The Democrats Play the Gun-Grabbing Card Again and Blow Up the Plan to End the Filibuster

AP Photo/Lisa Marie Pane

Political reality has come into better focus over the past 48 hours as several Democrat Senators are suddenly expressing some reservations at ending the legislative filibuster, a step needed by the radical left-wing elements of the Democrat party to ram through by simple majority vote the entire wish-list of legislation dreamed of by the Sanders-Warren Socialist crowd.  The “Let Democrats Win Every Election by Having No Election Rules Act” is at the top of that list.

But then Ahmad Al Aliwi Alissa walked into a Boulder, Colorado supermarket — reportedly having traveled 25 miles to find a supermarket that caters to Jewish shoppers — and killed 10 people with a Ruger AR-556.

After initial efforts attempting to extend the “white male mass killer toxic supreme masculine male superiority” narrative ran into a Syrian roadblock, plus the fact that there were no dead minorities to martyr inside the supermarket, the press narrative dutifully shifted to the stories pushed by the gun grabbers and Second Amendment deniers that were all about the need to ban assault rifles and high-capacity magazines and impose a litany of government regulations on the sale and possession of firearms.

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals joined in with the chorus yesterday with a truly amazing decision in a long-pending en banc case, ruling 7-4 that the 2nd Amendment only guarantees citizens the right to “keep and bear arms” within the confines of your house.

So much for the 2nd Amendment rights of the homeless — or does a tent pitched on a public sidewalk qualify? A deeper dive on that decision — all 215 pages of it — will have to wait another day.

Almost as quickly as the press narrative changed and the calls for more gun control legislation grew after “someone did something bad” in Boulder, Democrat Senators from red and purple states suddenly realized that blowing up the legislative filibuster would mean that the gun grabbers in their own party would be able to pass such legislation without them by picking off a couple of RINOs to take their place in voting “Yes” in order to get to the 50 needed.  And just like that, we get this today from CNN:

The push by liberal Democrats to enact President Joe Biden’s sweeping agenda is running into problems beyond just Sen. Joe Manchin: A handful of Democrats are not falling in line and could limit the scope of the party’s ambitions on an array of critical issues.

Some Senate Democrats like Sen. Jon Tester of Montana are not yet sold on the House-passed bills to expand background checks on gun sales. Eight Democrats are resisting calls to raise the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour.
And it’s more than just Manchin and Arizona Sen. Kyrsten Sinema who are opposed to changing Senate rules so a filibuster can be defeated by 51 votes, rather than 60: The two New Hampshire Democratic senators are resisting those calls as well, in addition to several others who are not yet persuaded that such a change is necessary.
“No,” Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, a New Hampshire Democrat, told CNN when asked if she would support eliminating the 60-vote threshold. “I think we should look at ways to reform the filibuster, but I don’t think getting rid of it is the best approach.”
New Hampshire’s junior Democratic senator, Maggie Hassan, who faces a tough reelection bid next year, also has “concerns about eliminating the filibuster,” a spokesperson said, though backs some reforms.

Joe Manchin of West Virginia, Jon Tester of Montana, Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona, and Maggie Hassan of New Hampshire.

Manchin and Tester would both lose re-election in their home states if federal gun control legislation passes.

Beating Sinema might only depend on the GOP finding a solid opponent to run against her.

Maggie Hassan will likely face an opponent who will be favored to beat her — thrice-elected Governor Chris Sununu, who opted to not run for Senate in 2020 against Dem. Senator Jeanne Shaheen, who managed to win a third term in 2020 with 57% of the vote.  But Hassan was first elected in 2016 with only 48%, beating GOP incumbent Kelly Ayotte by .2% of the vote, and is a much more inviting target if Sununu decides he wants to follow in the footsteps of his father to the Senate.

If blowing up the filibuster is now off the table, the writing is on the wall for HR1.

Manchin, a conservative West Virginia Democrat, told CNN repeatedly in an interview that “no,” he will not cave to pressure to gut the 60-vote threshold, even if Republicans block a voting rights bill. Democrats had hoped that a likely GOP filibuster on their party’s bill to expand voting access and overhaul the elections would be enough to convince Manchin and others to do away with the filibuster’s 60-vote threshold — given the onslaught of Republican-led efforts on the state level to impose new restrictions.
But Manchin made clear that a Republican blockade of a voting bill won’t change his mind.
“No, it will not, no, no,” said Manchin, who also wants changes to his party’s election bill, S.1., before considering supporting it. “They are reading that totally wrong.”

Manchin has always known — but the reaction to the Boulder shooting drove home the point for good measure — that if he causes the legislative filibuster to cease being a brake on bad legislation, that is going to include bad legislation that his constituents in West Virginia won’t like.  With a “D” after his name on the ballot, his career will be at an end when he is next up for re-election.

The others identified in the CNN story are just as vulnerable as Manchin.  The conservatives in Montana won’t continue to give Tester a pass because he’s a “moderate” who seeks to protect many aspects of Montana’s rural heritage.  All democrats will be tarred by any legislation from Congress that interferes with gun owners’ rights in Montana.

“I mean, look, I’m from Montana. I’ve got more than I need and fewer than I want, but background checks are important,” Tester said. “I do believe that. But you can go too far on that ship pretty fast too.”

New Hampshire has gravitated closer to other New England states in recent years, but it is still the “Live Free or Die” state with a substantial libertarian contingent who would not react well to 2nd Amendment limitations.

I suspect this is the death knell for ending the legislative filibuster. The horrific episode in Boulder, and the immediate turn by the Democrats to the ethos of “let no crisis go to waste” in pushing gun control in its aftermath, caused the light-bulb to go on in a few Democrat Senators’ heads.

And the fevered dreams of the left-wing wackos get swept aside just like in the past.