Battering Rahm

by dday

I'll believe this when I see it...

In talks with Emanuel and others, sources say, Pelosi has “set parameters” for what she wants from Barack Obama and his White House staff — no surprises, and no backdoor efforts to go around her and other Democratic leaders by cutting deals with moderate New Democrats or conservative Blue Dogs.

Specifically, Pelosi has told Emanuel that she wants to know when representatives of the incoming administration have any contact with her rank-and-file Democrats — and why, sources say [...]

Pelosi “is not going to allow Obama to triangulate her,” said a Democratic source close to the leadership. “It’s not going to happen to her.”

Pelosi’s mantra, in a way, is “no surprises.” The speaker wants to be told when Reid is communicating with the Blue Dogs or other factions with her caucus, and she expects the same from Obama when he arrives in the Oval Office, said Democratic sources.

I think the story here is that Pelosi felt the need to tell this to Rahm Emanuel. Because this is what he did throughout his tenure on Pelosi's leadership team. If you read Down With Tyranny at any point in the last few years you'd already know this. Here's an example:

Right after Emanuel demanded Democratic congressional candidates "move to the right on immigration," one of his lackeys, North Carolina freshman Heath Shuler, introduced some Tancredo-esque enforcement-only legislation that has caused a serious split inside the House Democratic caucus. Republicans love it and this morning's CongressDaily reports they are petitioning to get Shuler's bill onto the floor for a vote. If enough treacherous Blue Dogs join with the Republicans and their petition tactic works (they need 170 signatures and their presidential candidate's blessing) "it would set up a platform for political attacks in the November elections, highlighting the GOP view that Congress should get tough on the border before addressing guest-worker visas or illegal immigrants."

And this has been a consistent pattern, reaching the point that Emanuel probably doesn't have to talk to anyone in her caucus for them to "go rogue." The conservative power center has already been propped up.

Pelosi has a fractious caucus that she was able to whip into decent party discipline only through restricting what would come up for vote. She wasn't able to handle Emanuel's influence when he was sitting right next to her in the House leadership; I can't imagine she'll have much more luck when he's up the street.