Pushme-pullyou Watch: Assault Weapons and Chuck Hagel.

This is a kind of a good news, maybe bad news kind of thing.  First, the kind of good news:

[Sen Stuart Smalley Al] Franken, speaking during a press event in Rochester, said he supports limits on ammunition magazines to 10 rounds and tightening the nation’s system of background checks. But, he declined to say whether he supported a ban on assault weapons, a key provision of the president’s plan.

Via @rickklein.  It’s only kind of good news because while it shows that Al Franken (or at least his staff) is aware that an actual ‘assault weapons ban’ would end up being a PR disaster for the Democrats*, it still indicates that the Other Side is alas wedded to the same magical thinking that made them think that limiting magazine sizes was actually going to do anything to combat gun violence.  While this is convenient for the Republican party, it is not so convenient for the Republic: the system works best when both parties are engaged in – what’s the term of art, again?  Ah, yes – are engaged in ‘reality-based’ thinking.



#rsrh A PSA for 2013’s researchers.

For those trying to work out why the following scenario came to pass:

Knowing how public schools actually operate, you can write the story before it even happens. “An 8-year-old pupil at Tom Davis Elementary School was arrested today, charged with harassment and expelled from school. The boy, who allegedly taunted a classmate as ‘gay,’ is accused of bullying on the basis of sexual orientation or perceived sexual orientation. ‘This is crazy,’ said the boy’s mother. ‘He’s too young to understand what “gay” means.’ “

…it’s fairly simple: the bumbling, inane stupidity of Al Franken* is only matched by that of the progressive activists who thought that it would be a good idea to elevate Stuart Smalley to the US Senate.

Wurzer: As other parents listen to our conversation here, and maybe their child’s been the target of a bully–maybe the child’s not gay or lesbian. Could you, in the statute, say–why not just bullying is for any reason?

Franken: Well, uh, we, you know, it–it is illegal for so many reasons that–you know, race, religion, uh, national origin, disability, uh–I guess, I guess you can say that bullying–then it kind of depends on what you’re talking about. If, you know, I guess kids have a right not to bully, but to basically, you know, tease each other about the stupidest things, but certainly not about those things.

Listen to the whole thing: it proves conclusively, once and for all, that the most damning thing that you can say about someone in the English language is “He means well.”

Moe Lane

*To explain: James Taranto and I both know how this story ends, because we’ve seen it happen with no-tolerance school policies.  To put it very simply, school districts default to the hardest line possible when interpreting forbidden behaviors, because if they don’t they get sued to hell and gone.  Which is why the search terms ‘child plastic knife expelled‘ gets 108K hits, and ‘child aspirin expelled‘ gets almost 91K.  But sure, yeah, no doubt the public school system will be better able to handle kids taunting each other…


Senator Smalley is VERY UPSET.

He isn’t very happy with the administration right now:

Sen. Al Franken ripped into White House senior adviser David Axelrod this week during a tense, closed-door session with Senate Democrats.

Five sources who were in the room tell POLITICO that Franken criticized Axelrod for the administration’s failure to provide clarity or direction on health care and the other big bills it wants Congress to enact.

The sources said Franken was the most outspoken senator in the meeting, which followed President Barack Obama’s question-and-answer session with Senate Democrats at the Newseum on Wednesday. But they also said the Minnesotan wasn’t the only angry Democrat in the room.

Absent from the article was any indication that Axelrod particularly cares, probably because he doesn’t. Franken’s relevance to the administration began on July 7, 2009 – and it ended on January 19, 2010. That was the window that Congress had to pass their health care rationing bill, and Congress failed to exploit that window. From the administration’s point of view, Axelrod should be raking Franken over the coals, not the other way around; but the Senate gets tiresome when the executive branch does not show proper deference to its members. Which – to everyone’s embarrassment – these days includes Senator Franken.

So I suppose that they have to let him yap.

Moe Lane

PS: One of the most exciting things about the thought of next year’s Senate makeup – from a Republican’s point of view – is the thought that Al Franken can only have a higher profile in the Senate.  Even if we don’t completely flip it.

Crossposted to RedState.

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