search
top

More on the Realignment

Probably one of the most interesting developments in the realignment going on. If my social media feeds tell me anything, protestant evangelicals have largely done a turnaround in their attitudes towards jews and Israel as the political winds have shifted. The Dems now host some of the more virulently anti-semitic elected officials in American politics. That whole issue is in the process of swapping parties.

Listening to Trump’s SOTU, it’s pretty clear there are some other issues shifting as well. How many issues Trump brought up in SOTU would have been Dem issues a decade ago? Family leave? Fair trade? Ending wars? I was told all these things were good and wholesome, but the orange man, he is bad!

We Should File a Civil Rights Lawsuit Over This

Los Angeles is demanding contractors disclose ties to NRA. Denying contracts because a contractor is exercising their First Amendment rights? I’d sue them senseless over that bullshit if they denied me a contract. In fact, isn’t the threat enough? I’m hoping the NRA ends up owning Governor Cuomo. I wouldn’t mind seeing a nice fat payout from Los Angeles either.

We can’t keep taking this shit. We need to strike back at these people and make it painful for them.

Why Polls are Junk

One thing Bitter and I agree on in regards to Trump is that he doesn’t give a rats ass about polling, and that it’s both refreshing and terrifying. My Congressman, Brian Fitzpatrick, a rare specimen of the endangered Republicanus Bloombergensus, I don’t think takes a shit without checking first to see how well it will poll. The problem with leadership by poll is that most polls are junk, and lobbyists pushing one issue or another are happy to put their junk polling in front o lawmakers and their staff. The one Salon is hawking to promote gun control is no exception. Looks good for the gun control folks doesn’t it? Eight percent say it’s their biggest issue! Of those four to one broke for Dems! Oh dear! I don’t want to be on the wrong side of history!

Except if you look at the AP survey, at its root it’s a self-selected poll, which has about zero validity:

We start by mailing a postcard to a random sample of registered voters in 25 states, inviting them to take our survey either online or by phone. We also try to reach those registered voters directly by phone. At the same time, we’re conducting a random-sample survey of registered voters nationwide. Finally, we survey self-identified registered voters in all 50 states using online panels, which allows us to interview a very large number of people in just a few days.

Emphasis mine. Even if your initial sampling is random, if they have to choose whether to participate, the numbers are going to be skewed over what they would be if they were truly random. In truth all polling has this flaw, which is why polling, for the most part, is bullshit. Telephone polling was a better method in the era when people answered their phones and would have felt social pressure to participate. But what’s replacing telephone polling is utter garbage. This survey has all those flaws in spades. No one should pay a lick of attention to this shit. I think an attribute of people who are politically successful after the realignment is they won’t pay any attention to polling. Polls, like candy, are the junk food of the political world.

How do you know what voters in your community think, if you’re the politician representing them? Get out there and talk to them. Get out there in the community. There’s no substitute for that. Don’t just talk to your donors. Talk to real people. Years ago, everyone knew this. Somehow, we’ve forgotten.

What’s Important in the Debate? Is it Even Debate?

Reader RAH notes:

Yet when Mitch Daniels who was a very good governor and he said to stick with fiscal conservatism and avoid culture clashes. He was wrong Culture is what drives policy. The left has been winning culture wars and that affect my freedom and my children’s freedom. I see the same Mitch Daniels attitude in the comments here a lot.

I used to think reason and debate mattered, but now I’m not all that sure. It matters to a small subset of the population who like that kind of thing. But in the overall political picture, I’m not sure reason and debate matter worth a damn. Most base what they think on emotion. In fact, one reason I’d argue social media is awful is because you can’t get away from that. People going off about things without even basic experience on a topic, aggressive ignorance, overt emotional displays and virtue signaling are the bread and butter of political opinion on social media. This is not limited to one side of the debate: this is true about every side of any issue.

But is RAH correct? I’m increasingly thinking so. Look at where the Overton Window has shifted to in the abortion debate. The debate is now whether it’s OK to commit infanticide. I’m nominally in favor of abortion being legal, but this is too far for me. But that’s where the debate has shifted to. I spent ten years on this blog arguing that machine gun rights are a lost cause unless we can change the issue culturally. In five years the left has gone from pushing gay marriage, which I agreed with them on, to getting us to question whether someone with a Y-chromosome is a male or not, and whether I’m a bigot for calling someone with a penis a dude. This is crazy. And a lot of people seem happy to vote for this crazy.

Why can’t this work for us? My instinct tells me it won’t work. But why? The left seems to be succeeding in wildly changing the culture. Is it because they control social media? Is it Google? What it is? I don’t know. But I’m pretty sure it doesn’t have shit to do with reason and debate.

Politics 101

Some people need to hear it:

I find some of the responses here disturbing. Look, sure, you want to elect people who agree with you 100%. But it’s hard to get a majority that way. The Dems took the House by running centrist (or centrist-appearing) candidates who could win in close districts. You’re not going to win a seat Ed Markey holds with a Ted Cruz, or Tim Scott. But somebody who caucuses with you and votes with you most of the time is better than someone who caucuses with the other side and votes with them all of the time. And just by running someone you make the Dems defend what would otherwise be safe seats, leaving them fewer resources to go after others. This is Politics 101 and it works.

There are limits, of course, but this is truth. Culturally, the whole Boston to DC Acela Corridor is a monoculture dominated by New York City, which has traditionally concerned itself with suppressing the rabble so the Right Kind of People can run things and make money. But we’ve also seen the spread of New England Puritanism through the Acela Corridor.

In the 21st century the modern day Puritans have pretty much given up dour protestantism and have instead adopted dour state worship as their purifying religion. They’ve even brought back witch hunting! But we’re oh so sophisticated about it these days.

But it doesn’t change the fact that you won’t win a Massachusetts Senate seat with Ted Cruz. What you need to capitalize on is that no one fucking likes witch hunting Puritans, no matter what religion they have adopted for themselves.

He’s Right, You Know: Gun Control Aimed at Shooters

Pick off the most enthusiastic, and you’ll be rid of your deplorable gun culture in a generation. That’s what gun control is intended to do. It has nothing at all to do with reducing crime or fighting “gun violence.” Does this lawmaker seriously want us to believe she has evidence that criminals are going through large volumes of ammunition, and that a tax on ammo will help? J. KB is absolutely right: this is intended to discourage target shooting. Someone should ask her who drafted her bill, because lawmakers almost never draft their own bills. Bills are almost universally drafted by staff with the help of lobbyists. Who’s paying the lobbyists that helped her staff? I can give you one guess.

Significant Win in Federal District Court

Adam Kraut and Josh Prince have won a pretty significant as-applied 2nd Amendment case in the Middle District of Pennsylvania. Yes, you can lose your right to bear arms for traffic offenses. Someone I know at my club was just telling me the other week that he got arrested for drag racing as a teenager, along with a friend of his that he still keeps in touch with. His parents hired a lawyer and got the case against him dropped, but his friend plead, and has since been prohibited from possessing firearms. Apparently drag racing used to me a 1st-degree misdemeanor in Pennsylvania, which has a potential jail sentence of 5 years, even though his friend never spent a day in jail. In the case just won, the guy got busted for faking an exemption form for tinted windows.

This kind of thing happens more often than you think. The Gun Control Act prescribed a one-size-fits all solution, even though individual states have a lot of variation on what the maximum sentence is for misdemeanor offenses. It’s good to see the courts finally taking this seriously and willing to entertain as-applied challenges, and strike down applications of the Gun Control Act’s prohibitions with regards to non-violent offenses.

I Got Nuthin’

Nothing on topic I can think of. But this story about blue collar wages rising faster than college grad wages is interesting. The old I get the more I think the economy is almost entirely psychological. Sure, I do believe things like “If you print money, you will eventually get inflation,” and I’m sure money does have some degree of velocity, but I think increasingly that malaise drives bad times and eras of good feelings drive good economic times.

In this very divided country, are we going to see a bifurcated economy where depending on who’s in power drives who gains and who falls behind? It strikes me that the Obama years were very good for the very top and very bottom, and not so good for most other people. I can tell you that I personally am not feeling the booming “Trump Economy.” But I live in an area that doesn’t swing too hard in good times or bad times. I am also a college educated professional, so not in the current “era of good feelings” group.

Hope at Last

About 1/3rd of my club are residents of New Jersey. We’re a stones throw from the river, and so we’re convenient to all of Central Jersey and even have a contingent from North Jersey. It’s been utterly depressing watching them go through everything with Murphy’s last batch of gun control laws knowing that more is probably coming. Also, when they ask “What can we do?” Having to answer, “Nothing, unfortunately. Only the courts are going to save you. If you’re voting, writing to your reps, you’re doing what you can. But the fact of the matter is you’re outvoted. Moving here [PA] is the only way you’re getting your gun rights back quickly.”

I’m hoping the Supreme Court will give them some welcome news. I’d like to be able to tell them things are about to get better. I want them to have hope. If Roberts wants to play his minimalist games he should come talk to these people and tell them in their face it’s not the court’s job to save them, as he did in NFIB.

Just as an aside: the people who say the immigration issue is tied to gun rights aren’t really out in left field. I still advocate NRA should not take a position on immigration as other gun groups have done, but the fact is that of the worst states for gun control, California has 27% foreign born. New Jersey and New York are is 22%. They are among the top 5 states with foreign born populations. In contrast, Pennsylvania is 6%.

Of course not every immigrant favors gun control, and I don’t think immigrants as a group are clamoring for more gun control. But I believe they are on balance more likely to tolerate it, which allows progressive elites to impose it on the deplorables without suffering much for doing it.

That’s not to say you can’t have large number of immigrants and still win on gun rights. Florida has the highest foreign born of the gun rights leaning states at 19%, with Texas following up at 16%. So it is possible to absorb a large number of immigrants and still maintain gun rights. Maybe once you cross the 20% mark, it’s pretty much over. But it probably helps that both those states started pretty opposed to gun control in the first place. That’s not true of New Jersey. Though it was once true of California. I don’t think immigration explains all of it, but the correlation can’t be ignored.

Where Great Britain Never Was

This is going viral in the gun-o-sphere:

I know, I know, UK cops saving the world one Buck 110 at a time. I think my father might have had one of those.

But just some historical notes for the curious: the PSNI are the Police Service of Northern Ireland. They are the successor organization to the Royal Ulster Constabulary, who were regarded, and not without justification, as thugs with badges by the catholic population of Ulster. PSNI are the kinder, gentler RUC that were created under the Good Friday Agreement, which governs Northern Ireland’s relationship with the British mainland.

Northern Ireland is part of the United Kingdom, but it is not part of Great Britain. The Northern Irish are Irish, not British. Though many are Scots by descent. Great Britain is Scotland, England and Wales.

Because of the Good Friday Agreement, Northern Ireland are not subject to the same gun laws found in Great Britain. You can still legally own a handgun in Northern Ireland. It is the only part of the United Kingdom where self-defense is an acceptable and valid reason to own a firearm. However, they are still governed by the ridiculous UK knife laws, which is seems to Royal Ulster Constabulary Police Service of Northern Ireland are enforcing. Locking knives are strictly forbidden under the Knife laws, as are knives with blades longer than three inches. The Buck 110 both locks and has a blade that’s 3.75 inches long.

« Previous Entries

top