Senator Ted Cruz Wants Everyone to Shut Up About Guns. Senate Tells Him to Stick It.

Categories: Schutze

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What does it mean that Republicans and independents joined Democrats yesterday to shut down Texas Senator Ted Cruz's anti-gun reform filibuster? It means Cruz lost a lot more than his filibuster.

At a certain point -- Cruz's point -- the gun reform debate ceases to be about guns and becomes instead an expression of basic faith or the lack thereof in American civil society. Do we believe our system of democracy works? Do we have faith in a system that prefers to use politics and law to resolve conflict whenever possible instead of bullets and blood?

Yesterday's vote wasn't about guns. It was about the basic freedom and right of open debate. This country was born of debate. It lives on debate. Cruz answered the question of faith in the country by trying to shut down debate itself on gun reform. He said no to that faith. By voting to shut down his filibuster, 16 Republicans, two independents and 50 Democrats said yes.

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Ted Cruz is right. You're wrong. So everybody just shut up.
Before he launched his filibuster, Cruz staked out his anti-debate position clearly. On the radio with right-wing talk-show host Laura Ingraham, he said that he in his magnificence, one Ted Cruz, did not approve of or accept Senate rules allowing a simple majority of the Senate to decide whether or not to debate a bill. He wanted to make it tougher for senators to talk. By seizing the floor and forcing a vote on cloture, he did. Instead of a simple majority to open debate on the floor, it took three-fifths of the sitting Senate, a limit easily exceeded by yesterday's vote.

Was it worth the drama? From Cruz's point of view, clearly it was. This is the man who counters images of the Newtown dead with anecdotes of home invasion, casting himself as the champion of those in our country who reject much more than any kind of gun control: They reject the rule of law itself. For them, the right to own weapons of mass destruction is much more important than the right to vote, and don't even bother them with rights of free speech or debate.

I own guns. Look at the picture. I have hunted some, not often, not well, but enjoyed it. Shot skeet, where I'd put myself in a category with Dick Cheney. Everybody duck! I think there's a conceivable circumstance out there where I might have to shoot somebody trying to get into my house uninvited.

Guns are probably somewhere in the same neighborhood with booze where blanket prohibitions are concerned -- just not gonna work. Mainly, I do not believe that I know everything there is to know about gun safety, gun deaths and the kind of gun reform laws that can be effective. That's why I want to hear my elected leaders debate the matter. That's how we resolve these things in a civilized democracy. We talk. We argue. We debate.

Not Cruz. His appeal is strictly to the people who are psychologically barricaded -- the ones who have lost faith in democracy, in civilization itself, who earnestly believe their best shot at survival comes out of the barrel of an AR-15 before anybody opens his mouth. They're the ones who don't want guns even talked about, who were angry with Obama simply for allowing research on gun violence to resume.

After yesterday's defeat for Cruz, some key players urged caution to those who would view the vote as a victory for gun reform, insisting instead it was a victory for debate. But you know what? In the longest run that's even bigger.

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61 comments
roadsidecouch
roadsidecouch

So Mr. Shultz would you support debate for a bill for background checks on journalists and the government shutting down weekly publications that do not report the status quo or if they upset local governments?

All the liberals want to talk about restricting the 2nd amendment but they generally do not want debate and passage of restrictions on the other 26 amendments.

mavdog
mavdog topcommenter

With his actions, Ted Cruz shows himself to be more focused on maximizing his press coverage than Cruz is focused on fulfilling his job as a US Senator.

If one listens to Cruz, he weaves in and out of focus. One point is on subject and concise, and the next so completely obtuse it exposes his demagoguery. He states "having a debate on this issue is important", then he attempts to stifle debate. Cruz states the Bill will "violate the Bill of Rights" and "take away the constitutional rights of citizens", yet he also acknowledges that he doesn't know what is in the bill.

Cruz proclaims his priority is protecting citizen's civil rights, yet his priority is clearly protecting his cultivated image.

Mr_Hand
Mr_Hand

Would this make any difference if Cruz was doing the same thing in defense of the First Amendment?

bvckvs
bvckvs topcommenter

Anonymity and guns make cowards feel like super-villains.

Sotiredofitall
Sotiredofitall topcommenter

"His appeal is strictly to the people who are psychologically barricaded -- the ones who have lost faith in democracy, in civilization itself, who earnestly believe their best shot at survival comes out of the barrel of an AR-15 before anybody opens his mouth."   This says a lot about who actually gets out to vote in elections and the inability of anyone (Democrats - Independents - Libertarians - Greens - Hippies - Kinky - etc) to mount a campaign that breaks loose the "why vote" crowd?

everlastingphelps
everlastingphelps topcommenter

"His appeal is strictly to the people who are psychologically barricaded -- the ones who have lost faith in democracy, in civilization itself, who earnestly believe their best shot at survival comes out of the barrel of an AR-15 before anybody opens his mouth."

Given that we can't rely on the government to give even basic due process when it comes to executing its own citizens with drones, when stealing their property on the side of the highway with asset forfeiture, or to not execute the family pets when serving a warrant on ANOTHER address, why in the world would a rational person still think that working through THAT goverment makes more sense?

You're lost in nostalgia, Jim.  We The People are the enemies of our own government.  We still have a chance to defeat it peacefully, but it won't go down through "debates" on the floor of the legislature.  Thinking that it will is pure fantasy.

Jaborah
Jaborah

WARNING: Side-effects of listening to Obummer reading from a teleprompter may include drowsiness, blurred vision, neuropathy, ennui and a haunting sense of buyer's remorse.

Myrna.Minkoff-Katz
Myrna.Minkoff-Katz topcommenter

Cruz and the far right care not that 90% of Americans want gun control.  These neo-Nazis and Aryan terrorists are bent on overthrowing democracy in our nation and they must be stopped at every turn.

cantkeepthetruthdown
cantkeepthetruthdown

What debate has there been? This will be rammed through completely unread by all the people voting YEA in another 'we need to pass it to read it' moment.


www.therightscoop.com/mark-levin-goes-nuclear-an-up-and-down-vote-on-the-2nd-amendment-is-unconstitutional/

RTGolden1
RTGolden1 topcommenter

Great Jim, since we're all so full of faith in democracy and the American experiment, we can tell the Supreme Court to drop all consideration of overturning the democratically passed Prop 8 from California.  I mean, it was debated there, the proposition was added to the ballot, and the People voted it down.  But, I'm sure your plea for faith in democracy only applies to Liberal causes and those Libertarian causes that fall left of center (as my own views do on Prop 8).  I mean, obviously a Conservative win in the democratic process just has to be the result of voter fraud or election tampering, right?

JimSX
JimSX topcommenter

Canadians all know how to mock and mimic us by speaking American English in public. Then they get off by themselves and make cruel jokes about us in Canadian.

if6were9
if6were9

Can we send Teddy to Detroit? I've heard they can see Canada from their porches. 

James080
James080 topcommenter

I don't agree with Cruz on this issue, however he availed himself of the rules of the Senate, was voted down, and the people's business proceeded. 

In my lifetime, senators from both parties have attempted to stifle debate of a particular issue or legislation. Sometimes they have the numbers and are successful, sometimes they fail. 

Jim, will you be so critical next time a liberal senator tries to stifle debate in the senate on an issue you also oppose. Of course not.


roadsidecouch
roadsidecouch

@mavdog He does not know what is in the bill because they keep it secret up until the vote.  It is the Democrat's way of running things.  Remember Pelosi's "We have to pass the bill to find out what is in it".

bvckvs
bvckvs topcommenter

@everlastingphelps 

Careful how you use that word "we", big boy.  Some of us are more focused on the rights of children to grow up, than on the rights of Klansmen to pray to a live nuke.

RTGolden1
RTGolden1 topcommenter

@cantkeepthetruthdown I think you're missing a crucial element here.  The vote was to end the filibuster.  Period.  Had absolutely nothing to do with the issue at hand.  Jim is both right and wrong in his article, and for exactly the same reason in each case:  There was nothing wrong with the filibuster (Jim is wrong), and there is nothing wrong with the vote to end the filibuster (Jim is right).  Both are cases of internal procedure and have nothing to do with having faith in democracy or America. This whole article is a molehill made out of a molehill.

bvckvs
bvckvs topcommenter

@James080 It's funny how, whenever Republican leaders behave badly - the followers all just throw up there hands and say "everybody does it".

But that's not true and even if it were, it wouldn't be an excuse for what the Republicans are doing.

everlastingphelps
everlastingphelps topcommenter

@James080 Jim won't even notice because no one will be crying about it in his DailyKos echo chamber.

everlastingphelps
everlastingphelps topcommenter

@bvckvs@everlastingphelps"We ask not your counsels or your arms. Crouch down and lick the hands which feed you. May your chains set lightly upon you,
and may posterity forget that you were our countrymen."

bvckvs
bvckvs topcommenter

@RTGolden1 @cantkeepthetruthdown 

As many Republicans do, you've confused allowed/disallowed with right/wrong.  While the filibuster was certainly allowed, it was in no way "right".

This shortcoming is the Achille's heel of the Republican mind - and it's how they rationalize things like trying to get Ashley Judd to kill herself so that Mich McConnell doesn't have to run a legitimate campaign against her.

everlastingphelps
everlastingphelps topcommenter

@Myrna.Minkoff-Katz @RTGolden1 Right, because an ENUMERATED right in the BILL OF RIGHTS isn't a "civil rights" issue, but an invented right based on a golem-like merger of religion and government is.

RTGolden1
RTGolden1 topcommenter

@Myrna.Minkoff-Katz @RTGolden1 I kind of think the 2nd Amendment IS a civil right, in fact it is an enumerated right of the people in the Constitution. So you are saying we shouldn't put this to any kind of vote?

You should try to be more polite.

James080
James080 topcommenter

@bvckvs @James080  

You apparently have me confused with someone else. I'm not a Republican, and I didn't voted for Ted Cruz.

observist
observist

@everlastingphelps @James080  LOL "echo chamber" insults from the guy who said all the polls were biased, Nate Silver is a partisan shill and Mitt Romney was actually ahead in Michigan, etc.

James080
James080 topcommenter

@CornyDoggy @James080  

That's a different issue, and it has been a news topic.

I would expect to see even more filibusters from the republicans in the senate as their policies alienate more and more voters.


roadsidecouch
roadsidecouch

@mavdog You need to understand how Reid works.  The published bill goes to committee where it is marked up.  Then when it is passed out of committee Reid reserves the right to make ANY EDIT HE WANTS OR REPLACE THE ENTIRE BILL as he has done in the past and did in this case:

http://www.conservativeactionalerts.com/2013/04/gun-control-reid-bill-replaces-feinstein-ban/


This bill is not published until minutes before the vote.  Given that most bills by Democrats are hundreds of pages long, good luck getting a copy and reading it before it is voted on.  

everlastingphelps
everlastingphelps topcommenter

@bvckvs @RTGolden1 @cantkeepthetruthdown Right, better the Democrat method that rationalizes things like the Gosnell serial murders for the sake of unrestricted abortion while also clamoring for more restrictions on law-abiding gun owners.

As for Ashley Judd specifically, the campaign against her would only have to be as "legitimate" as one against Ted Nugent.

RTGolden1
RTGolden1 topcommenter

@bvckvs @RTGolden1 @cantkeepthetruthdown I don't know how many times one has to prop your eyes open and pour the truth into your empty head.  I'm not a Republican.  I don't vote republican, I don't support republicans.

Let me break down what I wrote so your limited grasp on reality can grip it.  I didn't say the filibuster was right or wrong, I said Jim was both right and wrong in his article. The procedure of the filibuster and the vote to end the filibuster are both proper and allowed for in the rules of the Senate.  That is the whole crux of my comment, there's nothing else there. Got that?  Good.

Now go adjust your tinfoil hat, I'm sure it will be a wild ride on the crazy train this week.

everlastingphelps
everlastingphelps topcommenter

@sidewalkastro "Since it doesn't say what "arms" I can have, so I have the right to own a tactical nuke?"

Frankly, yes.  Thankfully they are so expensive that you wouldn't be able to anyway, so it is a stupid question only asked by stupid people, like the person who is against gay marriage asking "so do you support people being able to marry their pets?"

"Does "well regulated" have any meaning in the 2nd?"

Legal bearing?  No.  It doesn't modify "the right to bear arms shall not be infringed."  Historically, the term means "running well," like a well regulated watch keeping good time.  A well running milita is essential to a free state.  (It goes a long way towards explaining where our freedoms have gone.)

 "It seems to mean the 2nd Amendment really means that you can have "arms" and we can't stop you from having them, but the government can tell you what kind you can have."

By that logic, the 1st Amendment really means that you can have all the speech you want, as long as you only say the things the government wants you to say.

RTGolden1
RTGolden1 topcommenter

@sidewalkastro Try reading the whole comment, you'll look much less uninformed when commenting on my opinions.

sidewalkastro
sidewalkastro

@RTGolden1 @Myrna.Minkoff-Katz@RTGolden1 @Myrna.Minkoff-Katz Since it doesn't say what "arms" I can have, so I have the right to own a tactical nuke? Does "well regulated" have any meaning in the 2nd? It seems to mean the 2nd Amendment really means that you can have "arms" and we can't stop you from having them, but the government can tell you what kind you can have.

everlastingphelps
everlastingphelps topcommenter

@Myrna.Minkoff-Katz @RTGolden1 "Owning muskets is a guaranteed right, I agree.  Should a nut own one?"

With that logic, I wish you would go back to printing handbills on a manual press and STFU on the internet.

RTGolden1
RTGolden1 topcommenter

@Myrna.Minkoff-Katz @RTGolden1 Yes, there were too many customers appreciating it though.  Rather than stand in line for an hour, I went to Smokey Johns and had BBQ instead.

RTGolden1
RTGolden1 topcommenter

@Myrna.Minkoff-Katz @RTGolden1 The Constitution does not specify a type of arm.  the right to keep and bear arms (a generic term, makes no mention of magazine capacity, breech or muzzle loading, cyclic rate of fire, type of grip, length of barrel or any other 'limiting factor'.)  In fact, by guaranteeing the citizen the right to own their 'musket' as you put it, the Constitution armed the citizen better than most militaries of the day.  Most American hunting arms of 1776 had rifled barrels to increase range and accuracy (more lethality), whereas the military arms of the British and early American military were smooth bore (less lethality).

In case it got past your usually sharper than a marble intellect, I support a person's right to marry whomever they want, without restriction.  In fact I'm more supportive of this than I am of the 2nd amendment, which I think allows for restrictions on convicted criminals, and common sense restrictions (no fully automatic, nothing over .50 caliber, background checks).

Like I said, you should try to be more polite.

CornyDoggy
CornyDoggy

@James080

Agreed.  However, I believe it answers the question which party is more willing to compromise and seek common ground.  The legislation pushed by this administration has been very reasonable and by all other measures, fairly conservative.

James080
James080 topcommenter

@CornyDoggy @James080  

What Cruz attempted, a filibuster, was within the rules of the Senate. What the Republicans do more often than you would like is well within the rules of the Senate. Whether government by filibuster is a good political strategy is a different issue, one which the voters will likely answer next election cycle..

CornyDoggy
CornyDoggy

@James080

How is that a different issue?  The implied point is that it doesn't matter what the legislation is, if Obama and the Dems support it the Repubs will filibuster.  They have more than tripled the previous record for filibuster attempts.  They've even filibuster legislation that is identical to proposals made by Repubs in the past.

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