Undernews is the online report of the Progressive Review, edited by Sam Smith, who covered Washington during all or part of one quarter of America's presidencies and edited alternative journals since 1964. The Review has been on the web since 1995. See main page for full contents

August 25, 2009


John Batchelor, The Daily Beast - Suddenly the disgraced and demoralized Republican Congress has an unearned future, thanks to the superhuman clumsiness of a man who has made himself indispensable to the Obama administration and insufferable to the Democratic Congress, chief of staff Rahm Emanuel. The GOP always knew that Emanuel was a problem that could not be solved and could only be endured while he served three tempestuous terms in the House. But now the beleaguered Democratic majority is learning painfully that Emanuel’s talents for bullying, whimsical favoritism, cheerful power-grabbing, and self-congratulatory earthiness have transformed the first hundred days of the Obama administration’s seamless accomplishment into a second hundred days of blame and gloom. . . . Polling supports this cynical summary. The still lifeless Republicans, who have avoided any credible renovation or even contrition for their decades of swinishness, now enjoy their largest generic lead over the Democrats in years. Trusted touts like Charlie Cook speak of a Democratic loss of at least 20 seats in the House. Republican Party fundraising is up, Republican recruitment is up-even in blue New Hampshire, where a potential loss of Judd Gregg’s U.S. Senate seat is now a likely win with the recruiting of the popular Attorney General Kelly Ayotte-and the GOP’s cheeks have a glow not related to shame.


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