Hypocrisy: Democrats Criticize Trump but Not a Peep Against Emanuel



So Donald Trump is a narcissistic, bigoted, fascist.

Not exactly a surprise.

He’s also the Republican front runner for President. I’ll admit to being mildly shocked by that.

However, much more astonishing are the chauvinistic and possibly illegal actions of Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel – and the fact that no major Democrat of note is calling him out for any of it.

Let’s review.

Trump made a name for himself during this election cycle calling Mexican immigrants rapists and murderers. Then he insulted women and the disabled. He proposes surveillance of mosques and registering all Muslims. He even incites supporters at his rallies to beat Black protesters.

And every time this happens, his poll numbers rise.

Predictably Democrats have decried this state of affairs. They have pointed their fingers accusingly at a Republican base that would champion such an odious figure for leader of the free world. And rightly so!

By contrast, Emanuel isn’t currently a candidate for anything. He’s a second term Democratic Mayor of one of the most populous cities in the country.

During that time, he has closed 50 public schools46 of which serve mostly black students. Southside residents had to resort to a month-long hunger strike to keep their last neighborhood school open. In addition, his economic policy consists of closing public health clinics for the poor and installing red light cameras to increase fines – none of which has actually boosted the economy.

But perhaps worse than all of that is the recent revelation that Emanuel’s administration with full knowledge of the Mayor may have actually covered up the police killing of an unarmed black teen!

In October, 2014, Officer Jason Van Dyke shot 17-year-old Laquan McDonald 16 times. Most of those bullets went into the teenager after he was already flat on the ground and the officer was at least 10 feet away.

As usual, the police story includes all the usual racist clichés – a trained and experienced officer of the law fears for his life from a black teen. Van Dyke says he was attacked. The dashcam video, however, shows no such thing. McDonald did not lunge at the officer. The young man was walking away when Van Dyke shot, and after he fell, the officer unloaded a barrage of bullets at his prone and seemingly helpless body.

Then the cover-up began. Emanuel allegedly was told about the incident in February, 2015, while he was in the midst of a contentious re-election bid. His administration quickly issued a $5 million settlement to McDonald’s family on the condition they keep quiet about the incident. It wasn’t until May, after Emanuel had won re-election, that an independent journalist asked for the dashcam video to be released. It took the full power of the media and a lawsuit to accomplish this. Last Thursday, a Chicago judge ordered the video be disclosed and Van Dyke was quickly charged with first degree murder.

It seems impossible to deny that Van Dyke would have been charged a year ago if not for the cover-up. The officer had already received 17 citizen complaints including that he had made racist remarks and three excessive force complaints over four years. Only Emanuel’s protection kept him out of jail.

So which is worse? Trump loudly champions prejudice and bigotry without the power to do anything about it. Emanuel protects an actual racist, stops him from being charged for what may well be a racially motivated murder, but makes no flashy public comments about it.

Yet only one of these two politicos gains the ire of the supposedly progressive and enlightened Democratic party.

How can this be? If we accept Fox News to represent a realistic presentation of the Republican platform, the party is often regressive, counterfactual, and rife with prejudice. On the other hand, media representations of the Democrats present them as the exact opposite. They propose progressive policies based on facts and a much more pluralistic view of society. They’re just much more inept at achieving this vision than their GOP counterparts.

But if that were true, how could one of their anointed, one of the most powerful Democrats in the country, a man who had been White House Chief of Staff at the beginning of President Barack Obama’s first term, a former U.S. Representative, senior adviser to President Bill Clinton, how could HE be perpetrating so many repressive, bigoted, “conservative” policies? How could so many leading Democrats support him? Why are so few criticizing him now?

It makes one question the perceived wisdom about the two parties. Is there really a difference, or are the left and the right wings just two parts of the same bird? When you look at what Democrats do – I mean when you actually examine the policies they enact when they’re in office – they really aren’t much different than those proposed by Republicans.

Perhaps there are a few far left Democrats like Bernie Sanders who actually represent a real progressive movement. Or perhaps there is no  major progressive party anymore in the United State.

We  must keep our eyes on Chicago. If there is any fight left for the soul of the Democratic party it will be here. Will the party call for Emanuel’s resignation? Or will it continue to side with one of the most regressive politicians currently holding office while it congratulates itself for condemning clownish Trump?

NOTE: This article also was published on Commondreams.org, the LA Progressive and on the Badass Teachers Association Blog.

15 thoughts on “Hypocrisy: Democrats Criticize Trump but Not a Peep Against Emanuel

  1. I, as a democratic Socialist, have thought Rahm Emmanuel a power hungry authoritarian who clawed his way to the top and not gave much of a damn who he crushed to get there. His ability to stay out of the fray of Laquan McDonald story, so far, is very telling of the people willing to fall on swords before him. He should be ousted now. In one way he is much worse than Trump, he is able to hide the same qualities that Trump brandishes like a poleaxe.


  2. On PCP, carrying a knife, not complying with officers’ orders to stop and drop the weapon. What world do people live in where this individual is not an immediate lethal threat??? I swear, the country has gone completely mad.


    • Rechill, someone with a knife is not necessarily a threat. My wife made me a sandwich the other day. She used a knife. I was not in fear for my life. Likewise, in this case Laquan was walking away from Officer Van Dyke. He was not a threat. The officer then shot Laquan. Laquan fell down. He was less a threat. The officer then shot at Laquan’s probe body on the ground. He died. I can’t imagine how you justify these actions.


  3. I’m reminded of Clinton. He was a conservative with the Democrat label, too. His policies were very conservative but because he self-identified as a Democrat he got away with it, to the adoration of liberals and the media.

    And now we might get another Clinton term. Because people are stupid. It only matters that she’s a woman.


  4. Shady,

    It’s obvious you have fallen into the hate media campaign to slur liberals, but it is arguable that voters who will vote for Trump or Carson are much more stupid than those who will vote for HC.

    Let’s see, the polls show about 50% of conservatives say they will vote for Trump and Carson—about the same ratio of Democrats who say they will vote for HC.

    What is a liberal? Do you really know?

    Let me educate you. In January 2015, Gallup informed us that 24% of voters are liberals versus 38% that are conservatives, and 34% are labeled moderates.

    Also a few definitions might help:

    open to new behavior or opinions and willing to discard traditional values.

    holding to traditional attitudes and values and cautious about change or innovation, typically in relation to politics or religion.

    1) a sane person;
    2) someone with a political belief that sits between the two extremes of liberal and conservative, usually combining aspects of both (example: liberal on social issues yet conservative on economic issues);
    3) someone who seeks compromise on political issues and as such gets insulted by the two extremes who just don’t get the idea that this form of government survives by compromise;
    4) someone whose political beliefs seem quiet and mild, and as such always ignored by the media, which seeks out people from the screechy Left and shrill Right because they make for better sound bites.


    • That is quite a Daffynation you have there..

      Totally useless but a good laugh..

      A liberal is one that what’s to provide for anyone as long as they vote the right way..

      African/Americans don’t read or taught history.. Best they be given an education on Dred Scott! When the Democraptic Party was running the country…

      “Although Taney hoped that his ruling would finally settle the slavery question, the decision immediately spurred vehement dissent from anti-slavery elements in the North, especially Republicans. Many contemporary lawyers, and most modern legal scholars, consider the ruling regarding slavery in the territories to be dictum, not binding precedent. The decision proved to be an indirect catalyst for the American Civil War. It was functionally superseded by the Civil Rights Act of 1866 and by the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, which gave African Americans full citizenship.

      The Supreme Court’s decision in Dred Scott v. Sandford is unanimously denounced by scholars. Bernard Schwartz says it, “stands first in any list of the worst Supreme Court decisions—Chief Justice C.E. Hughes called it the Court’s greatest self-inflicted wound”. Junius P. Rodriguez says it is “universally condemned as the U.S. Supreme Court’s worst decision”. Konig et al. say it was “unquestionably, our court’s worst decision ever”.


    • What is moderate depends entirely on context. Before the Civil War, Abolitionists were radical extremists and moderates perhaps didn’t like slavery but were unwilling to do anything about it.


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