As Politico analyzed President Barack Obama’s political predicament, they offered several suggestions on how to proceed, with the third being, “Take the long view.”
Taking the long view requires ignoring this Congress and perhaps even the next. It simply requires President Obama recognize that he is laying the groundwork for the next wave of liberalism.
“As the country shifts to center-left,” Politico hypothesizes, “the president will appear to be on the right side of history.”
As the country shifts to the center-left?
Conservatives have long believed the country is center-right, a contention a newly reelected Barack Obama openly challenged during his inaugural address:
“No single person can train all the math and science teachers we’ll need to equip our children for the future, or build the roads and networks and research labs that will bring new jobs and businesses to our shores. Now, more than ever, we must do these things together, as one nation and one people.”
President Obama, his political allies, and apparently some reporters truly believe in a different America. Individualism is out. Collectivism is in. America has charted a leftward course.
So convinced they were, they doubled down on sequester hysteria. That was the left’s moment to shine – it was their moment to show every single American how important government spending was to each of them.
The failure to convince the American people that the sequester – however imperfect it was – was the end of the world, represented a stunning defeat for the progressive left.
Enter New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg.
Following the defeat of the Schumer-Toomey-Manchin anti-gun bill, Bloomberg’s group, Mayors Against Illegal Guns, issued a statement ironically “damning indictment of the stranglehold that special interests have on Washington.”
The group went on to say, “The only silver lining is that we now know who refuses to stand with the 90 percent of Americans – and in 2014, our ever-expanding coalition of supporters will work to make sure that voters don't forget."
We already know Bloomberg is willing to use his personal fortune to pick and choose among Democrats. From USA Today:
“Bloomberg, an independent and strong gun-control advocate, spent more than $2.1 million in campaign ads to benefit Kelly, who was one of 17 Democrats vying for the nomination. The spending came through his Independence USA super PAC, which began targeting pro-gun lawmakers in the 2012 elections.”
Let’s go through the list of 2014 Democrats who opposed Schumer-Toomey-Manchin, shall we?
Alaska’s Mark Begich. Arkansas’s Mark Pryor. Montana’s Max Baucus. North Dakota’s Heidi Heitkamp.
Setting aside how New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg would play personally in those states, consider the gun owning culture in those states. According to the DailyBeast, those states rank 5th, 9th, 3rd and 8th, respectively, in the number of federal background checks per 100,000 residents.
Granted, federal background checks do not give a complete picture of gun ownership, but it serves as a useful marker.
If Bloomberg goes into Alaska, Arkansas, Montana, and North Dakota to primary these four Democrat Senators (who hold an average Heritage Action score of 9.6%), he may end up wasting a ton of money.
As the Washington Free Beacon reported:
“New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg has spent at least $14 million in support of new gun control legislation since December, when the Obama administration began its push for gun control in the wake of Adam Lanza’s shooting spree in Newtown, Conn.”
Mitt Romney won these states by an average of 17.75 percentage points. If Bloomberg wants to go into these states, betting they are left of center, more power to him. He will quickly find out – just as Barack Obama has – America is not as left of center as he expected.