Bernie Sanders wasn't at the gun control filibuster Wednesday. Should he have been? | The Tylt
In the wake of the Orlando massacre, Senate Democrats — led by Connecticut's Chris Murphy — filibustered for 15 hours straight in an effort to force Republican Party leaders to allow votes on gun control. Murphy announced this morning that compromise had been reached, and that votes on two proposed gun control measures were now going forward.
The filibuster was wildly applauded by liberal constituents as a a rare act of political courage.
"Congress cannot sit on the sidelines while killers freely buy weapons to brutally murder the people Congress is supposed to be protecting," a spokesman for Chris Murphy said. More than 40 Democratic senators (and two Republicans) joined in the filibuster, and took turns getting up and speaking about gun violence in order to keep it going.
But, as Emily Cahn pointed out at Mic, "One big name was missing from the Democrats' gun control filibuster: Bernie Sanders."
Where was Bernie? Should he have been there?
The Senator did tweet his support of the filibuster: "I stand with @ChrisMurphyCT to demand common sense gun safety. We can't allow guns to fall into the hands of people who shouldn't have them." But Sanders was not part of any scheduled campaign events that evening, and many progressives are angry that he wasn't there. The filibuster was seen as politicians finally standing up to the powerful gun lobby. Because Sanders' political identity is about defying big-money and special interests, progressives think his absence was a disgrace.
Sanders' supporters point to his 8 1/2 hour filibuster against extending the Bush tax cuts in 2010 as evidence that he is fully willing to stand up for everyday Americans. They don't think his commitment to stopping gun violence should be negated because he wasn't physically present at one filibuster.
But Sanders' record with progressives on gun control is patchy at best — his numerous votes against the Brady Bill were brought up as evidence that he is out of step with the gun control movement in general. His absence last night was considered just one more example of that by his critics, plus further evidence that he is not a team player in the Senate.
What do you think: #BernieBailedOnUs or #BernieDidntBail?
Bernie Sanders wasn't at the gun control filibuster Wednesday. Should he have been?
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