A Sad and Overwhelming Week in Washington

The Boston Marathon bombings, the gun control vote, and Margaret Thatcher's funeral all made for an unbelievable week.

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This has been an unbelievable week. The Boston tragedy, gun control votes and Baroness Thatcher's funeral are all events which would have been the headline of the week on their own, yet they all happened before the sun set on Washington D.C. on Wednesday.

It is too early to say anything definitive about the bombing of the Boston marathon except to mourn those who perished, wish recovery for those hurt and honor those who helped. Until we know who the perpetrators were it is useless to assign blame, try to take away any lesson or call for specific reprisals.

The gun control vote result was interesting mostly in Barack Obama's misguided rage. The President railed against the NRA, a private organization, while it was those in his own party who doomed both the vote on the Manchin – Toomey amendment and the actual bill. Senators Mark Pryor (Ark.), Max Baucus (Mont.), Heidi Heitkamp (N.D.), Mark Begich (Alaska) and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (Nev.) all voted against the amendment, Sen. Reid doing so for procedural reasons.

Yes, the NRA lobbied strongly against the measure, too strongly for this author's taste, but the president pushed as strongly in favor of it, and was still not able to get his party to support him in full.

[See a collection of political cartoons on gun control and gun rights.]

The world also said good bye to Baroness Margaret Thatcher, a true beacon of conservativism and someone today's GOP can take lessons from. No, the Iron Lady was not "for turning," but she was also a common sense politician, able to compromise with the other side when needed (see promotion  of a consumption tax as just one example).

Agree or disagree with Margaret Thatcher, but it is impossible not to remember her as a powerful yet thoughtful politician, and that is why her and Ronald Reagan made for such a poignant partnership. Today's conservatives in America need to step away from blanket pledges and "not an inch" politics and take a page out of Maggie Thatcher's playbook.

Lets hope that the next three days are not the same as the past three.

  • Read Robert Schlesinger: Why Rand Paul Ignored the Southern Strategy at Howard University
  • Read Lara Brown: Boston Bombings Reveal the Limits of Security
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