Currently Browsing: Politics
Apr 2, 2015
Chris Christie is clearly trying to boost his pro-gun credibility in whatever way he can given the extremely anti-gun legislature he deals with since he signed a full pardon of Shaneen Allen today.
This is wonderful news for Allen, and it will hopefully send a message to New Jersey’s police officers and prosecutors. New Jersey isn’t exactly going pro-gun, but maybe there will be a little more sanity in the enforcement of the laws.
Apr 2, 2015
New Jovian Thunderbolt has a write-up on the guns owned by potential 2016 Presidential candidates. Tam isn’t impressed, and neither is McThag. I’m actually surprised it’s that many. I think collectors, and by collector I don’t just mean gun collectors, tend to have certain personality traits. Hardcore hobbyists share many similar traits. The personality profile of a hard core collector or hobbyist pretty much prevent those types of people from running for office, because people running for office also have certain personality traits, and those are very different from a hard core hobbyist or collector.
So it’s not surprising that most of the candidates may have a gun or two, for hunting, personal protection, etc. But they aren’t that into it. In NJT’s list, you’ll notice there’s one gun guy, really two if you look at it, because I’d be surprised if Todd and Sarah Palin don’t own several, and I’d be surprised if Rand Paul owned more than a couple. The real gun guy on that list is Lindsey Graham, who’s picture is right there along side John McCain if you look up RINO in the dictionary. But Graham has always been solid on guns, because, at the least, he’s good at saying the things that convince us he’s a shooter. But even Graham, I’m betting, isn’t spending more than the odd weekend at the range, and maybe a few hunting trips throughout the year for fundraising and politicking. The life of a Senator, Governor or other high level politician doesn’t leave much time for “not politics.”
Most politicians don’t arrive at their pro-gun positions by being gun people. They arrive at that position because it is in their self-interest to do so. We are the ones who are charged with convincing them, and we do that by voting the issue, and persuading them that voting the way we want them to vote is in their self-interest. That can be the carrot, or the stick. Our side is generally much better at the stick, because punishing enemies rallies our grassroots more than supporting friends. But punishing enemies can buy you a lot. The current GOP field all being pretty solid on the gun issue was bought with the heads of Dick Lugar, Mike Castle, and other squishy Republicans who lost their primaries. Obviously it would be better to have a real gun guy behind you in politics, but those are going to be a rare find.
It’s worth remembering that Reagan signed the current Armor Piercing Ammunition Law that Obama was trying to use to screw us. Later in life (whether he did, or his handlers did, is a matter of debate) he endorsed the Brady Act and Assault Weapons Ban. Bush sailed into office saying he’d sign an AWB renewal. John McCain was the first GOP nominee who was actually against an AWB, but he was in favor of banning private transfers, and he lost. Romney was for an AWB before he was against it, and he lost. We have slowly, but surely, corralled the GOP much closer to our position. Let us hope we can keep it there, and we might make real progress if things go our way in 2016.
Ultimately, all I care about from a Second Amendment viewpoint is a) who is a GOP president going to put on the Court, and b) will they sign pro-gun bills? Beyond that, I couldn’t care less how many guns he or she does or doesn’t own, short of what that signals about how serious they might be in their convictions.
Apr 1, 2015
A bill is in the works in New Jersey that would allow police to end your Second Amendment rights on the spot if it’s a domestic call. You can bet this will become standard practice on domestic calls if this passes, even if there’s no real evidence of abuse.
“If they have the courage to go forward, this allows victims a fighting chance to move beyond their abusive situation,” Mosquera said. “This isn’t about gun rights. It’s about keeping guns away from people who have shown a propensity for violence toward women.”
That’s why we have courts and due process. You want to protect women? Just skip the trial and lock the guy up for 5 years. Oh, can’t do that? He has rights, you say? Well, this right should be no different. Due process: you’ve heard of that, haven’t you?
It’s not surprising a bill is moving. The Dems in the legislature want to do two things: one is tempt Christie to sign a gun control law and ruin him as a serious 2016 candidate. The other is to dare him to veto, and help ensure he can’t deliver NJ’s electoral votes if he were the nominee.
Christie isn’t looking all that strong right now, but that could change if Jeb falls apart and the GOP money starts looking for another horse to bet on.
Apr 1, 2015
As many of you have probably heard, Indiana is suffering quite a public relations black eye over passing a state Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA). I tend to side with Professor Reynolds view why this suddenly is:
“Dems need something to agitate the base so it doesn’t pay attention to Iranian nukes, trashed email servers, and an overall culture of corruption. Those who join in are willing enablers.”
There’s also the issue that gay marriage is on the cusp of becoming a settled, and the Dems need red meat for the outrage machine heading into 2016.
Eugene Volokh has an article today on RFRA here. The fact that both sides at various times have hated the Sherbert Test and the RFRA that replaced it, makes me think it probably either offers substantive and good protections that limits both sides in their social experiments, or it’s a weapon too dangerous to let either side play with. I tend to think the former. I have no desire to see people discriminated against because of sexual orientation, but I don’t see much harm or risk of enabling systemic discrimination by carving out some narrow exceptions to accommodate people’s (or closely held corporations) religious viewpoints.
So what’s this have to do with gun rights? Not much. It’s an off topic post. But City of Boerne v. Flores, which is a case that involves the RFRA, and is actually responsible for the many state analogue RFRA’s, is going to be a key case for us when Congress starts using it’s Section 5 powers under the 14th Amendment to preserve Second Amendment rights of American citizens. City of Boerne is going to be Bloomberg’s best friend.
Mar 27, 2015
Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D., Nev.) announced Friday morning he would not seek re-election in 2016.
IIRC either of the likely successors for leadership of the Senate Democrats are avowedly anti-rights; so this should clear the air some.
Mar 25, 2015
As someone who watched most (really, it was too long) of Cruz’s speed at Liberty U, I have to agree with Charles W. Cooke about Cruz:
And yet, I hated every single moment of the address. Why? Well, because for all his obvious talent Cruz’s rhetorical style frankly makes my hair curl a little. Striking a pose that lands somewhere between the oleaginousness of a Joel Osteen and the self-assuredness of a midwestern vacuum-cleaner salesman, Cruz delivers his speeches as might a mass-market motivational speaker in an Atlantic City Convention Center.
Opening your campaign at Liberty U doesn’t signal to me. Well, it does, but not the benefit of Ted Cruz. I’m still leaning Walker. Tactically, I think Cruz was smart coming out early. He’ll consolidate a lot of support around him that might otherwise go to Huckabee, Santorum, or some of the other culture warriors who may enter the race.
It’s probably important for Walker to win the Iowa Caucuses. That’s probably why he’ll pander. Iowa is a neighboring mid-western state, and a loss there will signal Walker can’t find traction even among his own people. Rand might give Walker a run for his money in New Hampshire and Colorado, and non-southern politicians typically don’t do well in southern primaries, so South Carolina isn’t a sure thing either.
Still, we’re a year away from the start of the silly season, and Putin could get a lot more frisky, the middle east could be an even bigger mess, the economy could tank again, and all that could change the dynamic of the race.
Mar 23, 2015
This bit from Jim Geraghty might shed some light on why so many Republicans are reluctant to alienate hispanic voters:
There are, in some circles, this insistence that “if we Republicans want to win again, we just need to do what Ronald Reagan did” as if 30 years hadn’t passed since Reagan’s last electoral victory. (If you plug Reagan’s winning percentages among various demographics into the 2012 electorate, Reagan loses.)
It might also explain why they want to run Jeb, as his brother managed to peel off a good big of the Hispanic vote from the Dems. Personally, rather than the mindless pandering the establishment GOP seems to like, I think the solution is “libertarian populism,” as it’s being called; basically railing against crony capitalism going after big corporations that buy favors and protection from government reduce competition in the marketplace. You can read more about that in Glenn Reynolds latest USA Today column.
Mar 19, 2015
If you just claim that it’s “for the children,” our new Pennsylvania State Police Commissioner (an import from Maryland) seems to argue that theft is okay – especially if you’re stealing from those who criticize you in your official role as a public servant.
Marcus Brown is facing opposition for appearing in uniform that creates the perception he graduated from the state police academy, which he did not. When a critic had signs printed pointing out that he shouldn’t wear such things that he did not earn and legally placed them on a public area, Brown apparently decided to steal them in the name of “[his] children” since their bus stop is nearby.
Now, stealing someone else’s signs from a public area is a crime. You’d think that means Brown would be apologetic for getting caught on video committing this crime, but he’s standing by his theft proudly – behind the back of the spokesperson for the Pennsylvania State Police.
I’ll be honest, if I lived out there, I’d be very tempted to have signs made up that say “Marcus Brown Stop Stealing Signs,” “Marcus Brown Stop Trying to Silence Critics,” and “Marcus Brown The First Amendment Applies in Pennsylvania, Too” and plaster them all over public areas to the degree allowed by law. There wouldn’t be a corner he could turn where he wouldn’t be reminded that Pennsylvanians value their freedom of speech and ability to speak their mind on what public officials are doing with their office.
Funny enough, the video that captures him stealing the signs in the name of “safety” for his children shows him leaving up non-critical signs in the same spot. It’s pretty clear he’s abusing the right of those who disagree with him and there is no safety issue involved. The video makes it appear that he singled out their message to be silenced based on the content critical of him and he now admits to taking the sign. Perhaps his stationary order got mixed up and he thought that being in charge of the Pennsylvania State Police was being charged with overseeing the Police State of Pennsylvania.
Mar 18, 2015
Speaking of Glenn Beck, today in his announcement that he’s done with the GOP, he offered me an introduction to a series of posts I’ve been wanting to link for a while now. Sarah A. Hoyt posted “A Winter At Valley Forge:”
You know, I read all over the net, mostly in comments (and more on that later) that the GOP had gone spineless and they had funded Obama’s amnesty. So I went and looked at numbers. 1/3 of the GOP flipped. ONE THIRD.
Two thirds held firm. And this on a matter that has emotional appeal to politicians if not to the people on the ground. You see, they are convinced if they vote against it it will drive Latinos away from the GOP. It’s what the media and their corrupted offices tell them. It’s the “smart” opinion, as opposed to all us rubes on the ground.
And two thirds held firm.
You’d think it would be a moment to celebrate. You know, ten years ago half of them or more would have caved. But we’ve been working on taking over the GOP. And it has effects.
It seems to me what we should be doing is celebrating that two thirds held firm, and taking notes of the cavers to primary them.
You’ve seen a similar dynamic in the gun issue. A few decades ago there were Republicans who would reliably line up to screw us on the gun issue. Mike Castle probably would have his own AR-15 ammo ban bill drawn up and ready to go. But where are those people now? Gone, most of them. Sure, there’s still Pete King and a few other squishes, but overall the Republican Party is now far more solid on the gun issue than they were ten years ago. Everyone was worried who we were going to lose after Sandy Hook. Our experience told us that we’d likely lose enough Republicans so that things that weren’t possible before may suddenly become possible. But that didn’t happen. With the exception of Pat Toomey and Mark Kirk, the GOP stood with us, and I have a feeling Toomey isn’t going to be crossing us again on much else between now and his re-election bid. They didn’t do it because they were such nice guys. They did it because we fought a decades long battle create that circumstance.
Sarah Hoyt has two follow on posts here and here. I encouraged you to read the whole articles, if you read nothing else this week. From the first link:
But beyond that – what do you expect to accomplish by saying “I will never vote for a republican again?” or “I’m going third party?”
I know what you think you can accomplish. You think the GOP will fall in line.
WHY WOULD THEY?
What you’re saying is “I’m going to keep the dems in power for the rest of our natural lives.”
You know what the unprincipled (most establishment) GOP hears when you say that? “I’d better cozy up to the left because they’re the future. Let me see what I can concede today. I sure would like to keep my job as the loyal opposition.”
Is that what you want? No? Change your tactics.
It took the gun issue a long time to get rid of most of the anti-gun and squishy Republicans, but we largely succeeded. It’s going to take an equally long time to get rid of the GOP establishment that prefers to chase big donors, and go along to get along, than to embrace any kind of populism. Populism, even conservito-libertarian populism, is scary for elites. There was never going to be a scenario where they were going to roll over and accept it without a fight. But we in the gun issue have shown it can be done successfully, even if the elites are against us. The same is true of the populist movement attempting to wrest control of the GOP, whether you want to call it the Tea Party, or something else.
Mar 17, 2015
It seems that Media Matters set their sights on Cam Edwards yesterday, challenging him on biography. See, at one point Cam said he received a resolution from the Oklahoma State House. It turns out it was a citation recognizing from not only the House, but also from the Lt. Governor. Yup, big discrepancy there.
However, their focus is on trying to make him look like he’s a media version of “stolen valor” by claiming an Emmy award. They even got the local executive director to back up the claims, yet Media Matters and the executive director aren’t acknowledging that Cam did actually receive an award giving his name in the honors section for his “significant contribution” on the documentary that won the Emmy. It’s signed by their president and everything.
Now, Cam did take time to update his bio to be more accurate. I mean we don’t want the Media Matters folks to worry their heads about the “Great Oklahoman citation” wording any more. And now it’s clearer that it came from not just the House, but even the Lt. Governor at the time. But more importantly, he did re-word it so it more accurately reflects that his work was part of a team effort that won an Emmy.
As Cam notes, this is part of the effort to keep everyone outraged about everything. Even with evidence presented that raise questions about their accusations (right now, MM is calling the Emmy thing a “lie” on their front page, despite having been provided the evidence that he did receive an honor from them), it’s not about accurately reporting the situation.