Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Has Cheney met his match?

Could very well be.

Get your refreshments before the fight starts – it’s gonna be better than anything the Sweet Science has had to offer since Frazier-Ali. It’s Emanuel-Cheney, and this time the “go fuck yourself” will likely be directed at rather than issued from Big Time.

For six years, Cheney bent the 109th, 108th and 107th congresses over the lectern and had his way with them. When Cheney officially severed ties with reality and declared that he is not a member of the executive branch last week, the Democratic congress responded. Specifically, Rahm Emanuel responded. Hoo boy - did he ever respond! Don't call this Democrat spineless, thank you very much.

When Cheney went off the rails last week, Emanuel got that look in his eye my dog used to get when she saw a rabbit in the garden.

First he issued the chart, which was promptly posted by Josh Marshall, yours truly and every left-of-center blogger in between:

Then he commenced with flayin’ the fat man, and shows no signs of letting up. Remember, this is a guy who once mailed a pollster a dead fish, and who is a pro at Chicago-style kick-‘em-in-the-nuts and leave ‘em writhing on the floor bloodsport politics.

Cheney only thinks he knows how to be a motherfucker. Rahm Emanuel knows the fine art of sliding a shiv between the ribs of an opponent with a smile.

On Wednesday, he is introducing an amendment to strike the funding for the vice-presidents operating budget from the executive branch appropriations bill.

Emanuel's proposed amendment would withhold the $4.4 million for Cheney's office until the vice president admits he's in the executive branch or the Government Accountability Office determines which branch Cheney serves in.

The goal is not to cut off the money, but to force a recognition that Cheney is in the executive branch and subject to the order on secrecy.

``The vice president has a choice to make,'' Emanuel said. ``If he believes his legal case, his office has no business being funded as part of the executive branch. However, if he demands executive-branch funding, he cannot ignore executive branch rules.''

The showdown is coming tomorrow. Will Cheney snap and lose it? Rahm is a verbal streetfighter – will he push Big Time's buttons to the point of meltdown? An authoritarian control freak is pretty easy to get a disproportionate response from. He is already pissed off over having his authority challenged in the first damned place.

Emanuel knows his enemy, and frankly, I await the goading with bated breath. (C’mon Dick – I'm rootin' for ya - don’t disappoint – take the bait – you know you want to – open that fetid maw and let fly!!!) After all what does he have to lose? A couple of points off his Agnew-esque approval rating?

I have been waiting for a political fistfight since Webb didn’t deck aWol at tht reception last winter. I have long hoped that former boxer Harry Reid would just sucker-punch Mitch McConnell live on C-Span – and that is still a favorite fantasy – but I will settle for a rhetorical set-to between Emanuel and Cheney, at least for now. When it comes down to a bare-knuckled political brawl, always take the street-smart Jew from Chicago who knows from hurling invective most colorfully over the pudgy prick with the heart condition.

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