44 thoughts on “For one fool or another …”

  1. It’s a complicated year for voting. In most places the best people will be able to accomplish is to “send a message,” but then the question is, what message will one be able to send?

    Virginia is a little different since I believe their State Delegates (state legislators) will be elected today. In other places (like here in PA) only municipal offices are up for grabs (like county row offices) and for the most part those are not very “ideological.”

    As for the RKBA, it has now been so inextricably linked to other issues (via deliberate partisan “stereotyping”) that if you think you are Making a Statement regarding guns, it will be hard for anyone to hear it. Maybe we need ballot questions that ask “which statement below do you intend your votes today to make? Choose one.”

    In many places the MSM are suggesting local elections may be referenda on Trump. Whatever statement you are making other than that, will probably be interpreted as only that.

    1. Maybe we need ballot questions that ask “which statement below do you intend your votes today to make? Choose one.”

      I’d go for that :)

      1. Reverting to my Libertarian Party days, I recall that when people were given a chance to vote for that, typically only one or two percent did.

        For now I’ll wing it on the precise words, but I’m recalling H.L. Mencken’s quote to the effect that “Democracy is the theory that the people know what they want, and deserve to get it good and hard.”

        He also had that other one about how given enough time, the American people would eventually achieve their hearts’ desire, and elect a total moron to the White House. But I think he was obliquely referring to Coolidge, at the time.

        1. Voters are all for being left alone themselves, but they also believe it is not only their right, but their responsibility and duty to fuck with other people. Political parties grow out of the question, who should be fucked with and who should be left alone.

        2. Ironically, though, Coolidge was one of the best Presidents we had, *particularly* in the “Leave me the fudge alone!” department.

  2. In Virginia, cast my ballot. Idiot Republican House of Delegates candidate thinks compromise “Gun Control Light” is a winning strategy. May her handlers rot in hell for this. State Senate is a clear choice. Other layers of government are in play as well. Done what I can, hoping for the best and expecting the worst.

    1. How’d voter turnout look?

      A damned shame what will happen if the Democrats gain so much as one chambers of that State Legislature, but Virginia already had a taste of the gun-ban agenda for 20 years with the ‘One Gun Per Month’ crap.

    2. That’s why I vote against those quisling morons every chance I get: They don’t understand that trying to position themselves as “democrat lite” is not a winning strategy.

      Worse, if they manage to stay in office, others in districts with similar demographics get the idea that going soft on key issues is the only way to stay in office.

      The second is the far more important issue, which is why I make a point of voting against these people at more or less every opportunity.

  3. I am severely disappointed that you would refer to our elected officials (and those who would be elected officials) as fools. Surely, fools deserve more respect than this!

    (For what it’s worth, when I voted for people for County Council (I had to choose three out of six), I actually voted for one person who mentioned RKBA as an issue. County Council is kindof hard to vote for, though, when they all sound pretty much the same.)

    1. “I actually voted for one person who mentioned RKBA as an issue.”

      Practical question: Can your County Council actually do anything about the RKBA, for better or worse? If not, I might suspect the person of just pandering for votes, and probably of being a lying POS. Worse yet, if RKBA issues are preempted by your state, I would suspect the candidate of trying to open the door to county intrusion to where they have no right to go.

      Some years ago I remember favoring a candidate for county office who said of some issue “it’s really not county business and if elected I would not involve myself with it in any way.”

      1. Those are fair questions, but I have vague reasons to believe that he’d support RKBA if there was a need to. That doesn’t mean I’m right, though!

        About the only thing that I could think of that might be an issue for county and city elections is firearms laws preemption. I remember it being an issue a few years ago when Utah passed preemption, but some of the cities still had laws on their books that contradicted with it. Rather than fighting it, though, the cities merely removed the laws from the books — the argument against the laws being “Sure, a gun owner will prevail in court, but having the law on the books opens the door to having it enforced against them unnecessarily.”

        There was another candidate that I didn’t vote for in this election because she pandered to the wrong issue for me — in this case, because it involved bike lanes, it was actually an issue that she would have had influence on.

        Overall, though, I can’t decide if the candidates were equally good or equally bad; the best I could say is that they were equally bland.

        Which is a pity in some ways, because local elections can be important (and especially so, when Federal theory says they are supposed to have the greatest power, being closest to the People), but they don’t get the attention that “higher” offices do in elections.

        1. Great point. While they may not have direct effect on it now, there are situations that come up they could move the council one way or another.

      2. The worst abuses against RKBA are done by local government. NYC and SF come to mind but there are many other examples. Pittsburgh just had to be slapped down for an explicit violation of state preemption with expense and hassle for our side while they used taxpayer dollars and people on the clock. There are gun-free zones in parks and municipal buildings, bans on self-defense in public housing, attacks on gun-shows in publicly owned buildings, local hunting prohibitions, arbitrary denial of CCW permits (especially in may-issue places), local bans on “assault weapons” and standard capacity magazines and on and on and on.

  4. Well civil disobedience has to start somewhere. Never thought it would be Virginia. Maybe they’ll elect BOOGALOO BILLY tonight! Giddyup.

    What the hell was the deal with one gun a month? Things started out stupid there. Hopefully you Virginians don’t end it stupidly too.

    1. Time to dine at the BOOGALOO BUFFET!

      I’m pretty sure that’s where its going to start. A purple state where the Dems will push HARD for gun control. And if the courts fail to do their job, it could turn hot.

  5. We lost Virginia tonight.

    Ralph Northam, who is a Jim Florio/Martin O’Malley/Jon Corzine/Jay Inslee Leftist POS now has a rubber-stamping Legislature. He can now turn Virginia into a spitting image of NY/NJ/CT/MD.

    Interstate Leftist Transplants from the Metro-Northeast have officially destroyed Virginia. Mass-Migration just helped them quicken the pace of doing so.

    The best that you guys in VA can hope for is a situation similar to Colorado/New Mexico/Nevada and what happened with them this past year.

    You guys are getting, at a tiny minimum, some nasty Red Flag Laws. UBC’s and a return of One-Gun-Per-Month are also definitely coming down the pike.

    1. The sky is falling when JOE!!! opines.

      Virginians will need to be engaged. They can’t get away with any of that stuff unless VA funnies let em. And I don’t think they will. What do you plan to do, JOE!!!?

    2. No, Joe is right on this one. The new legislature controls redistricting. The GOP now gets no say on that. The dems will gerrymander their way to a permanent majority in both houses.

      They tipped their hand in the special session regarding gun control objectives. The only question is how long it takes them to ram this stuff through.

      There ain’t any coming back in VA. Between demographics and redistricting the Dems are going to own VA policy for the foreseeable future.

      1. Yup. Good Ole’ “Demographics”. The Left have been spitting in our faces about the Demographics shifting States and the Country as a whole to our side since the early 1990’s, and celebrating all the way.

        Virginia’s shift to the Dark Blue Column is really mirroring of Washington State and Oregon’s shifts in the 90’s.

        Virginia will likely have NY SAFE Act style Gun Laws after 2021 when VA is fully redistricted. But who knows; a big hammer-drop could come in January/February of 2020.

      2. Good. You two are made for each other. Maybe it’s about time you and JOE!!! head down to VA and drop trow and sob into your soy lattes while the rest do the heavy lifting and arm/man up for the long haul. We don’t lose because we’re outnumbered. We lose when we don’t care.

        1. Losing both houses and the governorship in a redistricting cycle election is really bad politically speaking. I don’t think the minority in VA gets much or any say during the redistricting process.

          On the demographic front, I lived in VA circa early 2000s. Areas that were rural and pretty moderate to conservative are now high density blue bastions. Federal workers went from leaning country club Republican to #Resistance. How do you unwind 20 years of unchecked growth and changing values among the cultural elite?

          If you have an idea how to claw back from the dual issues of gerrymandering and significant demographic change I’d be all ears. Stacking the federal courts seems to be the best remaining option on a grand scale. Locally going the sanctuary county/city route is also a good option, and has worked adequately in places like Colorado. It wont work in NOVA but it’s an option in the more rural areas.

          I spend a lot of time volunteering for pro 2a causes. But I also believe in sober, realistic appraisal.
          “You must retain faith that you will prevail in the end, regardless of the difficulties. You must confront the most brutal facts of your current reality, whatever they might be.”

  6. Pile on: I would also point out now is a time to support VCDL. In the past VCDL has been effective largely due to working to quash bad bills in committee in the assembly. Hopefully they have a plan B. But they are probably VA’s best hope of slowing down the gun control deluge.

  7. How’d Pennsylvania off-year Elections turn out?

    I heard briefly that the GOP retained their Commonwealth and Superior Court Majorities, but that was all.

  8. We like rant about “liberal transplants” but 88% of net population growth in Northern Virginia between 2000-2010 has been minorities, most of which are immigrants. It was 90% from 2010-2018. The bottom line is these folks vote overwhelmingly blue and the population centers within the state have become large enough (see NY, CA, MD, etc.) to outweigh the rest of the electorate.

    Fairfax County voted for Bob McDonnell a decade ago. Its county board is now 9-1 Democrats. Republicans wisely abandoned Arlington years ago and just got their asses handed to them in Loudoun and Prince William.

    People can blame Trump all they want but the reality is Virginia is simply experiencing what dozens of other states have gone through. Best of luck to those that stay, I enjoyed my time there and have fond memories. It was a state I was proud to call home after my exile from native NY.

    1. Yes. The demographic trends in Virginia have been at work for a long time. Obama made a concerted effort to blue Virginia by relocating federal agencies (and thus workers) to Virginia, and it paid off in spades. Virginia is now a blue state, and there’s no going back.

      1. This is what happened in Bucks County. A continuation of a Democratic sweep that began in 2017.

        It would take some doing to explain this in terms of demographics. I haven’t observed any major demographic changes in ten years, much less three. And the Republicans held sway in county government for more than 30 years.

        As I’ve observed several times now, none of the county row offices are very “ideological,” so the way I interpret this outcome is, when people had no fundamental preference, they voted against the Republican Party. The only way they could do that was vote for the Democrats.

        Now, ask why they were voting against Republicans, for offices where ideology is never going to be a factor?

        1. The core Republican constituency in this area are now among the demographic that votes Democrat. Trump certainly didn’t help that, and accelerated the trend. But the trend was noticeable a decade ago. The realignment that’s happening is not going to be good for Republicans here.

          1. Just as the realignment that Trump is causing is disastrous for Democrats in Western PA. Beaver, Westmoreland and Washington Counties are now 100% GOP County Boards, just as Bucks, Delco, and Chesco are 100% Democrat.

            Completely opposite from 25 years ago, but the Democrats are solidifying their new base at a faster rate than the GOP.

            You posted a Washington Examiner article about where Ohio (my state) was the case study. Republicans won big in our local off-year elections here too.

            1. “Just as the realignment that Trump is causing is disastrous for Democrats in Western PA. Beaver, Westmoreland and Washington Counties are now 100% GOP County Boards.”

              I thought about that overnight, and it occurred to me those are probably other examples of demographic shifts. Perhaps young and educated people are leaving those counties. How have there populations (in raw numbers) shifted in recent decades?

              Old Story time: I won’t name the county, because I might be saying something that doesn’t apply, 25 years later, but about 25 years ago I was invited to speak and do a local cable TV interview in the county seat of a western PA county. The condition of that town (the county seat) was shocking. Grass literally grew in the main street and almost all of its windows were boarded up. The cable TV station operated out of a storefront that had been a storefront church that had failed. The pews were shoved into a pile at the back of the “studio” and the taping was done in an area of about 100 sq.ft. illuminated by flood lights.

              After I gave my pitch at the meeting that night in the courthouse, my “sponsors” (who hadn’t offered me a dime or a meal) thanked me profusely. They told me “we were really lucky last month. Our speaker was David Duke. He’s a really nice guy. . .”

              I figure I was around 50 at the time, and I remember everyone there looking older than I was. It appeared almost everyone younger had left town.

              Point being, some demographic shifts involve a “culture” leaving, and leaving behind a bubble containing a culture established 50 years or more earlier.

              1. FWIW, Beaver, Westmoreland and Washington Counties all have experienced declining populations, according to the Wikipedia articles on each, which I assume are reasonably reliable.

                Politically, its hard to understand how a Democrat ever got elected in Beaver County, but the other two appear to have leaned Democratic in terms of voter registration.

                In some cases the demographics of age and ethnicity are eye-opening, but I’d prefer everyone to read for themselves and reach their own conclusions. One could be (he said, tongue in cheek) that certain demographics have all moved from the western PA counties to the five-county area around Philadelphia.

                (I really enjoy when questions like this pique my interest.)

  9. “The demographic trends in Virginia have been at work for a long time.”

    But has there been a sea change in demographics since 2016 or 2017? I could be wrong, but I don’t think so, as compared to the sea change in how Virginians voted between then and yesterday.

    It seems to me the “elephant in the room” that everyone wants to avoid is, now the Republican Party, NRA, and the RKBA are now solidly identified with Donald Trump, and Donald Trump is just regarded as an unsavory character by most people who haven’t drunk his limited interest Kool Aid.

    Don’t argue reasons that shouldn’t be the case. In politics what is the case is the whole ball game. Even if you want to blame the MSM for ganging up on Trump, it should have been recognized that that was what was going to happen. To do otherwise is like whining that your enemy had a weapon that “it wasn’t fair” that they used, even though you chose to challenge it head on.

    To revert to one of my Old Stories, I think I’ve told in part how almost 30 years ago, as Libertarian Party County Chairman I brought the party to the verge of being in the mainstream in Bucks County — the local daily paper actually endorsed one of our candidates, and insisted/editorialized that I/we be included in “tripartisan” political activities with the two major parties — and the main thing I did to achieve that was to sit on the loons and racists in the party and not let them run for office or speak for the party. I was so sincere in that, that I refused to be a candidate, though tempted. I knew my own limitations, and I sure as hell knew other peoples’ limitations.

    I may have long departed the LP, and not taken up with another party, but come 2016 I knew for sure what was going to happen to the NRA and the Republican Party, albeit in broad outline. Shooting oneself in the foot is too mild a metaphor. But I had seen it happen before, in the microcosm of a minor party, so I had an unfair advantage in prognostication.

    1. Your “Elephant in the Room” talking point is MOOT!

      That happens to every Republican Candidate from President all the way down to Dog-Catcher, and once again, look what happened to Mitt Romney in 2012…..Same thing. Romney rolled over, Trump fights back!

      In the end, the “Russian Collusion” B***S*** and this new Ukrainian “Impeachment” B***S*** have led the overwhelming Majority of the Democrat Party Voter Base believing that 2016 was stolen from them, and……”ORANGE MAN BAD”.

      You have the Leftwing going into every Election in this Country with the attitude that they have Birthrights to Political Office, and that any loss is theft of their acquisition of power.

      This Country is a powder-keg, and not enough people on our side seem to recognize how dangerous the Left truly is.

      1. ‘Your “Elephant in the Room” talking point is MOOT! That happens to every Republican Candidate from President all the way down to Dog-Catcher.’

        OK, I stand corrected. Just keep telling yourself that if it gives you the warm fuzzies. But it forces me to confess I didn’t detect our local media badmouthing the Republican candidates for clerk of courts, coroner, register of wills, or county treasurer, and they all lost — as did the prothonetary and a handful of other R incumbents in 2017. My township will be entirely under Democratic control once the newly elected Democrats take their seats — so will Sebastian’s township, I think — and I don’t remember any of those township races being exactly barn-burners, issues-wise. Most people didn’t even know who the candidates were; it would appear they just voted by party.

        I’ll agree the media beats up the Republican Party, but the Republican Party does more than half the work for them. Without the material for a foundation, the media would have nothing to build on.

          1. “Dems took Middletown last cycle.”

            Not to be nit-picky, but as a majority, yes — not as a total sweep. Two of the Republicans defeated were incumbent supervisors, knocked out by Democratic challengers who I believe were pretty much upstarts.

            I had some discussion with a couple Middletown residents this morning, who were disappointed that no candidate had made an issue of “Save the Farm.” But my point is that the supervisors campaign seemed to be nearly issue-free; except it is said the Republicans took some heat for supporting the Earned Income Tax c. 2013. But, the Dems weren’t promising to roll it back, either. If that was an issue it went right over my head, probably because I don’t pay the EIT. Whatever, it certainly wasn’t on everybody’s lips.

    2. Trump is a symptom of the realignment, not its cause. Though he is accelerating the trends. NoVa was getting bluer and bluer before Trump, and has also had huge demographic changes.

    3. The defining trend in regards to Northern VA’s demographics over the last 20 years has been the growth of its minority population, but the urbanization of the area has been going on for much longer than that. One could argue that the end of WWII and the growth of the federal government and defense industry throughout the 50s and 60s really served as the catalyst for it.

      Let’s look at voting patterns by county at the federal level. Arlington, the closest county to DC, hasn’t voted for a Republican since 1980. Fairfax, the next county out from Arlington, hasn’t voted for one since 2000. Prince William and Loudoun, the next counties outward from Fairfax, stayed red for one more election but have been blue since. Noticing a trend?

      Jobs-wise, Northern VA was like a gold rush after 9/11 with government and defense jobs. The recession of 2008 and sequestration of 2013 only slowed the growth, but it’s still happening. Not to over simplify, but you have the perfect storm of over-educated federal employees and an underclass of immigrants who do their chores for them while they work or sit in traffic. Generally speaking, neither vote Republican.

      1. Which is one of the ways that Trump can help us, at least as long as his push to decentralize federal agencies continues.

  10. There is no stopgap. All it takes is a simple majority in each house which the Dems have. Ralphie will rubber stamp anything Bloomberg suggests as HE bought and paid for this election. Every bad idea on his wish list will be voted in and signed by the Governor. Fund your legal groups as the courts, pitiful though they are on the topic, are all we have left. July 1 will be fucking nasty when all this crap becomes law. There are no moderate Democrats all of them are anti gun.

  11. “It’s pretty embarrassing and disheartening to feel like in a few fell-swoops, we will be close to losing everything soon.”

    I know we don’t share all the same views, but I see that as a logical outcome of political short-sightedness,

    One of the greatest errors and delusions in politics is to assume the war will be over soon after the next election is won — that if your people or Your Man win the election, so much good will come out of that, and your people/party will be loved so well, that there will never be any challenges or conflicts again, and new successes will multiply exponentially. That is never the case. It never has been and never will be.

    One of my memories from my Libertarian Party days is, there was a year when something like 5 – 6 Libertarians were elected to the New Hampshire legislature, which is a big one. I called up the NH State Chairman to ask him how it had been accomplished. Instead of finding him elated, I found him instead dejected. He didn’t hold back in telling me the guys elected were all right wing loons of the JBS persuasion, who had gotten elected through their own network. He expected nothing good to come from it, and he was right. None of the 5 – 6 were reelected to a second term, but they were remembered in such a way that they injured the whole state party, apparently for years to come. Of course, the LP never spun it that way; they just declined to ever talk about it publicly.

    I have a similar story of apparent great short-term success leading to abject long-term failure, in PA, roughly 25 years ago, but I’ll let that go for another time.

  12. FWIW, this analysis from Ballotpedia:

    2019 election analysis: State government trifectas – Ballotpedia

    Updated 9:45 a.m. EST, November 6, 2019

    As of 9:45 a.m. EST on November 6, 2019, Democrats gained a net one state government trifecta—when one political party controls the governorship, a majority in the state senate, and a majority in the state house in a state’s government. Despite this, Republicans maintained their advantage in trifectas, with seven trifectas more than Democrats. The new trifecta count stands at 15 Democratic, 22 Republican, and 14 divided.

    Entering the 2019 elections, Republicans had a +8 state trifecta lead: of 36 states with trifectas, 22 were Republican and 14 were Democratic. Based on votes currently in, Democrats have increased their trifecta total with a net gain of one and Republicans neither gained nor lost trifectas. The number of states with divided government (i.e. no trifecta for either major party) decreased to 13.

    For comparison, following the 2017 elections, Republicans controlled 26 trifectas to Democrats’ eight, leaving 16 states without a trifecta. Following the 2014 midterm election, Republicans had 24 trifectas, Democrats had 13, and 13 states had no trifecta advantage for either major party. After the 2010 midterms, 25 states had no trifectas, Republicans had nine, and Democrats had 16.

    The new Democratic trifecta in Virginia was formed after the party won majorities in the state Senate and state House. Heading into the election, Republicans held a 20-19 majority with one vacancy in the Senate and a 51-48 majority with one vacancy in the House.

    The total number of trifectas—37—is the same as in 2013 and 2014, and is tied with those years for the most trifectas in recent history.

  13. Ham radio is facing the same issue. It has become a hobby of old men, simply because we are failing to bring new, young people into the mix. It is not their fault, but ours. And also too, the gun community has not done as much as we could have to encourage young people to become involved with not only the shooting sports, and hunting, but also the idea that self defense is the obligation of every red blooded American. This is a nation built upon the blood of Patriots and brave men and women. It is imperative that we start to remind our youth that freedom is both worth everything, and also worth nothing if we don’t ensure that we are able to keep it.
    The troubles at the NRA might be large, but not insurmountable, if those who are believers stick together. Save the Second is doing great things to try and make the NRA relevant again. They deserve our help.

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