Tuesday, March 18, 2014

NRA Opposition May Sink Obama's Surgeon General Nominee

Dr. Vivek Hallegere Murthy
Dr. Vivek Hallegere Murthy said at February’s hearing on his nomination for surgeon general that he didn’t plan to use the position as a bully pulpit for gun control. (Charles Dharapak / Associated Press / March 16, 2014)

LA Times

Intense opposition from the National Rifle Assn. has all but doomed prospects for President Obama's nominee for surgeon general, officials said Saturday as pro-gun Senate Democrats peeled away from the White House on a volatile issue in an election year.

Facing a potential high-profile setback for the president, the White House is not pushing for a vote to confirm Dr. Vivek Hallegere Murthy, a Harvard- and Yale-educated internist and former emergency room doctor who has advocated for stricter gun control laws, the officials said.

Democratic leaders in the Senate have begun surveying senators to determine whether there is enough support to save the troubled nomination. Few Republicans are expected to back Murthy, and as many as eight Democrats also could be opposed.

"We don't expect a vote to happen," a Senate aide said.

The divide between the White House and the president's party has widened in recent weeks as Obama's low poll numbers leave Democrats increasingly concerned about their chances in the November midterm election and whether they could lose their majority in the Senate.


  1. I'll cheerfully accept a thousand "defeats" apiece in Starbucks and Facebook, in exchange for one win against an anti-gun jihadist presidential nominee--in a Democrat-controlled Senate, with the "nuclear option" invoked, no less.

    If this does work out with Murthy not getting that particular megaphone with which to express his anti-gun extremism, I submit that David Codrea deserves the credit.

  2. Are you getting it? Even some Democrats are running away from gun control. That's because in most states, Americans don't want gun control.

  3. Whether you want to lay the blame or credit for this at the feet of the NRA is fairly immaterial. This partisan blocking of appointees has been going on for quite a while. All the more so at this point in time due to the President's stated intention to institute actions that fall under Presidential powers in order to further his Party's goal of enacting stricter gun control laws.

    "Yale law professor Bruce Ackerman wrote an article in the February 2001 edition of the liberal magazine The American Prospect that encouraged the use of the filibuster to stop Bush from placing any nominee on the Supreme Court during his first term."

    And there is quite a list of blocked appointees during the terms where Bush was in power. So, this is just business as usual.

  4. Now this is interesting. Paul M. Barrett--no friend of gun owners--says that the Murthy kerfuffle proves that the NRA is no paper tiger:

    The retreat from Murthy also provides a reminder that liberals’ wishful thinking about the NRA being a “paper tiger” deserves once and for all to be rejected. . . . But no matter how extreme the NRA’s stance, its wrath in pro-gun states must be taken seriously.

    You know that's not going to sit well with the clowns spouting that "the gun rights movement is doomed."

  5. No vote? Isn't that what all the people complain the Republicans were doing with their overuse of delaying tactics? Just because it looks like the guy will fail the vote is no reason not to actually have the vote. I thought the Democrats fought hard to bring all of these nominees up for a yes or no vote?