You have to give this execrable Bloomberg editorial from earlier today points for candor:
The struggle to enact [the Manchin-Toomey plan] turned uphill this week, with nearly all Senate Republicans opposing it and even a few red-state Democrats running for cover. The proposal’s demise, in a 54-46 vote, is a testament to legislators’ continuing fear of the gun lobby. It also illuminates a political equation that grows more unbalanced, especially in the Senate, every year. The votes of Wyoming’s two senators, representing 580,000 citizens, effectively cancel the votes of California’s two senators, representing 38 million. The votes of Illinois, with a population of almost 13 million, are voided by those of Alaska, with little more than 700,000.
This is a problem for sensible gun legislation. It is also a problem for American democracy. If the nation’s laws fail to represent the views of the overwhelming majority of its people, representative democracy becomes a shallow and unsustainable exercise.
Maybe it’s just the editor in me, but do we generally use the word “unsustainable” for something that’s been functioning for well over two centuries?
Now, it’s not quite as bad as it sounds. This turns out to be an argument for abolishing the filibuster, not doing away with the Senate as we know it (not that we need any further proof that the left wouldn’t shed a single tear over the latter proposal). The reason? You damn rubes won’t put down the boomsticks:
Just as gun laws have failed to keep pace with the advance of technology — which puts ever greater firepower in the hands of virtually anyone who wants it — the Senate has failed to adapt to the urbanization and suburbanization of the nation, enabling rural representatives to veto the will of an increasingly metropolitan majority. The Senate cannot, and indeed does not, function if 60 votes are the threshold for every proposal.
Charles C.W. Cooke, over at NRO, gets it right:
National polls, cited as if they were argument-winners, are irrelevant — especially when it comes to the Senate. There is a touch of Pauline Kael about today’s progressive indignation. The population centers in California, Illinois, and New York may still be up in arms — your friends, too — but most other states probably do not have pro-gun-control majorities and, when it comes to regulating firearms, most Americans appear to err on the side of caution. Take a look at the Brady Campaign’s scorecard, which tracks the severity of gun laws across America:
Was a majority disenfranchised yesterday? Yes — a majority of elite opinion makers.