During his State of the Union speech, President Obama seemed to indicate that the Democratic-controlled Senate should bring stringent gun control measures up for a vote. He wasn't saying that such measures would or should pass, only that Senators should vote yah or nay. As usual, it turned out to be nothing more than populist rhetoric. It was announced yesterday by Senate Majority leader Harry Reid that the most important provisions of gun control legislation -- banning the sale of assault weapons and high volume magazine clips -- have been removed from the bill.
The supposed reason for dropping these two components? Not enough votes for passage! It's not just Republican opposition either. It seems that not enough Democrats favor these measures as well.
My big issue here has less to do with whether or not Reid believes he has the votes to pass the measure. What gets me is that politicians seem to have forgotten a maxim that most parents teach their children: It doesn't matter if you win or lose, but how you play the game.
There is merit in bringing forth legislation that doesn't end up passing. You put your best foot forward and allow the chips to fall where they may. It's called standing up for what you believe in! And that's the rub. By not standing up, Reid has shown that he really didn't believe in these two measures to begin with.
In my opinion, one of the ways that the Democratic Party has turned its back on its core of supporters is by stripping legislation of most of its progressive value just so it can be agreed to by conservatives. It is as if "winning" is more important than anything else. Yes, you might bring forth legislation that wins a majority of votes for passage, but if the legislation doesn't lead to the betterment of society, what's the point? Who cares if you notched another so-called "win"?
I would much rather see so-called liberals promote progressive legislation and lose than put forth crappy legislation that passes. Sadly, the Dems time and again settle for the latter.
And they wonder why I refuse to vote for them!!
Watch Cenk Uygur of the The Young Turks excoriate the Democrats on this issue.