Political Animal


April 09, 2013 5:02 PM Reid Throws Down on Gun Bill

By Ed Kilgore

So faced with a filibuster against any near-term action on gun legislation that has now been joined by Mitch McConnell, Harry Reid appears to be calling some GOP bluff, and has filed for cloture aimed at a Thursday vote on a motion to proceed to consideration of a bill.

It’s unclear at this point whether Reid is trying to force the Manchin-Toomey “gang” to get a move on in their negotiations on a compromise version of background check legislation, or instead bypass them, or at least get to the stage of the legislative process where such a deal could serve as a backup rather than the Last Hope For Gun Legislation. But unless the gang unveils something real fast, Mitch McConnell now has to decide whether to try to make the filibuster a party discipline issue (without which it will probably fail), which could be perilous any way you slice it.

Ah, the United States Senate: supposedly “the world’s greatest deliberative body,” but all too often a house of mirrors.

Ed Kilgore is a contributing writer to the Washington Monthly. He is managing editor for The Democratic Strategist and a senior fellow at the Progressive Policy Institute. Find him on Twitter: @ed_kilgore.


  • Christiaan Hofman on April 09, 2013 5:49 PM:

    In order to be the greatest deliberative body, aren't you supposed to, well, deliberate, rather than filibuster it?

  • rrk1 on April 09, 2013 6:10 PM:

    Why does it seem that everything the Senate does is akin to a French farce or rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic? With Reid at the helm, and unwilling to use the nuclear option on filibusters, icebergs, rocks, shallow bottom, it doesn't much matter, the ship of state is dead in the water.

    When corruption and obstruction are as endemic as what we are witnessing the end is definitely near. But not near enough.

  • JR on April 09, 2013 6:29 PM:

    I'm just waiting for the Paul-Cruz death match for de facto Senate Minority Leader.

  • mad_nVT on April 09, 2013 11:27 PM:

    "Ah, the United States Senate: supposedly 'the world’s greatest deliberative body,' but all too often a house of mirrors." And a:

    - ship of fools . . . and clowns

    - boatload of knotheads and knuckleheads

    - fever-swamp of snakes and rats

    - pack of thieves

    - den of inequity

    - okay, it's nothing but a whorehouse

  • MuddyLee on April 10, 2013 9:02 AM:

    Instead of official portrait photographs for the Senators, we should have an "artist rendering" of each of them in a NASCAR type jumpsuit with all the corporate sponsors clearly identified (might have to have both front and back views and caps too). Whose logos would Mitch be wearing?