Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Time For A Cattle Prod

Today, if it sounds like we're pretty damn fed up with the Republican Party, and specifically, the Republicans in Congress, you'd be right. Of course, if you think it's just Republicans we're angry at, you'd be wrong.

Today, for the first time in two weeks, both the House and Senate are returning to Capitol Hill, in theory to get some work done. One of the most important issues they have sitting before them currently happens to be a package of gun safety reform laws, including universal background checks, reduced capacity magazines, and an assault weapons ban.

The gutless cowards of the gun manufacturers' lobby - including both the NRA and the mislabeled "Gun Owners Of America" lawyer group -  have done everything they can to try to delay serious consideration of new gun safety reforms. As E.J. Dionne noted in Monday's Washington Post, even though a record 91% of Americans support universal background checks, and majorities support ideas like reduced capacity magazines, the law firms - which is what lobbying groups are - that represent the companies that make guns have taken to leading Congress around again by the nose.

On issues from guns, to immigration, to job creation, real Americans of all kinds want one thing - and corporate executives want another.

This is extremely obvious in the gun reform debate, where the coward from Oklahoma, Republican Senator Tom Coburn, has recently been pushed around by the gun manufacturer's group. Coburn went from supporting common sense reform that even his conservative Okalahoma residents support, to a bevy of excuses about why he suddenly can't support gun rational gun laws.

This isn't just about Republicans, however.

Democratic Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has had so many chances to reform the filibuster system that now holds him - and America - hostage on these issues, we're beginning to wonder if he too isn't just another bought and paid-for political lackey of the multi-billion dollar gun makers.

As Republican Senator Rand Paul and his group of extremists, including the always milksop Sen. Mitch McConnell, attempt to stop even a single vote on gun reform bills - bills that Paul, McConnell, and their gang have yet to even read - we join with the attitude President Obama displayed on Monday in Connecticut, at a rally for voters to get Congress moving.

"Connecticut has shown the way," on gun reform, President Obama said angrily. "And now is the time for Congress to do the same."

This is not about the President. This is not about party politics. This is about doing something nine of every ten Americans want. The only thing that might stop Americans  right now is the nearly unlimited corporate-backed dark money "feedbags", that DC lawyers are using to stop Congress in its tracks.

It's time American voters stopped being nice, and got out the cattle prods on both sides of the aisle.

If you want background checks? Call Congress, today. The switchboard number is (202) 224-3121. Ask for your Senator or Congress person. If you'd rather send them a tersely worded letter? USA.gov has a handy list of the e-mail and postal mail addresses of every member of Congress.

If you don't think members of Congress get scared when they see piles of notes, messages, and letters coming their way, from angry constituents? They do - almost more than when the rich lawyer lobbyists take the moneybags away.