Today the Wisconsin State Journal came halfway close to the truth in this editorial:
First, the good:
- High marks for handling a fraught topic. Newspapering is a business and they could lose a handful of gun-obsessed readers. So far so good.
- Very high marks for addressing Paul Ryan directly. “Move the bump stock ban to the House floor, Mr. Speaker. What are you waiting for?”
Then the bad:
- Look at that headline — “Can Congress not even ban bump stocks?” And this in the body — “If Congress can’t get this one tiny thing accomplished when the vast majority of the public and elected officials agree on action, what can Congress do?”
The bad part is pretty terrible. It’s not “Congress” as a whole that is fumbling here. It’s Republicans. It’s Republican leaders Ryan and McConnell. It’s Republican majorities in the House and Senate. It’s the modern Republican Party that is in thrall to the gun lobby. The first action Donald Trump took as President was to roll back a safety measure that prevented severely mentally ill Americans from buying guns, passed a week earlier of course by the Republican House and Senate. Republicans own this mess. It’s not a failure of “Congress”.
It’s like this little bit of sloppy language: “The insect world is screwing up our summers!” Um, no. It’s not insects in general. It’s specifically the mosquitos and ticks that we hate.
Frankly, there are malign interests that do not want the American or European democratic experiments to succeed. (Lookin’ at you, Vladimir.) We should avoid the cynicism that self-government no longer works, never works, cannot work, gripe-itty-gripe… when actually we just need to elect better people.