God, I’m so sick and heartbroken to have to keep trying about the Uvalde school shooting, but it’s all that’s on cable news this week, so you go with what you got. As I previously wrote, my wife Teri had to Google on her cell phone to get me primary election results from Tuesday.

On The Last Word tonight, with Jonathan Capehart subbing for Lawrence O’Donnell, Capehart made news that I think slipped by most people.

As we speak, there is a bipartisan group of 10 Senators working on some form of gun control, under a 10 day time limit mandated by Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer. I’m not so sure that date is set in stone if Schumer sees concrete proof of progress, so take that with a grain of salt.

The working group contains Democratic Senators Richard Blumenthal and Chris Murphy of Connecticut, home of the Sandy Hook tragedy, along with Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema. This makes sense, since you’re dead in the water without them. On the GOP side, you have Susan Collins, Rob Portman, Pat Toomey, and Lindsey Graham.

Call me kooky, but I’m willing to take Manchin in good faith on this one. After all, it was Manchin, a few years ago who teamed up with retiring PA Senator Pat Toomey to propose an actual bill on gun legislation that unfortunately died in the Senate via the ever popular filibuster. Manchin is working with Toomey again this time, so I’m willing to give him wriggle room.

But it was what Capehart reported tonight on MSNBC that I won’t give Manchin any wriggle room for. Capehart reported that Manchin was quoted as saying, in regards to the ongoing gun control negotiations, I am going to be taking a very serious approach to, and look at this, since I have 2 granddaughters, and what I saw in Uvalde sickened me to my stomach.

As the Australians like to say, Good on ya, mate! Please Senator, go right ahead, give it your best shot, and do everything you can to try to pass something, anything to stop the carnage. But if it all comes a cropper in the end, you are by no means off the hook in my book.

Because News flash, Senator. You already hold the power in your grubby little West Virginia hands. The Senate is 50-50, with Kamala Harris ready to cast the tie breaking vote. If the negotiations fall apart, you always have the option to work with your Democratic Senate partners to craft gun control legislation you can live with, and lobby like hell with Arizona Senator Kyrsten Sinema, who also already has skin in the game, to carve out an exception to the filibuster rule to allow your own negotiated bill to pass with a simple majority vote.

It’s all in your hands. Simple question. How much do you love your granddaughters? More importantly, how much do you think that the parents and grandparents of this country love their daughters and granddaughters? Enough to maker you change your mind on an arcane, Jim Crow senate procedure to protect them?

I don’t work for the New York Times, or the Washington Post, but I have my simple platform, and readers, and I am going to do everything in my limited power to keep the fire under your feet on this. I honestly wish for nothing more than to see a bipartisan bill that moves the ball forward down the field. But if it fails, you have the power to get Democratic gun control legislation through the Senate.  How much do you love your granddaughters Senator Manchin? More importantly, How much do the rest of us love our granddaughters? The ball is literally in your court. Don’t fumble the snap.

 

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