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Most Pro-Gun GOP Platform Ever?

That’s what Paul Bedard at the Washington Examiner says. Party Platforms are basically a means to pay off supporters, and it’s worth nothing that just because the planks are there doesn’t mean they’ll follow through. That’ll largely depend on what we’re willing to do.

15 Responses to “Most Pro-Gun GOP Platform Ever?”

  1. Weer'd Beard says:

    To be fair its the most pro-gun time in America since the Revolution (politically speaking).

    I mean Obama has signed more purely pro-gun legislation than most Presidents, and when you exclude Fast and Furious (as it may never get its day in court, and its end game may forever be in the shadows of speculation) he’s done ZERO to restrict gun rights and ownership.

    Its just the way the wind is blowing.

    • Robb Harbaugh says:

      Except for the credit card rider allowing carry in national parks, I can’t remember any purely pro-gun legislation. Help me out here?

      • Harold says:

        Transport of guns on Amtrak, enforced in an appropriations bill as I recall (no transport, no money from the Treasury). Much less visibility than National Parks concealed carry, which the Pelosi House broke out into a separate vote.

    • TS says:

      There is the M1 carbines that he blocked the import of…

  2. Andy B. says:

    Since the Republicans have been pandering to us for years, and have never delivered much unless it was under duress, I don’t see planks in an election year platform as being much more then empty suggestions (far from “promises”) being spewed into the ether for outlets like The Examiner to amplify as campaign ads disguised as “columns.”

  3. karrde says:

    Maybe “most gun-friendly in living memory.”

    There was this guy named T. Roosevelt who won as a Republican once…

  4. Patrick says:

    There is a consistent undercurrent of gun support in many Republican staffers on the Hill, many of whom will help draft GOP guideposts like this. Some have openly told me they’d scrap 922 entirely and start over with grossly different goals, if they could get the support from the two branches (Exec and Leg). This tells me they are close enough to make this public statement.

    These staffers are the people who actually make the legislative and executive run. They survive elections regardless of outcome because good ones are highly sought-after by other politicians. I have good friends who are lobbyists on all kinds of issues, and they uniformly taught me to get in with the staffers because those are the people who will guide policy forever – after the Big Senator is caught on ShowMeTheWanker.Com in his Speedo, his aides will all be poached by the Next Big Senator.

    I agree that these “platforms” are dog and pony talk. But under cover at least one truth is clear: they need gun people to vote because this election will be about getting out core voters. Not independents. Both sides have determined their path is not up the middle. So the Republicans need to buy us off, and the gun portion of the platform eerily echos some talk I’ve had in the past with the DC staffers waiting for this opportunity. The fact this will be front and center means that they won the biggest argument: making this a public fight.

    This could be happy talk, but taking a chance on this part of the platform when so many other mealy-mouthed options to placate gun owners exist means something moved forward, if even an inch. Maybe more.

    If more, we’re in for some interesting legislation. Gun Control happened because the right social conditions allowed a Congress to act on the push by a few anti-gun people. I think we’re approaching the time where the new social state will allow the counter-argument to have the same strength. In other words, we might well reach a point in the next 2 years where pro-gun bills will pass and be signed in large volume, because social conditions let the Congress move on them. We will need are a few smart and capable legislators (staffers) to make the push.

    The last go-round of National Reciprocity frustrated a lot of people because Reid never let it come to a vote, despite previous history of letting it go. I wasn’t frustrated. I got happy. To me, it marks a hump we crossed over. The current powers won’t let these bills up because pass or fail, they lose. Pro-gun bills are now taken seriously and that means legislators who don’t have a reason to fight will go with the tide. And we are the new tide.

    I, for one, look forward to the gun blog wars over whose rights are more valuable: mine or some nebulous “states rights”…

    • Harold says:

      While I really like the rest of your insight and analysis, I’m not sure about this:

      But under cover at least one truth is clear: they need gun people to vote because this election will be about getting out core voters. Not independents. Both sides have determined their path is not up the middle.

      That’s certainly what Obama is doing, he won with a narrower and deeper version of the Clinton coalition and he’s not widened his appeal since then. Romney, as a NE RINO with baggage like Romneycare (which his staff doesn’t seem to view as such), very much doesn’t want to share McCain’s fate, where if the base had come out for the latter like it did for Bush in 2004 he would have won.

      But I gather Romney is also trying to get the independents (evidence for or against that not thoroughly examined proposition welcome, e.g. I read in passing he just came out for the old “health” exception for abortion, which is telling), and without McCain’s history of viciously attacking the base he’ll likely have an easier time of getting them to vote for him … or at least hold their nose and vote against Obama, who’s threat to the Republic is no longer theoretical.

      • Patrick says:

        I should have said that both teams had not previously figured out a way to win with a path up the middle. I think they each originally went to their base, but that Romney opened the door to a middle run for Obama.

        Both teams seem to want to pare some off the center, but I don’t think either had figured out a way to take a significant percentage of that center mass and still bring enough of their base to win. But I think the Republicans just gave Obama his shot to make real gains in independents.

        We may disagree on scale, but I think we’d probably agree that Romney has moved Right because his team heard lots of True Conservatives ™ suggesting they’d sit it out rather than vote for some NE RINO. Even assuming some of them would show up, a lack of excitement does not bring out the vote. Now we see them bring in Tea Party Ryan and a more in-yer-face social conservatism to the party platform: against gay marriage; against abortion in nearly all cases; pro-gun in ways that the RINOs have always been afraid to do.

        My view: Those are not aimed at the center. The public platform is not a whisper campaign, it is what they are looking to run on. So it seems they made the call that they need to run to the base, and that means Romney is forced to say things he would have avoided before, if only to prove his conservative ways.

        But I think injecting any social-issue talk into the campaign (even guns) was a mistake.

        The interesting reaction will come in two weeks when Obama is done in Charlotte. He could take the Republican plan and use it to pivot to the middle. He’d tone down the leftist rhetoric and fake center, taking the ground the Republicans just ceded. Suddenly the center will be attainable, as Romney works to cement the right.

        Obama desperately wants this campaign to be about social issues – much of the nation disagrees with some part of the Republican platform and social issues will bring out Obama voters like the budget would not. Anything to distract from the economy. And the Republicans just delivered it to him. The question is whether Obama has already gone too far to play it.

        If you see Obama tilt center, then that means they think Romney overplayed his hand and swung too far. If not, then expect an even more divided election (hint: partial debt forgiveness for college loans).

        • Sebastian says:

          The types of voters the GOP needs to carry at this point are low information voters, who will never find out what’s in the GOP platform. At this point, the parties are both vying for people who, to be honest, aren’t informed enough to really be voting. Everyone else has made up their minds.

          • Patrick says:

            I think I know who you’re talking about, and they are driven by ads, clever talking points and soundbites played over the TV.

            That’s the interesting thing about the Republican platform: Instead of playing it safe, they give Obama soundbite opportunities he didn’t have the day before. It’s not like Obama is going to counter-punch on economic issues (other than scare tactics with no meat). But he can grab a few anti-gay, anti-abortion points and go to town. Ironically, I think the gun issue is the safest one for the platform, because so far Obama has steered clear.

            I am no smarter at this than anyone else. We’ll see where this all goes. I just don’t get why they’d take a chance writing down things that mean nothing outside of public social-policy food fights. It’s not like either party ever makes good on these things. It’s meant to make a point, and if it’s not “the Econmony, Stupid”, then I think it’s opening a door.

            Full Disclosure: There is a reason nobody pays me for this schtick. ;)

            • Harold says:

              That’s the interesting thing about the Republican platform: Instead of playing it safe, they give Obama soundbite opportunities he didn’t have the day before. [...] But he can grab a few anti-gay, anti-abortion points and go to town.

              If they weren’t in the platform, he’d just make them up, or elevate the remarks of a Republican running for dogcatcher in Eagle Butte, South Dakota.

              I mean, (going from memory), a deputy campaign director has already accused Romney of committing a felony, an Obama aligned SuperPAC took someone the campaign had used and used him in a commercial to say Romney causes cancer, etc.

              I also wonder about the potency of the issues you’re highlighting. Abortion is not a big winner, and isn’t it the case that every time gay marriage has been put to a popular vote it’s gone down in flames (granted, a significant margin of those votes are socially conservative blacks who are going to be voting for Obama anyway, not that Obama has any great interest in these cultural Baby Boomer era issues).

              How these play to the low information voter is the key … and in comparison to the economy and jobs, which those voters probably have a lot more information about.

    • a

      Some have openly told me they’d scrap 922 entirely and start over with grossly different goals, if they could get the support from the two branches (Exec and Leg). This tells me they are close enough to make this public statement.

      Patrick, this intrigues me, given the entrenched nature of Hill staffers. How close to the feelings of the electorate are they vs the elected officials they serve?

      I’ve always thought that if the argument is presented the right way, that 922(o) at least (I know, I’m beating my drum again!) could be repealed and your comments seem to support that.

      That said, I recognize thet the MRA would have to get behind any effort to repeal any part of 922.

      • thet the MRA

        Damned MS!

      • Patrick says:

        I cannot purport to know what all staffer think or what the electorate thinks in response to it.

        What I will suggest is that there is an ever-present set of staffers who have moved up the ranks over the years who do not like guns laws as they stand today. Example One: one staffer for a prominent critter told me how he was pulled over by Virginia State Police. When they asked if he had any weapons, he said “sure” and they nearly fainted when the saw his trunk full of machine guns (he was coming back from a shoot). Example Two: female senior staffer for another senior critter who told me she hates working in DC unarmed – for those who don’t know the area, The Hill basically an upscale slum and criminality is not restricted to congressional activities. A few blocks down and things get rough.

        These folks meet and talk specifically about moving gun legislation of all sorts. They are smart and know when to move, and time everything with an atomic clock. They are no different from the people on the other side of the issue except that we are coming to a point where it is socially acceptable for a legislator to go along with the tide.

        Guns are not an issue that any legislator will stake a true career on. They generally won’t swim upstream for them, but at the same time won’t do anything averse to our rights. But they will go with the national trends, and our community can take credit if anything moves forward in the coming sessions. The NRA may suggest changes, but it’s the changing social attitudes that will make things happen.

        The more we point out the new social mores of gun owners (Gun Culture 2.0, for instance) and growing sales and demographics, the better we will be. There is a reason Aurora hasn’t caused a backlash: the inertia is on our side.

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