As mentioned earlier, seizing on the absence of a Democratic senator who happens to be a veteran of the civil rights movement and was in Washington, on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, for the second inauguration of the country's first black president, Republicans in the evenly split Virginia state Senate pushed through a surprise mid-decade redistricting plan to try to gain decisive control of the body in the next election.
We're not done yet.
At the end of this wild day, the "Senate adjourned in memory or (sic) General Thomas J. 'Stonewall' Jackson," according to the minutes of the session. Jan. 21 is the Confederate general's birthday.
Some big-time political shenanigans in Virginia today. State senate Republicans surprised everyone in Richmond by pushing through a mid-decade redistricting plan that is likely to improve their chances in the 2015 Senate elections -- but here's the kicker. They were able to get it through the evenly divided (20-20) Senate only because one Democratic senator, a well-known, 79-year-old veteran of the civil rights movements, was in Washington for President Obama's second inauguration. Evan McMorris-Santoro reports.
Supporters and opponents react to President Obama's second inaugural address.
CSPAN catches Obama lingering for a moment to look out over the crowd at the end of the inaugural ceremony. Watch.
Obama: "We, the people, declare today that the most evident of truths - that all of us are created equal - is the star that guides us still; just as it guided our forebears through Seneca Falls, and Selma, and Stonewall; just as it guided all those men and women, sung and unsung, who left footprints along this great Mall, to hear a preacher say that we cannot walk alone; to hear a King proclaim that our individual freedom is inextricably bound to the freedom of every soul on Earth."
Full text of his second inaugural address.
Mitch McConnell campaign email: Obama is coming after your guns.
TPM Reader MV says don't dismiss it entirely ...
Just wanted to weigh in on the "Red Dawn" fantasy part of the debate. For me, that's actually the only pro-gun argument that resonates. No, it's not something that could happen anytime in the near future, and no, citizens with assault rifles (or any other guns) aren't going to win an all-out war against any modern developed country's military. What guns do however, is basically guarantee bloodshed if the government ever does take a hard turn to tyranny. That bloodshed is itself a significant deterrent, even if its the revolters' blood. Just as Tienanmen Square is still a very sensitive issue with the Chinese government, any major bloodshed event is a big deal for a would-be tyrant.
From TPM Reader DM ...
Hey Josh, NYC liberal here, been with TPM since the beginning, major supporter of gun control. I have a bit of insight on the "red dawn" fantasy that may be helpful and wanted to give it a bit more thought rather than simply dismissing it, because I do believe it is a big motivator on the other side.
But it is not "red dawn", rather it is a fantasy/fear about what would happen if the government loses control, particularly say if the power goes out for an extended period of time.
From TPM Reader EW ...
In VT, during hunting season last fall, one saw pickups with gun racks on the side of the roads. Many of the trucks had Obama bumper stickers on them. So VT is different. It has no gun laws at all, yet it is way down the list in terms of gun deaths, but not near the bottom.