Christian Coalition

HD Commentary by Earl Cox



Exodus 17 tells how Amalekites, descendants of Esau’s grandson, attacked the children of Israel in the desert of Sinai during their exodus from Egypt. This unprovoked attack was especially serious and the Israelites battled all day, only achieving victory at nightfall.

In response to this demonstration of cruelty, the Lord told Moses that he would blot out the remembrance of Amalek from under heaven. Moses later recounted: “the Lord will have war with Amalek from generation to generation” (Exodus 17:16). Amalek’s attack on the children of Israel was now a perpetual war between him and the God of Israel.

Amalek was not just a foe, but a genocidal one, so in Jewish tradition the Amalekites came to represent the archetypal enemy of the Jews present in generation after generation. It is interesting to note that some one thousand years later, in the book of Esther, the arch villain Haman was an Amalekite who led the plot to kill the Jews.

The Longest Hatred

This evil pursuit of the Jewish people has continued for millennia, which is why historian Robert Wistrich calls anti-Semitism "the longest hatred." Every time this genocidal hatred seems to be dying out it reinvents itself with a different look and a different name. But the goal is always the same: to rid the world of the Jewish people.

In the ancient world, classical anti-Semitism was a clash between pagan rulers, who demanded obedient homage, and their Jewish subjects, who would only worship and obey the God of Israel. The Jewish people could not bow down to earthly leaders, and were bound by the Sinaitic Law to certain behaviors and observances that set them apart and incurred the wrath of their rulers.

Religious anti-Semitism

After the rise of Christianity the problem did not go away. It is a travesty that anti-Semitism was then found in the heart of Christian Europe. Indeed, in the annals of those who persecuted and hated the Jewish people are professing Christians. Space does not permit a full treatment of this sad story, but centuries of state and church-backed denigration, persecution, forced conversions, and expulsions actually paved the way for the Holocaust.

Proof of this is found in the fact that Martin Luther’s anti-Semitic writings were published and distributed by the Nazis in order to justify their anti-Jewish laws and eventually their extermination program. Hitler admitted as much when he told two Catholic Bishops who questioned his policy that “he was only putting into effect what Christianity had preached and practiced for 2000 years.”

Racial anti-Semitism

The form of anti-Semitism found in Nazi ideology was not based on religion, however, but on racial theories about the superiority of the Aryan race. Whereas Christianity had sought the conversion of the Jews, and state leaders had sought their expulsion, the Nazis sought the “final solution to the Jewish question,” the murder of all Jews and their eradication from the human race.

The good news is that these older forms of anti-Semitism are socially unacceptable in the 21st century. Religious bigotry and racism are frowned upon and are antithetical to the prevailing ideologies of globalism and secularism.

Political anti-Semitism

The bad news is that Israel, a Jewish nation-state, is also antithetical to both globalism and secularism. Therefore, the modern form of anti-Semitism that has found a stronghold and large-scale acceptance today is political. It is against the Jewish state and is called anti-Zionism.

There is still religious anti-Semitism, but this time it is found throughout the Muslim world and is responsible for the genocidal rhetoric emanating from Iran. Muslim anti-Semitism, however, is tolerated by anti-Zionist Western leaders who blame it on Israeli policies.

Not all criticism of Israel can be considered anti-Semitic. However, criticism of Israel becomes anti-Semitic when it delegitimizes the state and questions its right to exist, when it uses anti-Jewish rhetoric and stereotypes or compares Israelis to Nazis, when it judges Israel by a different standard than for any other nation, and when it becomes an excuse to attack local Jewish individuals and institutions.

During the 2014 war in Gaza, a defensive war on Israel’s part to prevent further missile launches from Hamas, there were attacks on synagogues and Jewish citizens in France, refrains such as “Jews to the Gas” in Germany, the use of swastikas at anti-Israel demonstrations, and anti-Semitic caricatures in newspapers and social media.

While America is a safe-haven today for Jews fleeing Europe, low levels of anti-Semitism here should not be taken for granted. As American Christians, we should take every opportunity to stand in solidarity with the Jewish community, attending their Holocaust remembrance events, and teaching our children to recognize anti-Semitism and take a stand against it.

This generation’s battle is not so much with the Amalek of old, and its pagan, Christian or racial anti-Semitism, but with the Amalek of today—the rabid anti-Israel movement that demonizes the Jewish people and nation while excusing Muslim anti-Semitism. This one is on our watch, and it is our responsibility to stand against it.

Susan Michael is the US Director for the International Christian Embassy Jerusalem and creator of The ICEJ is bringing Holocaust education to Christians worldwide through its partnership with Yad Vashem, Israel’s Holocaust Memorial.


Secretary of State John Kerry is urging congressional opponents of the emerging nuclear deal with Iran to "hold their fire" until they see a final agreement in two months.

"The whole purpose of the sanctions was to have a negotiation; now we're having that negotiation and I think we've earned the right through what we've achieved in the interim agreement," Kerry said.

Since reaching a framework agreement on April 2, the Obama administration has repeatedly urged the Senate to refrain from voting on legislation requiring congressional approval to lift sanctions against Iran. The president promised to veto any such bill.

Meanwhile, Kerry said he will brief lawmakers over the next two days as part of the administration's effort to beat back the move for congressional approval to lift sanctions on the Islamic Republic.

"We've earned the right to be able to try and complete this without interference and certainly without partisan politics," Kerry told CBN's "Face the Nation."

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, meanwhile, said Iran will not sign any agreement that doesn't immediately lift all existing sanctions.

The bill, co-sponsored by Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., and Sen. Bob Menendez, D-N.J., would allow Congress to weigh in on sanctions.

June 30 is the deadline for a final agreement.

A brand new, first-of-its-kind Muslim college at Berkeley, California, received its accreditation March 15, 2015 from the Western Association of Schools and Colleges.   Zaytuna College has two co-founders.   One, Hamza Yusuf, states that this first Muslim college gives “our community its first accredited academic address in the U.S.  And we hope, God willing, that there will be more such Muslim colleges and universities to come.”

Most Americans know Islamic mosques are popping up all over the U.S., in big cities and in small rural towns.   Less know there are some 22 Islamic training camps (12 along the east coast and four in California).  I frequently fly between Israel and the U.S.   At security, men and women in Islamic headdresses perform security checks and handle baggage.   At a DC area mall, I observed the presence of almost as many Muslim mothers pushing baby strollers and trailed by their other children as there were women wearing traditional American garb.  Indeed, the Obama administration has instigated a massive, deliberate importation of Muslim refugees from Syria, Jordan and elsewhere.  This population is growing faster than most Americans care to admit.

In the old days, who would have cared how many nations or ideologies were seen, especially between Boston, New York and D.C.   I remember when the Hare Krishna converts seemed to be everywhere in D.C. as were women from India with their long dresses and forehead jewels, as an example.  But they didn’t fly airplanes into tall buildings or vow to kill all Americans who refused to convert to their religious beliefs.  What does a little Muslim college in Berkeley, California, have to do with a rapidly expanding Muslim presence in the United States? Believe me, just as all Germans were not Hitlers; all Muslims are not terrorists but a rose by any other name is still a rose.  Whether benign or guilty, the Quran is still the Quran and Sharia Law is Sharia Law.

Look at it this way.  If you see bees swarming in your attic, you instinctively know each bee is not dangerous.  In fact, the entire beehive, in the right place for the right purpose is beneficial.  Think honey.  But, what if your attic had two types of bees that had made their nests and were swarming and you couldn’t tell the difference between the two.  One was deadly and the other was not.  Now you have a dilemma that must be carefully solved.  An exterminator would surely rid your home of the deadly bees, preserving most of the honey bees.  Would you dare to intervene and try to coddle and preserve the killer bees the way the U.S. is coddling and preserving its Islamist enemies?  Bees build hives; Islamists build caliphates - and they kill people to do it.

Hatem Bazien, the second founder of the new Muslim college, does not appear to be of innocent intent.  Bazien was accused of whipping up anti-Semitism on campuses across the U.S. and also aided in the establishment of “Students for Justice in Palestine” which is an anti-Israel organization.  He supported the Iraqi insurgency, April 2004, at a rally in San Francisco and appeared to also call for an uprising in the U.S. during the rally.   Critics say he is “suspect,” and “any school associated with him is suspect.”  And one expert, Nonie Darwish, a human rights advocate and founder of “Arabs for Israel” said, “He (Bazien) is an anti-Israel activist and he uses academia to further his agenda.”  What would a proliferation of like-minded-Bazien-type Muslim colleges across the U.S. likely achieve over the coming years? 

Follow-the-dots!  Heed the clues!  To do otherwise is a recipe for disaster or is evidence of a suicide mission.  Which is it?  America must wake up before it is too late.  Over the past century, Progressive Socialists/Communists infiltrated academia, churches and local and national governments in America.  America has changed drastically.  Learning from the same playbook, Muslims are duplicating the Progressive wave and are infiltrating academia, churches and local and national governments.

America, the land of the free and the home of the brave, may land in the dustbin of history if her people fail to learn to differentiate between honey bees and killer bees, between Muslim pirates and the rest of Muslim society.  President Jefferson didn’t spare the Barbary Pirates.  So serious was the matter that he created the U.S. Navy to be the exterminator.

HD Commentary by Earl Cox


President Obama admitted Tuesday in a broadcast interview that his nuclear agreement with Iran only delays Tehran from eventually acquiring a weapon, which could come immediately after Year 13 of the agreement -- leaving the problem for future presidents.

Obama made the comments about Tehran's so-called "breakout time" in an interview with NPR News that aired Tuesday morning. The president was attempting to answer the charge that the deal framework agreed upon by the U.S., Iran, and five other nations last week fails to eliminate the risk of Iran getting a nuclear weapon because it allows Tehran to keep enriching uranium.

Obama said that Iran would be capped for a decade at 300 kilograms of uranium -- not enough to convert to a stockpile of weapons-grade material.

"What is a more relevant fear would be that in Year 13, 14, 15, they have advanced centrifuges that enrich uranium fairly rapidly, and at that point, the breakout times would have shrunk almost down to zero," Obama said. 

The stark admission -- after his energy secretary even claimed the deal was a "forever agreement" -- came as the president seeks to quiet a growing chorus questioning whether the deal he and world leaders have negotiated merely delays the certainty of a nuclear-armed Iran. Obama has insisted confidently that Iran will not get a nuclear weapon on his watch, which ends in roughly 20 months, but has made no similar assurances about his successors. 

Under the terms of the deal framework, Iran's breakout time would be expanded from the present two to three months to at least a year. But that constraint would stay in place only for 10 years, at which point some restrictions would start phasing out.

Although Obama acknowledged that Iran's breakout time could shrink, he said at least the world would have better insight into Iran's capabilities because of extensive inspections in the earlier years.

"The option of a future president to take action if in fact they try to obtain a nuclear weapon is undiminished," Obama said. 

Tehran has always maintained it doesn't want a nuclear bomb, but the international community has been skeptical, and America's close ally Israel considers a nuclear Iran an existential threat. U.S. lawmakers and foreign policy hawks have questioned how Obama can strike a diplomatic deal with a country that continues to threaten Israel and tops the U.S. list of state sponsors of terror.

Obama, who is also working to restore ties to longtime U.S. foe Cuba, has suggested cautiously in the past that a nuclear agreement could be a precursor to Iran pursuing a more amicable relationship with the world community. But in the days since the framework deal was announced in Switzerland, his administration has sought to emphasize that the deal relies on inspections, not trust, and is worthwhile even if the Iranian regime remains venomously anti-American.

"I think there are hard-liners inside of Iran that think it is the right thing to do to oppose us, to seek to destroy Israel, to cause havoc in places like Syria or Yemen or Lebanon," Obama said. "If they don't change at all, we're still better off having the deal."

In a portion of the same interview that aired Monday, Obama also rejected a call by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for any Iran nuclear deal to recognize his nation’s “right to exist,” claiming it would be a “fundamental misjudgment” to link the two issues.

“The notion that we would condition Iran not getting nuclear weapons in a verifiable deal on Iran recognizing Israel is really akin to saying that we won't sign a deal unless the nature of the Iranian regime completely transforms. And that is, I think, a fundamental misjudgment,” Obama said.

The comments were a rebuke to Netanyahu, who on Friday blasted the Iran framework deal and said his Cabinet is uniformly opposed to it. He also demanded that any final agreement include "a clear and unambiguous Iranian recognition of Israel's right to exist … the survival of Israel is non-negotiable." 

Obama also told NPR, “I want to return to this point: we want Iran not to have nuclear weapons precisely because we can't bank on the nature of the regime changing. That's exactly why we don't want to have nuclear weapons. If suddenly Iran transformed itself to Germany or Sweden or France, then there would be a different set of conversations about their nuclear infrastructure.”

A chaplain in trouble with the Navy for his Bible-based views is getting some help from on high.

Lt. Commander Wes Modder, a chaplain at the Naval Nuclear Power Training Command in Goose Creek, South Carolina, is waiting for a potentially career-crushing decision from military officials.

According to The Christian Post, Modder faces possible discharge and the loss of his military retirment.

Modder's lawyer said several sailors complained about what the former Navy SEALs chaplain to the  told them in private counseling sessions.

His alleged misdeeds include saying that homosexuality was wrong and premarital sex was shameful.

Those views fall well within the teachings of Modder's Assemblies of God denomination.

Now 35 lawmakers have sent the Navy a letter pointing out the U.S. Congress passed concrete protections for service members' and chaplains' free exercise of religion.

"Chaplains in the military must be allowed to fully and freely represent in word and in deed the faith communities that have endorsed them," the letter read. "Chaplain Modder should be free to counsel according to his biblical faith on the issues of sexuality, morality, and any other issue."

Michael Berry, an attorney with the Liberty Institute, described the letter as an "almost a veiled chiding by the members of Congress saying, 'We meant what we said when we said that we want you to protect religious freedom for our service members.'"

Berry points out that before these accusations, past commanders praised Modder, calling him a "national asset" and "best of the best" when it came to Navy chaplains.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Friday blasted the framework nuclear deal with Iran, saying it would pose a "grave danger" to the region and "threaten the very survival" of his country. 

The Israeli leader, speaking after a meeting with his top advisers, announced his Cabinet is united in "strongly opposing" the agreement outlined Thursday in Switzerland at the close of the latest marathon round of nuclear talks. 

In his most detailed comments yet on the announced plan, Netanyahu said it would not shut down a single nuclear facility or destroy a single centrifuge. 

"The deal would legitimize Iran's illegal nuclear program," Netanyahu said. "It would leave Iran with a vast nuclear infrastructure." 

The remarks make clear that a late-day phone call Thursday between President Obama and Netanyahu did little to assuage the prime minister's concerns with the framework -- which is supposed to be the basis for a final deal that international negotiators are working to craft by a June 30 deadline. 

Aside from picking apart the terms of the framework, Netanyahu also made another demand to negotiators -- to ensure that any final agreement includes a "clear and unambiguous" commitment by Iran of "Israel's right to exist." 

The demand comes after a top Iranian military leader reportedly said "erasing Israel" off the map is "non-negotiable." 

To that, Netanyahu said: "The survival of Israel is non-negotiable." 

On Thursday, Secretary of State John Kerry and Obama touted the agreement as a major and "historic" development that paves the way for a deal that would prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon. 

The president appealed to U.S. allies and congressional leaders to give the plan a chance, suggesting the alternative would be either continued development of Iran's nuclear program or war in the region. 

In the Rose Garden, Obama even directed part of his remarks at Netanyahu. 

"It's no secret that the Israeli prime minister and I don't agree about whether the United States should move forward with a peaceful resolution to the Iranian issue. If in fact Prime Minister Netanyahu is looking for the most effective way to ensure Iran doesn't get a nuclear weapon, this is the best option," Obama said. 

The deal calls for cutting Iran's installed centrifuges by two-thirds, and restricting its development of highly enriched uranium -- among dozens of other provisions -- in exchange for sanctions relief once inspectors verify Iran's compliance. 

Speaking with Fox News, White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest on Friday said those inspections would be able to determine if Iran were flouting any agreement, which would result in sanctions being re-imposed. 

"This is the most intrusive inspections of any country's nuclear program that have ever been put in place," he said. 

Earnest also argued that the deal would not threaten Israel's survival, calling it a "good deal for Israel." 

But Netanyahu voiced concern that sanctions could be lifted too soon, in turn bolstering Iran's economy and allowing the country to continue fueling "terrorism throughout the Middle East." 

"Such a deal does not block Iran's path to the bomb, such a deal paves Iran's path to the bomb," Netanyahu said, repeating a message he delivered in his recent address to the U.S. Congress urging negotiators to seek a different deal.

JERUSALEM — John Boehner thinks the “world is on fire.” And America isn’t doing nearly enough to stamp it out.

The House speaker’s decision to invite Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to speak before Congress last month sparked criticism that Boehner was inappropriately injecting himself into foreign affairs and antagonizing President Barack Obama. But just hours after a friendly return visit with Netanyahu on Wednesday, Boehner made clear in an interview with POLITICO here he’s not backing down and will remain firmly engaged in the nation’s foreign policy.

“I wouldn’t have believed that I would be involved in as much foreign policy as I am today,” Boehner said in his hotel near Jerusalem’s Old City. “And it certainly isn’t by choice. It’s just that the world is on fire. And I don’t think enough Americans or enough people in the administration understand how serious the problems that we’re facing in the world are.”

Indeed, with the Middle East in a constant state of upheaval, and the relationship between Obama and Netanyahu at a low point, Boehner has emerged as an unlikely power center in U.S. foreign policy.

Sitting in his hotel suite on a chilly, gray day — after a lunch with Netanyahu in the prime minister’s office complex — the Republican leader said a six-country journey mostly across the Middle East has left him more worried than before. He said his theory that the U.S. doesn’t have a coherent foreign policy has been borne out. He’s concerned about the U.S.-led talks with Iran and has been most surprised by “the boldness of the Iranians” in exerting their influence throughout the region. The “trouble they’re causing,” he said, “raised my eyebrows.”

It’s quite a shift for Boehner, the nation’s top elected Republican, who is second in line to the presidency. He came to power envisioning shrinking government and slashing budgets, but foreign policy has emerged as a central element of his legacy. Boehner hasn’t opposed the White House at every turn on foreign policy — in several instances, he publicly aligned himself with Obama, but at other times he’s vocally challenged the president.

Indeed, instead of shying from the criticism he received after inviting Netanyahu to address Congress, Boehner offered a blistering critique of how the U.S. is dealing with growing uncertainty in the Middle East.

“We’ve got some big, serious problems, and there’s no overarching strategy to deal with it. You’ve heard me say this for two years. I am even more convinced of it today,” Boehner said. He added, “Here’s the essence of what I’ve learned on this trip: The problem is growing faster than what we and our allies are doing to try to stop it.”

Boehner did say that, one way or another, Congress will move to change U.S. policy toward Iran. If there’s no deal, he said, Congress would pass a bill imposing new sanctions. If there is a deal, he said he would have to review it, but he is “sure we’ll have a reaction.” As he watches the talks in Lausanne, Switzerland, Boehner said he thinks the Obama administration is too eager to cut a deal.

“What bothers me is it looks like the administration is so hungry for a deal just to have a deal so they can say they have a deal,” Boehner said. “The rest of the world wants something real out of this.”

Boehner said he expects to meet with Obama when he returns to America to discuss, among other topics, foreign policy.

“When you look at what we’re doing, we’re involved with some allies trying to hold Iraq together,” he said, describing the message he plans to deliver to the White House. “We’re involved with some of our allies in trying to deal with ISIL. And we’re in these talks with the people who describe us as Satan, like we’re going to come to some agreement with the Iranians, while they’re spreading terror all over the Middle East.

“We’ve got allies who are doing a little of this and a little of that. But when I talk about overarching strategy, what I’m talking about is a large plan that involves intelligence, it involves the military, it ought to involve Islamic leaders, there ought to be a communications operation — there are lots of components of this that need to happen and be coordinated with our allies if we’re going to tackle this problem.”

Boehner’s allies think he’s underappreciated when it comes to his savvy on foreign policy and his support of many of Obama’s initiatives on the global stage. People close to him say that despite the criticism from Democrats that he’s undermining the president, he still adheres to the belief that there is one commander in chief and he should be the one to set the nation’s foreign policy.

Indeed, they say, he stood up for the White House’s use of certain controversial surveillance techniques when they came under fire. He worked behind the scenes to ensure congressional approval of Obama’s plan to train and arm Syrian rebels. He supported some of Obama’s policies in Afghanistan and sent a memo to his colleagues laying out — with caveats — why he thought it was a good idea. He has, however, rejected Obama’s timeline for withdrawal. And he said Wednesday that he was pleased to hear that the Obama administration would lift the arms ban in Egypt — he said he has been “pushing” the administration to reconsider that policy.

But Boehner said he believes that Congress has a robust role in foreign policy that needs to be respected. When he is briefed, he wants to hear from Obama himself — not an aide. He has pressed the administration to provide detailed briefings — not just perfunctory phone calls — prior to a change in policy. He said in the interview that the White House’s outreach has been “adequate,” without elaborating, adding that he hasn’t heard much about the Iran talks.

While Boehner’s prime interest in Congress has been in cutting the budget and reducing taxes, he has long harbored a willingness to take action on foreign policy. On Obama’s inauguration day in 2009, White House adviser Greg Craig told a group of congressional leaders that the president planned to close Guantánamo Bay without the consent of Congress. With Democrats in control of the House, Boehner used the appropriations process to ensure that never happened. (Craig did not reply to an email seeking comment.)

In 2011, he gave what turned out to be a prescient speech about emerging problems in Russia. He had his staffers watch the movie “Miracle” at a staff retreat to remind them of the country’s spirit when the U.S. men’s hockey toppled the Russians in the 1980 Olympics.

Now, over the next few months, Boehner will have an opportunity to continue to have an outsized impact on foreign policy. The Obama administration is seeking a resolution explicitly authorizing military force against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant. In meetings and conversations, Boehner personally pushed Obama to send a proposal to Capitol Hill, but he is now skeptical it will come together.

“If I see a strategy that I think can work, then you can write an [Authorization for Use of Military Force] that supports it,” he said. “But when the president asks for less authority than he has today, you begin to scratch your head. And, secondly, I think they’re looking at this entire problem with blinders on. They need to take a broader view of a bigger strategy to deal with these growing problems.”

With parts of Iraq falling to ISIL, Boehner said he told Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi that allowing Iranian soldiers to help patrol Tikrit was an “embarrassment to our country.” He said the U.S. should consider repurposing troops to help the Iraqi army fight more efficiently.

“We have nearly 4,000 troops there today,” Boehner said. “And they are mostly advising and training. But I think, frankly, if we had some of those people out in the field helping to direct, it would help the Iraqi forces in a big way. So those are boots on the ground, but we’re not talking about sending 100,000 people in there.”

While most people are fixated on a rift between America and Israel, Boehner used his time here to downplay it. He strode to a podium with Netanyahu here, and, in brief remarks, Boehner said “while we may have political disagreements from time to time,” the two nations share a strong bond.

During his visit, Boehner traveled with the Israeli Defense Forces to see the “terror tunnels” near Gaza. He ate lunch with Netanyahu and met with the U.S. Ambassador Daniel Shapiro and the staff at the American consulate in Jerusalem. He also spent time with Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon in the brand new Waldorf Astoria, located around the corner from the U.S. Consulate.

Boehner dismissed tensions between Obama and Netanyahu as a “little political spat.” The speaker said he doesn’t expect Netanyahu’s relationship with Obama “to get any worse.” Instead, “I do expect it will get better,” the Ohio Republican said.

“No one should look at big problems between Israel and America. There are big problems between Bibi and our president,” Boehner said. He did say Obama’s administration was trying to “impose a peace process on the prime minister of Israel when he has no partner to sit down and talk to.”

“At the end of the day, we need them and they need us,” Boehner said of Israel. “And OK, so you got two people who may not be in love with each other, but the fact is we’re great allies and there’s a lot going on in the world and we need each other.”

Here’s what will happen before mid-November 2016 …

Major League Baseball will award two World Series crowns. The NBA will bestow two titles. The NHL will present the Stanley Cup twice. Both political parties will have held their conventions and tapped their respective nominees. And voters will choose the next president.

Only then, sometime in mid-November 2016, will the Senate Democratic Caucus gather to select its new leadership team.

A lot can happen between now and then. But even so, it appears that Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., is poised to succeed retiring Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., as the top Democrat in the Senate.

Again, that’s what’s likely to happen. Schumer quickly maneuvered to lock down his votes as Reid’s successor within hours of the Nevada Democrat’s announcement last Friday. What isn’t as clear is what happens down-ballot. It’s thought that Senate Minority Whip Dick Durbin, D-Ill., wants to maintain his post as the number two. But there is rattling that Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., may want to springboard deeper into leadership. And, then there is the wild card: Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass. There are outside efforts to court Warren to run for one of the top spots in the Senate. And there are those who want the Massachusetts Democrat to run for president – regardless of whether Hillary Clinton seeks the White House.

Warren isn’t yet running for anything, including an upgrade from her lower-level Democratic leadership position in the Senate. She said as much during a recent appearance on NBC. Durbin and Murray are friends and it’s unclear if there could be a challenge there, too, or if they could reach an agreement.

But there will be forces in Democratic politics who will push for diversity on the front line in the Senate. Never before has a woman held one of the two leadership posts in the Senate in either party. They’ll argue that a party that purports to advocate for women needs to show some representation at the top. Current House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., broke that glass ceiling when she became the House minority whip in 2001 (later speaker) and is the only female to ever serve in the upper echelon of leadership in either body.

The conversation about Pelosi brings us to an interesting leadership nexus about the future of Democratic leaders not just in the Senate, but in the House of Representatives, too.

Pelosi has been the top Democrat in the House for 13 years now. That’s a remarkable run. House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer, D-Md., has been the number two since 2003, either as whip or as majority leader. Assistant Minority Leader Jim Clyburn, D-S.C., has been the number two or three since 2003 (he was the whip when Democrats held the majority). All are in their mid-70s … and no one appears to be going anywhere anytime soon.

After losing control of the House in 2010 and failing to regain the House after the 2012 and 2014 elections, many political observers thought Pelosi was out the door. The speculation was particularly rampant in 2010 and 2012.

There was chatter about grandchildren. Conversations about championing climate initiatives. Mentions of ambassadorships.

But Pelosi stays.

“Chad, they’ll have to drag her out of here,” groused one top Pelosi confidante last year when asked if the California Democrat intended to stick around – despite her party’s deep minority status.

The conjecture always swirled. If Pelosi left, would Hoyer earn the promotion he’s sought for so long? Would Pelosi deploy her considerable political muscle to block Hoyer? Would she anoint a successor? One forgets that Pelosi and Hoyer are natural rivals. Both hail from Maryland and her father was a congressman from Baltimore. The Pelosi/Hoyer connection dates back to the 1960s when they worked together in the office of the late-Sen. Daniel Brewster, D-Md.

This is why Pelosi caused a stir several years ago when she was House speaker. She plucked Rep. Chris Van Hollen, D-Md., from relative obscurity to serve as “special assistant to the speaker.” The House Democratic Caucus hadn’t elected Van Hollen to anything. But Pelosi had drafted Van Hollen for a choice spot at the leadership table.

Unquestionably, some saw Pelosi’s maneuver with Van Hollen as a power play against Hoyer. It was widely believed Van Hollen was Pelosi’s hand-picked successor should she leave the House.

But Sen. Barbara Mikulski, D-Md., announced her retirement last month – and Van Hollen declared his intention to pursue her seat.

It’s far from a done deal that Van Hollen will secure the Democratic nomination for Senate. Rep. Donna Edwards, D-Md., is also running. Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., has expressed interest. The same with Rep. John Delaney, D-Md., who could self-fund. Reps. Dutch Ruppersberger, D-Md., and John Sarbanes, D-Md. -- the son of former Sen. Paul Sarbanes, D-Md. -- are also taking a look.

The joke was that the only member of the Maryland delegation not running for Mikulski’s seat was Hoyer.

So what does this mean in the House with Van Hollen suddenly out of the picture?

Time will tell. But interestingly, it’s not just Mikulski’s retirement that could impact House Democrats. Also consequential are the retirement of Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., and the likely presidential bid of Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla.

With Boxer cashing it in, some attention on Capitol Hill turned to Reps. Loretta Sanchez, D-Calif., Adam Schiff, D-Calif., and House Democratic Caucus Chairman Xavier Becerra, D-Calif., as a possible successor. However, the big player on the field now is California Attorney General Kamala Harris. If the contest were today, it’s Harris’ to lose.

Further, with Van Hollen out of the way, could that coax Becerra to stay in the House and matriculate in leadership if and when Pelosi, Hoyer and maybe Clyburn depart?

Then there’s Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Fla., who also serves as chair of the Democratic National Committee (DNC). Like Becerra, Wasserman Schultz is also ambitious. A few weeks ago, she considered running for Rubio’s Senate seat should he launch a White House campaign. But Wasserman Schultz then took a pass, saying she was committed to remaining at the DNC’s helm.

Wasserman Schultz also made her decision after Van Hollen made his Senate announcement. She has had her eyes on the House leadership ranks for years.

Then there are wild cards. If and when Clyburn retires, the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) will push for a seat at the table. Presuming he doesn’t run for the Senate, Cummings is expected to be part of that conversation. There will also be talk about recent CBC chairs like Reps. Emanuel Cleaver, D-Mo., and Marcia Fudge, D-Ohio. The Congressional Hispanic Caucus would like to have Becerra or someone else move up. Rep. Ben Ray Lujan, D-N.M., is one to watch. Pelosi recently swept the New Mexico Democrat into her inner circle, tapping him to chair the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC), the national organization devoted to electing Democrats to the House.

But Pelosi has also brought someone else into the fold of late: Rep. Steve Israel, D-N.Y. Israel chaired the DCCC for two cycles in 2010 and 2012. In the past six months, Pelosi tapped Israel for a new position, serving as “chair of policy and communications.” Israel is viewed as a possible heir apparent if the opportunity arises. Those chances grew exponentially with Van Hollen leaping out of the wheelbarrow. Pelosi’s effort to keep Israel at the leadership table bolsters his chances as well.

Another member to watch is Rep. Joe Crowley, D-N.Y. He’s the vice chairman of the House Democratic Caucus.

One dynamic that can’t be overlooked is the prominence of Pelosi. Watch to see if she hand-picks, either overtly or not-so-overtly, a successor. That’s why people were so focused on Van Hollen before. That’s why her selection of Israel and Lujan for special roles is important.

In the Soviet Union, political observers would always study which Politburo officials were seated closest to the general secretary at the May Day Parade. Such placement often shed clues as to who was in and who was out at the Kremlin. Did someone leapfrog another official and was now seated closer to Brezhnev compared to last year? Or did they disappear from the review stand altogether?

Keep an eye on the members with whom Pelosi keeps close company.

But there is another phenomenon at work here which could affect leadership elections in both the House and Senate. If Schumer does graduate to Senate Democratic leader, will the party be okay promoting Steve Israel? Will it accept two white, male, New York Democrats? Or do lawmakers just elect who they think will do the best job, regardless of geography and demographics?

Certainly power is fleeting. Rep. John Larson, D-Conn., served as House Democratic Caucus chairman from 2009 through 2013. Years ago, it was presumed Larson may have an opportunity for a leadership upgrade. Never rule anything out, but few mention the Connecticut Democrat in those conversations any longer.

In December 2012, Larson held his final press conference with reporters as his time expired as caucus chairman.

“My grandfather Nolan used to say, peacock one day, feather duster the next,” opined Larson. “So I am heading up the feather duster caucus.”

Only one or two lawmakers mentioned on this list will make any headway toward their future goals. Timing, is everything. Some will undoubtedly be the odd man or woman out. And those who don’t earn a promotion may very well find themselves applying for membership in the feather duster caucus.