Did Dan Froomkin sneak into the Washington Post building the other night and drop some truth serum into Matlock’s Metamucil? Because that’s the only way I can envision David Broder writing a column that gets so much right (by Broderian standards) for a change (emphases mine):
In the space of 10 days, thanks in no small part to my own newspaper, the president of the United States has been portrayed as a weakling and a chronic screw-up who is wrecking his administration despite everything that his chief of staff, Rahm Emanuel can do to make things right.
This remarkable fiction began unfolding on Feb. 21 in the Sunday column of my friend Dana Milbank who wrote that "Obama’s first year fell apart in large part because he didn’t follow his chief of staff’s advice on crucial matters. Arguably, Emanuel is the only person keeping Obama from becoming Jimmy Carter," i.e., a one-term failure.
Broder then details all the pieces he’s noticed in the WaPo recently that originated from the pro-Rahm spin machine — and points out that this effort to protect Emanuel is hurting the very president Emanuel’s supposed to be serving.
Now, there has been plenty of criticism of Rahm Emanuel lately. But this is different.
This is the anti-DFH doing it this time. This is Mister Conventional Beltway Wisdom Boiled Down To Its Essence doing it this time.
That’s what makes it so shocking — and so consequential.
Obama may have had his BlackBerry taken away, but he still reads the hometown rag. He, who strives so hard to please and placate the purveyors of Conventional Beltway Wisdom, of whom Broder is the acknowledged Dean, cannot have failed to see this — or hear about it.
Whoever in Rahm’s press unit that was tasked with schmoozing the Dean of the White House Press Corps seems to have botched their mission. That would make this a rare failure for it — after all, they successfully smeared Martha Coakley, repeatedly. She had been doing just fine until she was made to back the Rahm-approved Senate HCR bill, and then she got shivved by Rahm’s Raiders when she most needed a helping hand — apparently so she and not they would take the fall and the blame.
Broder’s rejection of the full-court schmooze stands out in high-relief contrast to the emanations of those (like TNR’s Noam Scheiber) who fell for it hook, line and sinker. He’s actually calling out the Rahm machine — and who knows? Maybe this time Rahm will find that he can no longer dodge accountability by hiding from his current boss the way he hid from Bill Clinton.