Sunday, November 9, 2008

"Rahmbo" and Republicans' fractured message

This week, Barack Obama's first act after Tuesday's election was to name Illinois Congressman Rahm Emanuel as his Chief of Staff. Now, remember that Obama has been preaching for two years about hope & change & a new type of politics. Yet he picks a man who has been nicknamed "Rahmbo" for his Chief of Staff. Rahm Emanuel received the moniker for his ruthlessly partisan politics (see IBD).

Says Obama: "No one I know is better at getting things done than Rahm Emanuel."

Republican House Minority Leader John Boehner put out a statment: “This is an ironic choice for a President-elect who has promised to change Washington, make politics more civil, and govern from the center."

Seems reasonable. This is not an issue the Republican's should dwell on, but taking the opportunity to point out the irony and hypocrisy of Obama is exactly what the Republican's should be doing. Yet, instead of hearing this same sentiment from all corners of the party, I have yet to hear another Republican elected official say a peep about it. Except, of course, Republican Senator Lindsey Graham, who like John McCain never seems to miss an opportunity to sabotage effective party message in order to promote what he considers to be bipartisanship. His statement: "Rahm knows Capitol Hill and has great political skills . . . He can be a tough partisan but also understands the need to work together."

Now think for a moment how the Democrats would be howling about partisanship if John McCain had won and named Tom "The Hammer" Delay as his chief of staff. The media would have picked up on it and it would have been a top story for a week. Keith Olbmerman would have considered it cause for McCain to resign in disgrace.

I know everyone says they want less partisanship and bitterness in politics, but do you think anyone would have complained if Lindsey Graham could have just kept his mouth shut and allowed a unified message to go out. Come on Lindsey, I'm not asking for you to go against any of your principles, I'm just asking that for once you don't go out of your way to undermine your own party (re: offshore drilling, enemy interrogation, calling law & order conservatives names because of their stance on illegal immigration, etc.).

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