Via Greg Hengler, we’re late to this but it’s still a must-post, simply because it’s one of the great narrative derailments you’ll ever see on cable. If ever there was a dynamic primed for a gun control cri de coeur, it’s DNC TV nudging a relative of one of the shooting victims while he’s still grieving. No one would have faulted him for responding emotionally; instead, he came back at them with this. His composure and insistence on sticking to principle under the circumstances are remarkable.
HuffPo is wondering when/whether The One might follow his M.O. on gay marriage and “evolve” on gun control by re-embracing a position he held in the mid-90s. In a sense, that’d be in keeping with his overall campaign strategy: He’s given up on white working-class voters, more or less, and is playing chiefly to his liberal base now, so why not throw them some invigorating red meat by calling for a new assault-weapons ban or whatever? The difference between this and SSM, I think, is that when he “evolved” on gay marriage, he was falling into line with virtually the entirety of his party. If he “evolved” now on gun control, by contrast, he’d be cross-wise with all sorts of purple-state Dems, and then the storyline would quickly shift from “Obama pushes new gun regulations” to “Democrats abandoning WH on new gun push.” Even Chuck Schumer, who once chaired the DSCC, is going around telling the media that new gun-control measures are a nonstarter. O cares about Michigan and Pennsylvania and Virginia, not MSNBC, and he knows that liberals will forgive him for this in the name of victory (just as they would have if he had kept up his embarrassing SSM charade). Gun control, like his trip to Israel, is something that can wait for his second term, if only as a rhetorical bludgeon against a Republican Congress.
Exit question: Why have gun sales soared in Colorado over the last few days? It’s tempting to think that people are scrambling to protect themselves from the James Holmeses of the world, but I think Mark Hemingway’s explanation is far more likely.
Update: You don’t say.