A Rated Judiciary Committee Republicans Betray Gunowners
Republican members of the Senate Judiciary Committee have some explaining to do to their gun owning constituents back home and we need to make them start making those explanations right now. Only two of the eight Republicans on the committee voted against confirmation; those two were Tom Coburn of Oklahoma and John Cornyn of Texas.
Orrin Hatch of Utah, rated "A+" by NRA, stabbed gunowners in the back early on with a statement of support for Holder even before hearings were held. Ranking Republican Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania, also rated "A" by NRA, made a lot of noise about Holder's activities regarding the pardon of fugitive Marc Rich, but in the end voted to recommend confirmation. Jon Kyle of Arizona, who barely won reelection in 1994 after voting for the Clinton "assault weapons" ban, but who has subsequently been rated "A" by NRA, also voted in support of confirmation as did Chuck Grassley of Iowa, rated "A" by NRA, Jeff Sessions of Alabama, rated "A+" by NRA last November, and Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, who is also rated "A" by NRA.
While the Republicans on the committee were outnumbered by several Democrats, all of them patently anti-rights, and therefore could not expect to win a vote against Holder, they could have and should have stood by their principles and the Constitution to vote against Holder. Had Republicans held fast and voted against Holder in the committee, there would be a better chance of defeating the appointment through a filibuster on the Senate floor. With these key Republicans having already voted for confirmation, the chances of a successful filibuster are greatly diminished.
Reliable sources have reported that NRA informed Senate leadership that votes for or against Holder would not be counted in NRA grading. That would mean that Hatch and Sessions will retain their "A+" ratings while the rest of the Republicans who voted for Holder will continue to be rated "A" by NRA even if it turns out that Holder uses the office of AG to wage a focused campaign against legal gun ownership – as I expect he will.
The issue now moves to the full senate which can be expected to vote on Holder's confirmation any day now. Since NRA is not holding the politicians accountable for their votes in this matter, successfully blocking the confirmation is considered to be a virtual impossibility. Even in the committee vote, John Cornyn stated his reasons for voting against Holder had to do with Holder's involvement in the Rich pardon and his attitudes toward terror suspects with no mention of Holder's radical positions on guns and the Second Amendment.
Readers are encouraged to contact Senators and urge them to reject Holder on constitutional grounds. Had Holder actively worked and advocated against any other constitutional right he would undoubtedly be rejected, but the Second Amendment continues to be neglected and ignored by many elected officials.
Senator John Barrasso (R-WY) is an exception to that rule as he has written an editorial in the Washington Times stating his opposition to the confirmation of Holder because of Holder's actions against the Second Amendment. I hope Senator Barrasso will take his opposition a step further and place a "hold" – institute a filibuster – against Holder's confirmation. Many other senators owe their seats to support from gunowners and now is a great opportunity for them to – as my father used to say – dance with the ones what brung 'em. Every Senator, whether Democrat or Republican, who sought and received endorsements and/or high ratings from pro-rights organizations, should vote against Holder and vote against any effort to shut down a filibuster. Any who fail to do so are betraying their campaign promises and violating the trust of GunVoters. This is the first gun control vote of the 111th Congress and the results will be reported, recorded, and remembered. If Republicans are hoping to regain lost ground in the elections of 2010 they had better start taking advantage of opportunities to distinguish themselves from their Democrat rivals.
Continue contacting Senators and urging them to place a hold on the Holder confirmation, support any hold placed on the confirmation, oppose cloture or limiting debate, and demand that President Obama offer a candidate who does not have a record of opposition to an enumerated constitutional right.