Oh, of course it's about guns. But what's coming in the struggle to limit access to aggressive military weaponry is in one sense the ongoing story of the Republican party and whether it really does want to get out of the mess it's in. Let's not forget that in the recent past, Republicans have been supporters of the assault-weapons ban.
Greg Sargent is reasonably optimistic.
It is a simple fact that large majorities of even Republicans support specific gun law reforms. A recent CNN poll found that 97 percent of Republicans support background checks on all gun buyers; 60 percent of Republicans support a ban on semi-automatic assault weapons; and 61 percent of Republicans support a ban on high capacity magazines.
The gun control debate is looming as a major test for moderate Republicans (such as they are these days). Are they serious about bucking the notion that the GOP is increasingly becoming the party of aging, southern white guys and the? If so, then perhaps a handful of them can start by supporting sensible gun law reforms that are supported by a vast majority of Americans, in the wake of the slaughter of 20 children. ...Sargent, WaPo
Sargent also points to Thomas Edsall's excellent piece in yesterday's New York Times. We've been waiting and hoping for change. As Edsall points out, the change is here. The culture -- and with culture the politics -- are different.
The slow implosion of the Republican Party — along with the growing strength of a Democratic coalition dominated by low-to-middle-income voters — threatens the power of the corporate establishment and will force big business to find new ways to reassert control of the policy-making process.
The warning signs are everywhere.
The development carrying perhaps the most symbolic significance was the abandonment last week by 85 House Republicans and 40 of the 47 Republican senators of their longstanding commitment not to raise taxes. ......The potential institutionalization of a majority Democratic coalition of the downscale – including single women, minorities, union members and the young — is equally (if not more) ominous for members of the top 0.1 percent and for the corporations that have profited over the past 40 years ...Edsall, NYT
It seems almost too good to be true. But Sargent notes: "If Edsall is right, then all the sneering at the populist message of Occupy Wall Street — not to mention Obama’s reelection message — is looking awfully misguided."
Greg Sargent also reports that the right's nightmare is deepening. Eric Holder, the "Fast and Furious" ogre many Republicans detest, is putting DOJ's weight behind the gun battle.
Steve Benen finds that, when it comes to the debt ceiling, the business community tends to be on Obama's side.
If you only listen to rhetoric out of DC, you might think Republicans and the business community are the closest of allies. It's the GOP, the argument goes, standing up for America's private sector against those rascally Democrats and their big government, "anti-business" agenda.
But when it comes to Republicans holding the debt ceiling hostage, the caricature is turned on its head. In this crisis, GOP leaders couldn't care less what the nation's "job creators" want or believe, and it's the business community rallying behind President Obama. ...Benen, MaddowBlog
It's not just the Financial Services Forum and other financial groups, the Business Roundtable is with the left on this on.
Of course, John Boehner was really stupid about the debt ceiling issue, even taking into account the pressure he gets from the far right.
This is the problem with being in power and promoting partisanship, as the GOP has been doing for years. It makes you turn deaf. And when you're in the jungle and want to survive, deaf is definitely something you don't want to be.
It's often overlooked, but in April 2011, before the original Republican debt-ceiling crisis had begun in earnest, House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) reached out to financial industry leaders, asking how much time he had to screw around with the debt ceiling before doing serious, lasting damage to the economy. He was told that "even pushing close to the deadline -- or talking about it -- could have grave consequences in the marketplace," and top Wall Street executives and lobbyists quickly urged Republicans to steer clear of such reckless nonsense.
The House Speaker proceeded to ignore everything he heard. ...Benen, MaddowBlog