Friday, November 07, 2008

Rahm Emanuel

Because I am a moderate in many ways, I have an assortment of many friends from both sides of the issues. And I certainly do my best to understand both sides, whenever possible. But due to this, there are times that people are shocked when I have an opinion that is set in stone which I will not waver from.

Like the cuddly rabbit from Monty Python's The Holy Grail, I can, at times, be quite surprising:

But here is where I will surprise few people: I don't like Rahm Emanuel, Obama's pick for Chief of Staff.

During his acceptance speech, Obama made it very clear that he wanted the country to unite once more. After all, he was elected by at least 53% of the populace, but 47% didn't want him. He knows he must represent all the people. He is a highly intelligent man, and should realize that he does not want to aggravate almost half of the country. Hopes were that he would govern cautiously, from the middle.

However, with his appointment of Emanuel, it is looking as if his agenda is something entirely different.

Emanuel is noted for his hotheaded behavior, vicious partisanship, and liberal use of the "f" word. According to his Wikipedia bio:

Emanuel is said to have "mailed a rotting fish to a former coworker after the two parted ways." On the night after the 1996 election, "Emanuel was so angry at the president's enemies that he stood up at a celebratory dinner with colleagues from the campaign, grabbed a steak knife and began rattling off a list of betrayers, shouting 'Dead! ... Dead! ... Dead!' and plunging the knife into the table after every name." His "take-no-prisoners attitude" earned him the nickname "Rahm-bo".
He has always been unlikeable and controversial.

In the first months of the Clinton Presidency, Hillary Clinton maneuvered to have Emanuel fired. Clinton's chief of staff, Mack McLarty, instead demoted him from political director to the press office. Although Emanuel eventually worked his way back into the Clintons' good graces, House Republicans always hated him for his rabid partisanship.

Recently, Emanuel "...served on the board of directors of the federal mortgage firm Freddie Mac at a time when scandal was brewing at the troubled agency and the board failed to spot "red flags," according to government reports reviewed by"
This is the guy that Obama wants to head his new administration?

It doesn't bode well for any attempts toward unity.

I admit that it was very smart of Obama to appoint a Jew to head up his staff. It may help to dispel his reputation as a racist who is more than willing to throw Israel under the bus.

But those of us who are wise in the ways of politics and history know better. After all, even Hitler had Jewish Nazis.

Does this sound harsh? Sometimes facts are harsh things, indeed.


Mike said...

Very sad indeed. The first act, and first person chosen. Maybe Obama thinks he can corral that energy in a positive way, but Rahm will be like a pitbull guarding the gate to the oval office. From here on, anyone wanting to "gain an audience" will have to ingratiate themselves into his benevolent gesture of letting them through.

Saur♥Kraut said...

Mike, I believe that I know who you are, and if so, I'm very honored to have you here. Either way, I'm flattered that you dropped by. Thanks for contributing!

Jungle Mom said...

And they called McCain erratic???
We will survive, but it will be an interesting ride.

Scott said...

Is the Chief of Staff's job not to keep the President on schedule and ensure that only those that truly 'need' to see him get in? That was my impression anyway.

I still can't get over your belief that Obama is such an anti-semite. It is such an odd thing to me. I just don't see the evidence or any reason why he would be thus.

The fact that he see's that the Israeli government's (note, not individuals Jews)treatment of Palestinians is against the Geneva Convention and other International Law does not make him anti-semetic. It makes him a reasonable statesman.

Just think if they took all of the Born Again Christians in the US, took away the land on which you had been living and put you all in say Delaware, then not allow you citizenship, the ability to leave your own land, or the ability to safely raise and educate your children. Imagine what that would be like when you consider the cause of the Palestinians.

A little off topic, but still related to the consistent inflammatory statements you make about Obama's anti-semetic ways.

Saur♥Kraut said...

Scott, First of all, thanks for bearing with me when I know this is somewhat distasteful for you. And there's no problem with your bringing up the racism topic once again. After all, *I* am.

For more evidence concerning Obama's racism, go to my post here.

According to the United Nations conventions, there is no distinction between the term racial discrimination and ethnic discrimination.

As for the Palestinians: Much of the unrest is because other Arabic nations refuse to allow them in to their countries, in the hopes that this will create more unrest for the nation of Israel. So, the Palestinians are people without a country, due to the instigation of their fellow arabians.

When Israel was carved out, this was not the original intention. The Palestinian Arabs DID have a home, but due to continual attacks by other Arab nations, problems were created. Below is a brief summation of the Palestinian conflict:

Saur♥Kraut said...

from Wikipedia:

This violence [by Arabs in the Palestinian area] and the heavy cost of World War II led Britain to turn the issue of Palestine over to the United Nations. In 1947, the U.N. approved the partition of the British Mandate of Palestine into two states: one Jewish and one Arab. The Jewish leadership accepted the plan, but Palestinian Arab leaders, supported by the Arab League, rejected the plan, and a civil war broke out. Israel quickly gained the upper hand in this intercommunal fighting, and on May 14, 1948 declared its independence. Five Arab League countries (Egypt, Lebanon, Syria, Transjordan and Iraq), then invaded Palestine, starting the 1948 Arab-Israeli War. The war resulted in an Israeli victory, with Israel capturing additional territory beyond the partition borders, but leaving Jerusalem as a divided city; the territory Israel did not capture was taken over by Egypt, Lebanon, Syria, and Transjordan (now Jordan). The war also resulted in the 1948 Palestinian exodus, known to Palestinians as Al-Naqba.

For decades after 1948, Arab governments had refused to recognize Israel and in 1964 the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) was founded with the central tenet that Palestine, with its original Mandate borders, is the indivisible homeland of the Arab Palestinian people. In turn, Israel refused to recognize the PLO as a negotiating partner.

In the Six-Day War in 1967, Israel captured the West Bank from Jordan, the Gaza Strip from Egypt, and East Jerusalem including the Old City and its holy sites, which Israel annexed and reunited with the Western neighborhoods of Jerusalem. The status of the city as Israel's capital and the occupation of the West Bank and Gaza Strip created a new set of contentious issues which became one major focus of the conflict.

In 1970, the PLO was expelled from Jordan, in what was known as the Black September. Large numbers of Palestinians moved into Lebanon after the Black September, joining the thousands already there. In 1973 a coalition of Arab states led by Egypt and Syria launched the Yom Kippur War against Israel. The Egyptians and Syrians advanced during the first 24–48 hours, after which momentum began to swing in Israel's favor. Eventually a cease-fire took effect that ended the war. This war paved the way for the Camp David Accords in 1978, which set a precedent for future peace negotiations.

Tensions between Israel and PLO led Israel to invade Lebanon in the 1982 Lebanon War,[14] forcing the PLO to withdraw again, this time to Tunisia. During the war, Israeli allies Phalangists committed the Sabra and Shatila massacre, between 700 and 3500 unarmed Palestinians were killed by the Phalange while the Israeli troops surrounded the camps with tanks and checkpoints, monitoring entrances and exits. Further Israeli investigation found that Ariel Sharon was indirectly responsible for failing to prevent the massacre, leading to his resignation as Israel's Defense Minister.

In 1987, the First Intifada broke out, the Palestinian uprising against Israeli rule in the occupied territories. The uprising spread in Gaza, the West Bank and East Jerusalem. The Intifada was renowned by its stone-throwing demonstrations by youth against the heavily-armed Israeli Defense Forces. [15] Over the course of the First Intifada , a total 1,551 Palestinians and 422 Israelis were killed. [16] During the intifada, in 1987, Ahmed Yassin co-founded Hamas with Abdel Aziz al-Rantissi, Hamas has been involved in what it calls "armed resistance" against Israel since then.

The Oslo Peace Process, which began in 1993, was a key turning point in the conflict, where Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) negotiated, unsuccessfully, to come to a mutual agreement.


In 2000, following the failure of the peace process, the Second Intifada, also known as the al-Aqsa Intifada, broke out. As of 2008, this Intifada has not yet officially ended.

The Doozie said...

Oh good grief, it's starting even sooner than I predicted

Saur♥Kraut said...

Jungle Mom, I would like to be as positive as you are, but there's a lot that can happen in 4 years.

Saur♥Kraut said...

Doozie, ;o)

Anonymous said...

Here's the thing. Whomever he appoints is not going to be people from the middle or the right although that might be a good strategy.

I think if we start looking into his cabinet we are going to start hearing phrases like "... under President Clinton," or "for the Democratic party ..."

You don't appoint your enemies. And look at the Republicans. Man, you talk about some deep roots. I did a little studying. Chaney and Rumsfeld go back to Nixon. And Nixon goes back to Eisenhower. Talk about keeping it in the family.

Sometimes I wonder if we should just let the mafia run the country now and then.

(best read)

(interesting timeline)

I'm looking for a Democratic version of the links above.


Jungle Mom said...

Saur, This does worry me.
Requried service???

Uncle Joe said...

so obama is not the anti-christ.
Rahm Emanuel is.

good grief Charlie Brown!


Heaven help us.

Saur♥Kraut said...

Jungle Mom, Funny! I just wrote to a good friend this morning:

Another thing that people aren't thinking about is the draft. It's very likely the Dems would institute the draft, but this time it will be for both girls and boys. Theirs will have a twist though - if the kids volunteer for social service instead, they get exempted. I think it's likely because the Dems would like all families to have some skin in the game to level the playing field.

It's really no surprise: Such a program has always been beloved by the left. The Clintons also has something in place demanding community service to graduate from H.S.

Saur♥Kraut said...

Uncle Joe, Nah, not the antiChrist - probably just a minion. But a poisonous minion.

Knot, Sometimes I wonder if we should just let the mafia run the country now and then.

...and we aren't?

Scott said...

I understand the history of what has happened in Israel/Palestine. My point however is that the residents of Palestine were living what in what is now Israel. Of course it is very easy to say that the other Arab countries should just let them in but really... is that realistic or even fair? Unfortunately the Palestinians are a people apart, and nobody wants them, that is why they want to have their own territory where they are now, and to have freedom and self determination. The fact that Obama is willing to discuss that, well to me, that holds a lot of weight and may help the future of the region.

I am also not naive. I know that it has been going on for so long that it is not going to end under one President or under five, but that one is taking an alternate view is not a bad thing.

There are still Israeli settlers moving further into Palestinian territory on a daily basis, forests are being planted on displaced people lands, all against the agreements of the Oslo accord.

So so complicated and we could argue forever. not really the point of this blog or anything, but I just like to point out that Obama questioning what is happening over there does not make him anti semetic.


Saur♥Kraut said...

Scott, What makes Obama anti-semitic is what I wrote here. And because he's anti-semitic, I would strongly question his motivations concerning Israel.

As for the Palestinian land deal, it is easily argued that the Jews were there first, and it is originally their land. Just because Arabs drove them out and settled there doesn't change that.


The Native Americans were in many parts of the USA and our ancestors drove them out and settled here, too. And so by these same standards, perhaps they should be allowed to live where we do and WE should be exiled.

I'm sure you'd agree the Native Americans didn't get a fair shake.

But, to defend the Native Americans' right to our land is to defend the Jews' right to Israel.

However, in our defense: In many cases, at least we paid the Native Americans for their land. The Arabs never paid Israel a dime when they decided to take their land.

The Lazy Iguana said...

No, he did not pick the guy to "head" the administration.

Obama will head the administration.

Rahm has worked in the White House before, and so has a decent idea of what the job entails.

This is NOT a cabinet job. It is an appointment job. The new president can pick whoever he wants. This is a behind the scenes type job and so in a few weeks it will be forgotten.

I am far more interested to know who Obama will pick for the really important jobs. Secretary Of State. Secretary of Defense. Head of DHS. Federal Reserve Chairman. And so on. This is what will be far more important than who is the White House chief of staff.

The far right wants so bad to start trashing. So they are running with this.

I want to see who will be appointed to jobs of more significance.

and Jungle Mom - lets say that Rahm is erratic. He will NOT be the President. THAT is the difference.

M@ said...

M@ - How many thousand whites to one black people voted for McCain?

--Ed, I was talking percentages, not real numbers. Very weak. Very weak. Your "statement" doesn't even make sense. If anything, you're restating what I said. Are you drunk?

Daniel Hoffmann-Gill said...

I think you need to stop calling yourself a moderate Saur, this election has pushed you to the right by some margin, even your language is changing to that of the mother of all conservative twats in its scaremongering and sweeping generalisations: Sarah Palin.

First off, Obama's margin is bigger than either of Bush's, more people didn't vote for him but quite frankly, that doesn't matter.

What does matter is that you accuse Rahm of 'rabid partizanship' when that's what we've had 8 years of from Bush and co, as if with Bush and co it was fine but if it's a liberal then the world is over. He is only chief of staff, not the veep and he is human, good bits and bad, you are slecting certain elements and ignoring many others.

Then you go and make another terrible mistake by saying that it's to do with the fact he is a Jew and then make connections with Hitler and the Holocaust.

This defeat has driven you out of your mind with fear and your rational self has gone to hell in a handcart.

Where's Saur gone? Can someone bring her back please before she calls me a racist?

Oh and your assessment of the situation in the Middle East is as flawed as it is simplistic.

The treatment by the Jews of the Arabs in that part of the world is a terrible disgrace, it would be a lot easier if Israel returned back to the 1967 borders, but they have built settlements, a wall and treated the Arabs has subhuman, hence the fighting.

I'd do the same, as would you if you were being treated as they are.

I tell you Saur, you've swung to the right by such a degree it beggers belief.

Anonymous said...

I'm curious, Scott, can you do a little research for me and tell me how many leaders have tried to initiate peace in the Middle East and failed, I'll help you,


Other leaders wouldn't touch it.

And is there peace in the Middle East?

I'll help you out ... No!

It's a place better left for us to defend the Israeli's and try to maintain a sense of diplomacy. It's so different from our world and to try and untangle that crap is pointless.



Aunt Jo said...

The words hell and handbasket come to mind........

Daniel Hoffmann-Gill said...

Knot: sorry but you clearly no shit all about the Middle East but that's okay I'm here to help you pull your head out of your ass.

Peace has been a problme for a while but that doesn't mean we give up on diplomacy, Israel itslef is starting to move to an understanding that a return to the 1967 lines will do the trick and will also ally the rest of the world with them if, woe-betide, attacks are made on them.

War hasn't done a thing, see Nothern Ireland for reference. I urge you to read more and get out of the house a bit too.

All the best.

And Aunt Jo: hell was a man called Bush Jnr, who endorsed torture, war without provocation and lying on such a grand scale it meant he alienated not only the world but most of the electorate.

The Lazy Iguana said...

Daniel - I do not think there ever can be "peace" over there.

Too many crazy religious people are already on there. All think it it THEIR holy land and all apparently think God does not want to share it with anyone else.

The Old Testament is full of stories of war over there. So was there peace in Bible times? Not really.

And then after the Romans were out - it really fell apart. So......

CRUSADE TIME! Yes, the crusades. When good Christian kings of Europe sent untold thousands to their death - to fight over old piles of rocks. Because God commanded it.

I suppose you could say there was "peace" on the muslim hordes took over after the very last crusade - but that is probably not accurate. Just as the Shia and Sunnis are not exactly pals today, I am sure back then crazy people were fighting over what color is the proper color for head gear. Or something nutty like that.

And today - what a surprise!! No peace??!?!? Really?!?!?! How could this be? I mean with the long history of peace there!

It was probably a mistake to create the nation of Israel after WWII. But what is done is done. Israel is there, for better or worse.

And as for as the mistreatment going on, nothing new there! Can't have smelly people with the wrong things on their head contaminating your holy site! God will be pissed!!

I am SOOOOO done with it all. If I were king of the universe, I would take away all the weapons in the "holy land". All of em. From all sides. While doing this there would be a series of walls built to keep groups that hate each other apart.

Then I would air drop equal amounts of rifles and ammo into each walled off section. Then detonate all the walls keeping people apart.

Then wait for the gunfire to end. After that, the outer containment wall can be broken down and the cleanup can begin. Make friends with whoever is left -if anyone is left.

Problem solved - once and for all. Because ANYONE who cares whose head gear reigns supreme will be inside the war zone fighting for what they believe in.

Anyone who does NOT go to fight when they have a chance will be thrown in jail if after the war is over they suddenly have an opinion. TOO LATE! Either go there and fight, or stay somewhere and shut up.

Then there will be only one group who claims it as holy land, and only one group means nobody will be fighting. For at least 30 minutes anyway. That is about all the time it will take for the one group to split - even if there are only 2 survivors.

So is this the "holy land" or the "cursed land"?

Seems like a curse to me. But what do I know? I just want to NOT get blown up in the name of some other cray person's idea of reality.

If humanity can not handle religion, then we should all just be Pastafarians.

Uncle Joe said...

What's it going to take to get conservatives united?

Three Score and Ten or more said...

I was pleased to read your rebuttal of Scott's rather shallow analogy (but the one that has been recited over and over until it has gained silly credibility.) Of course the truth is that the Arab Israeli war had begun before WWII and had just been held in check by the force of the war. The world exacerbated the conflict by shipping a lot of Jews to Palestine and then dividing it, but even then the Arabs had a state, larger than Israel. They just couldn't quit starting wars that they couldn't seem to win.

As far as Rahmbo is concerned, I think he is a symptom of things we should be concerned about, as were the leaks from the Presidential meeting, the assertion (probably just a misused word, but still troubling) that Obama was ready to step in and RULE from the moment he is inaugurated. We shall see.

Saur♥Kraut said...

3 Score & 10, exactly!

Uncle Joe, That's a toughie.

I know what will work, but it's currently hotly debated inside the party. The problem is that many pundits are telling the conservatives that they need to loosen up a little - adapt to the youth of America. There are some reasons why this would be the wrong approach:

1. Youth matures. Eventually they will see the lack of wisdom in the Democratic party, and then where will they turn? Will the Republican party become a party governed by the whim of the youth of America? Will they follow along as they mature? What happens when new youth culture emerges? Youth is slippery, and constantly changing. As Winston Churchill once said,

"If you're not a liberal when you're 20, you have no heart. If you're not a conservative when you're 40, you have no head."

2. If the Republicans become more liberal, what is the difference between them and the Democrats? And, may I add, that we have that already in a breed called the neocon. And they held the White House for 8 years. And created plenty of death and destruction.

3. There are many people who are still Reaganites, both Democrat and Republican. No one is speaking for them. This is why there have been so many break-offs from the Republican party, and every break-off is consistently more conservative than the current Republican platform. There is a reason for this.

SO: The best and most obvious answer is to throw out the neocons and return to our conservative roots. This does NOT mean that we need to court religious conservatives, but we need to factor them in again. It doesn't have to be a religious organization, just a conservative one again. In the Reagan years, it was famous for looking out for the little guy. It appealed to blue collar workers. It eschewed big government and big business, and encourages small business and individuals. That's where it needs to be once more.