We the People

Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty. Politics and civil commentary with community columnist John Eyster.

WE DEMAND A VOTE! Yes or no, but VOTE!!

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John Eyster
Wednesday, April 10, 2013

WE DEMAND A VOTE! Yes or no, but VOTE!

WE THE PEOPLE of the US are making our DEMAND stronger and stronger, WE WANT A VOTE!" SENATOR RON JOHNSON - WE DEMAND A VOTE! What do YOU want?

There will be a VOTE on moving ahead with gun control bills tomorrow and subsequently on individual bills. More and more evidence is coming that the renegade Republican Senators are going to back-off their FILIBUSTER THREAT! For details, read the New York Times’ article, “Threat to Block Debate on Guns Appears to Fade in Senate.”

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel’s CRAIG GILBERT has another informative article which provides the kind of meaningful analysis with perspective which he always brings to his journalism. I URGE you to read Gilbert’s article, “Senate Republicans divided over proposed filibuster of gun bill: Wisconsin Sen. Ron Johnson vows to block vote on tighter gun legislation.”

Gilbert alerts us to the reality that the threat by our WI Senator Ron Johnson and at least a dozen other conservative senators to filibuster a gun bill this week may give Democrats the votes they need to launch the gun debate on the floor of the Senate in the coming days.

I have read the numerous comments reacting to my WE THE PEOPLE blog post yesterday, “’WE WANT A VOTE!’ We deserve a vote on gun controls!!” with special interest. Many of the comments are comments to other comments.

I was interested that MOST of the comments focus on the issue of GUN CONTROL. I did report on the new SCORING SYSTEM being launched by Mayors Against Illegal Guns which is designed to grade members of Congress on their votes IN SUPPORT OF REASONABLE & APPROPRIATE GUN CONTROL LAWS to offset the NRA’s long-standing scoring system to identify members of Congress voting for any legislation providing for legal, reasonable and appropriate gun control laws. So, the GUN CONTROL issue is a relevant topic for comments.

At the same time, the GIST of the WE THE PEOPLE blog post yesterday was the very significant issue of whether or not our ELECTED REPRESENTATIVES in our CONGRESS should be EXPECTED – REQUIRED to VOTE on all bills approved by a committee. I also argued that Senators should be REQUIRED to vote on CONFIRMATIONS which a Senate Committee had approved. WHY NOT?

Is the MAJOR assignment of a member of our Congress NOT to VOTE on our behalf on legislation and other constitutionally required actions like confirmation of a presidential appointment? I do NOT assume the OUTCOME of the VOTE. Rather, I would assert that we elect our REPRESENTATIVES to the US CONGRESS to VOTE on our behalf – isn’t this a key quality of a REPUBLIC? – so they MUST BE EXPECTED – REQUIRED to VOTE! WHY NOT?

I noted that some readers asserted that I should know better on the basis that Congress has used other ways to deal with legislation. TRUE! I am a Political Science professor. I am well aware of the strategies which members of Congress use to avoid having to VOTE. I understand WHY too. I do NOT consider those strategies as ways to FULFILL the MAJOR task of our elected representatives. Our elected representatives MUST accept the duty and responsibility of VOTING! WHY NOT?

I did state that the EXPECTED - REQUIRED VOTE would be triggered when a congressional committee had passed a bill or a Senate committee had recommended the confirmation of a Presidential nomination. There would still be the strategy of LOCKING A BILL in COMMITTEE by the MAJORITY PARTY in the House and the Senate. I honestly am not enthusiastic about this process, but it does provide for some “sifting and winnowing” (I do appreciate the phrase in the “Mission Statement” our UW system. You can use this link if you want to review it: “Mission Statement” – UW system.) of bills and other documents.

I myself agree enthusiastically with the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel’s editorial, “Sen. Ron Johnson, others should abandon filibuster: Johnson and 13 other Republicans are opposing something that nine in 10 Americans support. It's time to end this charade.”

The editorial reminds us that fourteen Republican senators, including Ron Johnson of Wisconsin and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky weren't listening to those voices. They are on record as opposing "any legislation that would infringe on the American people's constitutional right to bear arms." The 14, led by tea party maverick Rand Paul of Kentucky, signed a letter to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada, threatening a filibuster.

I share the perspective of the editorial, “Make no mistake, the bill deserves a vote. The American public strongly favors tough background checks. A recent CNN/Opinion Research Corp. poll found that 94% agreed that people should undergo one when attempting to buy firearms."

The editorial continues, “We wonder if Johnson and his colleagues considered the long-term consequences of their actions. A broad majority of Americans favors expanded background checks for the sale of guns and a handful of Republican senators - in the aftermath of Newtown - try to block that legislation without so much as a vote?"

Back to the FOCUS on a VOTE! I am unable to understand Sen. Johnson’s OPPOSITION to a VOTE! What is Sen. Johnson afraid of? He can stand up and VOTE AGAINST the bills. That puts him on record. WE THE PEOPLE of WI will be able to include that action by RON JOHNSON as we vote in November 2016 for our US Senator. Johnson has already announced that he is going to run for re-election. I think that announcement clarifies Johnson’s BEHAVIORS since that announcement earlier this year.

I expect WI Senators JOHNSON and BALDWIN to VOTE on the pending GUN CONTROL bills! Do YOU?

I want a VOTE! I do care how each Senator votes, but first and foremost, I WANT A VOTE! Do YOU? If not, WHY NOT?!

I agree with Sen. John McCain's statement on "Face the Nation" last Sunday (April 7): "I don't understand it. . . . What are we afraid of? . . . I do not understand why United States senators want to block debate when the leader has said that we can have amendments." What is YOUR response, Senator Johnson?

I want a VOTE, Senator Johnson!

Here we go…

Mr. E.

Last updated: 9:20 am Tuesday, July 9, 2013

John W. Eyster lives in the Edgerton area. He is an adjunct professor assigned with the online/distance education faculty of Viterbo University, LaCrosse. He continues his personal mission supporting democracy/civics education in Wisconsin K-12 schools through Project Citizen, We the People, Discovering Democracy (Milton HS). John is a community blogger and is not a part of The Gazette staff or management.

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