Rep. Cummings to Issa: Stop the “public harassment” of #IRS official

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IRS

The Washington Examiner reports that, unsurprisingly, Democrat obstructionist Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-MD) is demanding the House Oversight committee stop the “public harassment of an agency head” – IRS Commissioner John Koskinen:

The top Democrat on the House Oversight and Government Reform panel is objecting to a plan to call the Internal Revenue Service commissioner to testify for a third time in a matter of weeks, calling it “public harassment of an agency head.”

Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., sent a letter Monday to Chairman Darrell Issa, R-Calif., objecting to a decision to call Commissioner John Koskinen to testify at a hearing on Wednesday. It would be the third time Koskinen appeared before the panel in the past month, Cummings noted.

“Requiring Commissioner Koskinen to testify again this week not only takes him away from the day-to-day duties of operating an agency with 90,000 employees, but it also diverts our Committee from conducting responsible oversight on many key areas that traditionally have been part of our jurisdiction,” Cummings said in the letter.

Because how dare Congress demand answers!?

In reality, we know exactly why Cummings wants this inconvenient scandal involving a gross violation of the public’s trust, not to mention numerous violations of federal law, to magically go away. And not just because it could potentially implicate Cummings himself, but also because it’s an embarrassment to this White House at a crucial time during a critical election year. Can’t have any pesky facts be made public about the blatant abuses of power at the IRS, now can we?

The Left’s obsession with the Redskins

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**Posted by Phineas

Everything is political

Everything is political

Amidst all the other outrageous outrages that outrage the outraged Left these days, you may have noticed a controversy (well, controversial to the Left) over the team name of the Washington Redskins, a name the team has used for over 80 years with no one complaining (1).

Well, no one until Harry Reid, the national Democrats, and the Left (but I repeat myself) decided they needed something, anything, to distract people from the failures of Obamacare and the lousy economy (and the crashing foreign policy and… Well, you get the idea.). Hence, in the last year or so, the professional Left has turned on the Redskins, decrying their name as offensive, hateful, and …brace yourselves… “racist” against American Indians. (2) The way they carry on, you’d think they were fighting the civil rights battles of the 50s and 60s all over again.

And, in fact, according to Dennis Prager, that is indeed one of the reasons the Left has gone bonkers over the team name: it makes them feel good, as if they’re reliving the battles of their fathers and grandfathers. Call it a self-esteem booster shot. Writing at Real Clear Politics, he give four additional reasons for the Left’s mania. It’s a good article, so click through for the rest, but I want to highlight one that I think cuts to the root of the matter:

Fifth, and finally, the left is totalitarian at heart. Whenever possible, they seek control of others; and they love to throw their considerable weight around. The left-wing president does it so often that the Supreme Court has unanimously shot down his attempts on a dozen occasions. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch, under huge pressure from leftists, just dropped conservative Pulitzer-Prize winning columnist George Will. Under pressure from left-wing professors and students, Brandeis and other universities dropped the few conservative speakers they had invited to this year’s commencement exercises. Forcing the Redskins to do their will is just the left’s latest attempt to force its views on the vast majority of its fellow citizens. That’s why it’s worth fighting for the Redskins. Today it’s the Redskins, tomorrow it’s you.

Emphasis added. Ever hear the expression “the personal is the political?” It was a rallying cry of the student movement and leftist feminists in the 60s that argued there was no separation between daily life (work, play, family, sports, &c.) and what we think of as traditional politics (elections, legislation, and so on). Every aspect of your personal life, including your recreation, is as much open to politics as is your choice of party to support. Support a team the name of which some faction finds politically incorrect, and you’ll be subject to political action to make you change your ways and the way you think. Our Betters on the Left know what’s best for us all and they have a driving urge to make sure we all conform.

Even if all you want to do is watch your favorite team and forget about the world for a while.

Footnote:
(1) There’s a survey by the Annenberg Public Policy Center showing that less than ten percent of American Indians find the name “Redskins” offensive. It’s from 2004, however, so it might be interesting to resurvey that.
(2) No disrespect intended to members of the various tribal nations, but I’ve never liked the term “Native American” when referring to the descendants of the people who were here before the European colonization. I was born here, my parents were born here, my grandparents were born here, and so were most of my great-grandparents. I’m native to America, too, and I refuse to use a term that in any way slights my right to be here.

(Crossposted at Public Secrets)

Speaker Boehner’s meaningless, craven lawsuit

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**Posted by Phineas

"Timid"

“Timid”

Pathetic. Speaker John Boehner announced plans for the House to sue President Obama in court to force him to do his job and enforce the laws. Without being specific about the grounds of the suit, one can safely assume it covers Obama’s non-enforcement of immigration laws along the southwest border and, perhaps, the administration’s unilateral rewrites and illegal waivers of the Affordable Care Act and it’s serial failure to cooperate in the IRS investigations.

Speaking to the press, Boehner added the following:

Boehner strongly brushed aside a question of whether impeachment proceedings could result from the suit. “This is not about impeachment. This is about his (Obama’s) faithfully executing the laws of our country,” he said.

Pardon me a moment; I was rolling my eyes so hard on reading that, I was getting dizzy.

Mr. Speaker, on taking office, every president swears the following oath:

“I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my Ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.”

The President is Chief Magistrate of the United States, its top federal law-enforcer. “Faithfully execute” means doing that job. If you are suing because the president has broken his oath by not faithfully executing the duties of his office, then you have perforce invoked grounds for impeachment by reason of maladministration.

You’ve said it, so don’t go denying in the next breath what we all know it means. Leave being a weasel to the Democrats.

More:

He also rejected a suggestion that the suit was designed to give traditional Republican voters a reason for going to the polls this fall when control of Congress will be at stake.

“This is about defending the institution in which we serve,” he said. “What we’ve seen clearly over the last five years is an effort to erode the power of the legislative branch.”

Argh. The Congress has been surrendering legislative power to the Executive, more under Democrats, less so under Republicans, since the Progressive era. More and more regulatory authority has been given to panels of bureaucrats in the guise of “rule making,” when really it amounts to the power to make law. It’s more accurate to say this process has greatly expanded under Obama, who pushes the bounds like no president has since FDR (or maybe Nixon), but let’s not pretend this hasn’t been going on for a long time. If the Congress were truly interested in “defending its prerogatives,” as Madison intended, it has had plenty of opportunities, but has done so only fitfully.

You want to “defend the institution” in which you serve? Then forget the ridiculous lawsuit (and Senator Paul’s and Senator Johnson’s); you don’t resolve political power struggles between the legislature and the presidency by running crying to the courts (1). You have two powers: cutting off funds and impeachment. The former seems to be ineffective, but you have the latter. As I wrote yesterday:

I’d suggest forming another [House Select Investigating Committee] for the IRS scandal and one for Fast and Furious, both with full subpoena powers and special counsel hired to lead the inquiries. They all should work through the summer and, when done, present their findings to the full House. Forget the Department of Justice; it can’t be trusted with Eric Holder in charge. Instead, the House should impeach whomever is found culpable by the investigations.

While impeaching the President himself isn’t politically practical (yet), his political appointees bear the same responsibility as he: faithful execution of the laws and obedience to the Constitution. If committee investigations find any derelict in their duties, such as top management at the IRS, impeach them, place them on trial before the Senate, and make Harry Reid defend their abuses of power. Fence Obama in by taking away his minions.

That’s how you defend the institution, Mr. Speaker. If you really want to.

Footnote:
(1) For one thing, the courts rely on the Executive to enforce their orders. If you can’t trust Obama to enforce the laws…

(Crossposted at Public Secrets)

Team Clinton ‘worried’ about #Benghazi investigation, pushed for Dems on panel

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Hillary Clinton testifies on Benghazi

HIllary Clinton testifies on Benghazi. – January 2013

The Politico reports that in spite of the grandstanding of several House Democrats in response to the creation of the Benghazi special committee led by Congressman Trey Gowdy (R-SC), Team Clinton played a large role in getting them to agree to participate:

Hillary Clinton’s world was so worried about a Republican investigation of the Benghazi attacks, they sent a message to House Democrats: We need backup.

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) publicly considered boycotting the panel, an idea that Clinton supporters feared would leave the potential 2016 candidate exposed to the enemy fire of House Republicans.

So Clinton emissaries launched a back channel campaign, contacting several House Democratic lawmakers and aides to say they’d prefer Democrats participate, according to sources familiar with the conversations. Pelosi’s staff said they have not heard from Clinton’s camp.

On Wednesday, Pelosi appointed five Democrats to the committee, giving Democrats another crucial mission in the months ahead of what was already a tough election year: act as Clinton’s first line of defense.

[…]

Clinton and her allies know from experience the kind of damage an emboldened Republican House committee can inflict.

If Clinton testifies, it will almost certainly be one of the blockbuster moments for the committee and an important prelude as she considers a second run for the White House.

Some Democrats are already worried that they have been too slow to prepare for the expected partisan battles on Benghazi. Republicans have been teeing up for months.

The Democrats on the committee may be able to blunt some of the damage, but I think it’s Clinton herself who will be her own worst enemy if called to testify.   When on the defensive, she comes off as such – taking the typical Clintonian attitude that she shouldn’t dare be called to account, that everything she does is “for the greater good” and shouldn’t be questioned … and that attitude shows in her responses, as it did the last time around.  

As always, stay tuned.

(Via Memeorandum)

Chilling: Reid would back Constitutional amendment limiting free speech

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Senator Harry Reid

His photo doesn’t appear next to the word ”fascist” in the dictionary, but it should.

He’s not just losing it. He has LOST it. Via BuzzFeed:

WASHINGTON — Frustrated by the “sewer” of modern American political campaigns, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid Wednesday said that he would bring a constitutional amendment to the floor granting Congress the ability to set strict new limits on campaign contributions, warning he will force multiple votes if necessary to pass the measure.

“When I came to Congress, when you got money you had to list who you got it from, what their occupation was, address, and phone numbers if you had it. Then I saw things change. In 1998, [former Sen.] John Ensign and I ran against one another and we spent about $10 million in Nevada,” Reid told BuzzFeed during an interview in his Capitol office.

[…]

Things had changed for the good, he said, by 2004. “I felt so clean and pure with McCain-Feingold, which had come into being, it was wonderful. We were back where we should have been,” he said.

Then the Supreme Court handed down the Citizens United ruling, Reid said, opening the flood gates to hundreds of millions of largely unregulated money to SuperPACs. “It was as if I had jumped into the sewer … it’s awful what has happened.”

Although a number of Democrats, most notably New Mexico Sen. Tom Udall, have talked about passing a constitutional amendment to re-impose campaign finance restrictions, Reid had not been one of them — until now.

[…]

“It’s been tried before, we should continue to push this and it should become our issue. That really puts the Koch brothers up against it. We believe and I believe that there should be spending limits. We’re going to push a constitutional amendment so we can limit spending because what is going on today is awful,” Reid vowed, indicating that he’ll bring Udall’s measure to the Senate floor soon.

“We’re going to arrange a vote on it. We’re going to do it until we pass it because that’s the salvation of our country.”

Here’s a little tip: It’s not going to pass.  Absolutely positively will not. Has no chance. Reid is showboating here, hoping that not even his supporters grasp the full depth of what he is advocating – basically a Constitutional amendment that would limit the free speech of American citizens simply because they oppose the Democratic party’s agenda.

Hot Air’s Ed Morrissey breaks it down:

This is a scream of impotence, in more ways than one. First, SJ-19 has no more chance of passing out of Congress than does a bill amending the Constitution to forbid abortion. It takes two-thirds of both chambers of Congress (Article V) to send an amendment to state legislatures, and Reid won’t get to 60 in the Senate. The House won’t address it at all. Furthermore, it’s doubtful that even a majority of state legislatures would take it up; more of them are Republican than Democrat, and they’ve seen the malicious prosecution that results when putting this much power in the hands of partisans in the executive branch. Wisconsin just provided an excellent example of that.

So this is just cheap political theater in an attempt to demonize two particular donors who just happen to oppose Reid’s agenda. Democrats are about to climb onto that bandwagon that proclaims that Americans can’t be trusted to discern political arguments and that the governing class should decide who gets to participate in politics. If that’s the only strategy Reid has left for the midterms, well … Democrats are in bigger trouble than we realized.

But just imagine if he had the votes in both chambers to do this.   Think about it.  And then imagine if the roles were reversed and this was a Republican engaged in this level of grandstanding, and how the media would howl with outrage that Republicans were taking their attempts at “silencing the opposition” to a “whole new frightening level.”

Honestly, I’ve always figured Reid to be a complete snake – but this shameless attempt at basically burning the First Amendment to the Constitution takes it to a whole new disturbing level, and should chill everyone to the bone … including even the people who vote for him time and time again to represent them in Washington, DC.  But I won’t hold my breath, because that would require a consideration of citizens other than themselves, as well as a recollection of the principles upon which this country was founded – and a majority of Nevadans have repeatedly demonstrated every time they vote to keep fascists like Reid in office how little they care about the devastating consequences of their vote, not just on their state, but the country as well.

(Hat tip: Memeorandum)

Today’s progressive hypocrisy: Dick Durbin’s (D-IL) war on women

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**Posted by Phineas

Hypocrite

Hypocrite

Continuing their quest to find something, anything at all, to distract people from the failures of Obamacare and to rally their increasingly dispirited base, Democrats and the MSM have turned to harping on “pay equality,” the idea that women are paid less than men for comparable work. A recent news article propaganda piece in The Huffington Post reported that a study showed women earning 77 cents for every dollar a man earned. Even though this study has been shown to be shoddy and tendentious, and even though the White House admitted the 77-cent figure is wrong, loyal troops such as Dick Durbin have gone onto the Senate floor to loudly proclaim the need for a “Paycheck Fairness Act” to address this horrific discrimination.

Maybe Senator Durbin should start with his own staff:

Durbin took to the Senate floor on Tuesday to preach on the importance of passing legislation aimed at solving the gender pay gap.

“How serious is equal pay for equal work to working people across America?” said Durbin, “I think it’s critical.”

The average female salary is $11,505 lower than the average male salary in Durbin’s office, according to an analysis of Senate salary data from fiscal year 2013 that showed that more than two-thirds of Democratic Senate offices pay men more than women.

Four of the five highest paid staffers on Durbin’s staff are men, according to the analysis.

Of course, it’s hard to gain access to that pay, when women don’t have access to the higher-paying  jobs, themselves. As the Free Beacon points out, none of the Senate Democratic leadership has a female chief of staff.

Why do Dick Durbin and Harry Reid hate women?

PS: To be clear, Durbin and his colleagues couldn’t give a rat’s rear end about “paycheck equality” or any of the other “Look! It’s Elvis!!” issues they’ve been throwing against the wall. But they’ve seen the electoral train wreck headed their way, thanks to Obamacare, and they’re looking for anything that might soften the blow. Hence, too, Harry Reid’s “Koch conspiracy” insanity. It’s pathetic, really.

(Crossposted at Public Secrets)

Surprise: Campaign cash helped bring about $enate Dems’ climate change “talkathon”

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Cash

Money talk$ ….

The Washington Post’s “The Fix” blog provides some intriguing background into what led up to tonight’s so-called “climate change talkathon” Senate Democrats will engage in into tomorrow morning on the floor of the US Senate:

Dozens of Democratic senators plan to speak out Monday night into early Tuesday morning about their growing concerns with climate change.  Adopting a strategy used in the past year to great effect by Republican senators  — Ted Cruz, anyone? — at least 28 Democrats plan to use floor time to raise their concerns on the lack of attention being paid to climate change — although there is no single bill or even set of bills for which they will be advocating.

Tonight’s program “isn’t about a particular bill,” said Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.), who helped organize the talkathon. “This is about trying to raise the profile and being to gain some momentum on this issue. Then I think we’re in a position to ask corporate America and other groups and organizations to get more engaged and open the kind of space it will take to pass a bill. But the first thing we have to show is that we’re engaged ourselves.”

That all sounds nice. And we have no doubt that Whitehouse is genuine in his desire to raise the profile of climate issues. But, there is another more political reason for the decision by Senate Democrats to devote their time to the issue right now. And that issue is campaign cash.

Environmental groups spent about $20 million on ads and other activities to help Democrats in 2012 and gave about $742,000 directly to candidates during the cycle, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. During last year’s Virginia gubernatorial election, the League of Conservation Voters was the biggest outside spender in the race between Democrat Terry McAuliffe and Republican Ken Cuccinelli, and ran television ads targeting Cuccinelli for suggesting that global warming is not linked to human activity. Already in this cycle the group is running ads on behalf of Sen. Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii), who is locked in a bitter Democratic primary and is a lead organizer of Monday evening’s events.

[…]

[Billionaire businessman Thomas] Steyer hosted a recent fundraiser at his San Francisco home that netted the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee $400,000 and where Senate Majority Leader Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.) and the six other Democratic senators in attendance openly discussed plans for tonight’s talkathon, according to reports. Reid also has vowed to allow his colleagues to discuss the issue during their weekly lunches and on the Senate floor.

Wowsers. I’ve heard of big money buying votes many times over in politics at all levels, but explicitly buying dedicated time on the Senate floor?    Kinda takes the term “up for sale” to a whole new disturbing level, doesn’t it?  And it shouldn’t surprise anyone that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s hands are all over this.  They don’t call him “Dirty Harry” for nothin’

This Happened: Pelosi turns into a war hawk on Syria

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When it comes to acts of war, it’s amazing what a difference who the President is makes:

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi pressed top administration officials Thursday night to take military action to punish Syrian President Bashar Assad in response to reports that he used chemical weapons in his nation’s ongoing civil war.

“It is clear that the American people are weary of war. However, Assad gassing his own people is an issue of our national security, regional stability and global security,” Pelosi said in a statement after the 90-minute conference call with members of the National Security Council and 26 high-ranking lawmakers.

The White House organized the conference call — which was unclassified because of a lack of secure phone lines — at a time when congressional demands for more information on both the intelligence regarding the alleged chemical weapons attack and President Barack Obama’s plans for a military response are growing.

House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) was more measured than Pelosi in his approach, according to Democratic sources familiar with the call. Boehner, along with Pelosi and other lawmakers from both sides of the aisle, emphasized the need for administration officials to continue consulting with Congress —essentially saying Obama would be better served by working harder to win over Congress before launching military strikes.

But then, according to another source, Pelosi shifted gears. Pelosi “said we should do something,” the second source said, adding that Pelosi was advocating “for action.”

This is an especially fascinating turnaround for Pelosi not just on the “need for war” front, but on the Assad front, considering her fawning visit to meet with the Syrian “leader” personally in April 2007, a visit that was widely criticized by conservatives at the time as detrimental to the interests of the United States – criticism that was met with the typical “oh, you just oppose her visit because she’s a woman” garbage from The Usual Suspects.  What’s changed? Who the President is, that’s what. Imagine if this was a Republican President pushing for action?

That being said, I’m not going to deny that the pictures and stories coming out of Syria right now are horrific and that some type of action (not necessarily military) needs to be taken, but Americans are extremely war weary after Afghanistan and Iraq, and not even our staunchest ally Britain is willing to join us in whatever action the POTUS ultimately decides to take.  What we’d be putting ourselves in the middle of is a brutal civil war that likely would not end after our involvement started … and eventually stopped.  The President and his fellow new hawks on the left, should they decide launching cruise missile and drone strikes is an appropriate and necessary response, better be prepared to have an iron-clad case for doing so because the “threat to our national security” assertion made by newfound hawk Pelosi and others simply does not cut it.

As they say, stay tuned …. and pray.

Pelosi and Assad

”We came in friendship, hope, and determined
that the road to Damascus is a road to peace.”
– Then House-Speaker Nancy Pelosi, April 2007

Questions for @RepSpeier (D-CA 14) about Bob “Filthy” Filner #WarOnWomen

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**Posted by Phineas

Dear Representative Jackie Speier,

In an article excerpted today in the California Political Review, you are quoted as saying Bob Filner should resign as Mayor of San Diego:

“In [Filner’s] case, I think he was abusing his power, and I find it disgusting that he would hit on sexual assault victims in the military or veterans, I should say,” Speier said.

You’ve served as part of the California delegation to the House and as a member of the Democratic caucus there since since 2008. Filner was in the House from 1993-2012, also as a member of the Democratic caucus. So you overlapped for four years. It’s been widely reported that Bob Filner was harassing women during his time in the House. Indeed, that’s where he got the nickname “Filthy,” as well as a few others. The former head of the California Democratic Party flew to Washington to speak to Bob about his “issue.” There’s no way this stayed secret from the caucus leadership and, given the number of women complaining about Filner’s behavior in the House, it’s difficult to believe you didn’t know.

And so some questions come to mind:

When did you first hear of Bob Filner’s disgusting behavior in the House? Why did you not complain about it then? Why did you not demand his resignation or expulsion? Since you had to have known about it then, why are you only denouncing it now? Are you concerned your caucus leadership was apparently engaged in a cover up of a sexual predator who preyed on veterans? Were you part of that cover up? Will you denounce Nancy Pelosi’s involvement in a cover up and her effective enabling of Bob Filner’s abuse of women?

And, if you truly didn’t know what was going on, if you didn’t notice what so many women were complaining about and you weren’t “read in” by your caucus leadership, are you concerned about what that says about your job performance and place in the caucus and the California delegation?

Will you resign for your failure as a feminist to protect the women of the House?

Kind Regards,

–A California Voter

(Crossposted at Public Secrets)

Democrats may well curse Harry Reid’s name in future years

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**Posted by Phineas

"Ready to shoot his own foot off?"

“Ready to shoot his own foot off?”

For reasons that that amount to pique and pettiness (both qualities the Senate Majority Leader possesses in abundance), Harry Reid has decided that this upcoming week would be a good time to gut the filibuster, the procedure that allows a determined minority to block legislation or a nominee it doesn’t like by threatening to keep talking and prevent a vote. (In  modern times, the threat is all that’s really been needed, Rand Paul’s filibuster aside. Real talk-until-you-drop filibusters have become quite rare.) To move to a vote, the majority has needed at least 60 votes to tell the other side to, well, shut up and vote. Republicans, having the temerity to act like an opposition party and often filibuster the administration’s agenda and appointees (both of which actions I heartily approve), have incurred Darth Reid’s wrath. And so, he wants to break the filibuster:

On Monday, Reid informed President Barack Obama about his intention to use the nuclear option if no deal is struck, sources said, and Obama signaled he would support the effort.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), who is trying to head off the high-stakes fight, privately reached out to Vice President Joe Biden, but it’s expected that Biden would vote with Democrats in case there’s a 50-50 tie.

The crisis could still be averted. Reid signaled that he would drop the threat of the nuclear option if Republicans ended their filibusters on pending Obama nominees.

But senators in both parties agreed Thursday that if Reid moves to change the rules by 51 votes, it would be used by the majority in the future to further weaken the filibuster, potentially eliminating the potent procedural weapon altogether one day. While Democrats said they were willing to roll the dice on the nuclear option, believing the GOP would go that route anyway when they get back in the majority, Republicans said Reid’s move all but assured a continued weakening — and eventual demolition — of the filibuster.

While Reid claims he was “Mr. Bipartisan Comity” back when the filibuster was a serious issue in 2005 over Bush judicial nominees (Harry put it much more colorfully in the article), the truth is far different.

Why Reid needs to fear having his name cursed for all time by future Democratic caucuses is something pointed out by Democrats and Republican senators quoted in the Politico piece: if Reid make the Democrats do away with the filibuster for Cabinet and other Executive Branch appointees, there’s nothing to stop a future Republican majority from eliminating it for judicial appointments and legislation. Think not only of Supreme Court appointees; the Republicans have a whole laundry list full of items they’d love to ram through with only 51 votes:

[Senator Lamar] Alexander, a longtime institutionalist, agrees, saying now it would be far harder to tell future Republican majority leaders to forgo eliminating the filibuster if Reid acts next week. Alexander claimed it would allow future Republican-led Senates to easily approve a laundry list of GOP dreams: national right-to-work laws, finishing the Keystone XL pipeline, repealing Obamacare and altering Dodd-Frank financial rules.

“We’ll take our case to the people, we’ll argue for a new majority and then Republicans will be in a position to do whatever Republicans with 51 votes want to do,” Alexander said. “The more we think about it, the more attractive it becomes.”

And when that happens —and it will— current and future Democrat senators will rue the day ol’ Pinky Reid came out of Searchlight, Nevada.

On my own part, I oppose eliminating the filibuster. While nowhere a part of the Constitution, it evolved as a natural and fitting part of our Madisonian system of government, which is designed to make the passage of major legislation difficult and slow. The filibuster assures that the minority’s concerns are taken into account and major legislation is passed with something approaching a consensus. (Remember the ire generated by the tricks used to ram Obamacare through?) And if concerns aren’t addressed and consensus isn’t reached, then the bill is blocked, as it should be.

Do away with that, effectively turning the Senate into a smaller version of the House, and you’ll wind up with something akin to the British parliamentary system, where the majority in Commons has, in essence, a legislative dictatorship.

But, if Harry wants to torpedo his own future minority caucus, far be it from me to stop him. We, after all, have a list.

RELATED: Conservative analyst Avik Roy argues that Republicans should support reform of the filibuster, for many of the reasons Sen. Alexander mentioned. I don’t agree with him, but it’s an argument worth considering.

(Crossposted at Public Secrets)