Over at Mediaite, Noah Rothman records a conversation from CNN:
President Barack Obama’s nominee to become the next Surgeon General, Vivek Hallergere Murthy, appears unlikely to be confirmed for the post on Monday. A CNN panel confirmed that even Senate Democrats are weary of voting to confirm Murthy because, as CNN anchor John King put it, “his only crime is he agrees with the president” and the National Rifle Association opposes his nomination. King asked if Obama’s cabinet is now in the midst of a “hostage crisis” with the NRA as captors.
“Why walk the plank if you’re a red state Democrat when the NRA is actually scoring this vote? Harry Reid wants to protect his vulnerable Democrats in tough races.”
One has to ask, “Protect them from what, exactly?” Does Raju believe that the NRA is likely to shoot the Democrats if they go against its will? Or is the NRA perhaps going to score the vote and then tell people how each senator voted? You know, like any public advocacy group might do? To “score a vote” is merely to record and to publicize the legislative process. If Harry Reid is worried that his colleagues may lose their seats then he is ultimately worried that the people and his agenda are out of sync — a problem for a body that is responsive to the public. It seems reasonably obvious that the NRA’s saying “Congressman X voted like this!” will be futile if the public’s reaction is, “we don’t care.”