The Times, They Are A-Changin’

I own a house in New Hampshire (near Scott Brown, unfortunately) and will move there in the next year or so, so I think of Republican Kelly Ayotte as one of my senators.

I am thrilled to see that her favorables have plunged 15 points since she voted against the Manchin-Toomey background check bill.  She’s to the right of Pat Toomey on guns?  Really?

I saw this as a very calculated, unprincipled vote, and I hope it comes back to bite her in the tush.

Ayotte feared a primary from her right, feared NRA 30-second ads.   Maybe she’ll be done in by a primary  from her left instead or just a plain old loss in the general.

 

Enough Is Enough

Virginia Sen. Mark Warner and West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin, both of whom have A ratings from the NRA, are saying that we need new gun laws after Newtown.

Warner says, “Enough is enough.  … [T]here are ways to get to rational gun control.”

Manchin says, “This awful massacre has changed where we go from here.”

It means a lot more having folks like Warner and Manchin on board than just those you’d expect like California Sen. Dianne Feinstein.

Yesterday I posted that this felt like a Sputnik moment to me.  This morning I’m thinking that another, and maybe better, analogy is the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire in New York City in 1911.

146 garment workers, almost all of them young Italian and Jewish immigrant women in their teens or early 20’s, died when a fire broke out in their factory, and they were locked in because the factory owners feared theft of materials.  Many jumped to their deaths to escape the heat and flames.

Within two years, New York had passed 60 new labor reform laws, and the horrific Triangle fire was instrumental in the development of the International Ladies’ Garment Workers’ Union.

The final six victims of the fire were positively identified only last year, the centennial of the tragedy.

Blunt Amendment Defeated

The Blunt Amendment, which would allow an employer to deny health coverage for anything based on religious or moral objections, was defeated in the Senate, 51 to 48.

Thank you to Republican Olympia Snowe of Maine for voting against it.

Thumbs down to Republicans Susan Collins of Maine and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska for voting for it, as did Democrats Joe Manchin of West Virginia, Ben Nelson of Nebraska, and Bob Casey of Pennsylvania.

You’re going to be sorry, Scott Brown.

President Obama’s compromise on contraception took care of the Catholic Church’s objections.  It actually made things much easier for the Church than existing law in many states, which the Church lives with.

This issue now has nothing to do with freedom of religion and everything to do with politics.  Knock yourself out, GOP, it’s ultimately a loser for you.