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Does Toomey Think He Can Survive As An Anti-Gun Republican?

I’ve about had my fill of this shit show of an election season, and here comes Pat Toomey trying to get votes from people who will never vote for him while actively working to piss off the people who worked hard to put him in the Senate:

Nancy Grogan is a Board member of CeaseFire, PA. I’d bet money she’s not voting for Pat Toomey in the general, regardless of her willingness to “reward” him for his loyalty.

A Trump Poll

I don’t really have Trump supporters in my circle, and I’ve been looking to understand the motivations of Trump supporters better. I’ve devised an informal poll. It’s anonymous, so you don’t have to worry, but if you’re OK speaking up in the comments, feel free. I will ask that everyone be respectful of each other, however.

What\'s the primary reason you\'re supporting Trump? Pick the reason closest to what really motivates you, even if others are also true.

View Results

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UPDATE: Apparently my polling plugin is broken. Not sure why. Feel free to answer in the comments.

Obama’s Scalia Replacement

President Obama will announce his nominee to replace Justice Scalia shortly. The press reports that it is Merrick Garland.

Not surprisingly, he’s got a record that does not point to a positive future for the Second Amendment if he is confirmed.

This article from Dave Kopel in 2008 warned of Garland on a short list to be appointed, and he cited red flags from Garland’s role in Parker v. District of Columbia and NRA v. Reno. Kopel summed it up this way:

Merrick Garland is a judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit. He could be counted on not only to oppose Second Amendment rights in general, but even to nullify explicit congressional statutes that protect those rights.

More recently, even National Review noted that Garland’s positions on the Second Amendment were enough cause for worry since the White House indicated they might choose someone “moderate,” and these aren’t signs of moderate positions on the right to keep and bear arms.

Media Matters had a post up early this morning trying to claim that these previous moves are “myths,” and that he’s not really anti-Second Amendment. I guess that means the White House knows it will be a problem. Now would be a great time to call your Senator and let them know what you think about this nominee.

Enhanced Preemption Probably Lost Due to Single Subject Requirement

Pennsylvania’s enhanced preemption measure, Act 192, got off to a rough start when it had to be attached to a metal theft bill at the last minute, and then quickly signed by the outgoing Governor Corbett. This happened because of Senator Greenleaf’s obstinance in committee. The only way to get it onto the Senate floor was to amend it to another bill.

The problem is that Pennsylvania has a single subject requirement for bills, and it’s a stretch to argue that metal theft and firearm preemption are the same subject. It was more than two years ago the lawsuits started. Now the case has been argued before the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, and it’s being noted that it doesn’t look good for Act 192. Act 192 has been unenforceable since a stay was issued in a lawsuit until the constitutionality of the act could be determined. Still, even if the Supreme Court refuses to  Act 192, the law still did some good during the time period when it hadn’t yet been challenged.

If we can get rid of Wolf in a few years, we might have another shot at this. I’m also at the point where I would even be willing to help out a leftist Dem challenger to Greenleaf just to get him off that committee chairmanship.

A New Party System?

US Map FlagThe United State is either on its fifth party system, or its sixth, depending on who you talk to. I accept the theory that the post 1968 realignment represented a new party system. I think we 2016 may, in fact, mark the end of the sixth party system, causing us to head into a seventh party system. I think this is what drives a lot of fear in regards to Trump. No one knows what the seventh party system looks like. I can safely say there are a few factors that will go into the realignment.

Both parties are experiencing populist uprisings. Other than the possibility the DOJ removes Hillary from the race, she’s still the presumptive nominee if she can hold the Dem super delegates, which she failed to do in 2008. Even minus the super delegates, she’s still leading Bernie. I think the Republicans stand a high likelihood of going into a brokered convention. As much as I do not want Trump, I think a brokered convention is a disaster for the party. How much of a disaster depends on whether the establishment types put their own guy in the race, or whether they remain committed to rallying for a candidate who at least ran this election cycle. I think the GOP are the more vulnerable party to the uprising because, frankly, most of the people in the GOP’s tent pretty much hate each other. Like Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman will always have Paris, the Dems will always have “free” shit.

The evangelical voters have shown their cards to a large degree in this election. Cruz was the perfectly tailored candidate to capture the evangelical vote. They couldn’t have asked for more. Yet going into South Carolina, more than half of evangelical voters were behind Trump. All the religious pandering, which Trump does not do, has the effect of turning off a lot of potential GOP voters outside the Bible Belt. After Trump, can there be any justification for politicians continuing to pander this way? Probably not if we’re looking at a completely new electoral map built around the Trump coalition.

Good manufacturing jobs aren’t coming back no matter who is President. A protectionist economy would be economically devastating to implement. Even if Trump can swing a few immigration restrictions, it’s not going to amount to much. The real long term threat to working class (and even some upper middle class) jobs is automation and robotics. Self-driving cars aren’t all that far off. Think about how many people are employed in trucking and transportation and you can see why this is going to be a huge problem. Short term we’ve put too much emphasis on college for people not well suited for it, at the expense of teaching skilled trades robots will have a hard time doing (for a while at least). I don’t know what the solution will be for the long term problem. What do we do when we have a huge robot labor force and humans just don’t have to work all that hard? Some people do well when they win the lottery, but for many, it destroys their lives. That kind of micro-economy is what we’d be dealing with at large. What’s the solution? One thing I know for certain is Donald Trump does not have the answer.

One thing pundits have been talking about is the turn of the “Reagan Democrat” in the Trump coalition. It’s also been called the Archie Bunker Vote, and some of them are paleocon Buchananites previously alienated from the GOP by the Bushs. The problem with building a coalition around this voting bloc is that it’s unreliable. They only tend to show up when they are angry. I wouldn’t expect whatever coalition Trump builds to last more than two or three cycles. Nixon’s coalition didn’t last. With the sixth party system smashed to bits, whatever coalition reforms on the other side will be different, and I suspect will reflect some of the realities here.

Michigan Apparently Felt the Bern

Michigan Primary

Maybe it turned out to be a bad idea for Hillary to go into Michigan and tell working-class primary voters she cared more about her wild-eyed gun control schemes than she did about good manufacturing jobs. I’m not saying that gun control is all that caused Bernie to overcome a 21 point deficit in the polls to take Michigan, but a talented politician would know you don’t go into a state that’s been hammered by the loss of manufacturing jobs and state there are some good manufacturing jobs (making firearms) that the country could do without. But as you all well know, I think Hillary’s got less political talent than your average high school class president.

Hillary’s strange obsession with the PLCAA isn’t doing her any favors. I think if Bernie backed away from more gun control, it might even help him gain. Remember, 20% of Dems own guns too.

Is Bernie Backing off Gun Control One-Upmanship?

It seemed to me the Democratic Primary had devolved into who wants to have more control, with Bernie backing away from some of his previous positions, chiefly voting for the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act. Apparently in the last Dem debate, Bernie wasn’t backing down this time, even drawing praise from the NRA. Of course, Hillary is doubling down.

Is Bernie Sanders finally recognizing that gun control is a losing issue? He was running from his PLCAA vote just a few weeks ago. What has changed?

Bloomberg Won’t Run

I guess he probably realized that if people like me would have been willing to travel to New York City to sign the petition to get him on the ballot in person, that perhaps it wasn’t such a good idea after all. His candidacy would have:

  • Pulled more votes from the Democratic nominee than the Republican nominee.
  • Pulled money away from his gun control efforts to fund his campaign.
  • Put his gun control efforts front and center, and made it easier for our side to tie Everytown to Bloomberg.
  • Tied his other unpopular nannying to his gun control efforts.
  • Reveal the extent to which the entire gun control movement is funded by one rich billionaire.

The way I saw it, there just wasn’t any downside.

Give Me Those Old Time Family Values

Glenn Reynolds, who is more libertarian leaning than most of your typical “values voter” types, has a post up about the bleak reality of single parent households.

A read through the whole report points to the unavoidable conclusion that a major goal of social policy has to be the formation of two-parent households.

This shouldn’t involve—as the occasional dorky pastor type or culture warrior might imagine—giving chastity and abstinence lessons to teens. Such lessons aren’t a bad thing necessarily; it’s just that over the centuries this kind of influence appears to be, well, limited.

One thing about having genealogy as a hobby is that it gives you a better perspective on past morals of everyday people than you’ll get from, say, reading books (mostly written by elites). While there was no doubt higher expectations on both men and women in morally strict times, such as the Victorian and Edwardian eras, there were without a doubt plenty of unmarried people getting it on. My own great-grandmother, the only one I remember (she died when I was 8), does not have 9 months between her parents marriage and her birthdate in 1900.

I think there was probably a good bit of resignation that young people were going to do what young people are prone to do, but there was a relatively non-negotiable expectation that if you knocked a girl up, you married her. I have more than a few ancestors who ended up married that way.

Twilight of a Republic?

Sebastian expressed his amusement over the news that a Clinton staffer was offered an immunity deal as part of the email brouhaha. I can’t say I didn’t feel some schadenfreude when I heard the news, but I’ve had time to think it over since. And now I’m actually a little worried. This ups the ante for Ms. Clinton. Someone on her team believes not only that a crime occurred (Pagliano has already invoked his 5th amendment rights in testimony before Congress), but that there is a substantial risk the FBI can prove he himself was involved. The thing is, though, the FBI would only offer immunity if they believed he can tee up someone bigger. There aren’t a whole lot of bigger frogs in the pond, though. Ms. Clinton is very close to a scenario where she either becomes president or suffers a catastrophic disgrace when the whole mishandling of classified information scandal crashes down on her inner circle, and herself.

That worries me, if there is no graceful exit option for her. The underlings now have one – negotiate a deal with the FBI (while they still can, anyway). But that’s not available to the head of the organization. Neither is resigning to avoid prosecution. Accepting a pardon from this or a future non-Clinton administration is barely an option, I suppose, but it still leaves her “brand” badly tarnished. I don’t really want to see what Ms. Clinton might do on deadly ground (to quote Sun Tzu).

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