Five House Republicans voted with Democrats to pass a gun control package Wednesday evening that would raise the purchasing age to buy a semi-automatic firearm to 21 if signed into law.
The majority of House Republicans voted against the Protecting Our Kids Act introduced by Democratic Rep. Jerry Nadler of New York, which sought to raise the purchasing age of people buying semi-automatic rifles to 21, mandate gun owners store their firearms in a safe and increase regulation on bump stocks. Republican Reps. Brian Fitzpatrick of Pennsylvania, Anthony Gonzalez of Ohio, Chris Jacobs of New York, Adam Kinzinger of Illinois and Fred Upton of Michigan joined Democrats in voting to pass the bill.
Having been in the D.C. area for over 20 years now, I’ve come to live by the maxim, “Always bank on the GOP snatching defeat from the jaws of victory.” I was proved right again this last week when 13 Republicans in the House helped pass the $1.2 trillion “Gateway to the Green New Deal” otherwise masquerading as an infrastructure bill.
As I wrote back in August, only 23 percent of this bill is really for infrastructure. The other 77 percent is for things like the $213 billion “allocated for retrofitting two million homes and buildings to make them more “sustainable,” whatever that means. Or the $20 billion for racial equity and environmental justice. Or the mileage tax, as in yes, they want to explore taxing you for every mile you drive in your car.
In the wake of an absolutely stunning clean sweep for Republicans in Virginia from governor to House of Delegates—in a state Republicans hadn’t won statewide in a dozen years and where they’ve lost the last four presidentials—Republicans in D.C. just couldn’t find the nerve to simply say “No.” They couldn’t “Just say no,” kids. It is one of the most beautiful and underused words in the English language, but Republicans appear simply incapable of using it.
As we get to the midpoint between the last presidential election and next year’s midterms, all political sides are expending extraordinary effort to ignore the 900-pound gorilla in the formerly smoke-filled room of American politics. This, of course, is Donald Trump.
The Democrats are still outwardly pretending Trump has gone and that his support has evaporated. They also pretend they can hobble him with vexatious litigation and, if necessary, destroy him again by raising the Trump-hate media smear campaign back to ear-splitting levels.