Compelled by a mixture of relief and schadenfreude, I held my nose and watched the president rail against the defeat of the Manchin-Toomey amendment in a live Rose Garden press conference earlier today. He recited all the same old canards: “If action by congress could have saved one person, while protecting our Second Amendment rights, we had an obligation to try.” Note the assumption that Manchin-Toomey would have protected anything . . .
Obama also blasted the ‘abuse of Senate rules’ that prevented the Manchin-Toomey amendment from moving forward. This is hip-deep hypocrisy: Obama was a senator himself, and he knew well that both parties rely on the 60-vote amendment rule.
I didn’t hear him lamenting the defeat of several GOP-sponsored amendments (including national CCW reciprocity, gun rights for veterans, and harsher penalties for straw purchases) that also gathered more than 50 votes, but were defeated in today’s voting. Apparently it’s only an ‘abuse of Senate rules’ when your own pet amendments are blocked. The GOP amendments actually fared better on the whole than the anti-gun Democrat amendments did, but nobody held a Rose Garden ceremony for them.
It was absolutely PRICELESS watching a furious Feinstein flail in impotent rage after her beloved AWB went down in flames. It was definitely The Biggest Loser, garnering only 40 votes in favor, 60 against.
After the sound and fury of the Rose Garden sob-fest, I preferred the comments of Rep. Steve Stockman (R-Tex.):
This afternoon’s 54-46 defeat of Manchin-Toomey anti-gun power grab is a victory for peace and civil liberties. After spending over $1 billion to claw out a 51% re-election, it’s clear at this point Obama couldn’t pass a stone. Constitutional rights don’t require permission slips. The language of the Second Amendment is perhaps the starkest and most absolute in the Constitution. ‘The right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.’ That means any obstacle whatsoever is strictly prohibited. We are currently ordering our promised U-Haul gift cards for Senators Hagan and Landrieu, who may become the next Jack Brooks. We expect them to be delivered shortly. We are awaiting the results of voting on other amendments to see what legislative response, if any, this office will issue.
Keep up the pressure on your congresscritters: this ain’t over yet.