Sen. Chris Coons
Sen. Chris Coons, D-Del. (Al Drago/Pool via AP)

The [Democrats] winning both chambers of Congress plus the White House may have raised hopes for long-sought gun control measures, such as a ban on assault rifles. But Democrats are instead starting to look at smaller measures that can win bipartisan support and break the National Rifle Association’s strong influence over Congress.

With the Senate split 50–50, any gun control measure needs at least 10 Republican votes to overcome a filibuster. The shooting rampage in Atlanta that left eight people dead this week has not softened Republican resistance to any new laws that broadly restrict access to firearms. In interviews with BuzzFeed News, a half dozen Republican senators expressed opposition to universal background checks and said that policy would likely be dead on arrival in the Senate.

That leaves Democrats with a choice between lowering their aims or fighting for an extensive bill and risking coming away with nothing. There does not appear to be much appetite for the latter path.

“Do you try and move a comprehensive gun bill that will go nowhere?” said Delaware Sen. Chris Coons. “Or do you take a small bill, pass it, then a medium-sized bill and pass it?”

— Paul McLeod in Democrats Are Willing To Rein In Their Gun Control Ambitions To Break The NRA’s Hold On Congress

131 COMMENTS

  1. Yesterday, Big Chief Liz (Warren) declared “Democracy is majority rule.” She stated that minority political parties should not have a veto over legislation.

    Read somewhere that the greatest power of filibuster is that no other business can be conducted during a filibuster. However, when a filibuster ends, or is broken, the rule reverts to 50+1 for passage.

    The founders set up a democracy, but not a direct democracy. Apparently, the theory was that the then States, through their appointed Senators, would so jealously guard their prerogatives that “bad bills” from the House that a secondary (Senate) rule (not constitutional, or legislative) to slow down the process was unnecessary. With the office of Senator being filled by the popular vote, we the people, hold two avenues for rushing to judgement….throttled only by a Senate rule subject to simple majority vote to suspend.

    • @Sam “The founders set up a democracy” , American is a Constitutional Republic. Democracy is mob rule. Upon exiting the Constitutional Convention Benjamin Franklin was approached by a group of citizens asking what sort of government the delegates had created. His answer was: “A republic, if you can keep it.”

      • People often regurgitate the words of a pundit and seldom actually read anything for themselves.
        America is a “Democratic Republic”.
        What is the difference?
        A pure Democracy by definition is when you put something to a vote and the majority wins.
        A pure Republic has officials elected by THE MAJORITY and they vote on things on our behalf and are restricted buy a constitution and this is the only way legislation is passed in a “pure republic”
        You may or may not have noticed that in AMERICA, we have both.. Most legislation is voted in buy congress (elected officials) and some laws are put to the ballot and directly voted it by the people. However, even when they are voted in by the people, the results can be overturn by legislators & courts.
        In other words, there is NO “Mob Rule” in America and the use of this term showcases blind ignorance and an ear bent by frothing mouthed pundits.
        The only country that has a nearly pure democracy is Switzerland and they don’t seem to be to terribly oppressed.
        For the love of God and country, read and think for yourselves, for that is most certainly patriotic!

        • Switzerland is a country of like minded people. It is very hard(and expensive) to attain citizenship if your father was NOT Swiss. Direct democracy works in these situations.

      • MB,
        Absolutely. There was zero mention or implication of dumbocracy in the original Constitution, for good reason.

        A Constitutional Republic, like the British Constitutional Monarchy into which our Founders were born, has a government of limited, enumerated and delegated powers. This in turn means that not only rights protected by Amendments, but all areas of individual and family life over which Congress is not delegated specific authority, are simply not up for a vote (by anyone, ever, for any reason). Today’s government seems to apply this standard only to the Thirteenth Amendment (and not even that, if you really think about it).

        • The debate over whether America is a republic or a democracy or some hybrid is, ultimately, pointless.

          America’s governments, the federal, 50 states, DC and territories, are all defined by their respective constitutions. They are what they are; mostly a mix of relatively republican and relatively democratic principles.

          We would be better off investing our arguments over whether we are committed to running our governments as constituted; and, if so, then how to migrate toward a more perfectly constitutional operation of government.

        • Pointless indeed! As long as the dumbocratic “principles” are there (and they’re never going away), the republican clauses and amendments will remain subordinated to mob rule – to be cancelled (or “reinterpreted” by the Supremes into the exact opposite of everything the Founders wrote and believed) a line at a time.

        • ” The debate over whether America is a republic or a democracy or some hybrid is, ultimately, pointless. ”

          Bingo!!! A republic is just a sub-category of democratic government. Pointing out the differences is fun and useful if you’re deeply involved in a gave of Trivial Pursuit, but otherwise not terribly useful or interesting.

    • Couple thoughts

      The filibuster is a rule not a provision in the constitution. Previously it provided that a senator could “hold the floor” as long as he/she continued to speak and effectively shut down the senate. It order to bust the filibusterer required a super majority of 60 votes. Under current rules the senator no longer has to keep talking. Now prior to voting on a bill there is a vote to end debate or “cloture.” In most cases it requires 60 votes to end debate and proceed to the actual vote. The effect of either is that it prevents rule by a simple majority of 50+1.

      The founders set up a republic not a democracy. They rejected an all powerful federal government and instead founded the “United States of America.” The senate was established giving each state 2 senators to specifically to avoid “majority rule.” Prior to 1914 and the 17th amendment Senators were selected by the state legislatures not by direct vote. The clear intent of the founding fathers was to avoid a direct democracy and protect the autonomy and rights of states.

      • The 16th and 17th amendments were the end of the republic.

        Your great-grandparents (maybe great-greats depending on your age), who voted in overwhelming numbers for them, answered Benjamin Franklin’s “a republic, if you can keep it” with “no, we don’t want it.”

        • They were just the beginning of the end. The 24th nailed the dumbocratic lid on the Republic’s coffin. It was not only the final break with the Founders’ vision of rights as inseparable from responsibilities, but also self-perpetuating.

      • I wonder if we ought to consider a couple of Constitutional amendment proposals:

        1. – instantiating the 2/3ths filibuster provision as a Constitutional check on the Senate;
        2. – fixing the number of SCOTUS justices to 9.

        Are these two issues appropriate for just a majority of Senators to decide by themselves from time to time or for Congress and the President to change by law?

        I’m not the least bit convinced that it is safe for We the People to delegate these powers to Congress-critters

        • “1. – instantiating the 2/3ths filibuster provision as a Constitutional check on the Senate;…”

          I’m perfectly cool with that, but no way in *HELL* will they ever go along with it.

          Listen how loudly they’re bitching now how ‘flyover’ states keep them from totalitarian rule already, that’s why they are frothing at the mouth like a rabid dog to increase the number of states. I expect them to add PR in this administration.

          “2. – fixing the number of SCOTUS justices to 9.”

          Again – Good luck getting them to go along with it. The one thing in our favor at this point is Ginsburg publicly opining (on video) that the number of justices should stay at 9. That goes straight out the window if AOC and her ‘squad’ gain power, and with our luck, they just might…

        • MarkPA says “I wonder if we ought to consider a couple of Constitutional amendment proposals…”

          A couple? K.I.S.S. says we (sadly) only need to repeal one…the disastrous 19th amendment.

          Within two elections (2022 and 2024) the Democratic Party, as it currently stands, will be devastated nation wide.

          Democrats will lose both houses of Congress and the Presidency. This would also be the case in all but a handful of states where it may take three or four elections.

          Will it happen? Almost no chance. It should give sane people something to think about, and to make a plan to a way forward using this information.

        • I’m good with both of those, but I would also go for an amendment that puts a sunset on every piece of legislation passed — no more than ten years.

    • Echoing other comments here, we’re a Constitutional Republic, not a Democracy. Newt Gingrich explained it best, “…The Founding Fathers wrote a machine designed to avoid dictatorship by making it so inefficient you can barely get it to work. And it’s designed to say: the Senate has power; the House has power; the Supreme Court has power; the President has power…within that box we preserve freedom…”

    • Democrats are going to get rid of the 60 vote filibuster threshold. It’s simply a matter of time.

      It’s going to be a headache, but the irony is, ultimately they will regret that.

      • “Democrats are going to get rid of the 60 vote filibuster threshold. It’s simply a matter of time.”

        I’m not sure on that – They got burned *badly* when Harry Reid broke the judicial filibuster, and we scored Gorsuch, Kav, and Coney-Barret as a *sweet* result.

        If they do that, and ram down our throats their agenda, we will do them what happened in the mid-terms after Obama rammed the ACA down our throats- We blew them out *HARD* in the house, senate, and most importantly, nation-wide in the state houses in record numbers. Over 1,000 seats nation-wide, IIRC.

        If we hear whispering that might happen, we just publicly point out what happened after the ACA was passed.

        America is still narrowly-divided. Legitimate outrage (IE, not Leftist scum AstroTurf outrage) can easily tip a national race in our favor.

        That’s a mighty big risk for them to take, especially while we’re loudly pointing out Harry Reid’s blunder on the judicial appointment fillibuster, and how it cost them *dearly*… 😉

        • Get back to giving handys to truckers down at the rest stop, Geoff, and let the non dull people discuss this important issue.

        • “…Geoff, and let the non dull people discuss this important issue.”

          Are you then putting on record you’ll no longer be soiling the TTAG comment section with your pathetic bleating?

          Stop blaming me for your Autism, OK?

          Blame your mommy for forcing you to get v a c c i n a t e d… 😉

        • Geoff, while Mock Man was harsh, your posts, while obviously well intentioned, are a bit parochial. (Nikki Haley for pres? Just no).

          The only constant is change and your posts (AKA ” We blew them out *HARD* in the house”) reflect a era that no longer exists.

          Your complete discount of the theft of the last election, renders most of your comments, null and void.

          Additionally, you may have noticed a little disturbance at the border? No?

          Here are the cliff notes; 200,000 invaders per month(!) are streaming across the southern border. That is 2.4 million shinny new voters to add to the 20 to 30 million already here. They have been promised free everything and if given a vote (which eliminating the Filibuster will give them), they will likely use it to protect the giveaways. (Have you noticed Harris is shipping them to red states? Wonder why?)

          What you refer to as “a mighty big risk for them to take”, abolishing the Filibuster, is no risk at all. They will have permentally cemented their rule with an endless supply of voters for…who knows how long.

          Geoff, while you talk about knife defense, the Democrats just pulled out a gun.

          .

        • ” (Nikki Haley for pres? Just no).”

          She *can* win, and if she runs, I will be voting for her.

          Why can she win? Simple – She served as UN ambassador and didn’t embarrass herself in the process. She also didn’t piss off Trump, and he will back her.

          I’m not ignoring the theft of 2020, you seem not to realize what happened in those state governments in the meantime.

          And Nikki Haley against Kamala Harris for president? Harris will have freaked out normal people so badly, it will be a winnable race…

        • “She also didn’t piss off Trump,”

          Woops, looks like she did…
          Nikki Haley Slams Trump’s Election Claims: ‘We Shouldn’t Have Followed Him’ https://www.nytimes.com/2021/02/12/us/politics/nikki-haley-trump.html

          “and he will back her.”

          That’s also a negative… http://americanconservatives.today/report-nikki-haley-tried-to-get-a-meeting-with-trump-but-he-shot-her-down/

          Nikki’s attempting, with her blatant orchestrated ambition, to straddle both sides of the fence and the only thing she has pricked up is splinters.

          And what about the “2.4 million shinny new voters to add to the 20 to 30 million already here.”? You skipped that completely.

  2. I am a constituent of Joe Manchin and, although I never have or never will vote for him, I have called or written him in favor of of maintaining the filibuster several times over the past month including at least one time self initiated as Ole Joe is featured as the last bastion of the filibuster. Truth be known (a rare situation in Washington) a lot of Democrat Senators are concerned as the filibuster has blocked extreme legislation from both sides for their entire Senate careers and, if eliminated, will introduce uncertainty on both sides. Mr. Coons statement above speaks volumes about his stand. Assuming elections are actually cleaned up (and S1 doesn’t pass) it is likely that Populist Republicans will be in the majority in both the House and Senate next time and, without the filibuster will run the tables on them in 2025 and beyond.

    Their doomsday scenario, of course, as the Republican Party is taken over by MAGA people is that Donald Trump would run for a Florida House seat in 2022 or not (the Speaker of the House doesn’t need to be a Representative), run for and be elected Speaker of the House, and promptly impeach both whoever is in the President and the Vice-President paving the way for a second Trump Presidency. This would be a Democrat disaster without the filibuster. Not likely, but it could happen and these Bozos realize it.

    • run the tables on them in 2025 and beyond.

      ??????

      promptly impeach both whoever is in the President and the Vice-President paving the way for a second Trump Presidency.

      You STILL need 67 votes in the Senate and Reps are a LONG way from making that happen…

      • Chris Coons left out the 3rd choice, forget the whole thing and honor the oath they took when sworn into office. I know, there’s as much honor in the District of Corruption as there are T rex.

    • ‘nOt LiKeLy To HappEn…’

      I’d say. This scenario is the fever dream of some qanon reject like that insufferable sentient traffic cone and Jabba the Hutt doppelgänger Geoff PR.

      • Hmm. Is Mock Man an actual human being, a relatively simple software algorithm which monitors a website and draws from an inventory of insults that it pseudo randomly generates, or Artificial Intelligence directed to monitor websites and insult specific targets?

      • Insufferable?

        What a joke! 😉

        Let’s get one thing perfectly clear –

        You don’t tell me what to do, I tell *YOU* what to do, and you *WILL* do it.

        You will continue to suffer, and I will be *highly* entertained as you continue to publicly demonstrate what an emotionally disturbed person does who blames their spot on the Asperger-Autistic spectrum on the childhood v a c c c i n e s they got as a child.

        Just own the fact you’re not mentally right in the head, OK? There’s no shame in it, (except when you publicly demonstrate you mental illness in TTAG…) 🙂

        • “…Rent free…”

          Right where I’m living in you mentally-ill mind.

          You’re a lot like a moth that beats itself against a porch light-bulb at night until it is dead.

          Keep on beating, boy. Demonstrate in perfect clarity your mental illness for all the world to see…

          *snicker* 🙂

      • This site is in DESPERATE need of a large dose of “brainless-troll-begone”. Mock Man (or whatever [email protected]$$ handle you’re using this minute), don’t go away mad . . . just go away. You are ignorant, stupid, witless, unfunny, uneducated, inept, lacking in ability to engage in ratiocination, ignorant and generally a pain in the @$$ – and most emphatically NOT because you come here and “own the cons”. You haven’t owned anyone since yo’ mama died.

        • ratiocination

          Now THERE is a word you don’t hear every day, every week?, once a year?, hardly ever? Good job… Could hear the Trolls one brain cell groaning from here rushing to try to burn you for misspelling or making something up…

        • “What do I care?”

          Because:

          1. You respond; and

          2. Geoff, and I, and several others, beat your troll @$$ every time you show up.

          Kid, you haven’t had an actual thought in your lifetime. You are obviously a product of the public school system. Like I said, troll, don’t go away mad, just go away.

          On second thought . . . go away mad; maybe that will keep you away.

  3. I came here to say: do NOT count on the U.S. Senate keeping their filibuster/cloture rule requiring 60 votes before they (the U.S. Senate) actually votes whether to pass a bill.

  4. NEVER under estimate treasonous acts on gun control by Republicans!

    Ever gun law passed Republicans have reached across the isle to betray us.

  5. Boo hoo…Cry me a river…

    Definition(urban) of insane:
    “Doing the same thing(s) over and over but expecting different results”

    Liberalism IS a mental disorder…

    • More Insanity…. adopting a junkyard dog, letting it live in the house with you, feeding it cookies and scrambled eggs after it shits all over your carpets, and then being disappointed when the burglar breaks in and your dog shows him where you keep all of your good shit hidden. Sorta like Manchin and a large portion of the Repugnicans that everyone seems to be pinning their hopes on.

      • Sounds like you’ve got a real shithouse going on there.
        I guess to find who stole your shit just look on the bottoms of everybody’s shoes. With all that dog shit on the carpet the crooks bound to have stepped in some of it.
        “Scuse me mam, but I’d like to smell the bottom of your shoe if you dont mine”, “No I’m not a pervert, I’m just looking for dig shit.”

  6. No one is coming. It’s up to us.

    Really.

    There have been many historic examples of “leaders” betraying their people, even selling their own people into slavery. Where there is no accountability, there is no honesty. This is why the Romans took dramatic measures to the point where they made it known they would take another vote at the end of the ruler’s term and if they failed the vote, they’d be executed.

    That didn’t work either.

    Reserving the power to the people is the first structure which could work but the people have to be united and willing to step up and use that power. Unfortunately, the people have been fragmented and neutralized by both internal and external forces. China may be a fierce competitor but they weren’t wrong when they identified our biggest problem:

    “They call them “baizuo.” The rough translation from Mandarin is “White liberal,” and it is definitely not a compliment. Chinese state media describes baizou as people who, “only care about topics such as immigration, minorities, LGBT and the environment, who have no sense of real problems in the real world, who only advocate for peace and equality to satisfy their own feelings of moral superiority, and who are so obsessed with political correctness that they tolerate backward Islamic values for the sake of multiculturalism.””

    China thinks these people are destroying America and they are correct. China only needs to stand by and watch while the baizou burn cities and the actual majority sits silent and scared, waiting for the government to come save them.

    The government is not coming.

    It is up to the States, the counties, even down to the cities and towns to actually start protecting people again. Make your calls, get your local officials to start getting serious about the “United” states. Push it up the line and don’t take “no” for an answer.

    Unite or die. It was a thing in the past and it is a thing again.

  7. No it’s not. Not after 2022 when the Democrats “win” every single solitary Senate in 2022. Also they only need 51 votes and manchin WILL go for Setting up a simple majority for the other thing he wants: other gun control. I also do not understand Biden‘s hesitancy to executive order ban the ownership of all-semi automatic rifles, handguns and all magazines over 10 rounds. Is abundantly clear that the Supreme Court will either not take the case or rule in favor of Biden.

    • Also they only need 51 votes

      51 votes for budget AND judges/justices… 60 for all other confirmations and legislation, 67 votes required for impeachment…

      “I also do not understand Biden‘s hesitancy to executive order ban the ownership of all-semi automatic rifles”

      Because he does not have that authority..

      • “Because he does not have that authority..”

        Obama didn’t have the authority to override existing laws regarding illegal alien children, yet he did. Nor did he have the authority to command us citizens to purchase insurance, and he did that too. Both were upheld by a SCOTUS that is more concerned with protecting its image rather than faithfully abiding by the Constitution to protect the liberties of citizens.

        The bottom line is that all branches of our government are populated by people who think THEY are the Country and the rest of us are just along for the ride. They both despise us ordinary people and are at the same time afraid of us, and guns in the hands of us proles threatens them. If His Fraudulency wrote an EO to ban “assault weapons” the elitists on SCOTUS would happily find some way to affirm it, just as they did Obama’s EOs.

        SCOTUS’ past rulings on gun rights should give anyone who values individual liberty pause. Cruikshank, Miller, Presser, Voisine, all justified limitations on private gun ownership. Even the vaunted Heller decision left the door wide open to bans on weapons disfavored by the elites.

        • A fun concept; Why doesn’t Biden start off his efforts by banning all “assault weapons” OUTSIDE the borders of the US? And then ordering the Capitol Police to go forth and enforce his ban? Start with Mexico and Canada, then off to China and Russia, etc. OK, first off, he does not have that authority, but that was addressed above, poo-poo. Next, the Capitol Police will tell him to fuck a duck, just as police nationwide would within the US. And last but not least, Beijing would send back the Capitol Police with their heads on pikes if they tried. Point is, essentially all avenues to confiscatory gun control are currently not only unconstitutional but also unenforceable, it would take decades of unopposed tyranny to even prepare for such a thing. What these bozos are doing is making farting noises towards the fools who vote for them, after pretending the subject could make any difference in anyone’s life. Let’s not get in a tither over whatever current BS they are spreading, normally a simple horselaugh when the subject comes up should suffice.

  8. “Do you try and move a comprehensive gun bill that will go nowhere?” said Delaware Sen. Chris Coons. “Or do you take a small bill, pass it, then a medium-sized bill and pass it?”

    That reminds me of the story of the Doberman Pinscher’s owner who didn’t want to traumatize his dog by cutting off Fido’s tail all at once, so instead he cut it off an inch at a time.

    • I bet that dog didn’t like the scissors coming out after about the third time.
      Maybe a stimulus cookie helps?

    • It absolutely IS an assault rifle- no one could argue that it’s not…

      it’s a rifle that you assault.

      Duh

    • Words. They are also not Democratic, nor do they belong to the Democratic Party. It is the *Democrat* Party, and they are *Democrats*. There is nothing Democratic about either.

  9. “@Sam “The founders set up a democracy” , American is a Constitutional Republic. Democracy is mob rule. Upon exiting the Constitutional Convention Benjamin Franklin was approached by a group of citizens asking what sort of government the delegates had created. His answer was: “A republic, if you can keep it.” ”

    True, but slightly misread. The founders established a democratic republic (ex: China is a Republic, but in no way democratic), as I noted by stating, “but not a direct democracy”. The original constitution does/did not include any provision for a mitigating tool to be used to keep the simple majorities in House and Senate from doing everything on a 50+1 basis. While representatives were chosen by the citizens and States (back when states were sovereign, and the central committee a servant), their legislative business was to be settled by “majority rule”, hence a democracy but not a direct democracy.

    • ” China is a Republic, but in no way democratic ”

      Not exactly accurate. Even though it is a one-party system, there is a fair amount of democratic activity that goes on as one works his way through that single party on his way to the top. There are all sorts of interest groups that have to be placated on the way up the ladder. Trouble is, the closer to the top, the less accountable to the masses — sort of how it works here. I’d say there is about as much real democracy in China as there is here.

  10. “The founders set up a republic not a democracy.”

    Read the comment more slowly. The US is a democratic Republic, and as I stated, not a direct democracy. In the beginning, how did legislation pass through both the House and Senate? Answer: Majority Rule; that is a democratic process to conduct the legislative business of the nation. It was only the much later introduction of the 60-vote rule in and by the Senate, that stopped “majority rule” in certain circumstances.

    A “Republic” does nothing to forestall a rampage by the majority of representatives (the singular characteristic that separated direct democracy from representative democracy). Franklin meant that the US was not an aristocracy, a monarchy, a theocracy, nor a dictatorship. He did not mean that by some magic, democratic processes had been eliminated, only that the people would choose delegates to represent the interests of the public, and the States would choose delegates to represent the interests of States as a whole. The processes for passing legislation was/is, in fact, democracy executed through the funnel of representatives. A Republic does not protect the voters from democratic processes (50+1)

    Do not confuse requiring actual talking for filibuster, for the ending the filibuster. The filibuster does not require 60 votes to pass legislation (but the Senate is free to designate legislation requiring 60 votes, two-thirds votes, four-fifths votes, even applying those restrictions to “members present” at the moment of a vote, or to the total of Senators. Once a filibuster is broken, majority rule takes over. So, democracy prevails as the mechanism for passing legislation in both House and Senate. No matter how loud one shouts “Republic”, democracy is not constrained as the means by which legislators pass, or fail to pass, legislation. Thus, we have a democratic Republic; can’t get around it.

  11. “You say “po TAY to”, I say “po TAH to”. ”

    I say, “po-tay-doe” in polite company, but “puh-tay-duh” at home.

    • Rednecks (like me 🙂 ) just call ’em “taters”…

  12. “Echoing other comments here, we’re a Constitutional Republic, not a Democracy. ”

    If that is true, how did legislation get passed, under the wording of the original Constitution? How does it get passed today?

    Majority vote (majority rule?)?

    Is there not a term to describe that process?

    • Sam I Am,

      OH! OH! I know this one!!!!

      Uhmm, because the Senate (NOT a “democratic institution”, even after the ridiculous 17th Amendment) had a vote (usually, other than for reconciliation or financial bills) of 60+ to advance the legislation.

      Is it physically painful to be that stupid???

    • The term you are looking for, I think, is “referendum”. 535 people who vote in the Capitol are not a majority, they are *representatives*, a majority vote would be counted in the tens of millions.

  13. “Not even the “200,000,000” killed by gun violence last year that former vice president sleepy joe told us about?”

    As usual, Biden is using out of date statistics. Former Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe (Bill Clinton sycophant) declared in 2017 that 93,000,000 people are killed by guns every day. That would be 33,945,000,000 per year. A more likely accurate figure.

  14. “Absolutely. There was not the slightest mention or implication of dumbocracy in the original Constitution, for good reason.”

    Then by which process does legislation get passed in House and Senate? Random chance? Emotions? Perchance by majority vote? That is how a democracy works, right? We do not have a direct democracy of the voters, but the legislation is passed by democratic process, in which majority rules. Read the Constitution. Where does it direct any other process by which legislation is passed? When “majority rules”, you have a democratic process (a democracy of elected representatives).

    BTW, read the original comment again, I noted that we have a democracy, just not a direct democracy; a democratic (majority rule) Republic.

    • Sam I Am,
      I used “democracy” in its literal, original definition (recognized by political analysts at least since Plato): “rule of the people” – generally with a lowest-common-denominator connotation, even in ancient Athens (which had a rather nondemocratic electorate by 21st or even late 19th century standards).

      Every democracy may have voting, but not every organization with voting is democratic – sometimes not by a long shot. Did the fact that seven “Electors” voted for the Emperor make it the Holy Roman Democracy? Do clubs, corporate directors, university trustees, etc. gift every bum born in their zip codes – with zero regard for investment, commitment, competence or responsibility – an equal vote with their main stakeholders? Would any rational person trust them with a nickel if they did?

      Please read my original comment as well. Each of the above organizations has foundational documents, just like the Constitution, that delegate discretion over specific functions necessary to discharge the purposes of the organization. They empower a simple majority to prioritize, fund, and execute those functions, but do not permit even a large majority to “rule”. It cannot build tennis courts over Augusta’s Holes 13-16, turn an Arts Department into a motor rifle regiment, or donate the stockholders’ oil wells to BLM or the NRA – at least not without the sort of transformative supermajority required for a Constitutional Amendment . That’s the critical difference, one that – when faithfully followed – secures individual liberties regardless of the constituency or methodology of the electorate.

    • Wrong, Sam, it is a *representative republic*. A democratic republic would settle all legislative questions by majority vote of 150 million plus voters. THAT would be “majority rule”. Which is why we don’t have one.

  15. “Chris Coons? Time for a change.org petition, this name is not 2021 appropriate.”

    Sitting back, waiting until the crazies catch on to individual name cancellation.

  16. “Democrats are going to get rid of the 60 vote filibuster threshold. It’s simply a matter of time.”

    In the first few month’s of the Obama administration, I noted to the Colonel, “These people are acting like they will be in office forever.” The current regime seems to believe they can actually make that happen.

  17. “Its NOT A FRIKEN ASSAULT RIFLE. Grrrrrrrrrrrr.
    I thought we cleared that up in the 90’s”

    Never let a useful label go to waste.

  18. “We are a constitutional Republic that utilizes the democratic process.”

    Exactly; making this an indirect democracy.

    • No, you simpleton, it is a Constitutionally-established representative republic. Until the ridiculously stupid 17th Amendment, it was a TRUE republic, and it still retains many republican features. Seriously, go back to school, take a couple of classes in history and government (if you can find any schools that still teach that). Ever read “The Federalist Papers”?? I commend them to your attention.

  19. “The debate over whether America is a republic or a democracy or some hybrid is, ultimately, pointless. ”

    Not actually. Too many people believe the word “Republic” somehow insulates them from “majority (mob) rules”. It is important to understand how this Republic is different from the PRC, DRG, USSR, DPROK, BPR, DRV, IRI, etc. And to understand just what Franklin meant about the US being provided “a Republic”….because he understood the dangers of the democracy underneath the name. This removes the nation only one step from direct democracy; elected representatives.

  20. “I’m not the least bit convinced that it is safe for We the People to delegate these powers to Congress-critters”

    But it is these “Congress-critters” who need to be convinced to send your two Constitutional Amendments to the states for ratification. And then the current (and some future?) states to ratify amendments not in their direct interests.

  21. “But Democrats are instead starting to look at smaller measures that can win bipartisan support and break the National Rifle Association’s US Constitution’s strong influence over Congress.”

    Fixed it.

  22. “Rednecks (like me 🙂 ) just call ’em “taters”…”

    Yeah, well true. Ah wuz jes tryin’ to keep it PG, here.

  23. Two problems with this article. 1. It is assuming the Dems will not modify the filibuster rule. 2. Senator Coons idea of a small bill and ours are worlds apart. To him universal background checks and red flag laws and high capacity magazine bans and assault weapon ban are the small bill

  24. Honestly the progun chance of shutting gun control down is using Biden declining health to try to find enough other Dems to have him removed. That would then allow Harris to step up to the Oval Office and nominate a VP replacement. However you have to have a majority to confirm a new VP and since it is split 50-50 and no VP to break the tie then the job remains vacant. The speaker does NOT move up to the VP position but she would be next in line if Harris was out for any reason. I know, I know, I know “bUt WaT AbOUt Eo’s”. If obama, trump, and Biden hasn’t found a way to ban the common stuff with EOs, then there is not a way.

    • However you have to have a majority to confirm a new VP and since it is split 50-50 and no VP to break the tie then the job remains vacant.

      Confirmation of a new VP requires a majority in BOTH the House AND the Senate… A simple majority in each body is ALL that is required… There are enough RINOs in the Senate to guarantee confirmation of a Harris nominee…

  25. But Democrats are instead starting to look at smaller measures that can win bipartisan support and break the National Rifle Association’s strong influence over Congress.

    So, they’re going to make sure that the frog is in cold water in the pan on the stovetop.

  26. several democrats openly want to eliminate the filibuster rule, which would turn the senate into merely another house of representatives albeit with longer terms of office.

    do not ever assume we are “safe.”

  27. The original contention was that the US is not a democracy, but a Republic. My ripost was/is that we have an indirect democracy. The US is only one step (element of configuration) from a direct democracy: representatives. A Republic holds no magic feature that prevents mob rule, only a potential mitigation. When legislation is passed 50+1, you have majority rule. With majority rule in both houses, you have majority rule in the nation…except for the limited veto power of the President (when the Presidential veto overruled, you have mob rule by a bigger mob).

    Thinking that legislation cannot turn a hamburger stand into a parking lot ignores the history before us. All the gun control law in the US is usurpation of power. Clearly, only a constitutional amendment is the authorized means for majority rule Congress to restrict, or eliminate, the Second Amendment. Yet, look at the hurt locker full of legislative, majority rule, gun control laws in effect. Thus, majority rule (democracy) can bypass the Constitution simply because a majority of representatives (each elected by a majority of voters) decides that the US really is a democracy, and the will of the people (majority of voters) demands (through the majority of legislators) must be accepted because the majority of “the people” demands something be done.

    In short (finally), a Republic guarantees nothing to prohibit the rule of the majority. A republic (as we know it; other nations simply use the word) inserts representatives between the people and the houses of power. The word “Republic” carries no power to rule, or prevent majority rule. We have indirect democracy. When the majority of voters instruct their representatives (via public voting) to take action on a particular issue, and the representatives combine to create a majority block of votes, the majority rules. A Republic provides no protection of the minority (local or in Congress). The reality is “Republic” is a distinction without a functional difference as to thwarting “majority rule”. Majority rule was the basis of democracy in ancient Athens; eligible voters banded together to create majorities of those voting. Our Republic was created to separate us from all other forms of government, not form a shield against “tyranny of the majority”.

    • “Majority rule was the basis of democracy in ancient Athens”

      While it’s true that the majority could vote fairly egregious violations of liberties (directly against individuals), introducing unconstitutional legislation carried severe penalties.

  28. “Uhmm, because the Senate (NOT a “democratic institution”, even after the ridiculous 17th Amendment) had a vote (usually, other than for reconciliation or financial bills) of 60+ to advance the legislation.”

    Not following you, here. The Senate rule is not germane to the discussion. The question is whether the word “Republic” negates majority rule as the mechanism for settling the question of whether a piece of legislation passes or not? Does “Republic” somehow act as Kryptonite to majority rule (tyranny of the majority), the singular underlying characteristic of democracy?

    • Gee, sorry that a simple concept escapes you. The Senate was NEVER intended to be a “majority rules” house. When each state has two Senators (and Wyoming has EXACTLY the same number of votes in the Senate as California), how is ANY Senate vote “majority rules”????? Go back and read up on democracy, as practiced in Athens. Read up on what our Founders actually said about that, in the Federalist Papers, and in the debates about the adoption of the Constitution. Then actually READ the d*** Constitution (which, apparently, neither the Congress, nor the POTUS, nor the SCOTUS ever bothers to).

      They gave us the structure. We’ve polluted the hell out of it, but even in it’s perverted and weakened state, it is NOT a democracy. Geez, this stuff actually isn’t rocket surgery, Sam. WE ARE NOT A DEMOCRACY. Never have been. Yes, our “elites” keep trying to move us that direction, I admit. But how you get from a two-house legislature, with one house EXPLICITLY non-democratic, add in an Electoral College as the mechanism to elect the President, and then add in a Judicial branch that is SUPPOSED to insure adherence to the Constitution, rather than majority rule (admittedly, they screw the pooch on that more often than not, but that doesn’t change what their role is SUPPOSED to be), and conclude we have a “democratic system” requires some mental gymnastics that would do credit to a Leftist.

      Not sure why you are chasing your tail on this one, Sam, but . . . we AIN’T a “democracy”, or even a “democratic system”. Sorry.

  29. “Ever read “The Federalist Papers”??”

    Often, in both languages. The direct voting by eligible voters on every subject considered, or initiated by “the government” was considered, and rejected. The republican form was chosen as a filter, a mitigation of direct democracy. However, the insertion of representatives did nothing to actually prevent “mob rule” by proxy.

    Representatives face a dilemma: vote exactly as instructed by constituents, or mitigate popular agitation, and vote to ensure the best benefit of the nation. That conundrum remains. However, representatives of the voters/citizens are not immune to the pressure of the electorate (the mob), and cannot long serve if they continuously vote counter. So, you have direct democracy, once removed. The purpose of representatives is to slow the lightning swift changes of public opinion that can result in ill-conceived demands for actions that need calmer heads. In the end, “Republic” does nothing to reverse “majority rule”, which today is commonly associated with “democracy”, and “democracy” is associated with “majority rule” whatever the issue.

    American English is a sloppy language. Telling modern audiences (voters) that we are not a “democracy”, to fracture an ancient admonition, leaves us fruitless (“Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels,….I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal.”). Like it or not, we live now. If a people have a government that depends on voting by the public and the representatives of the public, and the decisions on legislation depend on voting, and voting is settled by a majority (which, today, includes pluralities), then the public will perceive that as a democracy. When The People’s Republic of China exists as a title and descriptor, the word “Republic” when identifying the US, has no useful, effective meaning.

    • “[T]he insertion of representatives did nothing to actually prevent ‘mob rule’ by proxy.”

      Correct, just as it is correct to assert that a representative democracy is still a democracy – but disingenuous to pretend that the Founders created one.

      They prevented mob rule (by proxy or otherwise) in the same way that they created a republic: by not enfranchising the mob.

      Constitutionally limited powers worked consistently for about 150 years prior to FDR’s court-packing scheme (and intermittently thereafter). Agree or disagree with specific post-BOR amendments, their very existence demonstrates broad consensus among the branches and the electorate that such changes required more than mere legislation.

    • Well, chief, if you supposedly read the Federalist Papers, and that’s your take-away??? Nothing I can say, other than “Reading is Fundamental”. Can’t help those who refuse to be helped. If you are asserting that a mobocracy was the intention of our Founders, ditto. Now, if you want to assert we are moving more toward mob rule, I would agree.

  30. “The term you are looking for, I think, is “referendum”. 535 people who vote in the Capitol are not a majority, they are *representatives*, a majority vote would be counted in the tens of millions.”

    “Referendum” might be be a clear example of direct democracy. Since Representatives and Senators are elected by popular majority of the voting public, one might also consider those elections are direct democracy. This would leave only the President subject to indirect democracy.

    Claiming that somehow governing by democratic processes does not indicate a “democracy” seems incongruous. Proclaiming that the US is a “Republic”, as if that somehow ensures the tyranny of the majority is kept in check, and “the minority” gains some intrinsic, or de facto protection from “majority rule”, seems a useless, and dismissible concept. Something on the order of “Shall Not Be Infringed” as an impediment to current and future gun control legislation.

    Which was my entire point of discussion.

  31. “A democratic republic would settle all legislative questions by majority vote of 150 million plus voters.”

    Good catch. A “democratic republic” is an oxymoron. I need to drop that descriptor.

    In the end, however, the word “republic” holds no effective meaning under a constitution that did not proscribe “majority rule” as the standard for passing legislation in either the House or Senate. The public at large looks at our structure and thinks, “We vote for representatives. Representatives win by having the most votes (majority rule). Representatives vote for legislation. Legislation is passed by the party with the most votes (majority rule). In a democracy, the people get to vote, the representatives get to vote, ergo, we are a democracy, and the most people should get what they want.”

  32. “Democracy has never been and never can be so desirable as aristocracy or monarchy, but while it lasts, is more bloody than either. Remember, democracy never lasts long. It soon wastes, exhausts and murders itself. There never was a democracy that did not commit suicide.”
    — John Adams, Signer of the Declaration of Independence, member Continental Congress, first Vice President, second President of the United States of America, 1815

    “[D]emocracies have ever been spectacles of turbulence and contention; have ever been found incompatible with personal security, or the rights of property; and have, in general, been as short in their lives as they have been violent in their deaths.”
    — James Madison

    “[D]emocracy will soon degenerate into an anarchy; such an anarchy that every man will do what is right in his own eyes and no man’s life or property or reputation or liberty will be secure, and every one of these will soon mould itself into a system of subordination of all the moral virtues and intellectual abilities, all the powers of wealth, beauty, wit, and science, to the wanton pleasures, the capricious will, and the
    execrable [abominable] cruelty of one or a very few.”
    — John Adams

    “[T]he experience of all former ages had shown that of all human governments, democracy was the most unstable, fluctuating and short-lived.”
    — John Quincy Adams

    Elizabeth Willing Powel: “Well Doctor what have we got a republic or a monarchy?
    Benjamin Franklin: “A republic, if you can keep it”
    Elizabeth Willing Powel: “And why not keep it?”
    Benjamin Franklin: “Because the people, on tasting the dish, are always disposed to eat more of it than does them good.”
    — American Historical Review by James McHenry

    • Zonefighter,
      Excellent quotes! Although the term didn’t exist at the time, they all boil down to the inevitability that Democracy = Social Democracy. We’re just a little bit “behind” every other democracy in that regard due to a written Constitution, a few individual heroes like Clarence Thomas, and just plain inertia.

  33. “…introducing unconstitutional legislation carried severe penalties.”

    Specifically, the Second American Revolution, or call it the Second Civil War (revolutions, by definition are civil wars).

    Unfortunately, the current condition is that introducing/passing unconstitutional legislation is prospering at no apparent expense to the legislators.

    • The only way to forestall such catastrophic extralegal remedies is recourse to adequate legal remedies.

      The Founders were brilliant, but human. If anything, their virtue was our undoing. They “h[e]ld these truths to be self-evident” and left the Constitution with insufficient “teeth” because they failed to anticipate the 20thC disbelief / hostility toward objective truth, much less today’s growing consensus on “truths” diametrically opposed to actual moral principles.

  34. “The Senate was NEVER intended to be a “majority rules” house.”

    Then how did legislation get passed through the Senate? Were there votes on the legislation? How was the approval/disapproval of a Senate bill (or one received from the House) determined? Without some mechanism to determine that status, nothing would ever emanate from the Senate. What was that mechanism, and how was pass/fail determined?

    The “super majority” of 60 votes in the Senate is not in the Constitution (nor any of the Amendments). It is neither the constitutional standard for passing any particular bill, nor is it the constitutional standard for ending debate on a bill. In 1975, the Senate rule to end a filibuster was changed from two-thirds to three-fifths (https://aclj.org/what-is-the-60-vote-rule-in-the-senate).

    Without a Constitutional provision that establishes that the Senate cannot pass bills with a simple majority, a “majority rules” process is not only possible, but is alive and well in Senate rules (specifically, the power of the Senate to set it’s own rules can set aside the “60-vote rule” with a simple majority vote of 51). How can it be said the Senate was never designed to be a “majority rule”? No matter that each state has two senators, when legislation in the Senate is up for a vote, the legislation cannot survive without a majority of the senators voting to do so (whether by “super-majority, or simple-majority).

    If one looks closely, one understands that “majority rule” is alive and well in the Senate, else why would anyone worry about the party of the Vice-President depending upon the V-P to “break ties”? If there can be no majority rule given an equal number of Senators in each state (as asserted), how is it the V-P needs the constitutional authority to break voting ties? What does a “tie” indicate, anyway? The need for a mechanism to determine one way or the other whether a Senate bill is passed/rejected indicates the existence of “majority rule” in the Senate; whether the V-P is involved, or not. Majority (simple or super) rule is the essence of a democracy.

  35. Specifically, how does a republican form of government prevent majority rule in all legislation? Majority of the voters instruct the representatives in the House and Senate. The representatives in the House and Senate decide upon passage/rejection of legislation based on a majority, or super-majority vote. A presidential veto can be overridden by a super majority (two-thirds majority) in both House and Senate. What in our Republic, prevents majority rule? Where in the Constitution is it stated that the majority must allow the minority to “win” an otherwise lost vote order to be fair, or something?

    I ask again, “what is the magic of a republic that prevents majority rule of a nation?”

    I find nowhere in the writings of the founders, regarding the constitution, the idea that a republican manner of government (established in the constitution) will abolish/eliminate governance by majority rule. (I will, quickly admit to being wrong about this, just post a reference).

    Thus, along with pointing out that trying to distinguish between a republic and a classic, direct democracy is useless in current politics, I am positing that a republic merely inserts representatives into what would otherwise be a direct democracy, but democracy (indirect) nonetheless.

    • Every honest man makes mistakes, but once he hears the truth, he must cease to be mistaken or he ceases to be an honest man.

      Everyone is entitled to his own opinions, but no one is entitled to his own facts.

  36. How people can still rely on the marxists needing to get to the 60 vote threshhold to pass gun control kind of baffles me. We just witnessed the greatest fraud in American history with the stolen election in 2020. It would not surprise me at all for the lefties to change the rules in the Senate to where a simple majority vote would suffice to pass anything. Even if Manchin from WV voted nay, there are 20 rinos in the Senate with at least 6 not running for re-election in 2022 and 2024. Word is also that Cocaine Mitch will retire before his current 6 year term is up.
    It would not surprise me if some or even all of these rino traitors voted yes to gun control.
    There is still the possibility of China Joe putting out gun control Executive Orders. These would get challenged, but would be a slow process in the court. Even if they got to the SCOTUS who is to say that they would shoot them down anyways.
    People are dangerously optimistic.

  37. Dems are working the emotional angle now with 2 high profile, high casualty shootings to work with. Things were relatively quiet and now two major shootings at a time when Dems are pushing gun control. Funny how the timing works…

  38. “Every honest man makes mistakes, but once he hears the truth, he must cease to be mistaken or he ceases to be an honest man.”

    Never said the US was/is not a republic. Only that in modern times, it a a distinction without a functional/effective difference – indirect democracy (classic definition). Also wrote that reiterating the proposition that we are a republic has no influence on much of anything. Not seeing the external value of testifying to ourselves, “we are a republic, not a democracy”.

    The political world we live in conflates popular voting with direct democracy, saying different falls on deaf ears of our enemy. If there is a public vote on an issue, or a candidate, the majority rules; democracy. When legislators vote on an issue, majority rules (simple or super); democracy. When the combined Congress overrule a presidential veto, (super)majority rules; democracy.

    Inserting representatives in the political process is democracy (classic) with one degree of separation. When the public majority, and legislative majorities want something, majority rules. So, when I state that we have an indirect democracy, it is not a mistake, but a cold declaration of uncomfortable fact. The founders were well aware of the danger of even having a republic, because of the basic nature of government underpinned by majority rule.

    The founders looked at several alternative means of governance of a nation. The republican form was considered the best means of installing and promulgating self-governance of the citizenry, even though at the lowest level (direct election of the members of the House), democracy reigned. As the founders feared, the elected became the elite, and ultimately moved democracy (classic) to the election of members of the Senate. The House, Senate and President are decided by classic democracy. All legislative action (and even the presidency) is subject to majority rule.

    Where, then, does the insistence on trying to somehow separate democracy from republicanism provide any real difference in political outcomes?

    Yes, we are a republic. Where, how does that fact make a difference in outcomes? When you (public) consult with a like-minded acquaintance (representative) do you really expect to be opposed? How does having a like-minded opinion mitigate, stop, alter the outcome? While the republican element of our constitution were designed to slow down the legislative process, it was never designed to thwart it entirely. Representatives become merely vote bundlers.

    IRRC, Ross Perot, in about 1992 or 3, recommended direct voting for national legislature and president be done electronically by all eligible voters, bypass all the outdated means of elections. Now, 2021, we have the technology. We have the capability to build the world’s fully electronic and equitable voting system. We can build it back better than it was before. Watch the man behind the curtain.

    • Your earlier posts seemed stuck on the overbroad “majority [of any group of people] vote = democracy” definition, and also the idea that the Founders’ republic contained no safeguards against democratic overreach – which is a bit like saying that SHAEF’s plan for Normandy sucked because it failed to account for the consequences if Rommel took command of Montgomery’s forces.

      Now that you’re talking about today, it’s a very different discussion (one in which I think we’re pretty well fuct). I hope I addressed part of it in my other response.

  39. “The Founders were brilliant, but human. If anything, their virtue was our undoing. They “h[e]ld these truths to be self-evident” and left the Constitution with insufficient “teeth” because they failed to anticipate the 20thC disbelief / hostility toward objective truth, much less today’s growing consensus on “truths” diametrically opposed to actual moral principles.”

    The founders were, indeed, brilliant. Providing “insufficient teeth” for the central committee was intentional. The States were independent and sovereign, lending (delegating) certain limited and limitable powers to the central committee. They literally acted to prevent the central committee from having the power to rule over every citizen, in every aspect. There was very little for the central committee to govern, and have authority over. The “bet” was that the States would jealously guard their powers and prerogatives such that the central committee have restricted enforcement power, and relatively little to enforce. The founders also warned us about letting the central committee go rogue in pursuit of aggrandizement of government, and bribery of the populace by the government. The enforcement power was retained by the States, and their citizens. Lack of citizen vigilance led to what we have today.

    • I apologize if I was unclear in my comment about “teeth”. I didn’t mean mechanisms for “the central committee having the power to rule over every citizen, in every aspect” – quite the contrary.

      You alluded to what I really meant when you wrote “States would jealously guard their powers and prerogatives”. People praise the Founders’ keen appreciation for that aspect of human nature (the supposed checks and balances not only by the States, but also between branches) to restrain government, but fail to mention that there’s no forcing function. Politicians are subject to censure for violating their own petty bylaws, or for irrelevant personal vices, but the “checks and balances” on egregious violations of the Constitution mean, at best, that they’ll be kicked down the road until different folks are voted in to implement them.

      I was referring to the reserved, unamendable sections of core principles in some constitutions (modern as well as ancient) that are above a vote, with dire consequences not only for criminals who violate them onesy-twosy, but – much more importantly – for politicians who attempt to violate them for millions. In the US, a handful of states have made minor moves in this direction by creating (though rarely enforcing) fines against municipal officials who violate preemption laws. As I wrote earlier, the Thirteenth Amendment seems to have acquired this status by tradition. If all enumerated rights had such protection by force of Law; if every politician (under the jealous gaze of every colleague, state official, constituent, etc.) dared not propose a bill without being prepared to cite Article and Clause, “jealously guard” would actually have meaning.

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