Saturday, April 20, 2013

The Tyranny of the Minority

Once again the Republicans have proven they can rule from a minority position by blocking what was a relatively innocuous "gun bill" that only called for better background checks and registration of firearms so that persons couldn't freely sell and trade guns at gun shows or on the Internet, where an increasing number of firearms are sold to avoid detection.

Now it seems the Republicans are circling their wagons against the proposed "bipartisan" immigration bill, as Grassley has already hinted he doesn't see enough "security measures" in the bill, alluding to the violence in Boston.  I guess it doesn't click that these two kids apparently had quite an arsenal to keep the Boston cops at bay for over an hour, resulting in the death of one police officer, with the youngest one able to elude the enormous search party for another day.

If you remember, it was Tom Coburn who threw a wet blanket on the gun bill when he questioned the ability to enforce such legislation shortly after Mackie had taken freshman senators Rand Paul and Ted Cruz to task for threatening to filibuster the gun bill.  Meanwhile, their wily Republican minority leader, Mitch McConnell, quietly assembled the 40+ votes needed to block the bill, including 4 Blue Dog Democrats.  As Lyndon Johnson said, count the votes first before making bold assertions.  Seems Chuck Schumer should be more cautious before falling into another trap set by Mitch, the grand master of the filibuster.

It seems most Americans were appalled by how easily the Republicans were able to block a "gun bill" that the vast majority of the country was in favor of.  Gabby Giffords summed it up simply, "I'm Furious!"


  1. And even worse than the political demagoguery is the sick inhumanness, their complexly callous hypocrisy as they stand at the lectern and profess their grief over something like Newtown and then proceed to do absolutely nothing--not even making the smallest gesture to try and change the situation. Horrible excuses for human beings--much less politicians.

  2. Correction: COMPLETELY, not complexly.
    (over-ambitious spellchecker)

  3. It really is hard to figure the filibuster of this bill, other than to throw another pie in Obama's face.

  4. Apparently just another instance where All Things Obama are bad and must be opposed at all costs, even if something positive might rub off on them in the process….never mind what might happen to the American people in the process. Plus, there IS all that NRA money that has to be taken into consideration…...

  5. Roughly $250 mil per year, a small fraction of which actually goes toward gun safety,

  6. Speaking of whiners,

    Good riddance Max!

  7. Boy, I'll say! WAY over due.

    From the other side, Howard Dean predicted that his gun vote would hurt him in a possible primary challenge from our ex-governor Brian Schweitzer, who is a great candidate.

    The Butte Democrats are circulating a petition pointing out that they are the ones who have worked for Baucus, year in, year out, and the least he could do would be to support background checks. This after a national group took out a one-page ad in all the major Montana papers shaming him on his vote.

    I've also received two emails asking for my support of Schweitzer, one which says his role models are Teddy Roosevelt for busting the trusts and Paul Wellstone. Other than his promotion for "clean" coal, and his recent anti-gun regulation talk (typical Montana nonsense), I really like him. GREAT politician.

  8. And this, totally unrelated:

    I'm just back from Los Angeles where I attended several Festival of Books panels. This one was terrific:

    It will also be rebroadcast next weekend.

  9. I thought that would draw you back in. Baucus has been a huge handicap for the Dems. I just hope the Dems keep the seat in the Senate. Schweitzer sounds like a very good candidate.

  10. Like a red flag in front of a bull. And without adblock (my travel computer) you can't access this page at all. Sort of defeats google's purpose.

    Chris Hayes made the interesting point that when someone is entirely unideological and centrist like Baucus, it means in essence that they can be bought on any issue. I think that's where he's coming from.

    Had a chance to read the first part of the book on the plane. Look forward to the discussion.

  11. I'd love to think this was part of Baucus's decision:

  12. Baucus has so many strikes against him as a Democrat. I think his only rationale has been to get re-elected at any cost, but it seems he finally played his last card. You remember he essentially tried to kill the health care bill in committee, teaming up with his good buddy Chuck Grassley. The Dems have to get these guys out of their party. Guys like Max do far more harm than good.