Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Can you serve two masters? When it comes to gun control, Republican pols are having trouble doing so. Hence the filibuster.

Until we get public financing of elections, every politician must serve two kinds of master: voters and patrons.

Nowhere is this more obvious than in the gun regulation debate. Especially with universal gun registration, supported by over 90% of voters and even over 2/3 of NRA rank and file members--but opposed by the gun makers, major patrons and congressional job-killers of those who bring down their wrath.

The solution? Prevent a vote. That way the general voting public won't notice that your first loyalty is to your patrons, not your voters. Heck, most Republican districts are so radically gerrymandered you can't lose to a Democrat anyway. So what even Republican voters want doesn't matter all that much.

And of course when one side is being promoted by a multibillion dollar industry and the other by a few grieving parents and a few politicians with a conscience, voters are more apt to hear the blaring bullhorn than a few teary pleas.

In addition, from time immemorial the rich and powerful have always had a core of shock troops--their bully boys--to go out and defend their interests. In Tehran it's the thug militias who go out and club and shoot protesters against the mullahs. Here it's more peaceful but still has that flavor: that is, the million or so gun nuts--not to be confused with most gun owners--the gun nuts who believe they have a right to own military ordnance without the government knowing they do and without any meaningful protections from crooks and psychos having almost equally free access to firearms of all types.

It's an unequal fight. The one positive sign is the growing disenchantment of Republican voters watching even their opinions being flouted flagrantly by the people they voted into office. 

...and a few Republican senators who are manning up and denouncing the threatened filibuster, including John McCain.

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