“When pigs fly,” used to be a popular phrase for describing something that would never happen. Well, it’s happening. This highly unlikely event is taking place at the nation’s capitol, where a relatively small group of rebellious Democrats have done something progressives have been wanting the President to do for the past seven years. They have gone over the heads of the do-nothing, stop Obama at all cost, party of no Republicans, and taken their cause for good government directly to the American people.
It took the slaughter of 49 innocent people in Orlando to get it done, but the Democrats are doing it. Their method is an old-fashioned “sit-in” straight out of the 1960’s civil rights playbook. They have occupied the floor of the House of Representatives.
It’s only fitting that this unprecedented political protest should be led by 76 year-old civil rights icon John Lewis of Georgia after the idea was raised by Representative Katherine Clark of Massachusettes, one of many Dems, who, along with much of the country, is obviously weary, frustrated and disgusted with a Republican majority in the House that has repeatedly refused to allow debate on issues of critical importance regardless of the impact their inaction will have on the country.
This is the same Republican Party whose leadership declared early on, that they would block any and all progress in conducting the nation’s business because it would be considered an achievement for the country’s first black president. That, in and of itself is beneath contempt. It is possibly racist and bordering on treason. It had to be stopped, so the Democrats are now going over the heads of the Congress and taking their case directly to the American people. There was no other way.
This current Republican Party is not the party of Eisenhower and Lincoln. Ike and “Honest Abe” would reject these people outright. They are small, hateful, greedy people, who have repeatedly put their personal interest and the interest of a wealthy few above the best interest of the country.
The Democrats have finally had enough. They have siezed control of the House to draw attention to what’s going on so that the only group of people who can do anything to correct it, the American people, will rise up in indignation and take their country back from a relatively small group of millionaire, billionaire and corporate greedheads who have used their lobbyists to buy off the system to fill their own pockets while middle-American is wreaked by economic deveastation.
In short, the Republican Party has refused to manage the nation’s business by stonewalling nearly every issue, every bill, every bit of progress that has been put before them in the House and Senate. And now they are being called on it. They don’t like it, of course, so they are doing what they always do. Spewing falshhoods. Telling lies. Telling the country that the Democrat’s only real interest is in getting publicity to raise money for their party. Which is a lie. This protest was born not out of a need for fund-raising, but from the obvious need to stop the slaughter on American streets.
House Speaker Paul Ryan loves to complain that the whiny Democrats already brought their bill up in committee where it was voted down, and besides, if they want to bring it up for a vote on the floor, all they need to do is get a majority of the House to support their motion. The Dems, Mr. Ryan complains, need to follow proper procedure. Well fine, but what reporters never seem to understand is that there are more Republicans than Democrats in committees and on the floor, and because the Republicans have no interest in any kind of a compromise, the bills coming from the Dems don’t stand a chance of ever getting to the floor for debate, much less a vote. And that’s just the way the Republicans and their masters in the gun lobby want it. Ryan’s argument about the need to follow proper procedure is nothing but a smokescreen covering Republican intransigence as around 30,000 Americans a year continue dying from gun deaths.
Even more to the point of this current gun control fight, The New York Daily News reports that “More than 2,000 suspects on the FBI’s Terrorist Watchlist bought weapons in the U.S. over the past 11 years, according to the federal Government Accountability Office.” Paul Ryan says the topic needs more study. One wonders if Mr. Ryan will be selling swampland and snake oil over the Summer break.
In addition, the Republicans, predictably, are again using the old argument that Democrats are trying to kill the Second Amendment. This is another fabrication without any basis in fact, since the founders could not have imagined an assault rifle capable of spitting out thirty rounds a second or even multiple bursts fed from a banana clip. The founders carried flintlocks, capable of maybe two or three rounds a minute.
According to opensecrets.org, the NRA contributed more than $800,000 to federal candidates during the 2014 election cycle. Nearly all were Republicans.
The Democrats are taking the unprecedented action of staging a sit-in on the floor of the House because it was the only way to get the party of no to allow debate on legislation to prevent those on the terrorist watch-list from buying guns and to expand background checks for firearms purchases.
The Democrats are demanding that the Republicans allow a vote. That’s all they want, just to be permitted to do what they were elected to do. To debate an issue and then vote on it.
Following the slaughter of innocents in Orlando, Sandy Hook, San Bernardino and so many other places, the Democrats, are attempting to put the best interests of the American people first regardless of what the NRA lobbyists might want. They are trying to take a first step in stopping the slaughter on American soil.
Government by sit-in. What an interesting idea. Good for John Lewis and his Democrats. They have finally found a way to stand up to the party of no. It is a first step in removing the cloud of deceit imposed by the current oligarchy and restoring govenment to the people. The degree to which it is successful will depend upon the determination of the Democrats and the willingness of millions of Americans to provide support for our elected leaders ability to debate issues and then cast votes on those very same issues.
The founders envisioned a system of checks and balances, where the parties would come to together to reach a compromise, certainly not what we have now, the best government money can buy, with a group of corporatists and billionaires dictating policy to the Congress.
It’s called representative democracy. The Republicans and their oligarch-masters have done all they can to kill it. It’s time for the rest of us to bring it back.