Corker, Alexander Vote for (Partial) Cloture, Arouse Ire of Gun Group

Tennessee’s two Senators among 16 “soft Republicans” targeted for purging.

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Maybe Frank Nicely knows what he’s talking about! Nicely is the state Senator from Strawberry Plains who wants the party caucuses in the General Assembly to do the nominating for U.S. Senator, not the voters, and says that in such a case Tennessee’s two U.S. Senators, Lamar Alexander and Bob Corker, are likely too moderate to be renominated by the state’s Republican legislators.

Nicely would probably get some agreement from an outfit called Conservative-Daily.com, which, in the “daily sanity”newsletter it distributes to its network, takes dead aim at Alexander, Corker, and 14 other Republican senators with the vow, “We Will Not Rest Until They Are Removed.”

What prompted this threat was a 68-31 vote in the Senate on Thursday in which partial cloture was imposed on a would-be filibuster against S. 49, the Obama administration’s bill to mandate background checks for all gun sales. The vote, according to a spokesperson for Corker, was "to allow the bill to be considered, debated, and amended. There will be another vote on a cloture motion to move to final passage...."

Whatever the technical thrust of the outcome, Tennessee’s Senatorial duo were in the GOP minority that voted with the Democratic majority to permit procedural votes. The total needed to impose cloture was 60 votes.

The proprietors of Conservative-Daily.com were clearly not amused. Their signed spokesman, identified as Tony Watkins, went on to say: “We have lost the first battle….But we have NOT lost the war….The filibuster, that we supported, was voted down thanks to the ‘turncoat’ Republicans who voted against the filibuster. The NRA is taking note. We are taking note of these soft Republicans. We are calling OUT the Republicans who voted against the filibuster.”

After listing the 16 Republican senators who voted for cloture, “daily sanity” goes on to say, “We will vote you out of office!”

After that,Watkins’ philippic gets a little less agitated, if no less resolved, and it segues into an appeal: “We are tired of supposed Republicans voting against our Second Amendment rights! However, there is still a strong opportunity for the final vote to VOTE NO on S. 649!! That is why your fax is extremely VITAL to SAVE our Second Amendment rights from the United States Constitution!”

The newsletter asks readers to contact their members of Congress for one last heroic effort: “Fax Congress NOW! The debate is already in progress. But it could last into next week before a FINAL VOTE! When it comes to cutting down our Second Amendment…this is it! The Second Amendment, as written by our founding fathers, literally guarantees Americans the right to own and bear arms, guns. But, unless we fax NOW, that time is gone!"

Meanwhile, Corker released a statement displaying some flexibility in his position: "I don't understand why any senator wouldn't want to debate these issues, but in the end, I will not support any legislation that violates our Second Amendment rights.'

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