Democratic Congressman: So What If We're Politicking Off This Sit-In For Gun Control?

Matt Vespa
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Posted: Jun 23, 2016 7:25 PM
Democratic Congressman: So What If We're Politicking Off This Sit-In For Gun Control?

As Guy wrote in his analysis of the House Democrats’ sit-in, which accomplished absolutely nothing, it was purely a fundraising and publicity exercise. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said that they wouldn’t leave until hell froze over. Well, what looked like a profile in courage from Democrats, quickly devolved into a mad dash to the airport:

Mere hours later, they took that very break without compelling a single vote. In all fairness, there were flights home to be caught, and dinner reservations to fulfill. No bill! Let's break! Also, please give us money. Such commitment. Such courage. Since this was all about political posturing, I still maintain that House Republicans should have arrived to work this morning with one item on their agenda: Giving the Democrats an opportunity to vote on two consensus gun reform bills that their Senate colleagues filibustered earlier in the week. If Pelosi's crew had backed the GOP-sponsored legislation, they'd have helped corner Reid's caucus, whose obstructionism would look even more cynical than before. But if after shrieking for action, they immediately lined up to oppose limited measures that at least partially advanced their supposed goals, they'd look phonier than ever. Better to just raise a self-righteous stink, bathe in glowing media coverage ("historic!"), vacuum up some fundraising bucks, then call it a day. Literally. One day.

Wednesday, during a news conference on the Democratic sit-in, Pelosi said, “this isn’t about politics, it’s not about elections, it’s not about campaigns; it’s so much bigger than that. And our members know that.” Well, apparently Rep. Brad Sherman (D-CA) didn’t get the memo on that and admitted that politicking was going on with CNN’s Don Lemon.

“If Speaker Ryan doesn’t want the Democratic committee to be politicking on this issue, he has to schedule a vote. That’s the solution. They’ve already had votes in the Senate. The way to cut this process short and to return to regular order is to vote on these issues,” said Sherman.

“My entire panel is perplexed by this,” said Lemon.

“Because congressman you just said this was politicking,” said CNN’s chief political analyst Gloria Borger.

“I don't find that to be a dirty word, I think the effort of mobilizing the American people to demand a vote on this issue -- in most countries that is called politicking. Only in the U.S. do people attribute that to be something negative,” replied Sherman.

Mark Preston, CNN’s executive editor for politics asked if it was unseemly to be raising money off the backs of 49 people who were killed in a likely terrorist attack. It’s one thing to encourage people to call into the switchboard, but is it okay to fundraise off of this horrific event? Lemon added to those concerns, noting that Democrats were plastering the House floor with pictures of the victims. Well, I think Congressman Sherman’s answer that he doesn’t find politicking to be a dirty word sheds light on the intention of this gun control slumber party that occurred last night.

Cortney had written earlier today about how Speaker Ryan exposed Democrats for fundraising off this political stunt.