The daughter of the Sandy Hook Elementary School principal who died in the mass killing in December could not join others from her community this week to lobby for gun control.
So she turned to Twitter to reach out to the 15 senators who indicated they would engage in a filibuster to block legislation on gun control. She said she just wanted them to vote, not put roadblocks in the way of debate and voting.
Only one of the senators called Erica Lafferty after her tweet – Ted Cruz.
…in no particular order:
- Kudos for Senator Cruz for responding. We need more of that.
- I regret* to say that Ms. Lafferty is… not exactly correct when she said later that “the purpose of being in Congress is to debate and to vote. And that is what his state elected him to do.” In point of fact, Texas elected Senator Cruz fully aware that he would do everything in his power to act as a brake on Senatorial foolishness. That is, in fact, why they elected him. The job of a representative is just as much to stop bad legislation as it is to pass good legislation.
- For that matter, even should Texans disagree with Senator Cruz at a later date… “Certainly, gentlemen, it ought to be the happiness and glory of a representative to live in the strictest union, the closest correspondence, and the most unreserved communication with his constituents. Their wishes ought to have great weight with him; their opinion, high respect; their business, unremitted attention. It is his duty to sacrifice his repose, his pleasures, his satisfactions, to theirs; and above all, ever, and in all cases, to prefer their interest to his own. But his unbiassed opinion, his mature judgment, his enlightened conscience, he ought not to sacrifice to you, to any man, or to any set of men living. These he does not derive from your pleasure; no, nor from the law and the constitution. They are a trust from Providence, for the abuse of which he is deeply answerable. Your representative owes you, not his industry only, but his judgment; and he betrays, instead of serving you, if he sacrifices it to your opinion.” – Edmund Burke, Speech to the Electors of Bristol, 1774.
Put that last point, another way: I am genuinely sorry, Ms. Lafferty; but you do not have the privilege of demanding that another person live his life by your conscience, not his. Senator Cruz was apparently too kindly to tell you this – I am morally certain that he knows the Burke quote, possibly by heart – so I guess that it’s up to me to point this out.
Moe Lane (crosspost)
*I note this without heat.