23
Dec
09

odd couple: jane and grover join forces against rahm

Hugely unlikely bedfellas Jane Hamsher and Grover Norquist have teamed together to demand Rahm Emanuel’s resignation, over the White House Chief of Staff’s “activities at Freddie Mac, and the White House’s blocking of an Inspector General who would look into it.”

This is sure to raise the hackles of lefties who despise Norquist and of conservative-identified folks for whom Hamsher is the SheDevil incarnate. But after that settles down, what will it mean? Will a coalition of ideologically opposed outsiders be able to gain any traction at making life difficult for America’s Number One insider political figure? And will it change anything about the corporate ownership of the political process?

Honestly, I have no idea. My hope is that it will.  And I’ve become comfortable with this for some time.  As a longtime reader of antiwar.com, whose masthead bears the names of both Pat Buchanan and John Pilger, and represents an alliance of libertarian, paleocon, and old-school lefty antiwar sentiment. Sometimes it gets weird.

Eventually, the corruption of the Washington D.C. political/corporate united front will collapse in on itself, and the two-party system will have a hard time containing the fallout. This move by Hamsher and Norquist might still be too early, or it might be perfectly timed. It remains to be seen.  But the contempt of the political class for what used to be called democracy has never been greater.  Whatever her motivations may be, I’m glad to see Jane rolling the dice on this one.

Update:  Didn’t take long for the firestorm of reaction, hurt feelings, and name-calling to break out (read the comments to this post), nor did it take long for Jane to issue what is sure to be the first of many apologia (I am not entirely sure what the plural for apologia is, sorry):

Rahm Emanuel is destroying not only the Democratic majority but the Democratic Party.  There isn’t enough pork in the world to hold his “Blue Dogs” in office with the legacy of bailouts that he has engineered, and that’s why his “big tent” is now collapsing in his wake.  Parker Griffin, and now (possibly) Chris Carney, may blame Nancy Pelosi for their defections to the GOP, but that’s pure demagogurery. The mess they are fleeing — the corrupt back-room deals, the endless bailouts — belong to Rahm.

The ground is shifting. You can feel it. And the Rahm dead-enders have become no different than the Bush dead-enders, completely unaware that the President whose malfeasance they are defending on the basis that one must not “consort with Republicans” is the one who ran on — consorting with Republicans.  It is knee-jerk authoritarianism in the extreme. Rick Warren is okay because Obama says so. Principles? Who needs them.

If Obama/Rahm want to triangulate against progressives (and they do), they’re not the only ones who can make cause with people on the other side of the aisle.  If that’s what it takes to shake up the corporate domination of our political system, we’ve done it before and we can do it again. Because working within the traditional political order to support “progressives” whose conviction lasts only as long as it doesn’t matter just doesn’t seem to be working.

She’s good. And she’s got my vote.

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