Pat Toomey Refused to Appear at Background Check Press Conference With Chuck Schumer

WASHINGTON, DC - JULY 14:  U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY) attends a news conference at the U.S. Capitol July 14, 2011 in Washington, DC. The topic of the news conference was the impasse on the debt ceiling.  (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)
Always liked Mark Kirk better. Photo: Win McNamee/2011 Getty Images

The new bipartisan background check expansion bill: A shining example of senators from both parties —  Democrats Joe Manchin and Chuck Schumer, and Republicans Pat Toomey and Mark Kirk — working together to produce legislation of actual, discernible value. Perhaps, after years of a dysfunctional, do-nothing Senate, an age of mutual respect and cooperation is finally okay never mind:

Four senators may have signed on to a gun background check deal Wednesday, but only two showed up for the news conference ....

Toomey, the former Club for Growth president, had told Manchin he would not speak at the news conference if he had to get on stage with Schumer, according to two sources familiar with the talks. Schumer obliged, and Kirk also agreed not to appear in order to provide cover to Schumer.

That may seem very "high school bitch" of Toomey, but, really, it's just a political reality that when you're trying to sell a gun-control bill to the heartland, it's not totally helpful for its face to be that of a liberal Brooklyn Jew.