With some justification, the GOP haso frequently been called "the Stupid Party." But there are times when Democrats clearly get themselves into the running for the title, and the pending gun control legislation seems to be one of those times.
Part of it has to do with timing. The whole idea of gun legislation got its start in the wake of the horrific attacks in Newtown -- a tragedy so heart-wrenching that it raised Democrat hopes that, if exploited correctly, it could produce a political climate conducive to unprecedented limits on Second Amendment freedoms.
As with the sequester, however, it seems that things haven't quite worked out the way Democrats hoped. First, John Boehner told the Senate it needed to produce its law first -- and therein lies the nub of the problem. The 2014 Senate elections include seats up for grabs in some pretty red states -- including Montana, Louisiana, South Dakota and North Carolina. Big new restrictions on the Second Amendment are not going to sit well there.
But to compound Democrats' difficulties, new groups such as the one funded by Michael Bloomberg seem to be less inclined toward pragmatism than they've been in the past -- perhaps because the national outrage over Newtown raised their hopes that political conditions had turned their way permanently. What they didn't reckon on, however, was that most of their most impassioned support comes from heavily Democrat areas -- like New York City, Chicago and the like -- and that passion runs high (in the other direction!) in places like Montana and South Dakota.
So many Democrats are caught in the middle, between a newly empowered liberal gun control establishment and the voters they need to stay in office. And they're going to have to vote on the record on an assault weapons ban and other provisions that are unpopular in many parts of the country -- in the year before 21 of the 35 US Senate seats up for a vote are Democrat.
So the GOP may be the "Stupid Party," but it isn't alone. Is it too much to say tht Democrats have shot themselves in the foot, politically speaking, with overreach on gun control?
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