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Filibuster Dooms Background Checks

Updated on May 28, 2013
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV)
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) | Source

"Shame on you!"

Tuscon shooting survivor and hero, Patricia Maisch, admonished the Senate.

This in the aftermath of a 54-46 vote in which the majority of the Senate was unable to answer the call of their country. Forty-five percent of the Senate, overruled the will of ninety percent of the American people.

"This was a pretty shameful day for Washington", added President Obama.

Baucus (D-MT)
Baucus (D-MT) | Source

Shame, indeed.

It is easy (and appropriate) to point our fingers in disgust at the despicable individuals who cast those votes, those contemptible and vile excuses for human beings, those deplorable members of ... congress. Them who blithely submit an issue as essential to our very existence as public safety - to the mere whims of lobbyists, profiteers, and conspiracy wielding fear-mongers.


Yes, it is easy & appropriate to admonish those "leaders", but their due will come in 2014 and beyond by way of free and democratic elections.

Pat Toomey (R-PA)
Pat Toomey (R-PA) | Source
Joe Manchin (D-WV)
Joe Manchin (D-WV) | Source
Mr. Smith Goes to Washington
Mr. Smith Goes to Washington | Source
McConnell | Source

Briefly, I would like to thank Senators Toomey, McCain, Collins & Kirk for supporting common sense gun-violence prevention. Kudos.

To Baucus, Begich, Heitkamp & Pryor - well, good luck in your primaries, and good riddance to bad rubbish.

Shout-out to Mitch McConnell for being Mitch McConnell.

And poor Joe Manchin.

Now, for Harry Reid. There are no words. Well maybe a few - you sorry son of...

Apologies for my outburst.

Reid is a red state democrat who kowtows to the NRA and is perpetually bullied by a talking turtle.

Why such ire for a whispering septuagenarian gnome?

Harry Reid is the single person endowed with the position and ability to determine the effectiveness and legacy of not only his fleeting career, but those of President Obama as well. Deep breath.

This watered-down background check bill, the American Jobs Act, the Veteran Job Corps Act, the Dream Act, the Bring Jobs Home Act, - all died an untimely death at the hand of the filibuster.

Not the old-school Jimmy Stewart, stand-your-ground and plead-your-case style filibuster - the neo-filibuster is sent in a late night e-mail, and prevents even simple debate from occurring on the Senate floor.

Pause for a history break:

A permanent 60-vote filibuster threshold was never imagined by the authors of our Constitution. While invented in 1837, the filibuster was never used more than ten times by a given Congress until the 1980s. Since 2007, however, there have been 385 Republican filibusters, compared to 49 from 1919 to 1970. Break!

Harry Reid is the guy who admitted in May 2012, "they...said it was time to change the rules of the Senate,and we didn’t. And they were right. The rest of us were wrong -- or most of us, anyway. What a shame...", adding, "(they) want to do something to change the rules regarding filibuster. If there were anything that ever needed changing in this body, it’s the filibuster rule, because it’s been abused, abused, and abused."

So we agree.

Senator Reid promised filibuster reform if President Obama won reelection, and democrats maintained their majority in the Senate. Done and done.

Instead, Reid offered tepid reform rhetoric, and rather than hold a first-day vote to change the filibuster rules - he chose to negotiate a filibuster deal with Minority Leader McConnell and hold a vote later.

There was no vote. There was a mere hand-shake deal between a talking turtle and a whispering gnome. The agreement? The filibuster of judicial nominees can now be eventually clotured with a receding number of votes.

Thus, even meager common sense gun-safety legislation is defeated, in spite of garnering 54 of 100 votes.

So while 90% of the American public is crying out for politicians to do something, to take notice of the Sandy Hook massacre, the Aurora Massacre, Tuscon, Virginia Tech, Fort Hood, Columbine, Oak Creek.... and the 30,000 Americans who die from gun violence every single year in this country - we can glean comfort in this negligible attempt at procedural amelioration.

America the beautiful.



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