The last year of politics has seen Democrats take their newfound power and attempt to go full Leroy Jenkins with it. We are down to exactly two Democrat senators who are willing to say publicly they won't blow up the filibuster, and Sen. Joe Manchin seems to flounder on that promise more as each day passes.
Meanwhile, the House is a horror show of radical left policies, from federal takeovers of state elections to bills that essentially ban independent contractors. Making the entirety of the United States into California seems to be Rep. Nancy Pelosi's goal. That California is currently a disaster doesn't seem to play into her calculation.
But it's not just policy that Democrats are pushing the envelope on. When it comes to the inner workings of the House, Pelosi has thrown all caution to the wind, with the latest example being her select committee to investigate January 6th. In a deeply partisan move, she's taken the ability away from Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy to seat the Republicans he wants on the committee, a historical courtesy that was given to Pelosi when she was in the minority.
All of this is moving the Overton window to places Democrats aren't going to like in the future, and some are realizing that. Here's Sen. Mark Warner saying yesterday that he wishes his party never would have started messing with the filibuster, a move that ultimately led to a conservative majority (most of the time at least) on the Supreme Court.
Dem VA Sen Warner on Fox on filibuster: I..wish we wouldn’t even have started this a decade ago. When the Democratic ldrs actually changed the rules, I don’t think we would have the Supreme Court we did if we still had a 60 vote margin on the filibuster but we are where we are
— Chad Pergram (@ChadPergram) July 25, 2021
I have bad news for Warner – it's too late to escape the consequences of your party's actions.
Democrats would love nothing more than to call a cease-fire the moment Republicans retake power, but I believe we are finally at a point where even the squishiest of GOP members won't be able to sit idly by, at least on the House side.
That expectation is being echoed loudly now from within the halls of Congress, to the point where if McCarthy becomes Speaker and doesn't retaliate, specifically in regards to who gets to sit on what committees, he won't be Speaker for long.
“I didn't think things could get more partisan in the House than they already were,” a top Republican aide told the Washington Examiner. “But Speaker Pelosi's decision to remove Republicans from the January 6th Committee just took things to an entirely new level. When Republicans take back the House, expect endless retaliation.”…
…McCarthy, angered by Pelosi's move to overrule him on Jordan and Banks, has talked of using his power as House speaker, if the GOP wins the majority next year, to “decide who sits on every committee,” a source familiar with McCarthy's comments told the Washington Examiner. “Democrats would have no say.”
Actions have consequences. This idea of making a filibuster “exception” to pass a federal elections takeover or that the January 6th committee is so unique that it justifies breaking committee norms is not something that's going to be accepted among Republicans going forward. Democrats want to be able to shield themselves from the consequences of their decisions, but I think they are finally realizing they can't. They've gone too far and the horse can not be put back in the barn.
Given that, Republicans are going to take the precedents set and use them, just as they did with Harry Reid's blowing up of the judicial filibuster. Removing Rep. Ilhan Omar from all committee assignments will be an easy lay-up, but I expect McCarthy to go further. He knows he has to in order to remain in his position.
And that will be the right and just thing to do.