... to imagine that Mitt Romney might actually decide to outflank President Obama from the left by calling for an assault weapons ban? I really think one of them, in all seriousness, will say that that's, well, unlikely but conceivable. Hey, he could really do it! And what a brilliant way to win centrist voters over! What a way to show that he has political courage! What a Sister Souljah moment for the Republican Party!
Really, I think we'll hear this. It's utterly absurd, of course, even though Romney once supported an assault weapons ban. In fact, I'd say that if Romney ever did it, he simply wouldn't be his party's nominee this year, rules be damned. Delegates would simply refuse to vote for him. (I don't know about this year's delegates, but in 2008 one out of every four was an NRA member, and 60% had a gun in the home.) Endorsements by fellow Republicans would be withdrawn. Talk radio hosts would call for Romney to be rejected. There'd be picket lines, possibly of armed NRA members, at the convention hall; there'd be unrest on the floor, and possibly the convention would have to be shut down.
It just couldn't happen. I'm sorry it couldn't happen, because it would be fun to watch, and it would teach a lot of people a lesson about Republican extremism.
Obama won't call for an assault weapons ban because he fears losing the few remaining blue-collar whites who vote Democrat -- but he'd be a hero to a lot of the party if her stuck his neck out, even though it might cost him the general election. For Romney, by contrast, the political suicide would be guaranteed. Death would be instant.
NO MORE CALLS, PLEASE, WE HAVE A WINNER: Joshua Holland points out that we've already had this pundit idiocy -- from Mark McKinnon at the Daily Beast:
Romney is a candidate in need of a moment where he can demonstrate that he is not hostage to special interests. Twenty years ago he said he didn't line up with the NRA. He now has a chance to show he still doesn't. Romney can show backbone and leadership by stepping up and calling for a reinstatement of the federal assault weapons ban.Naive idiot. I swear I didn't read that before posting.