The good news is that the House has finally passed the Violence Against Women Act. The reauthorization of the 20-year-old law is now headed to the president’s desk after previous defeats by House Republicans.
The truly bad news is that 138 Republicans voted no and 164 voted to eviscerate it with a senseless amendment.
Make no mistake, these are big numbers. The fringe of the Republican Party in the House is no longer the “fringe.” They are the majority.
There are probably more kinds of stupid, but two especially come to
mind: stupid of the head, like Chuck Hagel’s visions of Israel, and
stupid of the heart, like Mark Sanford's. Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal
said recently that the Republican Party is in danger of becoming the
“stupid party.” (Possibly sinfully, irretrievably stupid: See Bill
O’Reilly’s upcoming book, Killing Jesus.)
Sanford’s sin is
not of the head, but another place. Press today say that Sanford will
be running for office again in spite of his recent “peccadilloes” — not
the word I would have chosen. He feels reformed enough to reenter
politics. He should be allowed back into the world. Because before there
was a Tea Party and before Texas Gov. Rick Perry chanted “states’
rights, states’ rights, states’ rights” at the Alamo, there was one man
standing alone in opposition: South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford.
Don’t blame Ted Cruz, he’s only doing what he said he would do if elected.
The wave of national media attention surrounding the freshman senator late last week followed a traditional groupthink pattern. First it was a Reuters national wire story early in the week, then the Politico story late Thursday, The New York Times story Friday, alongside columns by Ruth Marcus in The Washington Post and Frank Bruni in the Times, and a segment on MSNBC’s “Hardball” on Friday.
The hearings to consider the nomination of former Sen. Chuck Hagel (R-Neb.) began with two great statesmen endorsing Hagel and ended with a freshman Republican senator embarrassing his state and the Armed Services Committee with a performance that illustrates why Republicans have lost three of the last four national elections and why Texas Democrats have good odds of a historic revival.
I was not planning on writing any more pundit blogs this week, but I do have a brief comment about Sen. Rand Paul's (R-Ky.) outburst at the Benghazi hearing with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
suggesting he would have fired Clinton is like the Little League coach
suggesting he would have fired Babe Ruth. I expect Hillary Clinton to
run for and win the presidency, and I very much hope Paul runs against
her. If he does, Hillary Rodham Clinton will pulverize Rand Paul into
It is good that our nation is engaging in a necessary discussion on the importance of curbing gun violence. It is critical to realize that there is no single solution and all sides will need to give. If we can't reach an agreement on an issue as fundamental as this, we may have reached a point in our nation where we will never agree on anything. That would indeed be tragic.
This debate provides a wonderful opportunity to understand the art of compromise. We must first realize what is important to both sides. The gun lobbyists are concerned about the Second Amendment and fear an overreaching and more powerful government that could more easily become a dictatorship if the populace is disarmed. The other side is most concerned about unbalanced or angry people having possession of dangerous weapons.
“You’ve got to make concessions; you’ve got to compromise,” said Wolf Blitzer in that solicitous MSM salon of salons named like muscle-bound Mike of “Jersey Shore,” “The Situation Room.” He was lecturing the brand-new senator from Texas, Ted Cruz, on the same day Cruz was sworn in to the Senate. Telling him how to act. Welcoming him into the big leagues. “If you’re just going to come into Washington and say, ‘Do it my way or the highway,’ you’re not going to get anywhere.”