Top story: There are now 14 senators ready to prevent even a debate on gun control legislation—something which may energize the base but won’t help efforts to rebrand.
- Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell is the latest to join the GOP’s new cause célèbre: Thwarting any and all debate of gun control bills. (Talking Points Memo)
- Mind you, these Republican senators aren’t voting against the bill itself or attempting a filibuster during debate. This is a threat to prevent even DEBATE of the bill. Fox News’ Chad Pergram has a nice explainer of the labyrinthine Senate rules at work. (Fox News)
- Heritage Foundation’s political arm (legally, they’re separate organizations) says it’s scoring senators on how they vote on the motion to proceed. In other words: Vote “yes,” senator, and you’ve got a Jim DeMint-sized problem. (Heritage Action)
- Most political watchers think this is a significant miscalculation for a party that desperately needs to rebrand. (First Read)
- In fact, add Rep. Peter King, R-N.Y., to the those Republicans think a “prevent defense” on gun control is a bad, bad move. (The Huffington Post)
- “For the GOP, it’s hard to see the long-term political upside of a filibuster, [especially with] Newtown families now lobbying Congress.” (Mark Murray)
- Of course, there is a counter-argument: “Filibuster *raises* pressure on red-state Democrats b/c more of their votes are needed.” (Ramesh Ponnuru)
- Still, it’s tough for Republicans to weather lines like this from Majority Leader Harry Reid, Monday: “The least Republicans owe the parents of these 20 little babies who were murdered at Sandy Hook is a thoughtful debate about whether stronger laws could have saved their little girls and boys.” (Roll Call)
- The one hope for a bill that can pass may be a bill Democrat Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Republican Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania are working on. (Bloomberg)
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Top Links: McConnell hops aboard GOP’s filibuster bandwagon. Hope they see that cliff ahead.