Rahm Emanuel’s Advice to Democrats leading to 2020 Elections – The Axe Files

I am a regular listener to the “Axe Files” (David Axelrod’s podcast). It is always excellent. David interviews newsmakers, politicians, government officials, journalists, and anyone in the news from his perch at the University of Chicago and CNN.

A couple of weeks ago, David interviewed his longtime friend and retiring Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, among the most insightful political operatives in our generation. This podcast is worth listening to. I hope that Nancy Pelosi and the Democratic leadership in Congress heard it or will listen to it. Everyone should!

Emanuel urges Democrats to let Mueller’s investigation take care of the Trump Russia collusion issue and not to jump into a pre-impeachment mode of activism against this arguably corrupt President. Instead, Emanuel urges that the Democrats immediately articulate an agenda that addresses the real needs of America’s middle class – education, wages, health care, mounting college debt, and the environment among others.

Emanuel  notes that the most successful democratic candidates for President since Jimmy Carter are those who are young, charismatic, from outside of Washington, and who can articulate the core of America’s exceptionalism. To beat Trump in 2020, he says, will require an anti-Trump figure who articulates clearly and passionately the values that make the Democratic party the most representative advocate of the American people’s best interests. It is a mistake, he says, to split the party into left and right factions. The party has to move forward together and any significant in-fighting will be a gift to the Trump forces. The Democrats, he says, should be seeking to take advantage of the fissures in the Republican party by addressing the issues that matter most to both Republicans and Democrats.

He urges that the time is now to begin to articulate the Democratic message, to talk about the important issues that Americans care most about. He says that nothing has been said since the election by the Democratic leadership on these issues, and this is a huge mistake.

He urges that the appropriate committees do their jobs and investigate what Trump has done relevant to environment, to immigrants and asylum seekers, to children of immigrants, to corrupt government practices, to the coarsening of discourse in our nation, attacks on the free press and health care, the justice department and intelligence services, and to the tax structure that gave a  gift to the ultra-rich who didn’t need it and did little to address the real needs of America’s middle class. He urged that we shine a light on how Trump has put political cronies into key positions throughout the federal government, diminished those agencies upon which Americans have depended, and essentially eliminated the distinction between the private and public sectors.

I urge you to subscribe to David Axelrod’s Podcast (“The Axe Files”) and listen regularly. It’s one of the best out there.


About the Author
A native of Los Angeles, Rabbi John L. Rosove assumed the position of Senior Rabbi of Temple Israel of Hollywood in 1988 and will become Emeritus Rabbi in July, 2019. Before coming to Temple Israel he served large congregations in San Francisco (1979-86) and Washington, D.C. (1986-88). He is the immediate past National Chair of the Association of Reform Zionists of America (ARZA) and served on the Board of Governors of the Jewish Agency for Israel (JAFI), the Vaad HaPoel of the World Zionist Organization, and the Executive Committee of ARZENU (the International Reform Zionist movement). He is a national co-Chair of the Rabbinic and Cantorial Cabinet of J Street. John is the author of "Why Judaism Matters – Letters of a Liberal Rabbi to his Children and the Millennial Generation with an Afterword by Daniel and David Rosove" (Nashville: Jewish Lights, 2017) and his forth-coming book "Why Israel and its Future Matter - Letters of a Liberal Rabbi to his Children and the Millennial Generation" (Ben Yehuda Press, New Jersey. Spring 2020). John is married to Barbara and is the father of two sons and the grandfather of one.
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