Mike Bloomberg made perfect sense on Sunday’s Meet the Press. Rachel Maddow gave me hope we might really do something this time. Especially compelling: her two-minute Lyndon Johnson clip that begins eight minutes in. The need to act was as evident in 1965 as it is today.
On one side, you have most of the country — even most NRA members — favoring common sense gun safety measures. Reinstating the assault weapons ban; closing the gun-show loophole; registering guns as we do cars; licensing owners as we do drivers. That sort of thing.
On the other side, you have the gun manufacturers and religious nuts like those Michael Keegan quotes here. (“We’ve kicked God out of our public school system. And I think God would say to us, ‘Hey, I’ll be glad to protect your children, but you’ve got to invite me back into your world first. I’m not going to go where I am not wanted. I am a gentleman.”)
I think 2013 could be the year common sense prevails. And that next month the Senate might change its rules to require that, to filibuster, you actually have to . . . filibuster.
The two are related — and not just on matters of gun safety — because in its current form, the filibuster grinds the gears of governance to a virtual halt.
Not least because there’s far too much money in politics.
STAMPING MONEY OUT OF POLITICS
Ben Everly: “Coincidentally, shortly after reading your post, I received a dollar in change stamped:
A CORPORATION IS NOT A PERSON
MONEY IS NOT SPEECH
“Naturally I signed their petition!”
Ken Doran: “Really obvious fly in the ointment: If only one cause does this, maybe it is fairly harmless (although I am not crazy about it even for a cause I support). But if one can do it, so can two others, or five or ten, to infinity and beyond. Then maybe it does get made illegal, or people start fighting over accepting bills with stamps they don’t like. This is a road down which it is not wise to go.”
Wayne Arczynski: “I don’t accept paper money that has been stamped. Stamping red ink over the serial number is defacing the currency. I don’t care what Ben’s lawyer’s opinion is. Hopefully, the Secret Service will shut down this organization. I would be personally insulted if you handed me a stamped dollar. I’m guessing you might have imbibed on your cruise and in high spirits thought: What a great idea! Once you get home and stamp a few bills (I’d suggest hundreds), you may have a change of heart.”
☞ I’ll be careful not to stamp over the serial number.
FIXING OUR ELECTORAL MESS
Money corrupts good governance. And our antiquated electoral system is an embarrassment. FairVote.org is working to fix that.
Tomorrow: Chris Hayes’ important book.
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Quote of the Day
A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until a majority of voters discover that they can vote themselves largess out of the public treasury.~Alexander Tytler, historian
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