TPM Reader JH thinks the new gun control push is a fool’s errand and a political mistake …
I think the Dems are making a big mistake with gun control right now. Going into this legislative session, they had a plan to get past the fiscal cliff then move on to immigration. In doing so, they would not only move the focus from fiscal matters (where the GOP’s sole desire seems to be disruption of any momentum of recovery), but also nail down the most important voting demographic.
Gun control, which I’m personally a huge proponent of in principle, is a massive mistake. First, what gives the WH the idea that they can get this through the House? Public opinion? Even if the gun control advocates were half as passionate as the NRA, the gerrymandered districts in the House render that moot. Second, they’re giving the appearance that immigration is (again) secondary or tertiary on their legislative agenda. Latinos came out in record numbers for Obama with the expectation that immigration reform would be a top priority early in his second term. That may still be the case, but they seem growingly skeptical, especially after being completely shut out of his first term’s agenda. Lastly, gun control is not a political winner. That’s why the Dems have punted on it for almost 20 years.
I see that Marco Rubio and Paul Ryan are working on immigration reform (per your reporting). If the WH lets Rubio lead on this, there’s a strong chance he, and by association, the underserving GOP, will get a greater portion of the credit than deserved. I really think the Newtown incident is throwing the Dems off their plan. I realize the President needs to do something about Newtown, but I think it’s more important (long-term) that he takes the lead on immigration.
Would love to hear your thoughts.
Josh Marshall is editor and publisher of TalkingPointsMemo.com.