Friday, September 13, 2013

Last Call For Gun Control

Molly Ball at The Atlantic looks over the repeated failure of gun control and comes up with some explanations:

When it comes to gun control, politicians have feared the NRA for decades. They've seen Democrats lose at every level, from president on down, in part because of the gun issue, and they saw their party make a comeback, particularly out west, when it started embracing gun rights instead.

The supposedly new-and-improved gun-control lobby was convinced that conventional wisdom was out of date. It set out to convince politicians that the landscape had changed. It had a less inflammatory message and more modest goals than the would-be gun-prohibitionists of the 1980s and '90s. It had a public that seemed galvanized by the shootings in Tucson and Aurora and Newtown, and polling data that seemed to show voters overwhelmingly supportive of its aims. The NRA's message and tactics, by contrast, seemed laughably antique and tone deaf. A vote for gun control, advocates claimed, wasn't just a safe vote; it was the only safe vote. Senators who voted against the federal gun-control bill were punished with ad campaigns and saw their approval ratings dip. For the first time, the terrible calculus of politics seemed to be on gun-control advocates' side.

But there was still one thing they needed to prove. They needed to prove that they could protect the lawmakers whom they coaxed out on a limb. On Tuesday, they failed that test. Future lawmakers facing similar votes aren't going to care about the particulars; they're going to look at John Morse and Angela Giron and think, That's going to be me. No thanks.

In the end, Americans just don't care about gun control.  That would require courage, courage to actually back politicians who want to pass it.  Courage to get involved.  Courage to do more than just buy pretty green nail polish because it's the same green as the Sandy Hook Elementary.

Instead we see what happens to the people who try to stand up to the gun lobby.  They have guns.  They're not shy about demonstrating they know exactly how to use them.  They have people who have the conviction to say "If necessary I will take your life to protect my own or my family and I will not hesitate."

How do you fight conviction like that with the politics and politicians we have now?

If you find out, let me know.  Because gun control is dead in this country, it has been since 2000, and may always be.

Remember Immigration Reform?

JM Ashby does over at Bob Cesca's place, and reminds us that it will still be 100% the GOP's fault when immigration reform fails to pass this year.

I can’t fault you for being optimistic, but if you really believed the Flying Monkey Caucus was going to allow comprehensive immigration to pass through the House, you’re sorely mistaken.

Congress is running out of time to pass immigration reform before the end of the year, and what few Republicans there are that favor reform are getting worried.

But the plan is to make you hate Obamacare more than bigot Republicans, so that Democratic voters stay home again and let the GOP win. It's all they have left.  They are counting on you refusing to punish them.

You can do something about that.  Remember, the House GOP has no time for immigration reform, but can make 41 votes to defund Obamacare.

The All-Alone Star State

Texas GOP Attorney General candidate Barry Smitherman:  Texas is not going to secede from the United States, but should the government in Washington collapse, we'll be increasingly ready to go it alone.  You know, just in case that happens.  Nudge nudge.

“Generally speaking, we have made great progress in becoming an independent nation, an ‘island nation’ if you will, and I think we want to continue down that path so that if the rest of the country falls apart, Texas can operate as a stand-alone entity with energy, food, water and roads as if we were a closed-loop system.”

Sounds like a theory we should test.  Kent Jones sums it up brilliantly:

So, to put this in terms of a romantic relationship: No, sweetheart, we're not breaking up, and I'm not talking about breaking up. However, I am going to put all my stuff in boxes and wait by the door because I'm expecting you to fail me any day now. Actually, I'm counting on it and will do everything I can to make that happen. And when it does, it'll be all your fault. But if there's one thing we are not talking about, it's breaking up.

Like I keep saying, methinks Texas doth protest too much about secession.  They sure seem to have a plan for it for a bunch of folks who have no intention of doing it.  Which, apparently, if you ask them about it, they will tell you.  At length.  About the plan they'll never use.  Nope.  Ever.


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