President Obama's powerful statement from earlier today in reaction to the Senate's failure to pass legislation expanding background checks for gun purchases:
You know, the President is free to express his disappointment however he wishes, and surely those Senators who voted against advancing this bill should be ashamed of themselves. But it bears noting that the measure did garner 56 votes -- a clear majority. The reason it failed is because the 54 votes were for "cloture," a bit of inside-Senate-baseball that allows the minority, in this case 46 cowardly Senators, to derail the bill -- to deny even an up or down vote -- without even having to mount a classic "talking filibuster." And whose fault is that, you may ask? Well it's Democratic Senator Harry Reid's fault, that's who.
Back in January, in the midst of a big push to rid the Senate of this paralytic 60-vote barrier, spineless Harry Reid passed up the opportunity to make a real difference in how the Senate conducts its business, when he "reached an agreement" with Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell to keep the 60-vote cloture rule in place. The Senate has been frozen even since. The failure of this gun control bill is only the latest, and most egregious example.