Let The Infighting Begin! Rangel Vs. Clyburn

Bye-bye Kumbaya...

Jonathan Weisman of the Journal has a great read on agenda-jockeying between the Obama campaign and House Democrats.

Let's just say the prospects for pan-Dem consensus are dimming by the second -- and this comes five days before the party is poised to see its biggest gains in years.

Charlie Rangel -- a charter member of the Congressional Black Caucus -- goes after Jim Clyburn, another CBC stalwart, over the pace of (presumed) reforms in a (hypothetical) Obama administration.

"It's better to let things evolve than to revolve. Revolutions are dangerous," cautioned Rep. James Clyburn of South Carolina, the House Majority Whip, who advises a pragmatic approach to governance that would begin with items that have proven bipartisan support before tackling ambitious elements such as universal health care.

"He's a national leader, Clyburn," House Ways and Means Chairman Charles Rangel of New York snapped back, embodying the views of liberals who want to move fast on the most ambitious version of Obamanomics possible. "I'm thinking of his constituents, and he doesn't have the slightest clue what he's talking about."

It's probably wise not to read too much into this, from a Charlie-being-Charlie perspective. Plus there might be some simmering resentment left over from the South Carolina primary last January (Rangel braved a backlash by campaigning for Hillary; Clyburn sat on the fence but lambasted Bill--and the Clinton camp accused him of being a secret Obama-nik). 

It also provides a possible a clue about Rangel's future: Rumors swirled that the Ways & Means chairman would resign in the wake of his mini-scandals this summer. But Rangel inserted himself into the bailout talks and he's not talking like a guy who plans to sit out the post-elections legislative frenzy.