[…] it seems like a lot of rural Democrats who represent districts that voted for Bush and McCain have figured out that when they’re accused of being liberals, as long as they never vote wrong on guns, they can always point to their NRA endorsement and use that as cover. […]
This is the primary mistake many of these Democrats have made. Voting the right way on the gun issue can offer you some cover, but it’s not absolute protection if you get all the other voters out there angry at you. This means you can’t run in right leaning districts, vote for deficit busting government takeovers of health care, and expect to stay in office because you voted the right way on the gun issue.
The big question is what effect is this going to have on the Democrats disposition toward the Second Amendment going forward? Certainly after November, our opposition will be hammering on the point that, because NRA could not offer perfect protection, Democrats obviously have nothing to gain by being pro-gun. I worry that 2010 will undo many of the bipartisan gains we have made in this issue.
But it is worth pointing out, at least for Democrats, that adopting pro-gun views did lead to electoral success in rural districts before the Obama/Pelosi Health Care Reform Express started barreling down the tracks, with little concern over what political careers might get run over in the process. The lesson for Democrats is not that they have nothing to gain by being pro-gun, but that you can’t piss off multitudes of voters on other issues, then expect the single issue gun vote to save you. Even if all our people voted in lock step this election, we can’t stop an anti-incumbent tidal wave this big.