Before he engaged in the perpetual crisis management of being mayor of Chicago, below-the-belt Democrat operative “Rahmbo” Emanuel did stints in two White Houses, as Bill Clinton’s enabler and Barack Obama’s consigliere.
He’s most famous for saying, “You never want a serious crisis go to waste. And what I mean by that: it’s an opportunity to do things that you think you could not do before.” But writing in the Wall Street Journal on Friday, with the Iowa caucuses beckoning, Emanuel let the cat out of the bag on how the more-radical-than-ever Democratic Party agenda will not be acceded to by the American people.
Emanuel’s candor was astounding. “In an autocratic system, those in power have a free hand to enact an agenda without considering the electoral implications. But because the Constitution guarantees regular elections, progressives are compelled to build agendas that balance policy and politics.”
That pesky Constitution of the United States; if only Democrats could govern as “autocrats,” they would have “a free hand to enact” all the things that are for Americans’ own good but which they would never vote for. It would be all leftist policy, no politics.
Instead, according to Emanuel, Democrats must look for opportunities to enact their socialist schemes by stealth. In the meantime, as they wait for such chances to pounce, Democrats must restrain themselves and shut up about their true intentions.
“Reform is often more effective than revolution,” Emanuel warns Democrats. “Amid the heated rhetoric now blowing through Iowa, Democrats appear to be losing sight of that.” If they practice self-discipline, however, the prize could be great, he is convinced. “The next nine months will present our raucous coalition a rare opportunity to establish a new Democratic ‘metropolitan majority’ that could last for years … The country appears poised for the sort of political realignment Messrs. Clinton and Obama could only dream about.”
The “revolutionary strategy” advocated by the most extreme elements among elected Democrats – presumably New York City Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and her “Squad,” and other supporters of Sen. Bernie Sanders’ presidential candidacy, although Emanuel doesn’t name names – “would have tanked in 1992 or 2008.”
Flip the coin. Imagine if some conservative anti-matter/reverse image of Rahm Emanuel were offering much the same advice to Republicans. Think of a Lee Atwater or a Roger Stone remarking in print that “In an autocratic system, those in power would have a free hand to cut tax rates drastically, protect the unborn, and aggressively oppose Iran militarily.”