"Don't Play with Guns" - The Black Angels
Love this one too -- has a bit of a Jesus and Mary Chain vibe.
I am getting a little nervous about the sense of triumphalism from some quarters in the liberal camp. The talk of the inevitability of marriage equality or Republican decline make me cringe a bit -- even if I sometimes feel that way myself.
I think the likely demise of gun control in the coming weeks, the Republican victory on sequester, the likelihood of another showdown on the debt ceiling, the ongoing evisceration of abortion rights in much of the country all speak to the fact that even a wounded Republican Party can do a whole lot of damage and stymie things even though they command massive public support, like background checks.
The Republicans have a couple of things going for them that make them a potent and ongoing threat despite the fact that they get seemingly craziier by the day, as post-election introspection quickly gives way to ideological zeal. The Republicans 1) are wiling to wield the filibuster power more destructively (and yet effectively) than has ever been done before; 2) maintain strong party discipline despite a crack or two in the early part of the year; 3) are likely to continue to control the House through at least the next four years; 4) benefit to some extent by continued softness in the economy; 5) continue to have a turn out advantage in mid-term and off year elections; 6) continue to control 30 governorships; and 7) continue to maintain a strong geographic base of support.
It is this latter point that may be most important of all. Republican positions may be unpopular overall, but they continue to command strong support among the Party's rural, white, revanchist constituency. The structure of the Senate gives disproportionate power to this electorate as does the fact that the Democratic vote is remarkably concentrated, making gerrymandering a very easy thing to do. All of this works incredibly well with America's difuse power structure to prevent progressive legislation from happening, notiwthstanding claims that the culture war has been won by the left.
Thus, on marriage equality, if the Supreme Court is unwilling to endorse a constitutional right to equal protection for marriage, as I suspect it will, the battle is going to be fought out in the states. I believe that progress will be made in another ten to twelve states in the near future, but then will likely hit a wall that will be difficult to move for a fairly lengthy time. Abortion rights are likely to become extraordinarily constrained in a large number of jurisdictions and the Supreme Court remains a threat to repeal Roe. Gun control is going to also be subject to state by state battles -- a really poor way to deal with something as easily transported as firearms. Progressive economic legislations is simply not in the cards if and until the Democrats can regain control of the House -- the filibuster problem will continue unabated, and the Republicans still have a pretty decent shot at capturing the Senate in 2014.
I think the Republicans are going to continue having problems winning the presidency. But there are plenty of ways to do damage without controlling the highest office in the land.
As a result, we are going to continue to have to fight for every victory -- and none of those victories will prove to be inevitable.