It’s Only Poetry: #NoBillNoBreak, Gun Control, and What We’re About

The concern troll fu was STRONG with the Internet today, as Democrats led by certified badass and current sex symbol of the Athenae household Rep. John Lewis said oh, you don’t want to vote on gun control legislation? OKAY. Watch this.

Immediately other liberals and professional contrarians pointed out that the watchlist was garbage, itself a violation of all kinds of due process, and not something we should be in favor of making tougher.

The Democratic proposal has been catch-phrased and hashtagged as “no fly, no buy,” because it would prevent people who end up on government terrorism watchlists, including the “no fly list,” from purchasing firearms. This would do little to reduce gun violence, but it would add an additional layer of surveillance and government scrutiny to a particular class of people.

Which is true, and not the point at all. The watch list and the no-fly list are horrific GOP garbage.

The GOP won’t even vote in favor of its own garbage if that garbage is disapproved of by the NRA.

The GOP won’t even ALLOW a vote to expand their own bills if the NRA doesn’t want them to.

There is no principle they hold to that they will not abandon if the NRA asks them to.

There is nothing they won’t block if the NRA asks them to to.

They are run by the NRA, lock stock and about a thousand smoking goddamn barrels. And that is the point of forcing votes on legislation the GOP should be roundly in favor of. That is the point of sitting in.

It’s to say, what chance does actual gun control legislation have if we can’t even get this garbage through?

It’s to say, we are giving them everything they should want, and they are throwing it back in our faces for no real reason, so you tell us what else we’re supposed to do? You tell us how we’re supposed to work with people who won’t even work with us on stuff they used to work on!

For the past 8 years the GOP has lied and abused and obfuscated and postured. They shut down the government for the second time in history (the first time was their fault, too) out of spite at not being able to keep people uninsured. They are blocking a Supreme Court justice from having his nomination even considered.

For 8 years we’ve heard stories about how “Washington” or “Congress” is gridlocked, about how “politicians” don’t get anything done, how “both parties” are responsible for America “becoming polarized” and other nonsense that makes it sound like this is the weather and not the end result of electing Tea Party-sexual hairdos without two brain cells to rub together.

Tonight the story is that Democrats are demanding votes on gun control legislation, and are willing to put their bodies on the floor until those votes happen, and Republicans are blocking those votes and turning off the cameras and walking out of the chamber. That’s the story now.

America has been really hard to love, lately.

Between the ongoing violence in the city and the seemingly neverending stream of nonsense coming out of Donald Trump’s mouth, between the perpetual debate about how mean we should be to poor people and the fact that people genuinely think yelling on the internet is like having your head busted in at a protest, America has been a really prickly, unloveable place.

But tonight, hearing about the sit-in John Lewis and his fellow Dems were staging, people started gathering at the Capitol. People came and held signs and yelled that they were with those inside, that they were watching, that they cared.

Inside, on the floor of the People’s House, a bunch of men and women in suits sang We Shall Overcome.

A lot of people are calling this posturing. Calling it theater. But it’s not. It’s poetry. And there are worse things than poetry. People have sat on hard floors all night for worse things than poetry. People have died, for worse things than poetry. And nobody is poorer or dumber or hungrier because of poetry.

And if tonight  we are one iota less alone, in our fear and our anger, because of that poetry, then sing on.


One thought on “It’s Only Poetry: #NoBillNoBreak, Gun Control, and What We’re About

  1. I’m kind of jealous, honestly. When we took over the WI state capitol building, we didn’t even get carpeting to sit on. Hahahahaha.

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