Former President Clinton tried this whole gun control thing in 1994… it didn’t work out too well:
“Do not patronize the passionate supporters of your opponents by looking down your nose at them,” Clinton said.
“A lot of these people live in a world very different from the world lived in by the people proposing these things,” Clinton said. “I know because I come from this world.”
Of course, you have to go a bit deeper to see Clinton’s justification for this warning. Obama feels he has a mandate. Senate Democrats in Washington are more than happy to let the economy crash and blame House Republicans no matter what the scenario (or cause). Change is in the air… those crazy nuts really are clinging to their guns and religion!
So where’s the problem for the liberals in Washington? Overreach… that’s what. Clinton explains:
Clinton recalled Al Gore’s 2000 campaign against George W. Bush in Colorado, where a referendum designed to close the so-called gun show loophole shared the ballot with the presidential ticket. Gore publicly backed the proposal, while Bush opposed it.
Though the referendum passed with 70 percent of the vote, Gore lost the state. Clinton said that the reason was because a good chunk of the referendum’s opponents were single-issue voters who automatically rejected Gore as anti-gun.
And Clinton said that passing the 1994 federal assault weapons ban “devastated” more than a dozen Democratic lawmakers in the 1994 midterms — and cost then-Speaker of the House Tom Foley (D-Wash.) his job and his seat in Congress.
“I’ve had many sleepless nights in the many years since,” Clinton said. One reason? “I never had any sessions with the House members who were vulnerable,” he explained — saying that he had assumed they already knew how to explain their vote for the ban to their constituents.
Clinton also recalled threatening to veto a bill as Arkansas governor that would have prevented the city of Little Rock from instituting an assault weapons ban.
Clinton said that an National Rifle Association lobbyist threatened him over his veto in the state house, saying that the group would cause problems for his upcoming presidential campaign in rural states like Texas.
“Right there in the lobby,” Clinton said. “They thought they could talk to governors that way.
“I knew I was getting older when I didn’t hit him,” Clinton said. Clinton recalls telling the NRA lobbyist, “If that’s the way you feel, you get your gun, I’ll get my gun and I’ll see you in Texas.”
But he said that he understands the culture that permeates a state like Arkansas — where guns are a longstanding part of local culture.
“A lot of these people … all they’ve got is their hunting and their fishing,” he told the Democratic financiers. “Or they’re living in a place where they don’t have much police presence. Or they’ve been listening to this stuff for so long that they believe it all.”
Clinton closed his remarks with a warning to big Democratic donors that ultimately many Democratic lawmakers will be defeated if they choose to stand with the president.
“Do not be self-congratulatory about how brave you for being for this” gun control push, he said. “The only brave people are the people who are going to lose their jobs if they vote with you.”
Emphasis added for conversation, but Clinton knows rather well that the “Republican Revolution” of 1994 was predicated on resistance to two Democratic spearheads — opposition to gun control, and opposition to socialized medicine.
Now, far be it from me to counsel Democrats on how to handle or manage affairs. The common sense approach would be to go back to the old proposal of $500 billion in revenue enhancement, $500 billion in spending cuts, and $500 billion closing loopholes and flattening the tax code — $1.5 trillion dollar hole closed in one year, folks!
Or heck — just go for Simpson-Bowles and get the heck out of dodge seeing as we’ve lost the tax hike battle.
Clinton is perhaps not quite pointing to the elephant in the room, but to the distractions averting our eyes from the elephant. Rest assured, the American people have been quite fickle since 2004… and when the gate swings like that, 2012′s mandates quickly turn into 2014′s debacles…