John Cole starts a comment war, featuring none other than Glennzilla himself, with this comment:
Glenn consistently mocks the 11-dimensional chess when Obama’s defenders use it deflect blame when the Obama team has made mistakes… More than likely, I’d bet these stories are coming from Rahm’s buddies who think they are doing him a favor.
Cole was referring to the update by Greenwald concerning the recent “Obama would do better following Rahm’s more centrist policy advice” stories in a post about how anonymous sources still dominate beltway journalism, in spite of reform claims by the papers-of-record NYT and WaPo:
One related point about the spate of “Obama-should-have-followed-Rahm’s-centrist-advice” articles that have appeared of late: if you really think about it, it’s quite extraordinary to watch a Chief of Staff openly undermine the President by spawning numerous stories claiming that the President is failing because he’s been repeatedly rejecting his Chief of Staff’s advice. It seems to me there’s one of two possible explanations for this episode: (1) Rahm wants to protect his reputation at Obama’s expense by making clear he’s been opposed all along to Obama’s decisions, a treacherous act that ought to infuriate Obama to the point of firing him; or (2) these stories are being disseminated with Obama’s consent as a means of apologizing to official Washington for not having been centrist enough and vowing to be even more centrist in the future by listening more to Rahm (we know that what we did wrong was not listen enough to Rahm). One can only speculate about which it is, but if I had to bet, my money would be on (2) (because of things like this and because these “Rahm-Was-Right” stories went on for weeks and Rahm is still very much around).
I’m afraid that both Greenwald and Cole – along with the rest of the media and most liberals – are being punked again by both Obama and Emanuel. Cole asks:“Obama is ok with spreading stories that appear to have his Chief of Staff undercutting him?”
I say yes and the reason is neither of the ones Greenwald offers. Most likely, Rahm is “liberal-washing” Obama. Rahm is continuing his role as the perceived force of darkness in the White House while pretending that he’s inhibiting Obama’s more liberal desires. It may make Obama look a little weak but that’s better than losing the liberal base entirely now that Obama has proved that his Third-way Centrist “ideals” are all his and that he’s no liberal, in spite of playing one at times on the campaign trail. At least, the White House trying to put the stink on Emanuel for the centrist policies the dirty hippies hate is a better theory than Rahm is trying to burnish his reputation by being fired for disloyalty to the President or that Rahm’s Beltway buddies are giving Rahm an unauthorized reach-around.