As those who have been paying attention (that would be all of you) know, the presidential election was the first election in which Obama actually ended up going head to head with an opponent. In previous (i.e., state) elections, ugly information mysteriously surfaced about Obama’s opponents, forcing them to withdraw from the fray, and leaving an open field over which Obama proclaimed victory.
Rep. Eric Massa now alleges that Rahm Emanuel engineered his abrupt exit from Congress because he knew that Massa was a probable “no” vote on Obama Care. Just as I don’t doubt that Massa has skeletons in his closet, I don’t doubt that Emanuel, in his “busting the kneecaps,” Chicago-style school of politics, has absolutely no compunction about threatening people with their own secrets in order to get them out of the way. I also have no doubt that it was Emanuel who engineered Massa’s humiliating downfall in this instance. The virtue of exposing Massa is that Emanuel not only got rid of a political hindrance, he served notice to all blue dogs in Congress that (a) he knows their secrets and (b) he won’t hesitate to reveal them.
The single question now remaining is (a) how many blue dogs have secrets and (b) how many are willing to sacrifice themselves for America’s good. I bet many of them would find it easier to face a hail of real bullets on the battlefield than to have their most embarrassing secrets revealed to the world.
And while I don’t think Emanuel would ever stoop to physical violence, it’s worth remembering Chicago’s historic approach to ridding itself of enemies:
UPDATE: The Weekly Standard warns that Massa is no choirboy (and you probably wouldn’t want him near any choirboys). Bob Lonsberry thinks he’s even worse than that. I totally believe both sources as to Massa’s issues. My point, however, remains unchanged. Given the timing of the previously discretely hidden revelations about Massa, this seems to be the first administration I know of that uses personal blackmail and extortion against its own party members in order to coerce their behavior in Congress. In this regard, it reminds me of stories I’ve heard to the effect that the Castro regime bugs the hotel rooms in which credulous celebrities stay when they visit Cuba. They then offer sex, get the incident on film, and have a useful handle over that same celebrity who will, forever after, be sure to sing praises about the wonders of Communist Cuba.
UPDATE II: And yes, the evidence has emerged that Dems have long known about Massa’s dirty little habits. This suggests that, yes, the Dems did hold the info in reserve as a threat. (And it doesn’t matter that Massa is a fruitloop who was voting no because the bill was too conservative. What matters is that Dems use extortion, threats, and other knee-capping to corral the herd.)