With the Democrats in charge of Congress and the White House, intra-party power struggles become amplified, regardless of protestations of unity. Nancy Pelosi in particular has been sending signals that she expects to run the House of Representatives, no matter how much change Barack Obama has promised, and no matter how much power he has tried and will try to consolidate in the White House.
The history of conflict between Rahm Emanuel, the former Clinton White House aide who entered the House expecting to be treated as no ordinary freshman, and Pelosi, who relies on loyalists and brooks no opposition within the party ranks, is entertainingly presented by Steve Kornacki in the New York Observer. Rahmbo was able to execute an end-run around Pelosi by means of his fundraising prowess and contacts, and get what he wanted after just one term: head of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (where he did a spectacular job raising money enough to secure the majority for the Democrats), membership on the powerful Ways and Means Committee, and membership in the House leadership. Kornacki wisely observes that he makes Pelosi "nervous," and now he is at the side of a president-elect determined to control everything himself.
With Emanuel now facing pressure from the Blago investigation, the bad blood between him and Pelosi bears watching. Both are experienced in the arts of manipulation and political streetfighting. Pelosi, however, spots Emanuel something in the range of 40 IQ points.
Meanwhile, speaking of Ways and Means, Trevor Loudon looks at the background of a new member of that committee, longtime Barack Obama ally Congressman Danny K. Davis, who, like Obama, was endorsed by the very left wing New Party, and who shares a background in far left politics. Davis joins a number of other "progressive" Democrats at Ways and Means. We can expect new taxation legislation to reflect that ideological stripe. Grab your pocketbooks.