Rahm Emanuel, Obama’s Chief of Staff Says to Tune out ‘The Left’

Rahm Emanuel: Don’t Worry About the Left

By Jonathan Weisman


Turn off MSNBC. Tune out Howard Dean and Keith Olbermann. The White House has its liberal wing in hand on health care, says White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel.

“There are no liberals left to get” in the Senate, Emanuel said in an interview, shrugging off some noise from the likes of Sen. Bernie Sanders (I., Vt.) that a few liberals might bolt over the compromises made with conservative Democrats.

As the White House leans on conservative Democrat Sen. Ben Nelson of Nebraska for the 60th health care vote, Emanuel has made the case that this generation of liberal political figures will not make the mistake of their predecessors. The late Sen. Edward M. Kennedy’s greatest regret was not cutting a deal with Richard Nixon on universal health care. Former PresidentBill Clinton has forever rued the day he did not take moderate Republican Sen. John Chafeeup on a compromise that could have secured a health care bill early in his presidency.

Liberal senators nearly scuttled the creation of the State Children’s Health Insurance Program -– S-CHIP –- because Clinton compromised with Republicans and agreed to take the program out of Medicaid and involve private insurers.

“Every time they’ve gotten close to the deal, they’ve passed up the opportunity and chosen to walk away from a particular where they’ve lost the forest for the trees,” Emanuel said.

The comments may not endear the powerful White House chief of staff to liberal activists, furious that Senate Democratic leaders, at Emanuel’s urging, cut a deal with Sen. Joe Lieberman to drop a federally run insurance policy option, then eliminate a Medicare buy-in proposal.

“I don’t think the White House recognizes how much trouble they’re in,” said one former Democratic official this morning. “I think they’re miscalaculating what’s happening with progressives and the left. They feel like they’re being taken for granted.”

But Emanuel pointed to a New York Times column by economist Paul Krugman and another coming from National Journal writer Ronald Brownstein pressing for passage of the Senate health bill. “What you’re seeing is the progressive backlash against the progressive backlash,” he said.

15 comments on “Rahm Emanuel, Obama’s Chief of Staff Says to Tune out ‘The Left’

  1. When is everybody gonna realize that those in Congress don’t care about the rest of America. The whole debacle with Joe Lie- yer-man was just theatrics. This is about bailing out health insurance companies, so they can put in place their Sickcare Plan.

  2. Hey, what else should we expect from a DLC clone like Rahm??

    Of course, the author of that piece forgets that the Kennedy/Nixon “compromise”, the supposed “HillaryCare”/Chafee “compromise”, and this latest giveaway were opposed even more strongly by Big Business and the core of the Republican Right, aided and abetted by right-wing Democrats like David Boren and John Breaux, who were as much shills for Big Insura as Lieberman and Nelson are today.

    But hey, better that liberals accept stale crumbs while Rahm and Obama and the Dem leadership make with the huge corporate donations, and the DLC regain hegemony of the party…right, Rahm?? What are they going to do…vote for Palin-Beck???

    No, Rahm, they will just stay home in disgust…and combined with Big Insura using the money you just gave them off the back of those newly fleeced “customers:, you just handed the GOP the keys to control of Congress for 2010 and probably the Presidency in 2012. But, I guess that’s a small price to pay for punking liberals and “the Left”, right??


  3. This is the “Change” y’all wanted…
    But in all seriousness… nobody wants this bill, folks on the right and folks on the left, and even centrists are thinking this is a baloney bill… one needs to ask ourselves what is really happening here? In my opinion… the country is getting fleeced, or should I say we all collectively are getting fleeced.
    And I do believe that Obama is the Manchurian Candidate…

  4. Right. Cutting the deficit by 132 billion while insuring 31 million people, tightening the pre-existing condition loophole, as well as the prescription donut hole, don’t matter at all.

  5. Pingback: Rahm Emanuel, Obama’s Chief of Staff Says to Tune out ‘The Left’ | Happily Natural

  6. Lieberman always been a double agent, he’s playing the tasters choice for the GOP. The bill in current form betrays the liberal election victory. Rather than elate one side and enrage the other it has turned to piece of lukewarm legislation. It was a polarizing historic election, we should expect polarizing historic legislation. Find a way to win with it. Why not especially since Obama is proving to be a true passionate conservative on foreign policy. So there’s balance, with the neccesary forsightful liberal social change. Emanuel is a shark on to his next meal. A bill that passes can still be used politically. Liberals are better counted than heard. It’s deal time.

  7. Just pass it and tweak it as time goes by. They still have to merge it with the House version, so this isn’t exactly a short-term policy…

  8. How can you trust a man whom is appointed by an already habitual liar? Mr. Obama has already went back on many campaign promises. He has already lied more than about any other president, as well as appointed many, many deviate, ungodly haters of America.
    As for Rahm Emanuel, he has stated that “people are put on the no fly list whom are maybe possible terrorists”. Where did he come from? He apparently hasn’t read the Old Testament on how to treat others. That is against not only America’s laws, but God’s laws as well.
    The government went after Microsoft for supposedly having a monopoly, yet they’re trying to force all of us to subscribe to their “hellcare” plan, or we get penalized?
    It’s time that America woke up, jumped into reality, and ousted the Wall Street gurus who want to destroy America and make slaves out of all of us.
    Todd Slee

  9. Jose, you did it again. You mocked Obama’s ability to actually change anything, then closed with the paranoid summation that he is the “Manchurian Candidate”, which, if true, would mean he’s going to change an awful lot, obviously. Trying to be white hasn’t made you any smarter, has it?

  10. ^^^^ Oooh weeeeh^^^^^
    My first certified personal attack! LOL, dude you need to settle down. As for the comment “Trying to be white hasn’t made you any smarter, has it?”.. you get the big fat WHAT-EVAAAH.
    You my friend need to step your game up.

    Simply Put No One In Mass Spoke For Me Lets Get That Clear!

    I Have Eighty Thousand in Student Loans, A pregnant Wife, They Take 500 Dollars Out Of My Check Weekly For Insurance Since my Spouse was added, Forced To drive 125 miles a day round trip, cause their is no work in my immediate area, I only Make 34,000 yearly, Pay day comes and goes Without any check, And I spend 500 in gas monthly. Not to mention rent.
    A man that rides around in A pick up truck really does not
    speak for me, while his state has something close to universal coverage, but yet plans to block for the rest of the nation. Ride back out on that truck u came in on!!!

    The elite simply does not care for the poor nor the middle class that has disappeared.
    I’m ready to Tune them all out!!!
    Obama still gets my vote!!!
    u suckers!!!!
    fresh for 010

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