Top Links: McConnell hops aboard GOP’s filibuster bandwagon. Hope they see that cliff ahead.

Updated
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell is the latest to join GOP efforts to filibuster gun control legislation. (Jan. 6, 2011.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell is the latest to join GOP efforts to filibuster gun control legislation. (Jan. 6, 2011.
AP Photo/Charles Dharapak

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)

Top Links: McConnell hops aboard GOP’s filibuster bandwagon. Hope they see that cliff ahead.

Updated