GOP Capitulations Post Columbine

A worthwhile thing to remember. Don’t think just because your Congressman is a Republican, that he’s automatically going to be on your side. Only constituent pressure will keep him there. Here’s what we have going for us:

  1. People are seemingly open to a discussion of the sorry state of mental health treatment.
  2. The rest of the center-right coalition is not seemingly headed for the hills. Most generic folks in the coalition I follow on social media seem primed for a fight. We have more and stronger allies this time.

What we don’t have going for us? I think a lot depends on what President Obama does. He’s going to be facing a great deal of pressure from his own party to do something. There are some factors at play. One is we’re in the middle of “fiscal cliff” negotiations. Obama may not want to pick a fight with the GOP on the gun issue in the middle of delicate negotiations on this topic. The other side of the coin is he might revel in trying to pile on with the GOP. Knowing Obama’s personality, I think the latter is quite likely. He’s been trying very hard to get the GOP to throw the anti-tax constituency under the bus by having on tax hikes. He could also think it wise to try for a twofer, and get them to throw the gun vote under the bus at the same time.  The White House strategy in all this seems to be to make the GOP thoroughly screwed no matter what door they decided to walk through. The risk is that it would only cause the GOP to dig in their heels and not budge at all, being attacked on multiple fronts. But I’m not sure Obama thinks that is a bad result either, because then he gets to blame the GOP when we go off the “cliff.”

Time will tell, but one of the reasons you see the gun control folks pushing Obama so hard is because the “bully pulpit” is important. Clinton was a master of its use, even for causes that hurt Democrats, like gun control. The presidency is a powerful office for trying to steer the public conversation. If President Obama still had to protect a large number of blue dog Democrats, the political calculus would be different, but given that blue dogs are now an endangered species, it would be hard to believe that the Administration’s reaction is going to be to do nothing.

9 Responses to “GOP Capitulations Post Columbine”

  1. Harold says:

    Yeah, I could see Obama doing an additional “screw the Republicans” move. Harry Reid and company are the likely obstacle to this, e.g. Jon Tester of Montana keeps winning by razor thin margins, the last this year narrower than his first victory in 2006. Even if he’s allowed to not vote for this, the damage it will do to the Democrat brand will be huge. And that’s where the structure of the Senate really helps us, New York has as many votes as Montana. I suspect Reid likes being Majority Leader; this is the sort of thing that could and likely would end that after the next election.

    I’m less worried about Obama using the bully pulpit that e.g. Clinton, he’s used it so much to say so little, or the same thing over and over, that he’s devalued it. Although of course the MSM will fall over themselves if he has something really new to say like a full throated call for gun control.

    As for the Republican betrayal, yep, I can believe that Lott for Sale led one. John Ashcroft’s amendment to “to ban youth from possession of most weapons, even for hunting” is amazing, though. He was running for reelection against the sitting governor of one of Missouri’s major political families and it turned into a tight race. Hunting is big in Missouri; not quite to the point that school is let out on September 1st for the first day of the Federal dove season, but I can’t imagine him winning if he’d succeeded. And he hadn’t had much time to go native, only went to D.C. in 1995. Yow.

    Moving to the House, there’s no surprise Henry Hyde (R.-Ill.) was all for more gun control. Or Speaker Dennis Hastert (R.-Ill.), who eventually lead his cacus to their crushing defeat in 2006, and of course note which state they’re from.

    Don’t mess with Texas, the eeeevil Tom Delay had a clue.

    Ooooh, the GOA gets some love ^_^.


    Dingell was an ardent opponent of gun control and could always be counted on to support the Second Amendment.

    Remember, this is in 1999, after Dingell had voted for Clinton’s AW ban and resigned from his seat on the NRA board the next day. I stopped reading after this point, the author does not have the background to write such a story with sufficient authority. Not surprising from a movement conservative rag like Human Events, many of these types generically support us but know nothing about and don’t really care all that much about our issues.

  2. Harold says:

    Ah, one other note about gun control and politics: Al Gore’s narrower than a razor’s edge loss in 2000 capped a string of catastrophic Democratic losses in which gun control was viewed as an integral part; after that, I believe the political Zeitgeist at the national level changed, e.g. that’s when Reid got religion. I guess we’ll see how solid that change was in the coming weeks and months.

  3. Bubblehead Les says:

    Well, after all the “Signals” that Obama has sent out since the Shooting, especially last nights, I believe that there will be a push for more Gun Control as soon as the next Congress gets sworn in, and there will be enough RINOs to support it.

    • Harold says:

      Like all the signals that, now, he really, really will pivot to jobs?

      I don’t think you can deduce anything from the vague things he’s said to date; if he says something like “I want an assault weapons bill from the Congress” then we should really pay attention.

    • Patrick H says:

      I’m really worried some could be executive order. Something that’s tough to fight against. At least a bill can be voted on.

      • Harold says:

        Executive Orders don’t have the force of law just by themselves, but within the law, Obama could do more import bans under the authority of the GCA of ’68.

        Needless to say the American gun industry didn’t strenuously object to this decrease in the competition, but after the G. H. W. Bush and Clinton import bans, many companies have set up facilities in the US. FNH also has a major presence here, they got the M16 and military machine gun barrel contracts, they now own the Winchester brand for firearms (and use the same hammer forges to make perhaps better than ever Original Formula Model 70s), etc. And our AR-15 pattern industry is of course entirely home grown (no one else is crazy enough to use them unless donated, excepting the special case of Canada), although I’m sure some stuff is sourced overseas for some manufacturers.

  4. Adam Z says:

    Unfortunately I think the only thing that will matter is that are there 218 House votes that are either for or against the Feinstein bill that will be coming out of the Senate (Judiciary Committee here is headed by Chucky-anti-2A-Schumer) or being introduced in the house? IMHO I think there are enough squishy Repubs/Dems that will vote for this bill…and that it will pass. The public outcry – even after the smokescreen of Fiscal Cliff talks, Syria, etc. – is/will be extremely loud because of this tradegy/horror.

    Take a look at some of Obama’s quotes from last night’s vigil in Newton which he attended:–politics.html;_ylt=A2KJ3CY0PM9Q5VgA4tPQtDMD

    “We can’t accept events like this as routine. Are we really prepared to say that we’re powerless in the face of such carnage?” Obama said. That the politics are too hard? Are we prepared to say that such violence visited on our children year, after year, after year is somehow the price of our freedom?”

    We will be told that the causes of such violence are complex, and that is true,” he said. “No single law no set of laws can eliminate evil from the world or prevent every senseless act of violence in our society.”

    “But that can’t be an excuse for inaction. Surely we can do better than this,” he said.

    This tradegy/horror is something served on a silver platter for Obama,Feinstein, Schumer, Rep McCarthy and all the others. It will be interesting to see how pro2A senators such as Tester (MT), Casey (PA), etc. vote on this…I think they will vote with the coming tidal-wave of “anti-black/evil gun” sentiment.

    Its funny as I watched the morning talkshows yesterday morning, Schumer was on one of them and was acting like he was a middle of the road Democrat. He basically was acting like a moderate saying that the 2ndA is here to say and those are stating that all guns should be banned are wrong; but at the same time stating something to the effect “assault weapons” are not needed and should be banned. Hilarious.

    Its a shame, after all the years of hard-work by various pro-2A factions/organizations/legislators and even the Fast and Furious scandal which silenced the Administration, Schumer, Feinstein, McCArthy, etc…the tradegy/horror that happened in Newton because of a mentally unstable person, will put in serious jeopardy/outlaw modern sporting rifles.

    Unfortunately I do not forsee a good outcome in all of this in my half-empty-glass opinion…

  5. Shawn says:

    At this point we might as well kiss having semi-auto rifles at all goodbye. There will be an AWB. iT WILL pass the senate, the house Republicans WILL pass it as well, obama will sign it and you will HAVE to turn in all your semi-auto weapons and standard capacity magazines.

    It doesn’t matter WHAT we do. They have the event and they WILL NEVER let it go until they get their goal of the repealment of the 2nd ammendment.

    • Harold says:

      I’d really appreciate it if the Eeyores on this forum, who, based on little or no evidence but endless pessimism, who want to say things like the above, would just shut the f*** up.

      Do what I try to do before hitting Submit Comment or whatever; ask, what am I trying to accomplish with this message?

      For these messages, certainly nothing goof. If you’re so sure we’re doomed, and your posture is one of sitting with folded hands, to paraphrase the French, now’s a good time to shut up while those of us who actually are going to fight this battle do our thing.

      And Sebastian, I highly recommend deleting such evidence free postings out of hand. They’re only hurting us, and if that action drives away the posters, all the better.