I had hopes that perhaps Pat Toomey was largely bamboozled by Joe Manchin and Chuck Schumer, and after experiencing the backlash first hand, would leave the gun control issue alone for the rest of his term, and perhaps even kiss up to us by giving us a few critical votes before he’s up for re-election. Alas that is not to be:
Though the effort is far from being fully formed, Toomey also said he’s looking for opportunities to reintroduce something related to combating gun violence.
“What I’m trying to figure out is, is there something that could get the support of the 60 votes that we would need in the Senate,” Toomey said. “Joe Manchin was and is a great partner and someone I will continue to work with, and I’m open to exploring what is possible.”
We all know that “combating gun violence” is a dog whistle for gun control. If it’s not, then Toomey needs to be more specific about what he’s going to specifically propose rather than blowing dog whistles for the other side. He’s already lost any support I might be willing to give time or money wise. He’s quickly trying to ensure I don’t vote in the Pennsylvania Senatorial election in 2016. Toomey has been a real disappointment.
Pennsylvania has a strong tradition of political moderation. The last hard-core conservative we had in statewide office was Santorum, and he only lasted two terms. I fear the lesson the PAGOP took from that is moderation in all things, rather than the fact that Santorum’s positions on social issues and advocacy for government involvement in America’s bedroom turned off a lot of socially liberal Republican and independent voters in the Philadelphia suburbs (which contains about 2.4 million of the state’s 13 million population).
So why is Toomey cozying up to gun control advocates? In my opinion, he’s buying Bloomberg’s silence. I believe the PAGOP is scared to death of Bloomberg’s money, and are very concerned he’ll flood the airwaves at election time with attack ads painting Republican candidates as radical on the issue. But really, Pat Toomey should be more afraid of us than Bloomberg, and I have a feeling he may find that out in 2016.