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Perhaps helping explain Democrats’ problems, an AP-GfK poll this month showed that 49 percent of Americans support stricter gun laws. That was down from 58 percent who said so in January ““ a month after the December killings of 20 children and six aides at a Newtown, Conn., elementary school propelled gun violence into a national issue. Just over half the public ““ 52 percent ““ expressed disapproval in the new survey of how President Barack Obama has handled gun laws. Weeks after the Newtown slayings, Obama made a call for near universal background checks the heart of his gun control plan. [NBC News]

THE MAJORITY of Americans do not vote in off year elections, which might explain Joe Manchin’s problems. Looking to 2014, those senators facing reelection have decided to keep their job rather than do their job and pass universal background checks, which the vast majority of Americans approve. Another problem for gun safety advocates is the further we get away from Sandy Hook and the slaughter of children, the softer the public gets on gun safety.

This is what happens when Congress is bought and the American majority can’t be bothered to vote. It takes both to make universal background checks law.

Senator Joe Manchin, along with Senator Pat Toomey, deserve applause for their work, but it’s simply not enough with the conservative cowardice that runs through Congress. Today, Manchin, a member of the NRA, accused them of lying, which you can see in the video below.

I’ve been watching or involved in politics for well over three decades, starting because I came of age during the sexual and feminist revolutions. Then my brother ran for office and became a Missouri state senator, then assistant attorney general under John Ashcroft. I saw first hand what can happen through my brother’s failed congressional campaign and just how ugly politics can get, including inside your own party. Being online in the late ’90s, I wrote on the Clinton impeachment, long before blogging was born. I’ve written throughout the 2000s, then coming to Washington D.C. and watching, listening and learning, I’ve seen it all up close and very personal.

Listening and getting emails from people on politics since the web blasted off, back in 1996, I’ve also witnessed the nonchalance of the American public.

Once money became the only thing that mattered in our politics that sealed it.

It’s also why I’m not an activist and instead am a writer chronicling what happens in our world. I just don’t know how they do it. The good guys are out numbered and even when they aren’t they can’t spark enough energy from the public to turn off the TV, get off their asses, and get out and vote.

Congress is a disgrace.

So is the American public, because they let these people get away with it.