenda down. In reality, Obama’s foreign policy rating is in positive territory, much better than his approval rating on the economy or health care. And Obama is overall narrowly in positive territory on job approval. So it’s not at all clear to me what political problem having listened to Rahm about KSM and whatnot is supposed to have solved.

Both common sense and the polling breakdown indicate that dissatisfaction with Obama is driven by the poor performance of the economy since Obama’s inauguration. And none of these Rahm retrospectives have given any indication that he had some secret plan to fix the economy that Obama rejected. All it says about him and the economy is that he helped Susan Collins trim $100 billion from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, a course of action that contributed to the situation where when you look at the public sector as a whole there’s been no net stimulus whatsoever.

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