Predictably, Washington State’s congressional delegation divided along party lines 4-4 on Thursday’s historic contempt vote against Attorney General Eric Holder by the House of Representatives.
Not present for the vote, of course, was Democrat Jay Inslee, who quit his post earlier this year to run for a different political office, to replace departing Democrat Gov. Christine Gregoire. His opponent, Republican Attorney General Rob McKenna, remains on the job.
The full vote count – including the names of the 108 Democrats and one California Republican who walked out rather than vote and have the National Rifle Association grade them on that vote – was published Friday morning by TheGunMag.com, along with a lengthy report about the House action.
Republicans Doc Hastings, Jamie Herrera Buetler, Dave Reichert and Cathy McMorris Rodgers voted with their majority colleagues and 17 Democrats, while retiring Norm Dicks, Jim McDermott, Adam Smith and Rick Larsen at least stuck around to vote while their fellow Democrats walked out in a well-choreographed theatric huff.
It remains for voters this fall in newly-crafted districts where Smith and Larsen face re-election to determine whether they made the right choice. McDermott is politically bullet-proof and Dicks is probably getting ready to write his memoirs.
Bellevue’s Alan Gottlieb, chairman of the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms, noted in a statement to the Examiner Thursday, “We are disappointed, but not surprised that Holder’s Democrat cheerleaders tried to portray this as a witch hunt, and tried to blame the Bush administration, but their arguments do not wash. This is about the rule of law and finding the truth about a horribly mismanaged gun trafficking operation, the murder of an American Border Patrol agent and what appears to have been a cover-up by the Department of Justice.”
NRA’s Wayne LaPierre, speaking to NRA News’s Cam Edwards and Ginny Simone, rebutted assertions voiced during the House floor debate that Fast and Furious, and the slaying of Border Patrol agent Brian Terry, is somehow the NRA’s fault for opposing restrictive federal gun laws. That’s what District of Columbia delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton put forth in one of many Democrat efforts to deflect blame.
What happens now? While some are dismissing Thursday’s contempt vote as political theater and a hollow effort that will go nowhere, others are far less cavalier. Coupled with the astonishing Supreme Court ruling on Obamacare, it might just be that the proverbial “sleeping giant” has been awakened and filled with “a terrible resolve” that Democrats and the Obama administration will profoundly regret in November.
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Gun Rights Organizations:
Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms
National Rifle Association
Second Amendment Foundation