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Fire In the Hole

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Charlie Rangel wants to evict Dick Cheney:

Harlem's newly powerful Rep. Charles Rangel wants to stick it to his White House nemesis Vice President Cheney – by taking over his spacious House office.

At the same time, the veteran congressman offered a limp olive branch to the vice president yesterday, saying he regretted publicly calling him an SOB last week.

"I take back saying that publicly. I should have reserved that for him when we were together privately," said Rangel. "Believe me, he would have understood."

Rangel (D-Harlem), poised to become the next chairman of the important House Ways and Means Committee, spoke of the need for bipartisanship with the Republicans, even as he continued his feud with Cheney.

"Mr. Cheney enjoys an office on the second floor on the House of Representatives that historically has been designated as the Ways and Means chairman," Rangel mused. "And, I've talked with [future Speaker of the House] Nancy Pelosi … and I'm trying to find some way to be gentle as I restore the dignity of that office to the chair."

The White House declined to comment.

In the past, Rangel has branded the vice president a "draft dodger" and Cheney has predicted that Rangel would destroy the economy as head of the Ways and Means Committee.

I admit this is mostly just schadenfreude, but given the campaign rhetoric engaed in by Bush, Cheney and a legion of others about Nancy Pelosi and her dangerous varietally hued committee chairs, it's quite a poetically artful move.  According to the NYT, current Ways and Means chairman Bill Thomas allows Cheney to use the office.  They quote Rangel as saying "It’s going to be my office. That’s right, it is.”

Expect much hand-wriging on the part of the right about how lacking in the spirit of bipartisanship this is, but the first Democrat who echoes these sentiments gets to go hunting with Dead Eye.

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Jane Hamsher

Jane Hamsher

Jane is the founder of Firedoglake.com. Her work has also appeared on the Huffington Post, Alternet and The American Prospect. She’s the author of the best selling book Killer Instinct and has produced such films Natural Born Killers and Permanent Midnight. She lives in Washington DC.
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