Did anyone catch Sen. Bill Nelson’s (D-FL) rather gratuitous swipe at Gov. Rick Scott on Wednesday? CNN held a town hall event in Sunrise, Florida hosted by Jake Tapper, where National Rifle Association's Dana Loesch and Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) literally ventured into the lion’s den. Rep. Ted Deutch (D-FL) also participated. It was a two-hour bashing of Rubio, the NRA, Loesch, every law-abiding gun owner, and every supporter of the Second Amendment. It was show trial, a North Korean kangaroo court that resembled something out of the two minutes of hate from Orwell’s 1984.
Rubio was likened to shooter Nikolas Cruz, who shot and killed 17 people and wounded at least a dozen more at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School on February 14 in Parkland, Florida. Loesch was called a murderer.
Yet, back to Nelson, his swipe was revealing for two reasons. One, it shows that he may be a bit nervous that Scott could take his job come January of next year. The Republican governor looks like he's gearing up to challenge Nelsonthis year. Second, it shows where Democrats rest on gun control. It’s not about saving lives; it’s about getting more of them elected to office (via Orlando Sentinel) [emphasis mine]:
The debate over guns, the “me too” movement against sexual misconduct and the federal government’s handling of hurricane recovery in Puerto Rico will give Florida Democrats victories up and down the November ballot, U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson predicted Thursday.
During a meeting with state House Democrats, he also said two special elections in Florida this year in which Democrats flipped Republican-held seats is further proof that Democrats are poised to have a strong election year.
“You stir that all into the mix — and who knows what else is going to happen at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue between now and November — and I think there is a movement,” Nelson told House Democratic Leader Janet Cruz. “These issues are going to help Democrats.”
Nelson said the debate will help all Democrats on the ballot.
“It’s going to bring you more legislators,” he said. “If you get to the point where even if you don’t win the majority, but you’re close in the Senate, it’s going to be a whole new ballgame. Then the next election in ’20, the Florida Senate will flip.”
Even CNN bashed Nelson for taking a swipe at Scott, who wasn’t even at the event. Was that a mistake? Probably, given that the NRA showed up, but the Florida Democrat seemed to use the forum to campaign for his re-election [italicized text indicates Nelson’s remarks] [emphasis mine]:
"I want to say that my colleague Senator Rubio and I have a good relationship. We get a lot of stuff done together.
"And I want you to know that I told him before we came out here tonight that he had guts coming here -- when in fact there is no representative of the state of Florida. Our governor did not come here, Governor Scott -- but Marco did."
First off: Where is the empathy? This kid has been grazed by one bullet and hit by the ricochet of another. She has watched someone close to her murdered. To immediately launch into an esoteric discussion of various laws and constitutional amendments as a way to comfort a grieving teenager is just a massive swing and miss.
Second, Nelson's pivot to praising Rubio as a way to take a shot at Scott is both out of nowhere and totally transparent. "Hey, by the way, Marco is great! But Rick Scott is terrible! And he's not even here!"
Did you know that the state of Florida, the governor's office gave financial incentives for them to come into the state and manufacture?
…the state of Florida, the governor's office, gave financial incentives for the Colt corporation to come to Kissimmee to manufacture AR-15s, the same one that wreaked such havoc here and that you all are suffering so terribly from."
Yes, we get it, Senator. Rick Scott = bad. You = good?
Look. Scott should have shown up on Wednesday night. Not doing so was a mistake.
But I thought Nelson made a major mistake, too. That town hall wasn't about racking up political points on a likely opponent. It was about trying to get beyond all of that -- even for a night -- to just have an honest conversation about guns. Unfortunately, Nelson didn't get that memo.
The town hall event explicitly showed the anti-gun Left’s frenzied passion for gun confiscation and Nelson using a tragic school shooting to score political points. It’s not about saving lives; it’s all about stripping Americans of their Second Amendment rights. We’ve known this, but now we have an example. Nelson thinks gun control can get more Democrats elected, or in his case re-elected, to office. Good luck with that sir. Expect to be very disappointed if you think taking away people’s firearms is a winning issue.