Political Animal


April 08, 2013 10:37 AM The Manchin-Toomey Gang

By Ed Kilgore

In other Beltway Gangland news, we are informed this morning that the fate of gun legislation may lie in the hands of Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin of WV, who boasts an “A” rating from the NRA, and Republican Sen. Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania, the former Club for Growth president who manages to get himself labeled regularly as a “pragmatist” by DC typologists of the post-modern relativist school.

It’s unclear whether this duo from Deer Hunter country is now acting as surrogates for the two parties. The White House and Harry Reid haven’t totally moved to a “anything is better than nothing” position, but they are close to it. But the impending conservative filibuster, to be led by Rand Paul, Ted Cruz and Mike Lee, seems to be based on the proposition that the Second Amendment, unlike any other, is absolute in its application. Even with Pat Toomey on board a “compromise,” it’s likely Paul and company will find some provision that portends the mass confiscation of firearms and a socialist dictatorship. And the NRA itself, under intense pressure from more radical gun rights groups, and lashed along by the increasingly unhinged rhetoric of Wayne Lapierre, might have a hard time backing down from a “just say no” position.

If this latest “gang” is indeed, so to speak, outgunned, then all it will accomplish is to move the gun debate in Congress a few notches to the right, and give Manchin and Toomey a talking point for their next re-election campaigns.

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.


  • c u n d gulag on April 08, 2013 11:00 AM:

    I got the sneaking suspicion a while back that nothing significant was going to happen until either a handful of Republicans politicians, or Conservative icons, are gunned down by assault weapons.

    And even then...

    The gun nuts in this country are like people who suffer from some form of substance addiction - they need more and more of every purer stuff to get the same high.

    The RRA needs to keep their base riled up with fear and hatred, because their profits need to stay high, and what's the NRA to do, with less and less people buying guns?

    Sell more to the same suckers, bobo's, rubes, marks, fools, idiots, imbeciles, and morons.

    I wonder what it feels like to be a gullible sap like that?

  • jonh on April 08, 2013 11:29 AM:

    Is anybody on the absolutist side considering the scenario where a mass shooting occurs during or soon after such a filibuster? After all, it has been a few months we're just about due for one. Having Wayne LaPierre as the face of the Republican Party won't help.

    To forestall this, they need only accept what even WLP/NRA was pushing just a few years ago.

    It just seems that the Republican coalition is cracking up and the nuttinesses of the various factions are no longer cancelling out.

  • square1 on April 08, 2013 11:57 AM:

    Dont worry, useful idiots like Manchin will protect the GOP from any political fallout from filibustering a gun bill.

  • JM917 on April 08, 2013 1:15 PM:

    @ c u n d and jonh:

    If there should be (God forbid) some spectacular murders of a right-wing politician/icon or another gunfire mass slaughter while a filibuster is going on, the reaction of the gun nuts/GOTea idiots and frauds will be quite predictable: Arm every red-blooded American patriot with all the assault-weapon firepower he or she can tote, and go after the damned libs who are trying to strip us of our sacred Second Amendment.

    The only thing that's going to change in the foreseeable future is the dying out of (my) generation of old right-wing geezers and rednecks.

    (Damn captcha is getting worse again. This is my fourth attempt to post...)