Despite what liberals, conservatives and lingual teetotalers say, Rahm Emanuel isn’t such a bad guy.
Milbank, however, is one of the only voices standing up for Rahm. While his Sunday column still decries the influence of the Chicago Mafia on the White House, Milbank says that Emanuel is the one guy with his head screwed on straight.
Obama's problem is that his other confidants -- particularly Valerie Jarrett and Robert Gibbs, and, to a lesser extent, David Axelrod -- are part of the Cult of Obama. In love with the president, they believe he is a transformational figure who needn't dirty his hands in politics.
The president would have been better off heeding Emanuel's counsel. For example, Emanuel bitterly opposed former White House counsel Greg Craig's effort to close the Guantanamo Bay prison within a year, arguing that it wasn't politically feasible. Obama overruled Emanuel, the deadline wasn't met, and Republicans pounced on the president and the Democrats for trying to bring terrorists to U.S. prisons.
Likewise, Emanuel fought fiercely against Attorney General Eric Holder's plan to send Khalid Sheik Mohammed to New York for a trial. Emanuel lost, and the result was another political fiasco.
The effect Milbank’s piece had on the blogoshphere is downright conspiratorial.
Huffington Post Blogger Steve Clemons wrote:
Milbank's column seems to channel Rahm directly. The piece conveys a detailed knowledge of what exactly Rahm advised Obama to do -- and how exactly Obama allegedly rebuffed Emanuel. ... So, Rahm, or Milbank on his behalf, seems to be appealing to President Obama to just listen to Rahm more and all will be well.
Dana Milbank wrote a story where he said: ‘If only the president had followed Rahm, everything would be OK.’ It certainly sounds like Rahm was leaking like a sieve to Dana Milbank,” said Scarborough.
“It appears that Rahm has become quite promiscuous in telling anybody who will listen to him about how he tried to coach the president.”
It looks Rahm Emanuel is done. Dana Milbank transcribed an article written by Rahm Emanuel today in The Washington Post. – Cenk Uygur,Firedoglake.com
Sweet Baby Jesus on a Pogo Stick! Milbank’s piece gives hack journalism a bad name. Is the president going to reign in his chief of staff for this bit of nonsense? Is “no drama Obama” finally going to put his foot down on his foul mouthed consigliere? Taylor Marsh.com
... A year after the president’s chief of staff jetéd into office, everybody hates him, except for Dana Milbank, which is honestly not much better than being universally despised, Wonkette.com.
Does this mean that Rahm is coming home to roost? There is a Chicago mayoral election just about a year from now.