Will the Democrats shut down the government to get gun control?

Via @allahpundit comes this remarkable suggestion from US News and World Report – and by ‘remarkable’ I mean ‘tin-eared.’  And I called it a ‘suggestion’ because it’s not really an ‘argument;’ the author visibly cannot conceive of the possibility that people might disagree that getting draconian new gun control laws are worth shutting down the government over. Or, for that matter, that there’s any question that Democrats even can shut down the government to get those laws.  Apparently, we’re just expected to assume those two points. But let’s talk about what will actually happen, shall we?


First off, the House.  There is precisely zero chance that the Democrats – particularly under their blindingly incompetent House Leader [mc_name name=’Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA)’ chamber=’house’ mcid=’P000197′ ] – can gather up enough votes to stop a law simply because it doesn’t include draconian gun restrictions.  And I am not exaggerating when I say ‘zero:’ [mc_name name=’Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA)’ chamber=’house’ mcid=’P000197′ ] could have access to Black Ops MK-ULTRA psychotronic mind-ripping technology and it’d still be a slog for her to get the votes. This is a fact on the ground, and it’s why the action would be in the Senate.

So. The Senate.  We have 55 votes.  No Republican is going to vote to shut down the government until we institute draconian gun control rules. No, not even the people who signed onto Manchin-Toomey. There is a significant difference between voting for background checks, and voting against keeping the government open unless the anti-gun movement gets its wish list. As the GOP will swiftly demonstrate. So… 55. Where do we get the other 5 needed for cloture? Well…

  • [mc_name name=’Sen. Joe Donnelly (D-IN)’ chamber=’senate’ mcid=’D000607′ ]
  • [mc_name name=’Sen. Martin Heinrich (D-NM)’ chamber=’senate’ mcid=’H001046′ ]
  • [mc_name name=’Sen. Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND)’ chamber=’senate’ mcid=’H001069′ ]
  • Joe Manchin
  • [mc_name name=’Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-MO)’ chamber=’senate’ mcid=’M001170′ ]
  • [mc_name name=’Sen. Jon Tester (D-MT)’ chamber=’senate’ mcid=’T000464′ ]
  • [mc_name name=’Sen. Mark Warner (D-VA)’ chamber=’senate’ mcid=’W000805′ ]

…and those are just the most obvious ones. Also note: we only need five for cloture. Finally note: Republican operatives in all of the states represented in that above list would salivate at the thought of cutting gun-grabber ads against those Democratic Senators in the next election cycle.  And those Democratic Senators know it.

So: House gone, Senate gone.  What about Barack Obama himself? Veto pen, right? …Sure, he could shut down the government during an election year (note that the GOP timed ours rather well, all things considered) over what is frankly a fringe issue that only progressives really love, and that Democrats merely wearily tolerate.  He could take the whole, entire blame for the mechanism creaking to a stop. And he could certainly fix in people’s minds that the government’s business simply does not get done while a Democrat’s in the Oval Office. Barack Obama could do all of these things.

Or Barack Obama could simply sign the bills, make a passive-aggressive signing statement in which he whines about the evil obstructionist GOP, and take similar cheap shots from a position of safety. Gee. I don’t know. Which strategy do you think he’d take?

Shorter Moe Lane: I’d love for the Democrats to try to shut down the government over gun control. It’d be convincing evidence that the Democrats don’t recognize the mood of the country – and don’t really understand what happened to them in 2013, either. Alas, I don’t think that I’m going to get this particular gift…


(Image via Shutterstock)

Moe Lane


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