Thursday, April 11, 2013

Senator Lee Schooled by Former Home Teacher

The Senate voted 68-31 for cloture on the tea party senators' latest grandstanding attempt to filibuster any gun legislation. That's sixteen (!) Republicans! Majority Leader Reid sent his most conservative Dem, Sen. Manchin of W. Virginia, to negotiate with one of the most bendable blue-state tea-partiers, Sen. Toomey of Pennsylvania. This helps establish the Constitutional principle that the Senate is a masterfully designed political body made up of scores of prima donnas. And that's a good thing.

The honor roll of Republicans (in respectful blue, this vote only) is as follows:
Lamar Alexander of Tennessee (last of the Repub moderates??)
Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire
Richard Burr of North Carolina
Saxby Chambliss of Georgia (retiring)
Tom Coburn of Oklahoma (wow, that's no blue state!)
Susan Collins of Maine (Oh, she's still a moderate)
Bob Corker of Tennessee
Jeff Flake of Arizona (not entirely crazy Mormon)
Lindsey Graham of South Carolina (big prima donna)
Dean Heller of Nevada (another not entirely crazy Mormon)
John Hoeven of North Dakota
Johnny Isakson of Georgia
Mark Kirk of Illinois
John McCain of Arizona (biggest prima donna)
Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania
Roger Wicker of Mississippi (hunh?)
My sources were conservative websites, the usually reliable and mainstream Politico and a more right-winger, Red Alert Politics, I won't link to them so as not to give any encouragement. But you can go look for them yourself.

This is classic, senatorial, political gamesmanship. Mitch McConnell, Republican Minority Leader, up for home-state re-election is running so afraid of being primaried from the right, that he has abdicated much of his leadership role, even saying he would support the filibuster led by upstart little prima donna, the Junior Senator from his Kentucky, Rand Paul. Two of the biggest egos in the illustrious Senate, occasionally reasonable and sometimes mavericky McCain and Graham, are not about to give Rand Paul any more attention. And kudos for Majority leader Reid in setting this up by forwarding a bill with only broader background checks leaving it open for additional wrangling on amendments but the background checks are there and supported by a very large majority of we the America people.

The bill is such that even pro-gun Senators Manchin & Toomey were able to say to constituents that it isn't even a gun control measure but a crime control measure because nobody wants criminals and the mentally ill to have guns (except maybe the hearts of conspiring men who like to foment fear to sell more guns). I mean, the best argument the far, far right-wing of the gun-nuts have on this is that the feds are somehow conspiring a register to confiscate all the guns to take over the country. [When I thought that had already been settled by the guns of Generals Grant and Sherman!] Nowadays, the feds have drones, missiles, jets, nukes, etc. that would drive out any hunkered-down rebel survivalist if they wanted without having to take away a single gun. So what's the point? But I'm digressing.

It still may not get out of the Senate. And if it does, House Speaker Boehner doesn't have a game plan. He doesn't want to let the tea party wing be in charge. Maybe he can deftly move on this one. We can only hope.

Our little munchkin of a Senator, Mike Lee, was intending to follow his tea-party leader, Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky, in support of this filibuster. Of course it also would shore up Lee's cred dancing with them that brung him there, the extremist elements of the Utah Republican party who rail-roaded the caucus system in 2010.

But Harry Reid done him in. Little Mikey should have paid more attention when his home teacher came to visit his Mom & Dad in the old days.


A sad update on my list can be seen here.

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