Only two Republicans went against the gun lobby, but that was enough to leave supporters just short of the 60 votes they needed. The slim margin was no accident: Other Democrats, such as Pennsylvania’s Bob Casey and Colorado’s Mark Udall and Michael Bennet, were said to have been willing to vote “no” if necessary. Twenty minutes after the voting began, Bennet and Udall left the cloakroom together and walked into the chamber. Bennet went to the well to consult with Schumer, who indicated that it was safe for Bennet — a product of D.C.’s St. Albans School — to vote with the NRA. Bennet looked to Udall, who gave an approving nod, and cast his “aye” vote.
For better or worse, this is how politics works.Â What counts is the vote, and we still ought to appreciate that Casey was with us, and let him know as much.Â But we might want to add we do indeed expect that he vote with us in the future as well.Â Next time this comes up, if it has a chance, Casey might not want to be the Senator that lets this measure go down in flames.
All politicians are snakes, having some balance of all the worst traits of lawyers, used car salesmen, and power hungry narcissistic field marshals.Â Sure, there are a few politicians out there who believe in principles, but they typically end up very good at giving concession speeches.Â The nature of the this game practically guarantees you’ll have people who are with you one day, and against you the next.Â The great trick is convincing them it would be in their best interests, in terms of keeping their seat, to vote with you.
For once, the gun-control crowd won a shootout with the NRA. But nobody was talking about disarmament. “We know the gun lobby is strong,” Schumer said after the vote. “We know they will be back.”
You can count on it Chucky!