Speaking on the Senate floor shortly after the filibuster rule change was pushed through over his objections and that of all of his Republican colleagues, Sen. Charles Grassley (R-IA) was explicit: When Republicans control the White House and Senate, they will change the Senate rules to eliminate the filibuster for the Supreme Court, too.
It’s the GOP warning that there will be hell to pay — “a heavy, heavy price,” in John McCain’s words — when they are in the majority. Abortion, civil rights, environmental laws. We’ll hit you where it hurts.
It’s what Norm Ornstein is getting at when he told our Sahil Kapur that at some level Mitch McConnell wanted this to happen, and in this way, with Democrats going first so they can be blamed. “McConnell’s threat, it seems to me, makes clear the strategy: let Dems take the first step, and we will then bear no blame when we entirely blow up the Senate’s rules after we take all the reins of power.”
Harry Reid knew what he was getting into. But this is where we’re headed.
Late Update: TPM Reader LF makes a good point about this here.