Saturday, October 12, 2013


While some observers (Stuart Rothenberg, Nate Silver) have expressed skepticism about the notion that Cruzian intransigence will hurt Republicans at the polls in 2014 and 2016, others are giddily imagining a significant political realignment: at The Hill, Brent Budowsky has concluded that Hillary Clinton just might win all fifty states in 2016 "in an epic, historic and realigning mega-landslide against the party that threatens a Republican default, a Republican economic crash and a Republican government shutdown."

Um, no, Brent.

To understand why this won't happen, consider a story that has nothing to do with the budget mess in Washington:
In an appalling bid to "own" the Dec. 14 anniversary of the Newtown slayings, a coalition of gun lovers has announced plans to declare that horrific date "Guns Save Lives" day.

"We are going to use the day to get our views out," said Alan Gottlieb of the Second Amendment Foundation. "We don't want (pro gun-control groups) own that day. ... We are gonna be there first."

...Gottlieb, whose two pro-gun groups, the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms, and Second Amendment Foundation, led the charge to rebrand Dec. 14, said he and his allies are just responding to gun control groups already politicizing the anniversary....
No, this is not a joke. Gottlieb is a legitimate anti-gun control activist; he was briefly in the news in April for boasting that he'd lobbied to make the Manchin-Toomey bill toothless, just in case it got passed (it didn't, of course, but weakiening bills and then ighting to defeat them is the standard gunner belt-and-suspenders approach to any attempt at putting mild restrictions on firearm ownership). The Web site of Guns Save Lives Day is here.
Join Guns Save Lives Day -- Sign the Petition

No one at Newtown should have been a victim and no one in the future should be victimized by laws that do not allow people to defend themselves.

It's time we start speaking the truth about the dangers of gun control.

Americans are concerned about attempts to erode their gun ownership rights, and for good reason, Our mission with Guns Save Lives Day is to assure them our groups are working day and night to thwart government gun-grabbers at every opportunity. We are going to show America that there is a good side to guns....
Gawker directs our attention to this particularly obnoxious item on the site:

Gunners do this sort of thing because they know that there's absolutely no political risk. They saw how obnoxious Wayne LaPierre was in the aftermath of Newtown, and they saw that they won anyway -- a few states made gun laws stricter, but more states loosened them, and the federal effort crashed and burned. Two gun-control legislators in Colorado were recalled. On balance, it was a big win.

Here's the takeaway: Right-wingers can rub the faces of liberals and moderates in the dirt as much as they please, and we will never rise up and punish them severely. At most, we'll rise up and urge them to stop, and maybe they'll magnanimously agree. That may be what's happening with the budget and debt talks now (though who knows whether an agreement will really be reached anytime soon).

But we don't really make the GOP pay an appropriate price at the polls for this sort of thing. And enough of us agree with the right that "both sides do it" (on the budget), or that conservatives are just passionate Regular Americans, while liberals are snooty elitists (on guns).

We have to say "Enough!" We never really do.


Victor said...

'No, this is not a joke. Gottlieb is a legitimate anti-gun CONTROL activist' - is what I think you meant to say, Steve. :-)

The entire Conservative movement has devolved down to one thing, and one thing only - and that's doing any and every thing possible to piss-off us Liberals!

Maybe if we just ignored them, and - instead of countering their moves - just went on about our business, they'd finally get bored or tired.

Let them have their stupid little "Gun Appreciation Day" on the anniversary of 20 little innocent children, and 6 caring adults, getting slaughtered by a maniac with an assault weapon.

They're only going to do that on that date hoping to get a huge reaction from us Liberals.

Here's what I suggest:
Don't give them any reaction.
No counter-protests.
Stay home.
Go to the store.
Do whatever it is you do, normally.
Drive by these marching yahoo's quietly - no honking, no wagging of the middle-finger.
Do nothing.

Let the TV camera's show up if they want to, and show these pathetic fools marching around waving around their guns to compensate for their shriveled and useless manhood in peace and quiet.

These sociopathic brats just want attention, and a reaction.
Ignore them.

I doubt it'll work, but we've tried everything else - like reason, and appealing to the 'better angels of their nature,' and even mocking, and it hasn't worked.
Just ignore the pathetic fools.

Victor said...

Shorter - Conservatives are rage junkies.

Let them find rage in a vacuum.

And hopefully, they'll get so bored that they rage amongst, and against, themselves.

Steve M. said...

'No, this is not a joke. Gottlieb is a legitimate anti-gun CONTROL activist' - is what I think you meant to say, Steve.

Thanks -- fixed now.

neroden@gmail said...

"Here's the takeaway: Right-wingers can rub the faces of liberals and moderates in the dirt as much as they please, and we will never rise up and punish them severely. "

This is what the right-wingers thought in 1860.

They were proved wrong in 1861.

Liberals really will be accomodating for a very long time; it's part of our nature. But eventually we do put our foot down and say "NO MORE", and when we do so, we mean it.

This is the problem:
Because we are accomodating for so long, the brain-damaged right-wingers start to think that they can get away with anything. So when we say "NO MORE", we then have to prove it by Sherman's march to the sea.

We, as liberals, have a tendency to live and let live until it becomes TOO MUCH -- and then we start in on the scorched earth tactics. The right-wingers are stupid, because they are tempting us to go Sherman on their asses.

I'm not kidding.

Someone shared this possibly-apocryphal quote by Sam Houston -- I liked it because it really does describe the difference in attitudes:

"Let me tell you what is coming. After the sacrifice of countless millions of treasure and hundreds of thousands of lives, you may win Southern independence if God be not against you, but I doubt it. I tell you that, while I believe with you in the doctrine of states rights, the North is determined to preserve this Union. They are not a fiery, impulsive people as you are, for they live in colder climates. But when they begin to move in a given direction, they move with the steady momentum and perseverance of a mighty avalanche; and what I fear is, they will overwhelm the South."
--- Gov. Sam Houston-Texas

Greg said...

Thanks for the links to the Silver and Rothenberg articles, Steve. It's useful to be reminded that a Democratic surge must involve dealing with the challenging sociopolitical handicaps that the Reagan/Cheney era caused over the past 30-odd years. Simply shining a light on the Cruzian Crazay, while helpful, will not be enough.

Luigi said...

I ran a TV show in Akron, Ohio for 5 years about 20 years ago. It was a political sow featuring call-ins from the public. Kind of a liberal open mic show on TV. I pushed for outlawing all guns constantly. And I think I had a positive influence on many people. I have come to the conclusion that the gun lobby must be killed at the manufacturing level. That is, we must outlaw and destroy all gun makers by any means possible. As long as there is profit to be made, this eighjt headed Medusa will not be slain.

White Hat said...

I totally agree with your POV, but you and I are not professional politicians.

Congressmen on both sides of the aisle have different agendas and positions, but they all have essentially the same jobs. The best, most effective politicians understand that. It's what makes them effective politicians.

Personally, I'd seriously consider prosecuting John Boehner for high crimes and misdemeanors. What he's doing right now, if successful, would literally mean the end of majority rule, AKA the end of democracy.

But Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid, Joe Biden and even President Obama recognize that Boehner is simply playing the hand he's been dealt, and their primary concern always has to be to achieve some sort of resolution. If demonizing Boehner would work, they'd do that. But that sort of things hardly ever works, and would take too long to accomplish in any case.

Obama, Reid and Pelosi are more likely to end up HELPING John Boehner out of his current pickle than trying to destroy him. He might deserve demolition, but it wouldn't result in a timely resolution of today's crisis. That perfectly correct prioritization on the part of Democratic leadership is more likely to solve problems than my (and perhaps your?) entirely justifiable, easily understandable outrage-driven slash/burn mindset.

Reid & co are far more likely to get a settlement than someone like you and me.

I'm no congressional insider or anything, but that's how I see the entire Democratic party dealing with Republican lunacy. They have a role, we have a role. In the end we're dancing together. No one likes it, but that's the job.

My concern, and I assume it's one you share, is about initiation vs reaction. Leading a debate establishes leadership. It doesn't matter if the initial salvo is nonsense, respondents ALWAYS suffer a disadvantage because they have to waste time discussing the opposition's assertions.

At some point, I'd like to see Obama, Reid & co lead the discussion. PLEASE GOD let it not be with crazy stuff, but at least put the conservatives back on the defensive. Make them discuss our agenda, and spend less time on theirs.

I fought the lawn. And the lawn won. said...

you know, during the entire Bush era, I NEVER, EVER heard a conservative say|

"Invading Iraq would cost a FORTUNE! We can't possibly afford THAT!"

"Bush tax cuts would cost a fortune! We can't possibly afford THAT!"

"All this Homeland security stuff would cost a fortune! We can't possibly afford that!"

"Giving Wall Street free reign is going to cause a,disaster! We can't possibly allow THAT!"

And now these same rightwing lunatics are telling us "OH MY GOD! WE'RE GOING BANKRUPT!"

To which my response is, take your supposed fiscal responsibility and stick it up your #$$ you bunch of #%*+! Liars.

I fought the lawn. And the lawn won. said...

Forgot to even mention defense spending, which GOPers ALWAYS want to increase to the max...