Ideological opposites Jane Hamsher and Grover Norquist have found common ground in a common enemy: Rahm Emanuel, the influential White House chief of staff.
In one of the strangest odd-couplings since James Carville and Mary Matalin married, Ms. Hamsher, a prominent liberal blogger, and Mr. Norquist, a longtime conservative activist, jointly wrote to the Justice Department on Wednesday demanding an investigation of Mr. Emanuel’s past dealings with Freddie Mac, the failed housing finance giant, and calling for his immediate resignation.
The action is less surprising for Mr. Norquist, a familiar provocateur in a Republican Party that would like nothing better than to weaken Mr. Emanuel, widely considered the Democrats’ savviest strategist since, as a Chicago congressman, he engineered his party’s takeover of majority control in the House in 2006.
Ms. Hamsher’s role, however, reflects her emergence as a leading cyber-voice for a Democratic left wing increasingly disaffected by what it sees as the sell-out centrist policies of the Obama administration. For that it blames Mr. Emanuel, viewing himi as a sort of presidential puppet-master.
Recently Ms. Hamsher, publisher of firedoglake.com, has blogged for the defeat of the Democrats’ top-priority legislation to overhaul health care.
Motivations aside, the issues they raise concern Mr. Emanuel’s lucrative stint on the Freddie Mac board in 2000 and 2001, after he left the Clinton White House as a top adviser and before he ran for Congress. They allege that Mr. Emanuel was complicit in the board’s failure to prevent Freddie Mac executives from defrauding investors and that he subsequently has been “stonewalling” from the White House to block an investigation before a 10-year statute of limitations runs out.
Matt Miller, a spokesman for Eric H. Holder Jr., the attorney general, said late on Wednesday that he was not aware that the Justice Department had received the letter, but that there would be no comment. Mr. Emanuel was unavailable; he is traveling out of the country with his family.