The Senate staged a dramatic reverse filibuster; the House followed suit with a dramatic sit-in style shutdown. The buzzwords #NO-FLY #No-BUY and #NOBILLNOBREAK flooded social media and the mass shooting weary liberals swooned over hearing the words that they have long wanted to hear. Nancy Pelosi sent out desperate fund raising e-mails, and then…they all went on vacation.
With everyone away from the office for a while, let’s relook at what exactly happened here. What were the politicians really doing. Perhaps, some of them actually may feel the same as you, frustrated with gun violence, but they also need to make something else happen. They need Sanders’ supporters to fall in line with mainstream Democrats. Young people and the rest of the Sanders’ folk would love to see some hard fighting Democratic Senators fighting the big bad Republicans, who want terrorists to shoot up all the schools and gay nightclubs of the world. Except that is a little hard to swallow, even about the nut job right-wing.
The 15 hours of the Senate filibuster and the 14 hour sit-in (led by civil rights champion John Lewis for extra justice flair) brought them much desired media attention, and it is working. The praise is for these Senators and Reps on their Facebook feeds is over the top.
The Senate filibuster was to force a vote that they knew that they would lose. The House sit-in was to essentially demand the banning of the sale of firearms to 680,000 people on the government’s watch-list without any oversight. John Lewis’ role in the sit-in was meant to steer people’s attention away from this reality.
If you think I am being too cynical, please just bear it in mind as you review the news of the week. We want meaningful change. Let’s make sure that they do too.