Rahm Emanuel Lied About Mark Foley Scandal

Glenn Greenwald examines the evidence and finds that Rahm Emanuel lied when he told George Stephanoupolous that he was not aware of the Mark Foley emails before they ABC News’ Brian Ross broke the story, making him “guilty of exactly what he was accusing the GOP House Leadership of. And his hypocritical, pious lectures about the ‘warning signs’ which GOP Leaders had were dishonest at their core.” That’s exactly right, although he’s also right that this does not mitigate the malfeasance on part of Hastert and company.

While Greenwald’s candor on that score is refreshing, what comes next is slightly amusing:

It’s possible that the Democratic takeover of Congress can result in genuine and meaningful — and desperately-needed — change for our country. But it’s also possible that it could result in nothing notable, that it will produce only the most marginal and politically risk-free actions, all justified by the need not to do anything too “extreme” due to a fear of harming their 2008 electoral prospects.

The latter is more than “possible;” it is virtually assured. Neither party has a monopoly on virtue. Indeed, most Members of Congress are honorable people genuinely trying to serve the public. The incentive structure, especially in the House with its biannual elections, though, is for the majority party to maximize fundraising and minimize risk. That’s not going to change just because the leadership changed hands.

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. Dave Schuler says:

    Why focus on Emmanuel? Why not the other House Democrats, too, many of whom must have known as much or more.

    My own suspicion is that Mr. Greenwald is continuing the campaign by the left wing of the Democratic Party against the DLC.

  2. Cernig says:

    Oh C’mon, Dave. Your prejudices are showing. The CNN story wrote about the report and specifically mentioned Emmanuel and so Greenwald wrote about Emmanuel – after all, he’s the one who clearly lied about his knowledge. Greenwald didn’t even call for Emmanuel’s resignation – when he had called for Hastert’s. Sometimes a cigar, as James is fond of saying, is just a cigar. Maybe Greenwald just has some notion that principles matter as much or more than winning elections.

    Regards, C

  3. Dave Schuler says:

    You may be right, Cernig.

    And it’s also possible that I was wrong in November of 2004 when I suggested that the Dean and Clinton factions of the Democratic Party would be struggling for dominance and that it’s a coincidence that a lot of the Left Blogosphere has had it in for the DLC and Blue Dogs since then.

    Question: what’s a three syllable word that begins with ‘P’ and means you think that everybody’s against you?

    Answer: perceptive

  4. talboito says:

    The lefty blogosphere has always had it in for the DLC.

    The DLC is, at its root, a corporate interest/lobby group. Bloggers are nothing if not anti-corporate.

  5. Beldar says:

    I believe this story falls into the “Dog Bites Man” category.