There’s a lot of debate in a previous comment thread about whether or not people should or shouldn’t vote for Pat Toomey. I’ve been on this side of the argument many many times:
That’s fine. And when the Democrats take back the senate by one vote, and confirm Clinton’s anti-gun supreme court justices, you can pat yourself on the back about how ideologically pure you are.
I’m usually very pragmatic when it comes to politics. I’ve said before that George W. Bush came into office saying he’d sign a renewal of the Assault Weapons Ban, yet if we had stayed home because George wasn’t good enough, Heller would have lost, and McDonald never would have happened. We probably would not have PLCAA either, and gun control groups would still be trying to sue the industry out of existence. But what is a bridge too far? Toomey didn’t just vote against us on this one issue. He didn’t just offer lip service. He took a leadership role in trying to pass a gun control bill. After that, instead of staying quiet about it, he embraced Mike Bloomberg’s gun control groups whole heartedly. Hell, most politicians will at least give us lip service around election time, and Toomey won’t even do that.
But that’s not to say I’m unsympathetic to the larger picture, and I’m skeptical Toomey will undervote enough to really send a message. Even if he does undervote, will the GOP credit the gun owners? Or will they bury their heads in the sand and come up with some other bullshit reason Pat went down? I firmly believe that the only way to conclusively send a message via the vote is to defeat an incumbent in a primary, because the primary opponent can carry the message. A big reason I’ve been writing about this is because I want it on record out there that a lot of gun owners are pissed off that Pat Toomey has embraced Mike Bloomberg’s agenda. I’m ordinarily willing to make pragmatic votes, but every “common sense gun control” ad I see for Pat Toomey (and I see them on Facebook, where his idiot people have demo targeting tools that could exclude gun voters) pushes me further over the bridge too far. I do have my limits on what I can tolerate in the name of the big picture.