Well now that the covid pandemic seems to be subsiding in places where the population has sought and received vaccination, it seems we are getting back to normal in parts ofAmerica. We are experiencing mass murder on a regular basis.
After Atlanta, Boulder, southern California and Indianapolis three were killed just last night in a bar in Kenosha, Wisconsin. Biden has had to lower the flag 3 times in his first 100 days. And it ain’t over yet. These episodes of mass murder are interspersed with unending street violence in a country steeped with guns.
The frustrating thing is that a significant majority of Americans know what has to be done and are prepared to go along with it. Polling conducted the day after Indianapolis indicates 2 out of 3 Americans want stricter gun control. Eighty four percent of Americans want background checks for gun buyers. Forty thousand Americans die from gun violence each year and the populance wants Congress to do something about it.
“But Republicans barely bother to offer more than perfunctory arguments against gun control anymore. They know they don’t need to, because no matter what happens at the ballot box, no matter how many Americans reject them and their views, they are the ones who will control the country, especially on matters such as gun control “by which predominantly white conservatives gain more and more power, even as they represent fewer Americans.
It begins with voter suppression in urban areas and gerrymandering (it has been called electoral welfare) which makes it easier for Republicans to win. Then antidemocratic features of the American system that have always existed but never benefited one party over the other in any systematic way help those same candidates take control of institutions such as the White House and the Senate, despite winning fewer votes and representing fewer people than their opponents.
“Once in control of these institutions, these newly elected officials use them to entrench their power beyond the reach of voters. If they are eventually voted out of power, they retain a veto over the agenda of the majority, which they use to block change and feed the conservative case that the government is “broken.” thus hastening their return to power—along the very path they greased with voter suppression.”
“Right now Democrats were able to marshal enough forces to overcome structural barriers to majority rule to win technical control of the government. But Democratic helplessness to pass gun control legislation is a cold reminder that Republicans, despite being walloped at the ballot box, retain most of the power in this country.
Yes, President Joe Biden was able to get an important coronavirus relief package passed through Congress on a party-line vote. But on the vast majority of legislative priorities for Democrats — gun control, climate change, voting rights, health care — Republicans have the final word, due to the filibuster.
That word is consistently “nope,” with a side dose of “f*ck you” to the majority of Americans who voted against the GOP. And with Republican-controlled state legislatures rapidly introducing a bunch of bills to disenfranchise voters further, it may very well be that we’re entering a new era when Democrats can’t even technically win elections, despite having the majority support among Americans.
We can’t keep letting Republicans win even when the lose. Hilary Clinton, despite her flaws won 3 million more votes than Donald Trump. Joe Bidenv got more than double that number but you know, they didn’t lose – the eection was stolen. This is not an idea emanating from crackpots; these guys are sitting in Congress and voted to nullify the election because they lost!
The situation is only getting worse, as Republicans dig deeper into the idea they have an absolute right to rule, no matter what the voters say about it.
Democrats could strip the minority party of their nearly-absolute veto power but abolishing — or at least reforming — the filibuster, a pointless anachronism in the Senate that was mainly used in the past to defend white supremacy. The Republicans had no qualms about the “nuclear option” when it stood in their way of getting 3 Supreme Court Justices approved.
Without Republicans being able to stop any bill before it even got to debate on the Senate floor, Democrats could strengthen gun control, improve health care, fight climate change, and, perhaps most importantly, bar state legislatures from passing laws to deny Americans the legal right to vote.
Unfortunately, this common sense move is being blocked by two Democratic senators who are weighed down by an ignorance that is only surpassed by the size of their egos: Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona and Joe Manchin of West Virginia. Both of these senators keep foolishly insisting that filibuster is somehow a tool encouraging bipartisan engagement and debate, even though the reality is that it’s being used by Republicans to unilaterally end all Senate debate before it even happens.
Whatever the real motivations of these two, their actions are stunningly immoral.
And so we keep pushing that rock labeled “Democratic Victory” up an ever steepening hill only to see it tumble to the ground marked “Nothing Done” All the hard work to get out the vote is being wasted because a couple of scatterbrained Democratic senators can’t bring themselves to admit they are playing handmaiden to Republican plots to destroy the tattered remains of our democracy. Americans keep voting and voting and voting and it makes little difference.
Forgive my lack of detailed American political knowledge, but over here we hear a lot about ‘Executive Orders’. It seems the president can overrule the usual system of obstruction by signing an EO. If this is the case, can Biden not just sign one to change the gun laws? 40,000 a year is a lot of deaths to use to justify that action.
Best wishes, Pete.
LikeLiked by 1 person
Hi Pete. Though the Constitution plainly articulates familiar presidential tools like vetoes and appointments, the real executive power comes from reading between the lines. Presidents have long interpreted the Constitution’s Article 2 clauses – like “the executive power shall be vested in a President” and “he shall take care that the laws be faithfully executed” – to give them total authority to enforce the law through the executive branch, by any means necessary.
One leading way they do that is through executive orders, which are presidential written directives to agencies on how to implement the law. The courts view them as legally valid unless they violate the Constitution or existing statutes – like current gun laws.
LikeLiked by 1 person
Thanks for clearing that up, Frank.
Best wishes, Pete.
LikeLiked by 1 person