Obama made much of polls showing 90 percent support for background checks. But those polls didn't measure the response to arguments against those measures.
This was a test of Organizing for America [sic, Action], the offspring of the Obama presidential campaign. The idea is that OFA could pressure members of Congress just as it had turned out voters for Obama last fall.
But that ignored some relevant political numbers. The Obama campaign did motivate enough voters to carry 332 electoral votes. But those votes were heavily clustered in central cities and university towns.
Obama carried only 26 states. They elect only 52 senators, well under the 60 votes he needed in the Senate on gun control. And he carried only 209 congressional districts, less than a majority of the House.
Wednesday also saw an extraordinary outburst in the Senate Finance Committee's hearings on Obamacare, as committee Chairman Max Baucus, a Montana Democrat, told Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, "I just see a train wreck coming down."
HHS, he noted, is way behind schedule on issuing regulations implementing the health care law. Small businessmen in Montana, he said, don't know how they can comply.
"The administration's public information campaign on the benefits of the Affordable Care Act deserves a failing grade," he told Sebelius. "You haven't given me any data. You just give me concepts, frankly."