Any day the National Rifle Association suffers a high-profile defeat is a pretty good day. So last night’s confirmation of Vivek Murthy as Surgeon General was happy news. It came to us by way of an extended session created by Ted Cruz’s unsuccessful effort to shut down the government, and Harry Reid’s better-late-than-never use of the “nuclear option” to get rid of routine filibusters against executive branch confirmations. And it’s notable that even excitable Second Amendment fans didn’t seem to be convinced that their guns were in danger of being seized because a Surgeon General observed that gunfire deaths were a bit of a health problem for those likely to find themselves in the path of a bullet.
Props to Sen. Mark Kirk of Illinois for being the only Republican not to be intimidated by the NRA. And a special raspberry for Joe Manchin, who presumably cannot vote for the confirmation of anyone who might support his own gun safety legislation.