“The Constitution’s a sacred document, but it is not a suicide pact. This is not hard for me. Due process is important, but at the end of the day, we are at war.” That’s a quote from South Carolina Republican Senator Lindsey Graham regarding his support for the “No Fly, No Buy” bills that failed in Congress. nytimes.com writer Carl Hulse highlighted Graham’s willingness indeed enthusiasm for throwing the Constitution under the proverbial bus in his article Gun Control Wall, Bolstered by Republicans, Shows a Crack.
It’s an entirely dubious theory, based entirely on the fact that some Republicans voted for their own “compromise” bills placing Americans on the government’s secret, unaccountable Terrorist Watch List; bills that made a stab at inserting due process into the deeply unconstitutional concept.
[Senator Mitch McConnell] allowed a competing alternative by Senator Ron Johnson, Republican of Wisconsin, that probably siphoned Republican votes from the Collins plan. But the votes exposed a small universe of Republican senators who might eventually be willing to support gun restrictions in the interest of preventing terrorism, perhaps enough to eventually push a compromise proposal to the hallowed 60-vote level.
“The fact that terrorism has become intertwined with the gun issue puts greater pressure on Republican senators and Senator McConnell to get something done,” [New York Senator Chuck] Schumer said.
“Might eventually be willing?” Hulse is seeing things. But at least he saw one thing clearly: by voting against the compromise bill, Democrats placed political concerns above their concerns about “gun safety.” Like this:
As the Collins proposal gained steam after the defeat of other, more partisan proposals, Democrats discussed opposing it. They worried that strong Democratic backing would allow a handful of embattled Republicans the opportunity to cast a politically helpful gun safety vote even though no legislation would pass — an opportunity to “get well” on guns as it is known.
And so the compromise bill died, leaving both pro-gun rights Republicans and anti-gun right Democrats pretty much where they started. Gridlock! As designed by the Founding Fathers to prevent legislators from doing stupid things like removing rights from citizens without due process.
As for Hulse’s summation — “Perceiving a shift in congressional sentiment and a distinct political advantage, gun control advocates are not about to give up now” — I’ll leave you with a British aphorism: pull the other one, it’s got bells on it.