Monday, April 22, 2013

Gun Control - The Path Forward

Here's part of E.J. Dionne's analysis of the failure of the Senate to pass even the most watered-down gun purchase background check legislation, and the reaction:
In the past, Democrats who support gun safety had reacted benignly to members of their party from rural states who opposed sensible gun measures for expediency’s sake. Not this time. The response to Democrats who opposed background checks — Sens. Max Baucus, Mark Begich, Heidi Heitkamp and Mark Pryor — was indignation. [snip]

But the vote also demonstrated for all to see a Republican Party walking in lock step behind its commanders in the gun lobby. Only four Republicans bravely defied the NRA’s fanatical opposition to a very mild measure: Toomey and Sens. Mark Kirk, John McCain and Susan Collins.

This should send a message to all who keep looking for new signs of Republican moderation.
Also, go to Dionne's embedded link in the excerpt for a recent op/ed in the once great Washington Post Kaplan Daily by Bill Daley, former White House Chief of Staff and Commerce Secretary.  (Asking for his $2,500 contribution back from Sen. Heidi "Ho" Heitkamp was just his opening line.)   Democrats have to start weeding out the feckless cowards among their elected officials whose sole purpose in life is to get re-elected rather than serve their constituents and stand on principle.  We have a special disdain at this blog for Heitkamp and the execrable Baucus (too many shameful links to note - just type in his name in the Q box above).  But while we withhold support for the feckless, we also need to show support for those Democrats who, as Dionne notes, cast a courageous vote for the background check legislation (Sens. Mary Landrieu of Louisiana and Kay Hagen of North Carolina, especially).

As 2014 approaches, we would suggest making targeted contributions to individual campaigns (Hagen and Landrieu are up for re-election) rather than providing them to the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, where the funds are as likely as not to end up in the pockets of Begich, Pryor and Baucus, who are up for re-election.  Ideally, these worthless DINOs would be primaried by a progressive, but that's not going to happen, so about the only weapon we have is the check.  We need to use it or withhold it on a case-by-case basis.

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