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Mon Mar 1, 2021, 11:35 PM

Democrats Need an 11th Commandment - Rahm Emanuel WSJ op-ed

Take a split-screen snapshot of America’s two political parties. Congressional Republicans, having just witnessed President Trump literally sic a mob on them, have remained overwhelmingly loyal. Democrats are trying to build support for President Biden’s Covid-relief package by disparaging former President Obama’s efforts to save the economy in 2009. It’s a study in contrasts, and a master class in the relationship between messaging and politics.

(snip)

As someone who has spent the bulk of his career working in and around progressive politics, I find Democrats’ failure to grasp this core concept increasingly befuddling because it’s so self-defeating. Granted, I have a dog (or two) in the fight. But there’s no denying that Messrs. Clinton and Obama inherited flagging economies from their predecessors and handed their successors engines of prosperity. I don’t understand how anyone in the progressive community still believes there’s political upside to dismissing progressive presidential accomplishments. During the 2016 primaries, the left-wing Nation magazine ran an article titled “Note to Hillary: Clintonomics Was a Disaster for Most Americans.” On the campaign trail last year, Mr. Biden called fellow Democrats’ criticism of Mr. Obama in the Detroit debate “bizarre.”

Take the precedent that’s most frequently at issue today—the Recovery Act of 2009. Mr. Obama’s economic strategy not only prevented the Great Recession from morphing into a full-fledged depression, but sparked a record-setting recovery. The legislation he signed was far bigger than any previous stimulus bill and was as robust as Congress would allow. It was also only one part of Mr. Obama’s broader economic agenda, which included restructuring General Motors and Chrysler, investing in the early renewable energy industry, expanding healthcare coverage and stabilizing the financial system.

(snip)

Take the Clinton administration. On the issues progressives talk most about today—job creation, poverty reduction, the list goes on—Mr. Clinton’s eight years often set economic records. During his tenure, the income gap separating the poorest and richest fifths of American families dramatically narrowed. The economy gained more than 20 million jobs. In 1995 Clinton was so intent on saving Medicare and Medicaid from cuts that he stood firm during a Republican-led government shutdown. Far from claiming that he was some sort of “Republican lite,” progressives should own Mr. Clinton’s accomplishments because they provide a foundation for what we want to do in the future.

(snip)

Some will continue to argue that criticizing Messrs. Clinton and Obama can serve to stiffen Mr. Biden’s spine, pushing him to be big and bold. There’s no need—I can attest that Joe Biden is as tough and determined as they come. But the broader point remains. If you want to win elections, you need to assert that your record demands the public’s respect and confidence. Progressives undermine their own candidates with baseless self-doubt. Democrats should be as proud of Bill Clinton and Barack Obama as Republicans are of Ronald Reagan and Donald Trump. Yesterday’s successes pave the way for tomorrow’s triumphs.

https://www.wsj.com/articles/democrats-need-an-11th-commandment-11614641569 (subscription)

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Arrow 16 replies Author Time Post
Reply Democrats Need an 11th Commandment - Rahm Emanuel WSJ op-ed (Original post)
question everything Mar 1 OP
Tumbulu Mar 1 #1
Fiendish Thingy Mar 1 #2
dutch777 Mar 2 #7
murielm99 Mar 2 #12
machoneman Mar 3 #16
Make7 Mar 1 #3
Bradshaw3 Mar 2 #5
question everything Mar 2 #6
question everything Mar 2 #10
wnylib Mar 2 #13
BootinUp Mar 2 #4
Still Sensible Mar 2 #8
SunSeeker Mar 2 #9
KPN Mar 2 #11
wnylib Mar 2 #14
KPN Mar 3 #15

Response to question everything (Original post)

Mon Mar 1, 2021, 11:41 PM

1. Absolutely!!!!!!!

Thanks for posting this, I could not agree more.

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Response to question everything (Original post)

Mon Mar 1, 2021, 11:42 PM

2. Why would anyone ever listen to Emmanuel? Nt

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Response to Fiendish Thingy (Reply #2)

Tue Mar 2, 2021, 12:45 AM

7. Rahm is not smooth around the edges but in this case I think he is right. Dems suck at messaging

We stand for the right things on policy but we don't get the messages aligned across the Dem spectrum. I appreciate Bernie, AOC, Rahm, Warren, Pelosi, Biden and on and on, and I get that Bernie/AOC won't be where Pelosi/Biden are on many issues and vice versa. And I am fine having a raucous debate about all of it. BUT, do that in private and come out of the back room all on the same talking points. As much as I hate what the Repubs push as policy, they are much better at getting their public messaging on point and keeping it incredibly simple. Based on the vote in November it seems about 50% of the country can only digest simple talking points and that works for Repubs. We Dems bemoaning low information voters, won't change them and we can't ignore the basic political numbers they represent.

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Response to Fiendish Thingy (Reply #2)

Tue Mar 2, 2021, 02:08 PM

12. Why would you assume that everyone at DU

dislikes Rahm?

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Response to murielm99 (Reply #12)

Wed Mar 3, 2021, 06:12 PM

16. Some may not like him but he is smart, tough and almost always right.

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Response to question everything (Original post)

Mon Mar 1, 2021, 11:44 PM

3. And to get the word out to progressives...

... he pens an op-ed in a media outlet owned by Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation where his words are put behind a paywall.

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Response to Make7 (Reply #3)

Tue Mar 2, 2021, 12:18 AM

5. Ha!

Good point!

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Response to Make7 (Reply #3)

Tue Mar 2, 2021, 12:25 AM

6. I posted the main points.

The “snipped” parts are about how each Democratic president built on previous acts, starting with FDR Social Security and LBJ Medicare.

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Response to Make7 (Reply #3)

Tue Mar 2, 2021, 08:51 AM

10. Wanted to add: NYT, WaPO, others, all have paywalls

Why “preach to the crowd” when one can have a wider audience?

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Response to Make7 (Reply #3)

Tue Mar 2, 2021, 02:55 PM

13. You just gave us an example of what

the article says.

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Response to question everything (Original post)

Tue Mar 2, 2021, 12:16 AM

4. Rahm is correct. Nt

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Response to question everything (Original post)

Tue Mar 2, 2021, 01:17 AM

8. This is true.

And right now Job One is getting this relief bill passed. Coupled with declining Covid case rates and rapidly increasing vaccinations, the relief should lead to recovery and growth to rival what Rahm noted from the Clinton and early Obama administrations.

And let's stop shooting ourselves in the foot while we are at it. Let the Cuomo issue be dealt with independently and not wring our collective hands and get distracted. If there is a politically viable, smart way to keep the minimum wage hike in the relief bill, do it. Otherwise fight that on the next battlefield and get the relief bill passed without it.

JMHO

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Response to question everything (Original post)

Tue Mar 2, 2021, 02:21 AM

9. K & R

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Response to question everything (Original post)

Tue Mar 2, 2021, 12:20 PM

11. You know what? This stuff really pisses me off.

Rahm Emmanuel is the last person who should be talking about effective messaging.

He’s been popping his head up a lot lately. What big plan does he have for himself I wonder.

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Response to KPN (Reply #11)

Tue Mar 2, 2021, 02:57 PM

14. Sounds to me like his "big plan"

is Dem unity, good messaging, and winning elections.

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Response to wnylib (Reply #14)

Wed Mar 3, 2021, 01:59 PM

15. Nope. He's blinded by his own light -- as usual; missing the forest for the trees.

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