The Importance of the Kagan Fight

I don’t think that anyone who is an enthusiastic observer of politics ever really believed that NRA was going to successfully derail Kagan. The main problem is, considerably more so than on legislative matters, party plays an important role in those kinds of votes. A vote against Kagan would have been portrayed as a critical failure of the Obama administration, and the word “failed administration” would have been bandied about in the media even more than it already is. They say a rising tide lifts all boats, but a sinking ships will generally take the rats down with it too. It was asking a lot of Democrats to vote against Kagan, and ultimately we only Ben Nelson’s “no” vote on Kagan. But it had to be done, and I don’t think we ought to go light on Senators like Bob Casey, who obviously aren’t as pro-gun as they’ve been claiming.

But a big reason that it did have to be done was as much for the Republicans as it was for the Democrats. I can’t imagine the federal judiciary is any different than any other hierarchy; where every District Judge imagines himself a Circuit Judge, and every Circuit Judge imagines himself a Supreme Court Justice. In that sense it’s very critical that Republicans understand that gun owners find anti-gun judges to be unacceptable for appointment or elevation on the federal bench. It’s not only important for Republican politicians to understand that, but for the current judges sitting on federal benches to understand that we’re prepared to scuttle any hope they may have of career advancement if they don’t rule correctly when it comes to the Second Amendment. So despite the fact that Kagan will be on the Court, and will likely be a reliable vote against us, I think there was value in the fight in terms of getting the vast majority of the Republican Party aligned against her. I can promise that Ben Nelson would have been a yes if NRA not opposed, along with more than a few Republican votes that were “no” instead of “yes.”

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