When it comes to his handling of the raging gun-control debate, at least, President Obama’s approval rate has been dipping — and Sen. Ted Cruz is thinking that the president’s relentless, brazen demagoguery on the issue is probably doing the Democrats more harm than good. More gun control from the federal government isn’t exactly going to help red-state Democratic incumbents maintain their seats, after all. Via The Hill:
“I think the president has shown he is willing to demagogue an issue and that it is ultimately going to backfire,” Cruz said in an interview on Laura Ingraham’s radio show. …
“In fact, in my view, as a result of their onslaught on the Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms, I think there’s going to be a very significant consequence in 2014,” Cruz added. “I think as a result of this fight that President Obama is picking, I think the stage is set for Republicans to take control of the United States Senate because of this fight right now, because of coming after the right to keep and bear arms of peaceful law-abiding Americans. I think a number of red state Democrats who are up for reelection in 2014 are going to lose their seats and I think they should.”
It definitely looks like the Second Amendment is going to be playing a revamped role in the upcoming midterms — a potential problem there being that the best way to make that happen might be to force said red-state Democrats to go on the record with a vote, and Sen. Cruz and others have said that they’ll “oppose the motion to proceed to any legislation that will serve as a vehicle for any additional gun restrictions.” As assuredly epic as another #StandWithRand-type filibuster would be, Allahpundit pointed out yesterday that the even more strategic move for the GOP might be letting the Democratic caucus squirm over those hard votes. The WSJ, for their part, wasn’t pleased about the prospect of a filibuster on the issue:
In an instant, these GOP wizards have taken the onus off Senate Democrats and made Republicans the media’s gun-control focus. Mr. Reid is now bellowing about Republicans blocking a vote, and Democrats such as Mark Pryor (Arkansas), Mary Landrieu (Louisiana) and Mark Begich (Alaska) don’t have to declare themselves on provisions that might be unpopular at home.
Meanwhile, Mr. Obama can retreat to his favorite pose of portraying Republicans as obstructionists, which pressures GOP moderates like Maine Senator Susan Collins. “And yet, some folks back in Washington are already floating the idea that they may use political stunts to prevent votes on any of these reforms,” Mr. Obama said on Monday—without mentioning that the “folks” who oppose his bill are Democrats.
But Sen. Cruz stuck to his guns, promising to move forward with a filibuster on a restrictive gun-control bill (you can listen to the audio here):
“I think the criticism has been silly,” Cruz said before adding that “the Republicans who are saying that they are happy to vote to shutoff debate and move to the bill, they don’t even know what the bill contains.
“The bill that these Republicans are going on television saying ‘we’ve got to move to and vote on,’ they still don’t know the details because the Democrats haven’t released the details of the bill that they’re moving to proceed to.”
Whichever way it happens, the Senate is scheduled to start moving on the issue on Thursday. It’s going down.