Sunday, March 24, 2013

Last Call

Mike Lillis over at The Hill can barely suppress his glee as President Obama's political obituary is written once again over gun regulations being dead, dead, dead in Congress.

An assault weapons ban is on life support and Senate Democrats have failed to entice a single Republican to back universal background checks. Congress also this week solidified four gun-friendly laws as part of legislation to fund the government through September.

To some observers, the shift in momentum comes as no surprise at all.

"[NRA CEO] Wayne LaPierre made terrible mistakes early on. They took two very bad spills," Ross Baker, political scientist at Rutgers University, said Friday in a phone interview. "But they quickly recovered and they assumed their usual position of dominance.

"They may do poorly in the first quarter, but they rally and they're usually ahead by halftime," he added. "They've been at it a long time. They know what buttons to push."

Adam Winkler, a constitutional expert at the UCLA School of Law, offered a similar explanation this week, arguing that even when the NRA is on the ropes, it "still sways a lot of voters."

"The NRA didn't become the political powerhouse it is by losing high-profile battles," Winkler, the author of "Gunfight: The Battle over the Right to Bear Arms in America," said Friday in an email.

"Even though the NRA had a poor showing in the November elections, the people whose job it is to know who sways voters — members of Congress — still think it can deliver."

In the world of The Hill -- again, about as inside the Beltway as it gets -- the NRA does indeed rule triumphantly.  I've warned time and time again that Wayne LaPierre's seemingly insane babbling makes perfect sense to the doomsday prepper crowd, and they're millions strong.  Barack Obama has been the best thing for firearms manufacturers and ammo makers since the beginning of time.  Record sales, huge shortages, and demand growing by double digits quarterly?  Tell me the NRA is crying.  They exist to get Americans to buy guns and ammo and brother, are they ever buying.

Like it's the end of the world or something.

Denial Ain't Just A River In Ross Douthat's Mind

I've decided that the "We're sorry we got suckered into supporting the Iraq War apologists" crew in both liberal and conservative circles alike can suck it, of course (and Ezra Klein's mostly sincere apology still means he will always have that strike against him).  Thanks for reminding us who lacked character, credibility, and judgment back then so we're all inclined to take anything you've said in the last ten years or anything you say now with an entire salt mine.  The number of dead Iraqis and coalition troops your apologies have resurrected remains precisely zero, which coincidentally is the quantity of damns I give about your tortured consciences.  Live with it.  You still have that option, unlike the dead.

But Ross Douthat singularly compounds his idiocy by deciding that liberals should really be grateful for Bush's bungled war because it gave us Obama.

No, seriously.  That's his argument.

History is too contingent to say that had there been no Iraq invasion in 2003, there would be no Democratic majority in 2012. (It’s easy enough to imagine counterfactuals that might have put Hillary Clinton in the Oval Office.) But the Democratic majority that we do have is a majority that the Iraq war created: its energy and strategies, its leadership and policy goals, and even its cultural advantages were forged in the backlash against George W. Bush’s Middle East policies

Not mentioned anywhere in Douthat's piece:  The fact that liberals AND conservatives may have been angry about Iraq, but hey, Afghanistan and Bin Laden still happened.  Oh, and that whole nearly collapsing our economy thing in his second term.

Barack Obama couldn't possibly have won election or re-election based on his policies and performance, right?  He couldn't have beaten the most powerful Democratic party machine in modern history (or at least since Camelot) without Bush Bungles Baghdad, right?  What's next, telling me how slavery, the Civil War, and the Jim Crow era were an awesome lucky break for black folk like me?

Douthat's one of those people who lack character, credibility, and judgment.  So why would anyone listen to his self-serving nonsense now?

I can't think of a reason.
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