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Casey’s Shift on Gun Rights

Casey sailed into office based on Pennsylvanians tiring of Santorum, name recognition as the son of a former Governor, and a conservative position on guns and abortion. I am ashamed to admit I voted for Bob Casey in 2006, because Santorum’s social conservatism became too much for me to stomach. I appreciated Santorum’s position on guns, and thought he was the better candidate on that issue, but given that Casey answered an A questionnaire, I was willing to vote more on my non-gun issues that had developed with Santorum. If I had known Casey would abandon support for Second Amendment rights, I never would have voted for him.

Casey has turned out to be quite a disappointment. He’s a horrible campaigner, and has difficulty managing campaigns. He won re-election this time largely because of a bad schism within the GOP about who ought to be the leading candidate, a poor eventual choice of candidate, and the general implosion of the 2012 Republican Senatorial Campaign, thanks to the likes of Todd Akin. I believe Casey could be beaten handily by the right Republican candidate. He won by being “Not Rick Santorum” with name recognition, and won again by the sheer stupidity of the GOP. He did not win because he’s a stellar campaigner. He shouldn’t get so cocky in a state that still has considerably more gun owners than most other blue states.

20 Responses to “Casey’s Shift on Gun Rights”

  1. Steven says:

    Democrats get elected by lying about who they are and what they believe and then biding their time until the media can create a political wind shift – temporary or permanent – which will allow them to reveal themselves and enact their agenda. This is the way it always has been, and this is the way it always will be.

    This is why I always – ALWAYS – default to the most conservative candidate in the race, even if I don’t agree with that candidate on every dotted i and crossed t.

    • Andy B. says:

      “Democrats get elected by lying about who they are and what they believe. . .”

      Must be a lot of that going around. I noticed it with another political party, too.

      • Steven says:

        For at least the past two decades Republicans have been forced by the media into sometimes uncomfortable honesty about what they believe and what their agenda would be if elected.

        The media does not hold Democrats to this test at all.

        • Steven says:

          Just as a follow up, the last time I remember the media forcing a major Democrat candidate out of the wiggle room and into declaring an iron clad decision on a major issue was when Dukakis was asked about the death penalty in relation to the hypothetical rape of his wife.

  2. Dave says:

    In his next election he won’t have the pro-bho voters to count on. His term is up during a midterm year.

  3. Andy B. says:

    “I voted for Bob Casey in 2006. . .”

    In case anyone is thinking Sebastian was unbelievably naive, and possibly is too “liberal” to be trusted, I just want to remind that in 2002 the gun rights community in Pennsylvania, including the NRA, pretty much pulled out all stops to support Casey in the Democratic gubernatorial primary. So, any normal gun rights advocate can be forgiven for carrying that “pro-gun” impression into 2006 and 2012.

    Suppressing vanity, this time I will forbear linking to what I — not being “normal” — was saying about Casey back in 2002, for which I was reviled by many of the VIPs of the Pennsylvania gun rights community, who informed me I “didn’t understand politics.”

    Who knows, maybe they were right. But I know I didn’t vote for Casey in 2006. Or Santorum.

  4. AndyN says:

    Regardless of how Casey votes on gun rights issues, he’ll always be a reliable vote for Harry Reid as majority leader. Every vote for a Republican, regardless of how unpleasant their individual views on any subject, is a vote for getting one seat closer to a Republican majority leader. Fifty-one Republicans in the Senate would mean universal registration background checks don’t even make it out of committee.

  5. Bram says:

    Democrats across the country are about to sell out all their pro-2nd Amendment supporters.

    Sen. Tim Johnson, D-S.D just announced his retirement, setting up his betrayal.

    Anyone pro-gun now has a choice – a reliable Republican or Libertarian. The DNC is now the anti-gun party. Anyone telling me they are pro-gun while supporting leaders like Pelosi and Obama are lying.

    • Sebastian says:

      The reliability of Republicans on this issue is a late phenomena, as in a phenomena I’ve only seen in the past few months. Forgive me if I lack the enthusiasm to throw reliable pro-gun votes away because of the letter they carry after their names.

      • Brad says:

        Not so late a phenomena.

        Both parties have been sifting for decades, with the process accelerating beginning with the Clinton administration. After the 2010 debacle the process is almost complete. The Democrats are the party of liberals and gun-control and the Republicans are the party of conservatives and gun-rights.

        I have little doubt that when it comes to critical votes, party allegiance will trump personal principle. Any Democrat who does not toe the line will now face a primary challenger supported by Bloomberg money.

      • SDN says:

        Majority Leader Harry Reid thanks you. And until you own your full share of the blame for putting up with creeps like Reid, I don’t want the words Todd Akin to cross your lips.

        • Sebastian says:

          Hey, you know, because we never had any Republican complicity when it comes to things like the Lautenberg Amendment or anything like that. And I must have been senile when I remember a Republican Administration lobbying for maintaining a handgun ban before the Supreme Court.

          Look, I’ve advocated that both parties are far from perfect on this issue, and lately I will absolutely admit the Democrats are disappointing. But if this isn’t a bipartisan issue, your fortunes will rise and fall with the Republican Party on guns. Do you feel good about the prospects for a permanent Republican majority for the next twenty years?

        • Sebastian says:

          I mean, if you’re not a single issue voter, I understand that. Other issues is what prompted me to abandon Santorum. I get that. The fact that Casey seemed reasonable on guns sealed it for me. We all make tradeoffs. If you want to be a partisan hack, go ahead, but it’s not my path.

          • Jerry says:

            Getting testy around here. Although I believe you are wrong on this Sebastian, I really like coming here so I will say no more on this topic. I guess I can understand how you might have been fooled by Casey.

            • Sebastian says:

              I think it’s fine if you think I’m wrong, even I’ll admit if I could go back and change my vote in 2006, I would. Just don’t act like I have something to own up to because I wanted to give Santorum the boot. Remember, I am not a conservative when it comes to social issues (except guns, if you consider that a social issue. I don’t, but some do).

              • Jerry says:

                I never said or thought you had anything to own up to. And I am fully aware you are not a conservative. Ok, here it is. You have a choice of two political parties. Period. A libertarian will never, ever be President. A Libertarian is also not going to be elected to the US Senate from PA. You don’t have to like that, you just have to accept it as a fact, at least in our lifetime. That means you can support republicans, who are much stronger on the 2A, or democrats who have made it their business to disarm civilians. It does not matter if a democratic senator or house member occasionally supports our right to bear arms come election time, the democratic party is anti-gun. If gay marriage or abortion or whatever is more important to you, so be it. Vote democrat. If the 2A is more important, you know which side to take. I say this knowing full well that there are republicans who are anti-gun, but the party, and more importantly the base, is not. I hope you understand I am not scolding, but am trying to persuade you. Thanx for this site and for not banning me.

                • Sebastian says:

                  I’ve long ago accepted the fact that the Libertarian Party is not really in any real sense a political party, and I Casey is actually one of the few Democratic votes I’ve cast in my voting lifetime.

                  That said, there certainly are solid pro-gun Democrats out there. This state has a long tradition of pro-gun Dems. This is only lately changing. I agree that the days of this issue being bipartisan is quickly ending, but that’s very recent. Even at the federal level, prior to the progressive left cementing control of the party, one could point to numerous Democrats who were reliable pro-gun votes. Now a days pro-gun Dems are an endangered species, but that has not always been the case.

            • Sebastian says:

              And I should point out I’ve never banned anyone for disagreeing with me. In fact, I think I’ve only ever banned one or two people in the history of this blog. I’ll very occasionally remove comments that are racist, or threatening, but that’s about it. Never feel like you can’t disagree on this blog. It’s fine. I might get testy, sure, but I’ll get over it :)

    • Jerry says:

      Have not seen the reports of Johnson retiring, been working quite a bit lately and missed the news. I assumer the republicans have some strong candidates to finally take this seat?

  6. Bram says:

    Didn’t realize I started a storm.

    There are plenty of Republicans who have no ideological foundations (Mitt Romney, John McCain, both Bush’s, etc…). Their support for the Constitution and limited government is pure lip service. I’m done voting for these pukes. That’s why I said “reliable” Republicans.

    I’ve always suspected that even the Blue Dog Democrats were unreliable. That their support for gun rights was just a cheap way to pick up a few votes. Now they are proving me right.

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