By JD Chang
The nation mourns today over the tragedy that happened in Newtown, CT and we try to reconcile amongst ourselves who and what against how and why.
This type of event while not having an immediate impact on me personally does have the potential to impact each of us immediately. It’s different from something like the Fiscal Cliff, which has an impact on all of us individually, but until a deal/no deal is resolved, would not impact you or me immediately.
Therefore, I think it’s our collective responsibility to keep those families and friends in need in our prayers and best wishes. Left/right, big/small (government), I think both sides of the aisle right now should and does support community bonding for the innocent who were victimized.
Onto the newslinks —
The Washington Post has a rundown of what the police now know about the events Friday morning.
Steve Kornacki of Salon writes a great piece about how Democrats can win elections without the gun lobby or gun vote. He outlines the Democratic stance on guns since the beginning of the Clinton Era. It’s a good primer of how this country got to this point politically.
The Democrats’ cowardice on guns traces back to the fateful election of 2000. Clinton, despite his aggressive pursuit of gun control measures, fared relatively well with rural gun-owning populations in his 1996 reelection campaign. But those same voters turned hard on Al Gore in ’00, shifting Kentucky, Missouri, West Virginia, Arkansas and Tennessee to the Republican column. A victory in any one of those states – all of which Clinton carried twice – would have made Gore president. Democrats concluded that they’d scared off rural, lower-income white voters who had traditionally supported them – and that guns were the big reason why. A new consensus emerged: Gun control could no longer be a central component of Democratic messaging. So it was that John Kerry in 2004 and Obama in 2008 and 2012 did their best to ignore the issue. Kerry went so far as to embark on a goose hunt in rural Ohio just before Election Day.
In terms of political strategy, there’s been one obvious shortcoming to this approach: It hasn’t worked. Kerry did no better than Gore in West Virginia, Kentucky, Missouri, Tennessee and Arkansas, and Obama has failed to win any of those states in two elections now. What’s more, there’s been no improvement in Democratic support among gun owners in any election since 2000. As Nate Cohn pointed out Friday, the lesson Democrats should be drawing from Obama’s two victories is that they can win nationally without the pro-gun vote. The Democratic coalition continues to evolve and grow, and the rural white voters who were key to its success generations ago have become a reliably Republican constituency.
And then of course, there’s what’s actually happening in Washington as outlined by Jonathan Allen of Politico.
One politician who is at the forefront of gun control is Dem. Rep Carolyn McCarthy (TR-28) who’s taking her gloves off if the White House fails to act on this. She’s one person to watch for in the next few weeks to see if there’s any movement politically on the gun debate.
One issue that might supersede the gun debate (at least on the White House agenda) is immigration reform. It’s what the WH was thinking about approaching early next year prior to Friday morning. Alex Leary from the Tampa Bay Times has a good write-up on Marco Rubio (TR-20) and Mario Daiz-Balart (TR_2160) who may just represent ground zero in terms of immigration reform.
Finally, as people around the nation are saying…tell your kids I Love You.