Jane Hamsher at firedoglake keeps going at Obama chief-of-staff Rahm Emanuel

I kind-of saw early Rahm in operation.


That says 1992 there. January 1992, (not 1993!) —pre Gennifer Flowers on the first one. And if the Little Rock people had been a bit quicker, the check actually was written in December 1991. That one was among the first 50 contributions of that size ($250 and above) for Governor Clinton out of Pennsylvania.

Now let’s talk about health care.

Everyone who’s been following the Health Care Reform debate has been wondering why the “possibles” and “doables” keep moving rightwards, and rightwards, and back to whatever Big Money would want. And I myself, just a guy with a keyboard sitting in Japan, have to wonder the same thing.

As Rachel Maddow said in that clip I linked to yesterday, the Democrats won it big in 2008. And in 2006 before that. They really should be calling the shots on this one, calling the tune, and not being tugged at on the leash by these small state Senators with a lot of money being funneled into their Senatorial coffers.

What seems to be worse is that the White House, too, is like marching to this fiddle tune in the same Pied Piper parade with those small state Senators. Really, from states that could have just as well been a Buffalo Preserve if Teddy Roosevelt were one generation earlier. (And leave the Indians alone there.)

So Jane Hamsher is fingering Rahm in recent posts. And this one: Rahm goes apeshit on the liberals in what she calls the “Veal Pen”.

The Veal Pen, I think is a place where the lambs are kept before slaughter. And the idea is that the “progressive voters” who supported Obama are being herded together and kept silent until the time comes to sell them out, so to speak, for the big corporate dinner.

I think Jane Hamsher makes some good points. Then again, to quote what one noted European observer had said, maybe it is best not to knowhow sausages and laws are made. Or, in a sense, exactly where our veal comes from.

Taking what Jane says though, there are really two Rahm Emanuels at work. And both of these are 1992-94 era Rahms.

One of them is trying to avoid a collapse of the Democratic Party’s congressional power, and momentum, in 2010. And along that line, trying to “triangulate” the Health Care issue. Except what Big Money has done this time is move Point C of the triangle farther and farther out. (Let’s say Point A are progressive and liberals and Point B is the White House.)

So now, there is only so much segment or vector in the geometry. And Point B has been pulled farther and farther in the direction of Big Money. This is what you get with triangulation. I guess it’s a nice theory when you’ve just lost the 1994 elections and your BATNA is a veto pen.

But it’s not a good idea when, as Rachel Maddow said, you’ve just been handed these big majorities.

The other Rahm Emanuel is a decidedly corporate Rahm, and arguably one who gets everyone lined up and inspired (or intimidated) to get to the goal. But when done is done, often there is a lot of forgetting and a lot of moving on to the next thing. Just like what goes on in corporation politics.

And for any group to function well, there needs to be someone with that carrot and stick. But you like to think that once you’ve been a part and played along, you get to have some of the carrot.

And I think this is what Jane is communicating over to Rahm. Rahm is playing that Clinton era game where they (the Clintons!) would just use people and then shove them under the bus (or dump them over the side of the boat, or whatever).

I maybe know this better than the whole lot of them—Jane, Kos, and whoever–because when Rahm needed money to put gas in Governor Clinton’s campaign wagon, I wrote the check! And hung out with the Larry Twins and the other Arkansas gang at the Super 8 in New Hampshire—going around telling the people there how great Bill Clinton was. This was before Comeback Kid. He was Kid Circling the Drain at the time.

It’s clear in the last few news cycles that the White House is coming around to be a little more “Point A” in this.

But I think that the generals often fight the last war. It could be that Rahm is worried about 1993’s Lurch to the Left, when in fact the developing crisis might be 2009’s Buyers Remorse.

And that would be a shame. Because the product really is good.