On Tuesday, Common Purpose held its weekly meeting where lobbyist Erik Smith and a comm person from the White House tell liberal interest groups what they should be saying that week. Then if anyone gets out of line, they kick their asses. Along with Unity 09 and the 8:45 am call, they exist to form a solid left flank and keep the White House immune from liberal criticism. I like to call them collectively “the veal pen.”
This week’s meeting was somewhat remarkable — as Jonathan Martin reported, Rahm Emanuel showed up. But Martin’s account is an entirely sanitized version of the meeting. It sounds like Rahm dictated it himself, in anticipation of the stories that would no doubt immediately start to materialize about the heated event. In JMart’s version, Rahm made a “request” and said that “he didn’t like seeing dollars used by liberal groups to target congressional Democrats.”
Um, it’s missing a few words, most of them four letters in length.
Admittedly I wasn’t there and like about 9,000 other people in DC just heard tales that made their way down the food chain, but it appears Greg Sargent wasn’t so easily played:
Sources at the meeting tell me that Emanuel went on a tirade against the Dem-versus-Dem attacks, calling them “f–king stupid.” This was a direct attack on some of the attendees in the room, who are running ads against Dems right now.
Tellingly, Rahm raised the specter of a loss on health care, sources at the meeting say — which suggests that the White House may be less certain about victory than officials allow publicly.
“He started out with, `We’re 13 and 0 going into health care,’” one source at the meeting said, meaning that Rahm was touting the White House’s string of pre-health care legislative victories.
Look, Rahm has told the Blue Dogs they can do what they want to on health care. Maxine Waters confirmed it. When the Blue Dogs held the bill hostage, they got everything they wanted — Rahm and Jan “bail” Schakowsky got progressives to drop their very meaningful demands, which Mike Ross acknowledged “would have led to single payer.” They gave them up in exchange for a meaningless floor vote on single payer. Go team.
Rahm was always going to beat the shit out of progressives to vote for a bad bill. The goal of the whip count effort was to make it impossible to pass a bad bill by getting progressives to commit to vote against one in sufficient numbers, such that Rahm had to either beat the Blue Dogs up or fail. But first he was always going to beat up the progressives.
The organizations that are usually at the Common Purpose meeting include Rock the Vote, the unions, the LCCR, the Sierra Club, HCAN, Bob Creamer (Jan Schakowsky’s husband) of Americans United for Change, CAP, Media Matters, MoveOn, Campaign for America’s Future and numerous other groups that earn their seat at that particular table by not bucking the White House. (The notable exception is MoveOn, who bravely sent a letter to their members telling them to contact the White House and tell Obama to rein Rahm in on triggers. I’m going to guess THAT precipitated quite the phone call.)
Rahm unleashed a tirade on them all, telling them that they were going to fuck up the Democrats if we “failed” to pass any old health care bill (which appears now to be the health insurance industry approved co-ops). But I doubt you’ll hear any of them confirming that the White House hasn’t pressured them to stop their attacks on Democrats any time soon, because it came in the form of a flying shit fit at top volume with four-letter verbiage liberally applied.
Shorter Rahm: Leave the Blue Dogs ALOOOOOOONEE!!!