Even in private there's no American politician more intense than
He's all about control. And when he doesn't have control -- of his message, of events -- he clenches his jaw and all but bites through his teeth.
Emanuel, famous for taking that steakhouse knife and stabbing the table while shouting the names of Democratic enemies, is probably the last person you'd ever think would tell angry
But that's what Rahm's doing. Telling them to chill, because, he says,
"It ain't gonna happen in 2018," Emanuel said Monday at
And so the troubled mayor of
And he tells everybody to just chill.
Why is this important?
Rahm's call for a national chill comes just as the hard Democratic left has been using anger -- some might call it hysteria -- to wrest control of the
The Democratic establishment lost on national and local levels. But the left is having success organizing the party's base, keeping them on message, even engaging in loud and angry theater. All of this is not just about organizing against Trump.
More importantly, it's being used to drive the old Democratic establishment off the stage.
And that establishment, wounded and frightened at loss of control, doesn't like it.
Hold onto power.
But they're doing everything wrong. The Republican establishment did everything wrong too, including trying to co-opt and herd the conservative tea party movement. That backfired. It led to Trump.
And Rahm is also of the establishment on the Democratic side, and rather like the Dutch boy in the old story, trying to put his fingers into the leaks in the dike and save the day.
"Winning's everything," the mayor of a city riven by homicides and political cynicism told the
So put principle aside and be pragmatic, he tells
That might be smart politics but in the end, asking people to put their principles aside to let their opponents maintain power is a recipe for disaster.
There is no passion to it.
But Rahm isn't the only one who's told party activists to put principle aside for pragmatism. If you think you've heard it before, you're right.
As I've said before, Trump isn't a cause of all this change. He's oblivious to history. I don't think he can see himself in context. He is his own sun and moon, but in this he is not unique among politicians.
Trump is not a cause. He's a symptom, an effect, a consequence of the
Leading up to Trump, the media narrative suggested that
Establishment biscuit eaters who characterized the angry voter as irrational were simply protecting their masters and their own place in the food line. But when Trump came along, they couldn't see what was happening to them.
There is nonsense circulating now about a tea party of the left, but that is a dream of a Democratic establishment hoping to herd them. There is no tea party of the left.
But there is an "angry voter" of the left, angry about Trump, yes, but also angry at Democratic insiders who led them into the wilderness, where, Emanuel says, the party will wander for years. And they're determined to push the party further to the left.
Emanuel wants the
Rahm argues for middle-of-the-road candidates, be they athletes, veterans, and so on. But this strategy isn't about ideas. It is tactical, about selecting actors to play certain types.
It is a
Americans are motivated by their wallets, yes, but also by ideas. What they're not motivated by are insiders holding on.
It is something the establishment