Long-time Clinton hand John Podesta is in trouble with Republicans just days after joining the Obama White House, after he described the House GOP as a “cult worthy of Jonestown.”
But the comment — considering the severity of the comparison — got Podesta off on the wrong foot with Republican leaders.
“It’s disgraceful and telling that President Obama’s new Counselor is not only comparing the Republican Party to a cult that murdered those who disagreed with them, but is also using that comparison as an argument in support of shredding the Constitution and governing like a third-world dictator,” Rep. Steve Scalise, R-La., chairman of the Republican Study Committee, said in a statement.
Scalise called on President Obama to fire Podesta over the remark.
Politico reported that Podesta justified relentless (illegal) executive action by noting he was fighting a cult. And apparently there’s a clause in the Constitution that gives the executive plenary power to fight cults…
Podesta has now apologized for the quote. Sort of. He apologized to John Boehner, and no one else.
“‘In an old interview, my snark got in front of my judgment. I apologize to Speaker Boehner, whom I have always respected,’ Podesta posted on his Twitter account.”
Of course you do darling. The writer of the piece, Glenn Thrush, seemed to have Podesta’s back when he clarified the statement was made before Podesta became chief of staff, earlier, a way way way long time ago, in the Fall. (PS, it’s still fall.)
Every Republican in Washington, DC, should read this article on Podesta’s power grab, and those Republicans contemplating working with Democrats on immigration reform should read it twice.
Whatever legislation you write with Democrats, and Obama signs into “law,” will not be worth the paper it is printed on. Obama’s new counselor believes Republicans are evil and therefore Obama ought to be empowered to do whatever he wants no matter what the law says.
That is the new normal in Washington as long as Obama is still president.
There’s not much surprising about the quote. Now that the moderate wing of the Democratic Party has all but disappeared, unhinged rhetoric and uncontrolled temper tantrums characterize much of the left’s discourse. And the modern Democratic Party has an unhealthy fascination with murder fantasy, from their political ads depicting legislators throwing people off a cliff to their columnists’ attachment to effigy executions…
The confirmation that Obama wants a divisive partisan steering his second-term agenda isn’t exactly breaking news, and neither is the fact that he wants to ignore Congress and continue amassing power in the executive branch. But it’s significant precisely because it isn’t surprising. None of this would constitute a change of course for Obama, but a change of course can often be a productive way for a president to salvage a second term from the challenge of lame-duck status and diminishing political capital…
Clinton was more open to compromise with Republicans after his reelection because he didn’t “need Republicans as a foil anymore.” But for Obama, the campaign never ends, so the need for a foil is always there. Because the campaign never ends, serious governing–as opposed to executive power grabs and bureaucratic rulemaking–never begins. The perfect candidate for this job, the president believes, is John Podesta. And Podesta seems to agree.
It’s an interesting metaphor, increasingly common — how often have you heard references to “drinking the Kool-Aid”? — but it’s worth recalling Jim Jones was, before his horrific, sadistic end, an increasingly influential figure in California politics, particularly Democratic Party politics…
In 1977, facing increasing media scrutiny of allegations of abuse of his followers, Jones moved to Guyana, and renamed it after himself. The rest is gruesome, horrific history, culminating in the November 1978 cyanide poisoning of 909 members of the cult, including more than 300 children.
The comparison of today’s GOP to the Jim Jones’ followers is deeply offensive and obnoxious, but also ironic, considering how some of the Democrats still on the scene today were all too eager to embrace Jones when he could provide political assistance.
The profile goes on detail how Podesta is going to be focused less on policy but on reenergizing “a depleted, exhausted” White House staff—and with them, Obama supporters in key positions who recently, and in an especially unseemly fashion, have been flirting publicly with the notion that President Obama is a spent political force.
With this profile, POLITICO clarifies for a nervous political media establishment that the president is not ramping down, he’s amped up. His administration is not down for the count just yet. There is plenty of fight left in this old dog. Nothing tickles political reporters like a comeback – particularly that of a Democratic president ready to battle the unreasonable, recalcitrant Republicans in Congress.
For the press, the message has been received. The fight is back in this administration. Now, the White House waits to see if the media will follow suit.