Among the harshest calls for Rahm Emanuel’s removal as mayor of Chicago comes from Jack Mirkinson at Salon:
It’s equally clear that Emanuel does not deserve to run Chicago for even a second longer. He exemplifies a particularly loathsome breed of Democratic politician—the constantly triangulating, plutocrat-courting, privatizing so-called “centrist,” that so dominated the Bill Clinton years. Emanuel deserves to be buried—along with that tradition—so that someone with a modicum of integrity can take the reins.
Moreover, it’s long past time for President Obama—and the people running to replace him—to weigh in meaningfully on the Emanuel scandal. Carly Fiorina is rarely correct, but she spoke the truth on Wednesday when she said this:
“Just imagine for one moment if the mayor of Chicago were not President Obama’s personal friend. Just imagine for a moment if this were a Republican, what President Obama would be saying and doing. He has been incredibly silent on this tragedy.”
People need to demand that Obama break that silence, and that the disgraceful things happening in Chicago rise to the top of the 2016 campaign agenda.
Let’s recap. Mayor Emanuel’s tenure in office has been characterized by criminal behavior, corruption, cronyism, and incompetence. I’m in broad agreement with Mr. Mirkinson’s criticism but I don’t think he’s casting his net wide enough.
Here in Chicago there’s a political expression: who sent him? Said another way, who is his political patron? In Rahm Emanuel’s case the answer is clear: Bill Clinton sent him. And the very things Mr. Mirkinson complains about were features of the Clinton Administration of which Rahm Emanuel was an important part. The malign convergence of politics with finance, cronyism, winning as the only principle. And yet here we are poised on the brink of electing Hillary Clinton president.
But there is wider yet. The longer President Obama maintains a discreet silence on Mayor Emanuel’s mis-, mal-, and nonfeasance, the more it tarnishes his own administration. I voted for Barack Obama in 2008 but if he had run on a platform of making Rahm Emanuel his Chief of Staff I would not have done so. It has been obvious that Emanuel was a low character for more than 20 years. Naming such a person CoS is embracing the values he represents.
And I haven’t even started on the Republicans. Poor sods, they think that their own leaders don’t have exactly the same failings. That’s imponderably naive.