Posted by Curt on 15 June, 2016 at 5:20 pm. 2 comments already!



Donald Trump is a symptom of, and not a reason for, the seeming inability of the GOP to get its shit together and speak as one voice.

Today he tweeted he’d be meeting with the NRA to talk about banning gun sales to those on the no-fly list. That’s something the NRA has opposed, and for good reason.  It’s capricious and arbitrary – there is no due process for being placed on that list and that flies in the face of the Second Amendment. Nobody knows who’s on the no-fly list – usually until it’s too late.  Nobody knows how you get on or get off the list. The late Ted Kennedy was on the no-fly list.  Even he did not know.  It’s just that secret.  Historically, Martin Luther King was denied a conceal carry permit. It’s an awful solution to the recurring emotional argument that we can somehow prevent all or most bad guys from having guns.

Trump’s pivot today is not surprising because it taps into his sense of populism, but perhaps it is surprising because the NRA has uniquely been in his corner early and often.  The presumptive nominee struggles to get and keep the backing from established sectors of the GOP ranging from elected officials to political action organizations.  His steep climb to become elected is complicated by his quest to cobble together very disparate and untested coalitions that transcend party lines.

Democrats find a way to exploit events like Orlando to support their positions.  Republicans seem to find a way to throw their positions overboard in times like these.  This is a real defect. Political malpractice.  The tragedy is Trump won’t win over the likes of Portman, Ayotte, or Johnson, who have all gone weak kneed on this, and it won’t help those vulnerable Senators either.

But Trump did not make this mess – it already existed.  Certain national political figures, elected officials and commentators, have begun to peel away from the NRA’s position on this, to wit. Consider the issues the GOP has struggled to coalesce around:

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