Colorado Republican lawmakers made national headlines this week as they submitted a total of seven bills that addressed gun control laws passed in 2013.
Five of the bills met quick and predictable party line demises in a House Committee. Two of the bills were approved in a Senate committee, again on a party line vote, but are likely fail in the House.
With five of the seven bills not making it out of committee, it seems clear to me, and everyone else watching, that the goal of these bills had nothing to do with repairing any damage done by the laws passed in 2013. Rather, these bills have a strictly political mission.
This isn’t uncommon, and frankly it’s much more common in our current political environment. Political parties often use the bully pulpit of the legislature to advocate for bills that they know have no chance of passing, but make great fodder on the campaign trail and at fundraisers.
This also can’t come as a shocking revelation to most folks watching the political fanfare this week since Republican lawmakers recited the goal of repealing the 2013 laws throughout the 2014 campaign.
But what does surprise me is that the GOP isn’t really trying to affect some of the gun control laws that could at least be amended if the GOP were willing to actually work across the aisle.
My point is this. If you truly felt a law was onerous, would you work to change the law, at least slightly, or would you feel you made more progress attempting a full repeal and failing miserably?
Perhaps I’m naïve, but with all of the back and forth over the magazine limit law, it seemed that changing the magazine limit from 15 to 20 or 30 was far more likely to pass than a full repeal of the law.
And while it is certainly not new, it still saddens me how effective introducing bills that have no shot of passing is with a party’s base. It goes both ways, Democrats do it too.
But who are the base supporters, and even more interesting, who are the funders who consider this a good investment of campaign funds? Is there actually a valuable satisfaction from tilting at impossible windmills for the right reason, regardless of the result?
As consumers, we Americans rarely use the same strategy when making other investments. When was the last time you invested your hard earned money in a company guaranteed to fail? Our economy would collapse if we used this theory in our business transactions.
Yet, it seems that this investment strategy is not only embraced, but encouraged in politics.
I think this can give us all a good opportunity for a gut check on where we are as voters.
Are we okay with voting for folks who have no intention of making any real progress, but promote the exact issues we want?
Or do we want elected leaders who will slightly move the ball, but only after compromise with the other side?
There is no wrong answer, but if you prefer the former, principle before progress, please do not complain about gridlock because that’s what you prefer to see.
If you actually want to see progress, be willing to vote for candidates that believe compromise is a good thing.
Remember, you can’t have your cake and complain about it too.
About The Blogger
– Dominic Dezzutti, producer of the Colorado Decides debate series, a co-production of CBS4 and Colorado Public Television, looks at the local and national political scene in his CBSDenver.com blog. Dezzutti is also the host and producer of the Emmy award winning “Colorado Inside Out” on Colorado Public Television.