The Democrats who conducted the Senate filibuster for sane gun legislation, and those sitting on the House floor as I write this, have my unreserved admiration.
The longest journey, as the saying goes, begins with a single step. Forcing a vote on some aspect of gun control — any aspect of gun control — would be a step forward in our insane times.
But perhaps the more important point they are making is this: elected Democrats, at least some of them, do in fact have spines. I suspect that the success of the Bernie Sanders campaign, unabashedly championing liberal points of view, may have inspired them.
Whatever may have inspired them, I applaud them, and hope this new assertiveness continues and expands. Perhaps even before the November elections, we will have a true opposition party in Congress.
Misled as they have been by their Dr. Kidglove in the White House, the Democrats in Congress have compromised when they needed to attack, folded when the enemy shouted “Boo!” and otherwise allowed bullying, ignorant, political thugs to run roughshod over them every time there was a showdown over chamber rules, national fiscal policy, health care, guns, foreign policy — all the big issues.
You don’t play nice with thieves. You can’t negotiate with troglodytes. Truth is not malleable and justice is not a two-way street. The American people desperately need an institution that will fight — dirty, if necessary — for their interests and against those of the military-industrial, corporate, neocon, greedy, nasty oligarchs who have been running everything in the United States for far too long.
Perhaps the next Democratic filibuster will be joined by all the Democrats in the Senate. Perhaps, if it continues, all of the House Democrats will have the courage to sit in the well of the chamber and shout, “No bill, no break!”
If that happened, I’d bet that their ranks would increase when the returns are counted in November. And if that happened, I would expect even bolder minority action than filibusters and sit-ins. Perhaps their party would even regain control of the Senate, and exercise that control, and act, for a change, like a majority party. Perhaps they would even elect a majority leader with the courage to tell the NRA to slink off into a dark corner of its rat’s nest and stroke the barrels of their AR15s.
Maybe that’s asking too much of the Democrats. They are, after all, mere politicians. And this is still, after all, Amerika.
We shall see.