Yesterday, April 17, 2013, 56 people voted to consider the matter of background checks for gun purchasers which was supposed to be part of the American people’s response to gun violence in America. We now understand the new normal which says that unless there are 60 votes to take up an issue it will be considered that there is technically a filibuster against it and it will not be discussed. Enough Republicans and four Democrats came down on the nay side, so our Congress will not discuss background checks for gun purchasers or any other bill right now that might consider any gun control measures by the Federal government.
I suspected that the Senate would betray us all and betray those two Senators (Manchin, D, WV and Toomey, R, Pa) who worked so hard to create a passable bill on background checks for gun purchases and that they would betray all those grieving parents and all the other grieving parents all over America, I knew that Republican Senators had worked themselves into a frenzy of worry about losing their Second Amendment rights and about a fictitious National Gun Registry. But I am still so disappointed and heartbroken now that they have actually betrayed us all in this manner. I knew there was no hope, but apparently I was still holding on to some. I thought that surely on this one important issue we could all reach consensus. There are always plenty of reasons not to travel a difficult road even if that road may actually be a short cut to where you want to go. How defeatist is it to be unwilling to try something because it may not be 100% effective?
I had somewhat fallen for the Republican drama about how they wanted to be more inclusive and that seemed to suggest that they might be experiencing a moderating trend, however slight. I fell for it because I know how badly they want to win the Presidency in 2016. However, the things I have heard them say in recent days about gun control, immigration and women’s health issues show that the GOP is totally unprepared to moderate any of their stances on any of the issues, except to say that they would like to have more popularity among Hispanics (which is their terms for all people of Spanish heritage. I guess they believe that if they just tell Americans of Spanish heritage that the gates of the GOP (but not the country) are open to them they will flock to hang with the “elite”.
And despite all their betrayals, and their extremism, and their exclusivity they seem to be getting their way through sheer stubbornness and because they apparently have total and absolute control of the Congress of the United States. What made Republicans decide that this was their time, their moment to go after every nutty thing they have ever wanted? What made it true that this apparently is their moment? Talk about a broken-hearted nation. Talk about a broken-hearted me. It looks like we will be going “there” to the places where I do not want us to go.
In a week when our world already seems to be whirling out of control it would have helped to believe that our law makers were morphing into the intelligent professionals we thought they were when we elected them. Our only hope is to elect Democrats in 2014.
Be sure to read the Gabrielle (Gabby) Giffords article in the New York Times from this morning: