40 thoughts on “Senator Heitkamp Winces on Obama Gun Control”

  1. I’m real scared of idiotic tea party and conservative line in the sand overreach.

    Saxby Chambliss and Lamar Alexander are both VERY vulnerable to unelectable right wing nut jobs. As is Susan Collins whose withdrawal would give the Ds an automatic seat. And there’s a ton of Democrat seats that are EASY pickups. Easy enough to get the Republicans the Senate with room to spare. But, I can just imagine the 3%ers and the abortion idiots won’t be able to keep thei fricken mouths shut and probably would prefer to keep Obama and the Mark Pryors and Al Frankken in office rather than elect Republicans who aren’t 100% intellectually pure.

    1. I’ve not noted any current uproar over Saxby down here. Perhaps closer to election.

    2. I think the situation is more complex than you make it out to be: Candidate Akin, for example, wasn’t a Tea Party candidate…rather, he was pushed in by the Democrats in the primary because the Democrats saw that he was the weaker candidate, and because of that, the Tea Party candidate lost in the primaries.

      For that matter, I think you can be conservative, and not say stupid things that will keep you out of office. I would propose that if national-level conservatives were to just focus on fiscal issues and States’ Powers, they wouldn’t get into the messes that candidates like Akin get themselves into!

      Overall, I’m just afraid of Republicans living up to their reputations of belonging to the Stupid Party.

  2. just out of curiosity what is your line in the sand? if it isn’t the 2nd amendment then what issue is worth having a “pure” republican in office worth it?

    abortion? illegal immigration? taxes? defense? when does blurring the lines lead to both parties having the same stand on issues? the problem isn’t Republican purity. the problem is a lack of purity. i don’t like to name call but President Obama was only elected because he leads a cult of personality. if you had a Democrat that was white with the same stance on issues with the same lousy performance of the economy then he would have been defeated…and easily.

    Republicans are misreading this election. he bought hispanics with the dream act and gays with the opening in the military, he fooled some women with the war on women theme, democrats don’t care if he was a total failure (and he is) they were determined that a dem president wouldn’t be one term wonder and blacks although suffering under his policies voted for him anyway because he’s black and some state gov overreached and were clumsy with voting making it a voting rights issue more than a “is he helping us” issue.

    so no. we don’t need to yield anymore.

    1. I think what Countertop is suggesting, and I agree with him, is that a lot of tea party types focus almost exclusively on ideology, rather than electability. It doesn’t really matter worth a damn if you run someone who is with you on everything if that person can’t win, either because their views are too extreme to win a majority, they can’t raise money, they haven’t learned how to avoid sticking their foots in their mouths, etc. When your candidate ends up saying things like “I am not a witch,” on national TV, you’ve exercised fatal judgement in candidate selection. Not saying I didn’t want to chop Castle’s senate ambitions, and sacrificing that seat I think was worth it if only to send a message. But Christine O’Donnell was not the right candidate to if winning a general election was part of the goal.

  3. I must assume countertop has been drinking this afternoon in light of his comments. Alexander is not, and has never been a “right-wing nut job” He will, for your information, win in a walk. Chambliss won in 2008 with 57% of the vote. If the voters of North Dakoya had sent Berg to the senate instead of a lefty we would not have a concern. Oh well.

      1. vulnerable to… the to I think is what you’re missing. Meaning they are vulnerable to primary challenges from the far right. Now in terms of ideology, I think Tennessee can support someone farther right than Alexander. But how electable is the challenger going to be? Can they raise money? Do they have experience holding statewide office or running a statewide campaign? Do they have enough experience dealing with the media to know now to put their foot in their mouths? Do they hold views that are even too kooky for Tennessee? These are questions tea party groups need to ask but aren’t asking in a lot of cases.

        1. There is no indication that Alexander will face a Tea Party primary challenge. He has won a state-wide election 4 times in this state, he will easily do so again. Yes the Tea Party has a t times nominated candidates that self-destructed, especially in the senate, but without them the republicans would not control the house. U take the good with the bad.

          1. And to be fair, in a lot of places, including where I live, the more seasoned party hacks, rather than viewing the Tea Party as an asset to be cultivated, view it as a threat, and treat it as a threat. If the GOP were smart, they’d be bringing the Tea Party movement in and teaching them the things they haven’t learned yet. So now they have to learn the hard way, and the whole movement, so to speak, suffers for it.

            1. I think this is an important point. If I recall correctly, Senator Hatch was so disappointed in how Senator Lee beat Senator Bennett, that Hatch hasn’t been showing Lee “the ropes”. Even so, I think Lee has been holding his own in the Senate…but it would be nicer if he had more support!

  4. i’m amazed, amused and annoyed at Republicans that have a hate on for the Tea Party.

    the Republican party was dead before the Tea Party reactivated it and if you want to be serious then blame the mushy Republicans for it. they only hold true to one issue. taxes and they don’t even hold true to that anymore. payroll taxes go up with the consent of both parties…that wasn’t even part of the discussion. if they fold on guns then what is the difference between the parties?

    they both deficit spend. they both want amnesty for illegals. what is the difference between the parties if “good” republicans get rid of the tea party?

    1. I can’t speak for Countertop, but I don’t hate the Tea Party. I think, generally, it’s a force for good. But politics is still politics. You don’t win elections with candidates that can’t raise money, say stupid things, or are way outside of the mainstream for their districts.

      1. lets get to the nuts and soup then. if you have a Republican senator or representative that votes yes on the gun bill but is otherwise acceptable is he/she worthy of being primaried? what about if they vote no on the gun bill but yes on a magazine ban?

        i say yes they should be challenged because they voted yes to limit my freedoms. does that make me a nut job because they’re with me 99 percent of the time but messed up on an important issue? if it does then so be it. call me a nut job. thats my line in the sand.

        all i ask is what is yours countertop? when does ideological purity start to matter? when does it become important?

        1. I think it all depends on individual circumstances in each district. If my rep, Mike Fitzpatrick, goes South on anything gun related, I’m open to a primary challenger, because he should be able to hold firm where he is, and he hasn’t been in that long that his incumbency has much momentum. He’s also not been as solid on spending as I would like.

          Now Pete King in New York? If he voted against any of what’s coming at us on guns I’d consider that stunning. You could primary challenge him and replace him with someone who is all “cold, dead hands,” but that’s not going to win in New York City. You’ll hand that seat off to a Democrat, who will be worse. More importantly, that’s another R seat that switches to a D seat, and gets Nancy Pelosi one step closer to being Speaker again.

          You have to put up candidates that can win in their districts, and it’s the political climate of the district that’s going to determine what issues they get soft on. One reason Democrats have generally been more successful than Republicans is that Democrats understand this much better. They also better understand politics as attaining and wielding power, and are willing to make ideological sacrifices rather readily as long as they view a sacrifice in a few areas will help their progressive agenda overall. They wouldn’t have been able to pass Obamacare if the Democrats thought the same way many on the right do.

    2. I’d look at the Dem strategy in 2006, which was to run candidates that could win in those districts. It worked very well. But then the progressives in the Democratic Party convinced them to commit political hara-kiri over Obamacare. They executed a working strategy, then sacrificed it to create a massive new government entitlement, knowing that longer term, it would create more votes for Democrats.

      Republicans never would have done something like that.

  5. and now you know why we WILL NOT win this fight to keep our gun rights. they push and push and even people on OUR side want us to yield and accept and not complain and be understanding. first a magazine ban will be sensible and an understandable compromise, then a full ‘assault’ weapons ban and then registration and then confiscation.

    during the whole sad episode the dems push, republicans yield and everyone says compromise, or don’t expect ideological purity or whatever nonsense is envogue that year.

    we’ve already lost. think about what you’re saying and thats the end result.

    1. I’m saying you have to be realistic. I’m not saying you don’t fight. I’ll go back to the example of Pete King. I will start off by saying I loathe Pete King. I’m glad he’s not my rep. But I can also safely say if he were primaried by a Tea Party-backed challenger, that seat will flip Democratic, and not to a “blue dog.” You’d get Pelosi one step closer to taking back the House with a far-left majority, and this time with no blue dogs to protect. There may be strategic reasons to keep someone like King in office.

      Go to the Senate. I don’t really like Sue Collins. She’s what most people would call a RINO. But she’s what you can get elected in Maine. A tea party candidate cannot win in Maine, which at this point is now a deep blue state, thanks largely to massive immigration from Massachusetts into the southern part of the state. Collins can win, easily. If the GOP wants the Senate back in 2014 the strategic move is to keep Collins in that seat. RINO hunting isn’t going to accomplish anything, because that’s what can win in that State..

      The left would never let ideology get in the way of power, and yet the left has done very very well at getting their ideology translated into policy and law. The right and libertarians are absolute pikers in comparison when it comes to effectively using government to achieve ideological ends. This is something the right desperately needs to learn. I’m not against using primary challenges to get rid of candidates that go soft, if their districts can support something better. We could do better than Dick Lugar in Indiana, but how much better? Murdoch didn’t pull out the win because he failed the “don’t say stupid things” test.

      1. so if you have a Senate filled with Susan Collins how is that different from a Democrat controlled Senate?

        1. You don’t have a Senate filled with Sue Collins. I’m not suggesting that. But Collins is a seat that puts you one closer to having a majority where conservatives get to control the body. It’s the same strategy the Dems used to get Obamacare, using “blue dog” Democrats who were moderate or conservative enough to win in their districts and then using their majority to pass progressive laws, like Obamacare. Ultimately, they sacrificed all the blue dogs on the altar of Obamacare, but they did it for long term gain. In terms of moving the country further left, it was a brilliantly executed strategy on the part of the progressives, because Obamacare is now going to be next to impossible to get rid of. If the left had acted like the right, it never could have happened, because the far-left progressives would never have agreed to a strategy of running, from their point of view, weak-kneeed progressives in districts where they had to do that to win the seat.

        2. A rino Collins certainly is, but she will vote for a republican majority leader instead of Harry Reid, and she did vote against Obamacare, while a democrat in that seat would happily have voted for it. I get angry at the moderates as well sometimes. But Susan Collins is better than the type of democrat that would hold that seat. Mike Castle would have been better than Chris Coons, and Lugar would have been better than the putz who won the seat.

          1. she opened the door to let Obama care slide through! she voted to let Obamacare get to the floor out of committee.

            but i’m through with this discussion. you’re about plotting and schemes. i don’t work that way. probably why you and people like you will continue to run this world.

            1. Sorry to disappoint, but without strategy you can’t win. You’re doomed to see the far left, who understand strategy, continuing to ride roughshod over the country and the Constitution.

            2. Well, we can back rinos from time to time, or we can back Todd Akin and get Clairre Mccaskill. We can back Dick Lugar and hold the seat, or we can back Richard Murdock and get the democrat whose name escapes me. John Hawkins at Rightwing news posted a piece sometime ago on how purists can be as bad or worse than rinos. I am not about “plotting” and “schemes” but nominating idiots, (Akin, Murdock, O’Donnell) is a losing strategy. U can accept the truth of that or support candidates that cannot win, it is as simple as that.

              1. Looking at Mourdoch before his said what he said, there wasn’t anything about him that screamed unserious candidate. He held statewide office. He had held elected office before that. What Mourdoch said was stupid, but that pump had been primed already by Akin. Akin was the best money Claire McCaskill ever spent (again, strategy). So I don’t really want to pin everything in 2012 on the Tea Party. I don’t blame them for Mourdoch, and to be honest, Indiana can support someone more conservative than Dick Lugar.

                I think the problem might be that RINO hunting season might be best opened up when the GOP controls the Congress. It’s probably a bad strategy for trying to claw back to a majority.

  6. I believe we will win Sol. It is frustrating when those on our side, presumably, fall weak but I do have faith that we will not lose our freedoms

  7. i didn’t notice but you jokers live in Illinois. a bastion of liberalism dominating conservative countryside and suburbs.

    you have to compromise your values and ideals because you have no choice. its like California. LA is ultra liberal and outside the city (and the other big cities) its all conservative…but the liberals dominate so you’re used to compromise.

    i don’t have that worry.

    talk about Rino’s. scheme and plot but it won’t get you where you want and on the big issues…the important issues you won’t be able to tell a Rino from a Democrat. you can have the leadership but it won’t mean a thing.

    its the problem that we’re facing in the House. conservatives can be rolled and supposed members of the party justify it happening.

    i hope they ban all weapons for free people in that state so it can be an example that half measures are never good enough

    1. Who are these so-called jokers you’re talking about? The primary blog contributors don’t live in Illinois, so it doesn’t even make sense as to who your last rant is targeted to.

      Also, call me the radical if you want, but if you’re actually advocating for banning private firearms ownership (“i hope they ban all weapons for free people in that state”) anywhere, then you’re not exactly dedicated to freedom and what many people consider core American values. I know that most readers of this blog take their politics seriously and don’t actually wish the loss of fundamental rights on any of their fellow law-abiding citizens.

      1. don’t parse the statement. i said i hope they ban all weapons for free people in that state to serve as an example.

        i’ve done nothing but read how some want to scheme to get liberals like Susan Collins and Brown in office so that on important issues they can turn on conservatives like they always do. read the entire line of discussion before you pop off.

        1. And you still won’t answer the question about who you are claiming lives in Illinois or how that seriously pertains to the discussion beyond your wish for law-abiding citizens to be stripped of their rights in that state just so you can feel good that they have been properly punished and taught a lesson.

          1. wtf are you talking about. like i said earlier read the entire thread and you might have an idea. you hop in at the end and claim a right to some type of indignation and don’t even realize what’s going on.

  8. Hate to break this to you, but Scott Brown was the most republicans could hope for in a state that elects Ted Kennedy, Barney Frank and the like. Do you honestly believe Tom Coburn or Jim Demint could win there? If so, you are delusional. Is there a better option in Maine than Collins? Who might that be? There are certain regions of the country where a moderate is all we can hope for. It may make u feel better to have a true conservative defeat Collins in a primary, but that conservative gets his ass handed to him in the general. How does that help us?

    1. thats not the point. the point is does having a Brown or Snowe help? not only are they republican in name only but its a joke to have them caucus with republicans. Snowe got obamacare out of committee…later she claimed that she didn’t vote for it but she caused the damage by letting it move forward. letting it reach the senate floor is what is helping to bankrupt the nation. how is that different from having a democrat in that seat?

      if you lose then at least lose while being ideologically pure, not by trying to play some silly game that means nothing when votes of importance are taken.

      its this type of compromising. this type of milk toast republicanism that is ultimately going to lead to the rise of a 3rd party. and i can’t wait.

      1. There are 100 senators in the US Senate. You need 51 senators to comprise a majority. Understand that the majority controls the agenda of the body. They control committee assignments. They control the schedule of bills that can be brought up for a vote. In the House, it’s even more pronounced, and the Speaker essentially controls which bills get to the floor and which don’t. The Speaker is elected by a majority in the House.

        So what we’re saying is, essentially, those are warm bodies with R’s next to their name instead of D’s, so they vote for the leaders who essentially control the agenda of the respective legislative body. They help get to that magic number of 51 in the Senate, and 218 in the House, to exercise control over the body. And how do we get Snowes and Browns in office? Because they are as much Republican as can win in those states.

  9. U my friend are not the type of person to be reasoned with. The latest post from Sebastian explains it perfectly. If republicans control the chamber, even with some rinos, gun control measures do not see the light of day. Mcconnell does not allow them to come up for a vote. By the way, what was the final tally on that committee vote u keep mentioning? I believe it would have passed without her yes? So she really was not the deciding vote.

    1. Sebastian… Isn’t one of the rules to follow here not to rely strictly on the GOP when it comes to gun rights? To focus on tea party versus establishment RINOs seems to “short” our overall strategy as you’ve articulated. There seems to be no hope if we are waiting for a GOP majority to affirm gun rights according to you, but we should also be hopeful for pro-gun Dems as you’ve said it other threads. It’s a confusing matter I understand.

      I also agree with Sol. If all you’re looking for is butts in seats then that does not guarantee us much of anything. We have a GOP with conservative” pro-family and pro-gun values enshrined in the platform, but what does that matter when someone like Scott Brown or Susan Collins or Arlen Specter conspires against us?

      I can also see what Sebastian says in a way, too, about purity. Don’t get me wrong. To me it’s more about values than purity. You’re going to make decisions based on values… Christian values, constitutional principles, etc. everyone has some kind of values. Certain issues like taxes and spending to me, although I generally prefer a fiscal conservative, are worthy of compromise for the greater good. In a perfect world there would be economic security for all and free market principles. That’s just never going to be the case.

      Some things we can’t compromise on. We all know what those are here. I think by now we ought to stop calling fellow patriots “extreme” unless we don’t mind those insults hurled at us. The anti -gunners after all call us extremists, so I don’t like reading all the posts here about those “extreme right-wingers”. We shall all hang alone or together, and it’s going to have to be a fight for all conservatives to fight, not just pro-gun enthusiasts. I hate to break that to you. Murdoch could have easily misspoken about firearms use and be would have gotten the same media treatment.

      1. Ideally, I agree we need a bipartisan consensus on the issue, yes. But pro-gun Dems are becoming an endangered species. That’s why I offered a shout out to Senator Heitkamp here, because I’d like to recognize when they do the right thing for our issue.

        1. I agree. Sen. Heitkamp should be getting flooded with LOTS and LOTS of encouragement here. Her name never even came up on my radar, either.

          I guess what I’m saying is that generally those of us with media-characterized un-PC causes on the right are always one step away from being demonized by the “other guys”. While the two GOP senators that made blunders with their silly comments last year (though I believe one was firmly backed into a corner by an activist reporter and didn’t even bother to consider that before responding) screwed things up, I also am not willing to discount the need to keep a solid, reliable, conservative block in the senate for emergencies like this.

          When I was generally into “movement conservatism” during college I was “conspiring” with folks who made up a solid base of the GOP and were inspired by a mix of social, fiscal, and constitutional conservatism. They would go to bat for gun rights even if it wasn’t their bag, and it was perfectly acceptable to anyone there that the NRA always had a strong presence among the ideological right. I saw Wayne LaPierre speak all four years I went to the ACU’s annual CPAC event in Arlington, Va., David Keene’s old stomping grounds. I even got a personal phone call from David Keene once. As a college student organizing this stuff it was pretty inspiring. Part of me feels jaded considering most of the ideological purity that existed in congress during the Bush years has evaporated, but the other part of me thinks this is a time where we have to think and conspire as guerrilla activists.

  10. Let me say this, I am as conservative as anyone here. Pro-life, pro-gun, believe in free markets and believe that Christ is our lord and savior. Having said all that, we cannot ignore electability when choosing candidates. In both 2010 and 2012, we blew chances to control the senate by nominating candidates who, while very conservative, would have a hard time winning the general. The republican party, while certainly not perfect, is our best hope, by far of protecting our natural rights. This may mean we support candidates, like Romney, who are not ideal but far better than the alternative. There is no third party riding to the rescue, at least not in the near future. It is time some on our side accepted the facts, pulled their heads out of their backsides, and got with the program.

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