Today the United States Senate broke with 200+ years of tradition, and not in a good way. By a vote of 40 to 58, they failed to invoke cloture in the nomination of Chuck Hagel to be Secretary of Defense. That’s fancy Senate-speak for not being able to force an up and down vote on the nomination. Cloture votes typically occur when Senate is trying to overcome a filibuster by the minority. According to Senator Graham, this wasn’t really a filibuster, just a delay.
I like Lawrence O’Donnell, a polished combination of eloquence and passionate pugnacity. Since the Sandy Hook tragedy, however, he more than any other host at MSNBC has allowed his rhetoric to get a little overheated when discussing the National Rifle Association. Even as a member of that group, I confess that I have little use for it and will probably let my membership lapse if it hasn’t already. If it’s not going to represent the views of 80% of its members, than the NRA doesn’t offer anything you can’t get from the Auto Club, namely hotel discounts.