The Rahm Emanuel strategy was to cut deals with power brokers in Washington and ignore what liberals wanted. This was best illustrated when he called liberals "f**king retarded" for trying to push for real change. His attitude was that you could ignore progressive demands because - where could they go?!
Well, it turns out that the answer to that question is - home. Now there are several polls out showing a 5 to 10% difference between registered Democratic voters and likely Democratic voters. Democrats are basically tied with the Republicans on registered voters. But they get clobbered on likely voters. Why? Because voters who are disillusioned aren't likely to vote.
Why are they disillusioned, Rahm might ask, when we gave them health care reform and financial reform? The answer is because they're not nearly as dumb as you think they are. You think you can just call something reform and people are going to buy it? That's not going to fly, especially in the new media age.
We all know that Obama struck the same exact deals with the big drug companies that Bush did. Obama had campaigned against those specific agreements, but once he got into office he was convinced that we couldn't upset those deals and that we just had to shoot for a tiny bit of change. That we couldn't change the way Washington ran, we could just play the old Washington game a little better. That is the essence of Rahm Emanuel.
And those games have now left the Democrats with a gigantic deficit in voter enthusiasm. Rahm was supposed to be some sort of political genius. But it has turned out to be the exact opposite. He blew it. He had no idea what he was talking about and it looks like his party is about to lose a massive amount of seats. Why? Because Rahm was wrong, completely and utterly wrong.
Will they learn the right lesson from this and actually try to deliver on change in the next two years after this election? Very likely not. Instead, they will get someone new to come and whisper in their ear that the president must play the same old Washington games again and that the election was a sign to go further right. That'll be another disaster and you can trace that back to the original Rahmism - the belief that power must be accommodated, real change is not possible and that your own voters should be ignored. That is what is 100% wrong and what got the Democrats into this mess in the first place.