Here's something you don't see happen every day. Peggy Noonan actually got called out for attempting to repeat one of her favorite talking points -- that President Obama could somehow wave a magic wand and force the members of Congress to behave the way he wants them to -- and on Meet the Press of all places.
GREGORY: And-- and yet this week as-- as this was going on, as the investigation was going on, the Senate defeats a background check bill for-- for guns. So we-- we are confronting this violence but still very divided about how we react to it and try to solve it.
NOONAN: Yeah, I think the essential problem is that Americans at this point don’t trust their government so much to do the right thing. They are skeptical of all bills on things that they care about to-- to lower the conversation a little bit, get it down to-- to mere politics, I guess. I think there is a problem when you’ve got 90 percent of the American people wanting something like background checks and a president who is just re-elected and riding a wave, can’t make anything move that way. I think there is a problem there, and I think he is having, as somebody said, a problem with the levers of power.
KEARNS GOODWIN: But maybe the problem is also the structure of the Senate. You know, at the turn of the 20th century when public sentiment wanted a lot of things done to deal with industrialization and the problem of the slums, the Senate was impossible to move because it was millionaires in there. They finally realized they have to have direct election of senators. They used to be elected by the state legislatures and they’re only susceptible to special interest. Maybe that’s the trouble now, that structural Senate given the 60 votes that are needed, given who they listen to, given the power of special interest, public sentiment cannot penetrate. And we’ve seen it now for the last decade. That’s what the dysfunction is about. It’s not just the Senate, it’s the Congress.
GREGORY: And David…
NOONAN: Yeah. But Majority Leader Harry Reid followed the president? You know what I mean, something’s not working there.
KEARNS GOODWIN: Well, clearly something is not working.
BROKAW: But-- but…
BROKAW: But in those states in which the senators voted against the background checks, it’s not even close to 90 percent in terms of wanting it. It’s probably down in single digits in Montana and Arkansas and Alaska and North Dakota, the states that block it as Democrats, so you have to take that into consideration.
NOONAN: Yeah, but we got to pin like Newtown, 90 percent move it. Small, discrete parts of a bill, push it through, call it a victory, keep going.
BROKAW: Well, kill the filibuster bill. I mean-- or change it.
KEARNS GOODWIN: Kill it. Definitely. Definitely. They got to do that.
You listening Harry Reid?