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Sens. Joe Manchin (left) and Pat Toomey (right)
According to Quinnipiac's latest poll, Sen. Pat Toomey has his highest approval rating ever—and a big part of the reason is his support for gun safety legislation including background checks.

Toomey's rating isn't exactly stellar—48 percent approve and 30 percent disapprove—but it's still better than his 43-32 rating last month. Overall, 54 percent said they would look more favorably on a politician who supported background checks for online and gun show firearm purchases compared with 12 percent who said they would be less favorable. Even 40 percent of Republicans said they would be more favorable, compared with just 19 percent saying less.

But while Pat Toomey strengthened his position after supporting background checks, take a look at what happend to Sen. Kelly Ayotte after she opposed them: Her approval rating dropped 15 points and 50 percent of New Hampshire voters said her vote would make them less likely to support her in the future, compared with just 23 percent who said it would make them more likely.

Poll after poll is making it clear that supporting gun safety legislation is a political winner. Given those numbers, senators who are talking about watering down gun safety legislation even further in order to get something passed are making a fundamental miscalculation. The thing that will bring senators like Kelly Ayotte or Heidi Heitkamp to the table on gun safety isn't the opportunity to pass weaker legislation: It's the opportunity to unscrew themselves from having taken a politically unpopular vote.

The Ayottes and Heitkmaps of the world aren't looking for a chance to pass a weaker version of legislation that they've already killed—they're looking for the political equivalent of a get out of jail free card. And in terms of raw power, that means if there are any concessions to be made, they are the ones who should be making them.

Originally posted to The Jed Report on Fri Apr 26, 2013 at 08:00 AM PDT.

Also republished by Repeal or Amend the Second Amendment (RASA), Shut Down the NRA, and Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  I've wondered why people like Ayotte (0+ / 0-)

    and Pryor and Begich voted "no" when the polls show overwhelming support.  

    I think what it comes down to, for them, is counting votes.  Yes, only 10% of the people out there are very pro-gun and very anti-regulation of any kind.  But I think that those 10% are pretty much one-issue voters.  In other words, they will cast their vote based on that one issue:  guns.  

    There are a couple of issues like that, where a small percentage of the voters will vote on that one issue, regardless of the stand the politician takes on other things.  

    The 90% or so who say they support the expanded background checks are not so much "one issue voters."  In other words, once election time comes around, other issues will also factor into their votes.  They support expanded background checks, but they also support a bunch of other things.  Democrats, for example, are going to vote for Pryor or Begich over a Republican in the next election despite this vote, because Pryor and Begich vote with Democrats on a number of other issues that Democrats care about.  

    That's the only thing I can figure out.  It's not a matter of sheer numbers.  It's a matter of which types of voters are inside those numbers.  

    •  and that 10% (5+ / 0-)

      is voting republican anyway.

      The cold passion for truth hunts in no pack. -Robinson Jeffers

      by Laurence Lewis on Fri Apr 26, 2013 at 08:30:03 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Right, it makes sense for Ayotte, (4+ / 0-)

        but not Begich.  OTOH, all of the sensible folk in Alaska will vote for Begich anyway, in spite of that.  

        I guess he didn't want any of that Bloomberg money for some reason.

        I'm at the point where I don't want to primary Mark Pryor necessarily for being a blue dog in a red state (a circumstance for which I generally extend sympathy); I want to primary him because he's dumb as a bag of hammers, without the hammers, and that ex Lt. Gov. who ran against Lincoln seems ok.

        Difficult, difficult, lemon difficult.

        by Loge on Fri Apr 26, 2013 at 08:40:18 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  halter (4+ / 0-)

          is looking at the statehouse. but a recent poll also showed strong support for background checks in arkansas, so none of these votes makes sense, on policy or politics.

          The cold passion for truth hunts in no pack. -Robinson Jeffers

          by Laurence Lewis on Fri Apr 26, 2013 at 08:42:46 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  what fascinates me about the polling (3+ / 0-)

            is they ask about the policy of comprehensive background checks, it gets overwhelming support.  If they ask about "new gun regulations," it drops a lot, and the reason is people think that the laws are a lot tougher than they actually are.  (Other areas where this belief is common is regulation of mortgage lending and limitations on the ability to fire workers "at will.")  

            It is therefore the job of the legislature to check the democratic tendency of being uninformed  (not necessarily a criticism: there's a lot of information to not know) and pass the laws people already have wanted.  Pryor almost makes a virtue of pandering to the lowest common denominator, to justify his own lack of policy chops by misunderstanding that the role of a "representative" is sometimes to represent the interests of voters as they should be, not as they are.  He doesn't even rise to the level of cynical.

            Difficult, difficult, lemon difficult.

            by Loge on Fri Apr 26, 2013 at 08:53:00 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  ignorance and apathy...they depend on it... (5+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              FogCityJohn, Miggles, Loge, a2nite, TheFern

              and it's a winning strategy...

              To dig deeper into this confusion, we introduced a new series of questions. We asked this same group of voters whether or not specific laws were already on the books. Of the 50 percent of people who prefer enforcement over new laws — over half of whom are gun owners — 48 percent told us that federal laws prohibit the purchase of a weapon privately or at a gun show without a background check, while 10 percent simply admitted not knowing the rules. In other words, about 6 out of 10 people who believe we just need to do a better job of enforcing existing laws don’t realize that those laws are far weaker than they think. And just under half of those who want better enforcement don’t know that military-style assault weapons are, in fact, legal.


              We are not broke, we are being robbed.

              by Glen The Plumber on Fri Apr 26, 2013 at 09:26:32 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

      •  About 35-40% of hard core gun-rights voters (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        noway2, Very Long Range

        are Democrats and frequently reside in states that can go either way.  That is why some Democrats in the Senate do not support the gun safety changes.

        The most important way to protect the environment is not to have more than one child.

        by nextstep on Fri Apr 26, 2013 at 10:30:18 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Doesn't make Toomey any less (4+ / 0-)

    odious. And while he supported his own legislation he opposed all other legislation that day.

    "You have attributed conditions to villainy that simply result from stupidity"

    by newfie on Fri Apr 26, 2013 at 08:31:26 AM PDT

  •  Memo to McTurtle: You fucked that one up big (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Glen The Plumber, a2nite, redding888

    time. Shoulda let the House take the arrow.

  •  I doubt that.. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Red Bean

    Heitkamp will suffer a whole lot her efor her vote...certainly not as much as an Ayotte.

    "It's almost as if we're watching Mitt Romney on Safari in his own country." -- Jonathan Capeheart

    by JackND on Fri Apr 26, 2013 at 08:34:51 AM PDT

    •  I don't know the state all that well, but (0+ / 0-)

      it is something that she could be hit with by a crafty opponent - the attack would probably be something along the lines of her helping to arm terrorists offering the Boston brother who was a non-citizen up as an example - which is a smart play for those who want to prevent a registry, but want to capture the voters in a state like ND that Heidkamp poached from the GOP when she got elected.  Of course, the NRA will also have a hand in paying for the opponent's attacks, btw.  They love the terrorists and all they do for gun sales in this country.

  •  On background checks and the terror watch list (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    noway2, Not A Bot

    I still have a huge issue with Newton being used to call for more background checks, as both Nancy and Adam Lanza would have passed.  As far as I know, being diagnosed with Aspergers does not strip a citizen of his Constitutional rights, and I still have not seen anyone explain which background check the Lanzas would have failed and why.

    My next big issue is with the "NRA is arming terrorists" comments I have seen.  I even heard Norman Goldman on the radio saying that being on the Homeland Security terrorist watchlist doesn't fail the gun background check, and go thank the NRA for that.

    But should being put on the terrorist watch list or the no fly list bar an American citizen from his 2nd Amendment rights?  Is that constitutional?

    Being put on either list is not a matter of due process in a court of law.  It is not a finding of criminal guilt.  The FBI could just as easily decide that all Muslims, or heck even all brown skinned people, are now on the terrorist watch list.  Does that suddenly render the Constitution meaningless for all of those citizens?

    I have no issue with people failing background checks because they have been, in court, found to be felons, or violent, or severely mentally ill.  But I have a huge problem with background checks being listed as a way to keep guns out of the hands of everyone who we arbitrarily say should not have them.  That's not how rights work.  Rights are removed from the individual through due process in court.

    Most of the calls for more background checks seem to miss that point.

    •  Why is (9+ / 0-)

      Nidal Hasan a "terrorist" for shooting up a room full of people at Fort Hood and James Holmes "mentally ill" for shooting up a room full of people in Aurora, CO?  

      The Newtown murders were just the tipping point.  Really, millions of sane, sad, disgusted, fed-up people just decided that if we as a nation did not do something about our absurdly ineffective gun laws in the wake of twenty small and 100% innocent children being slaughtered in their classrooms, that really said something pathetic about American society.  

      And we didn't get anything done, which says something pathetic about American society (and dysfunctional, lobbyist controlled Congress).  The fact that the gun lobby and the noisy, scared, angry, paranoid, uniformed minority got their way is pathetic.  It's a national embarrassment.

      I still wonder about Nancy Lanza, presumably a reasonably intelligent woman, keeping seven guns and numerous large-capacity magazines in a gun cabinet in her house, with a clearly disturbed 20-year-old son living under the same roof.    

      •  Clearly disturbed by which measure? (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        noway2, Not A Bot, Very Long Range

        Our rights are based on the rule of law, which means definitions are important.  Was Adam Lanza ever diagnosed as "clearly disturbed" by a doctor?  Was he found mentally ill by a court?  Why do you believe he was "clearly disturbed"?  Is it because he had Aspergers?  Does that mean all persons with Aspergers are legally denied their rights?

        You mention "absurdly ineffective gun laws", and I'd like to get to the root of that.  Does that mean all individuals with Aspergers should be banned from owning a gun?  Should all parents of mentally ill children be banned from owning guns?  If you think that Aspergers sufferer Adam Lanza should have failed a background check, you have to state exactly why, and then be consistent over all citizens.

        I'm asking these questions because you seem to be very close to saying our Constitutional rights can be entirely dismissed as soon as some armchair psychologist says "Eh, he's clearly disturbed".  Our rights don't work that way.  

        For better or worse, Adam Lanza had no due process with regard to his mental state, and thus would not have failed any background check that doesn't devlove into gross profiling.  So discriminatory profiling of the mentally ill is acceptable now?

        Note:  Group housing for developmentally challenged individuals was turned down by zoning comittee in a suburb near me.  One of the actual reasons given was "those individuals can be dangerous, and no one wants to live next to them.  It'll hurt property values"

        •  Faito is saying (3+ / 0-)

          Adam Lanza's mother acted in a fatally incomprehensible and ultimately stupid way by not keeping her weapons locked up. Is there even a question about this?

          •  The question is about rights (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Not A Bot, Very Long Range

            No, there is no question that Mrs. Lanza should have kept her guns locked up.

            My question is whether Mrs. Lanza would have failed a background check and been legally prevented from owning guns, based on her son's mental state.

            •  Because Lanza would (4+ / 0-)

              have passed a background check is not a reason to oppose a background check that could have stopped the Aurora and Tucson shooters. This doesn't mean that Newtown is somehow off limits when the subject of background checks comes up. The idea isn't to prevent another Newtown if that means every condition that existed in Newtown would be duplicated in another setting. The idea is to prevent more horror if that can be done. That's what preventing another Newtown means.

              And Faito offered Lanza mental status as an aside about his mother's behavior, not a statement about Aspbergers as a disqualification for gun ownership.

        •  The state gun laws DO NOT WORK. (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          a2nite, TheFern, Glen The Plumber

          The 10 states with the weakest gun laws in America collectively suffer from a level of gun violence that is more than twice as high as the 10 states with the strongest gun laws.

          In 2005,  Seung-Hui Cho (V-Tech shooter) had been declared mentally ill by a Virginia special justice and ordered to seek outpatient treatment.  This did not stop him from legally purchasing 2 semi-auto pistols and lots of ammo.  Norm sees no problem with that; I do see problem with that.

          2A:  A well regulated Militia being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

          It's astonishingly clear that the Second Amendment is a relic of the founding era more than two centuries ago, and its purpose is long past.

          The amendment should not block the ability of society to keep itself safe through gun control legislation. That was never its intent. This amendment was about militias in the 1790s, and the fear of the anti-federalists of a federal army. Since that issue is long moot, we need not be governed in our national life by doctrines on now-extinct militias from the 18th century.

          There is no "right of insurrection" in the USC.  If there were, the USC would be a self-destructing artifact.

          I get it.  You love your AR-15 and your AK-47 and you think all gun laws are "infringing" on your rights (although you surely do not belong to a "well regulated militia").  It's pointless to argue with you.  

          •  A couple points (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Not A Bot

            First, I don't own a single gun.  No I don't love guns, but I do love Constitutional rights.  And that's what this discussion is about.

            For the V-Tech shooting, I agree with you.  If an individual is declared mentally ill by a judge, that should void 2nd Amendment rights.  That's due process and I said so.

            But do you agree that an individual who has not lost his rights through due process in court still has them?  Or not?  Is suspision or racial profiling the same as due process?

            Finally, sounds like you want to change the Constitution.  Put it to a vote then, that's how it works.

          •  I'm calling BULLSHIT on that study (0+ / 0-)

            The interactive map at:


            shows Illinois ranking 41st in overall gun deaths based on a per capita figure. Alaska, because of it's tiny population, ranks 1st.

             But the number of firearm deaths in Chicago alone (in one month) far exceeds the number in Alaska for the whole year.

            The study skews the rankings to benefit high population states and depicts rural states as being "more dangerous."

            More BULLSHIT that does nothing but destroy the credibility of the Democratic party in rural America

            •  JAMA found the same thing. (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Glen The Plumber

              Their report (based on CDC, ATF & FBI reports) looked at indicators of gun violence like aggravated assaults with firearms, the percentage of guns traced to crimes within two years of their purchase, and the rate at which guns bought in one state are recovered in another after a crime is committed, a measure of illegal gun trafficking.

              When all 10 indicators of gun violence were taken into consideration, Louisiana — the state with the highest rate of gun homicides, and one of the states with the highest numbers of firearm deaths among children from 2001 to 2010 — ranked as the most violent state. Hawaii had the lowest overall rate of gun violence, followed by Massachusetts, Connecticut, New Jersey and New York, all among the 10 states that an analysis last year by the Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence found had the toughest laws.


              Obviously, we know that correlation is not causation necessarily...but it suggests that there could be a causal relationship.


              •  All per capita calculations (0+ / 0-)

                Studies that use the same (flawed) methodologies to get the same results prove nothing.

                I suspect that we have 15 to 20 counties that are in high-population density/metropolitan/drug ridden/ difficult socio-economic areas that are skewing firearm violence statistics nationwide.

                •  Meh. (0+ / 0-)

                  Gun-fans always whine about methodology when they don't like the study's results.

                  The scary black urban gangbanger with a Glock is especially scary to middle-aged suburban white guys who suffer from irrational fears that said gangbangers will for no known reason travel out to the 'burbs to murder them in their sleep.

    •  see, THIS . . . . (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Faito, CrissieP, Glen The Plumber, Miggles
      But should being put on the terrorist watch list or the no fly list bar an American citizen from his 2nd Amendment rights?  Is that constitutional?
      is why people think the gun nuts are . .  well . . . nuts.  (shrug)
      •  You vote against due process then? (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Not A Bot

        Where in the Constitution does it say we lose our rights as soon as we are suspected of something?  Doesn't the government first have to prove guilt?  How is that nuts?

        •  You can approach this from (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Norm in Chicago

          two directions.

          1) Gun ownership is a right. Rights must be upheld otherwise they become meaningless.

          2) People have been identified who may pose a danger to public safety. What can be done to make it harder for them to become armed?

          The first position makes safety and survival less important than a concept which must be adhered to no matter what. It makes the concept absolute and all-important.

          The second position says, we have a problem. How can we sensibly address it.

          It's true that the no-fly list should require a higher legal standard. Perhaps a discussion about using it to identify individuals who would fail a background check could lead to the goal of making the list more legally rigorous.

          •  Yes, how they are identified is the issue (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            noway2, Not A Bot

            What I've said is that if they are identified as a danger to public safetly through due process in court, then rights can be denied to them.  Being put on the no fly list should require a court hearing and a chance to defend one's self in court, in my opinion.

            But the FBI saying "Oh, he's a scarry dark skinned Muslim", or an armchair psychologist saying "he has Aspergers and is clearly disturbed" doesn't quite cut it.

    •  asdf (6+ / 0-)
      I still have a huge issue with Newton being used to call for more background checks, as both Nancy and Adam Lanza would have passed.  As far as I know, being diagnosed with Aspergers does not strip a citizen of his Constitutional rights, and I still have not seen anyone explain which background check the Lanzas would have failed and why.
      People can cite Newtown as another unspeakable act of gun violence without being required to make a literal connection between the way Adam Lanza became armed and the goals of legislation. Newtown motivated people who already felt revulsion over Aurora, the Sikh Temple shooting, Tucson, Virginia Tech.

      Advocates use Newtown to call for background checks because we can't just surrender to mass murder as a feature of modern life. The notion that consistency requires that Newtown should be removed from the discussion represents the meaning of Newtown in a profoundly distorted way.

      •  I want people to be upfront about things (0+ / 0-)

        A lot of rhetoric flies around here that people can't back up when chalenged on it.  People say that background checks would have prevented Newton.  When I ask if that means all Aspergers individuals must be disarmed, they get all squeemish.

        People say that "The NRA is arming terrorists".  I then ask if all Muslims should be disarmed, and they go silent.

        I understand that Newton was a last straw event.  But that isn't the same thing as saying we must have background checks BECAUSE of Newton, when the facts don't fit the case.  As an engineer I avoid emotional arguments, they lead to poor design choices.

    •  That's a ludicrous position. (0+ / 0-)

      "Adam Lanza wouldn't pass a background check" therefore "background checks must not be discussed in the same sentence with Newtown".

      Yeah. Ludicrous.

      "What could BPossibly go wrong??" -RLMiller "God is just pretend." - eru

      by nosleep4u on Fri Apr 26, 2013 at 10:50:18 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I'm hoping that this time the NRA and its (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Radiowalla, a2nite

    cadre of gun-stroking 2nd Amendment zealots have so overplayed their "I'm NRA and I VOTE!" card that the whole racket comes tumbling down ... that the NRA "A-rating" becomes Kiss of Death ESPECIALLY in rural jurisdictions where people want to own guns for sport and defense, but have no desire to Bear Arms against  'revenooers' , process servers, truant officers, and other Representatives of a Tyrannical Government.

    Right now, my hometown newspaper's Letters column is choked with impassioned paeans of praise "MY Gun Rights!" ... and all I can think of is that handful of exhibitionists in the Castro district who discovered a Constitutional right to go about buck-nekkid in public parks.  

    Actually, the right DOES exist. AND it took the city of San Francisco some time and brain-sweat  to work out regulations to limit it that would withstand judicial oversight.

    It's just so small and self-centered.  Reminds me of pre-teen boys justifying whatever mischief they're getting; into at the moment by crying "It's a Free Country, isn't it !!"

  •  Jed, maybe we should redefine "Smart Politics." (0+ / 0-)

    We always use the term with the presumption that "smart politics" is doing something that is popular with the voters.  You know, like gun controls or a health care public option, neither one of which saw the light of day despite overwhelming popularity.

    Maybe it's time we acknowledged that our government has been co-opted by the monied interests, and that "smart politics" really just means pleasing the big money boys.  After all, any stance unpopular with the public can be papered over during a campaign with misinformation and mudslinging funded by the Citizens United behemoth donors. And really, in terms of winning elections, THAT is smart politics. Disgusting, but smart.

    Gentlemen, you can't fight in here! This is the War Room!

    by bigtimecynic on Fri Apr 26, 2013 at 08:43:36 AM PDT

  •  It's smart politics in the Northeast & West Coast (0+ / 0-)

    Not as much in the South and Mountain West.  

    "I'm a progressive man and I like progressive people" Peter Tosh

    by Texas Lefty on Fri Apr 26, 2013 at 08:44:38 AM PDT

    •  The polls say otherwise. Universal background (0+ / 0-)

      checks have overwhelming support in every single state in the country.  They are even supported by 72% of NRA members!  The ads against the senators will pretty much write themselves, and as they campaign in the next 2 or 4 years, they will have to defend over and over again a very bad, self-serving vote that was opposed to the interests of their constituents.

      •  Support for background checks does not equate to (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Very Long Range

        supporting a particular piece of legislation.

        I support background checks for buying guns.  I did not support that bill.

      •  What are you smoking? (0+ / 0-)

        You probably need to provide some evidence those wild-assed assertions of yours: "background checks have overwhelming support in every single state in the country.  They are even supported by 72% of NRA members!"

        You're so far off the mark, you're not even wrong. Mayor Bloomberg paid for a poll (the 90% one) from Douglas E. Schoen LLC, his website introduction below:

        "Based in New York City, Schoen Consulting is a globally recognized strategic polling and consulting firm known for conducting high-level research, developing winning messaging, strategies and tactics, and providing sound planning advice for our numerous corporate and political clients and campaigns in the United States and abroad. His political clients include New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg..."

        Yeah. Yep. You bet. This guy's polls are so valid. It's not like he's being paid to shape a message or nothing. LOL.

        This is worse than the Romney campaign--the self delusion. The President's gun control message was DOA the instant it came out of his mouth. The Democratic Party will be shredded at the polls in 2014 in rural states, and some of you will still be clinging to a bought and paid for poll crying, "What happened?"

      •  I'm for background checks (0+ / 0-)

        I was referring to other areas in gun regulation like assault type weapon bans and mag limits.  

        "I'm a progressive man and I like progressive people" Peter Tosh

        by Texas Lefty on Fri Apr 26, 2013 at 03:37:18 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  There otta be a law... (0+ / 0-)

    I've been wondering if there is a law, and I've not heard of it if there is, requiring licensed dealers to record purchasers of weapons. If it was required that they do so, and that the purchasers also record where the gun goes when they sell, or otherwise get rid, destroy, lose it or have it stolen.  If then the last traceable owner was held  responsible (in part) for crimes that involved that weapon, owners would have the incentive to get background checks on the purchaser (or whatever); a passed background check would absolve the previous owner of any criminal responsibility.  In such a system, the big bad government would not have the dreaded list of people with weapons to confiscate, just the ability to obtain records tracing the source and path of the particular weapon used in a crime, from the manufacturer, distributer, dealer, and previous owners.  Owners would also have incentives to keep records, and to lock up firearms, install trigger locks, etc., to avoid responsibility for incidents involving their weapons.  

    If you want to sell guns at a gun show with no background checks, it is on you if your client is a violent drug dealer, schizophrenic, terrorist, etc, who would not pass a background check.  Suddenly gun shows might welcome a background check booth.  How can the NRA and other "responsible" gun organizations be against holding gun owners actually responsible for their weapons and their uses?

  •  Gun safety? (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Radiowalla, FogCityJohn, TheFern

    I know that politically gun safety is better than gun control, but really, for a semi automatic rifle, gun safety is more silly that cigarette safety.  At least in in most gun rampages the gun is used safely, as the shooter does not get hurt by their own weapon.

    What I would like to see is gun responsibility laws.  I would like to see that, like cars owners, gun owners are responsible for the damage caused by the actions of those who operate the machine.  If I, or even if someone else, is driving my car, in many cases I am financially responsible for the damages.  So wouldn't it be great if like a car, we have gun responsibility laws that required registration and licenses.  Insurance so the gun the medical bills will be paid by the owner rather than the taxpayers.  If you want a 30 clip AR-15, insurance so the 20 people shot will not have to beg for money to pay for hospital bills and rehabilitation. So they can get compensation is they are no longer able to earn a living.

    Let get away from the myth of gun safety and to the reality of gun responsibility.

  •  ayotte is going to get hurt by theis (4+ / 0-)

    toomey will be helped.

    Pryor, Begich, Heitkamp... unclear.

    Expect more polling in the days and weeks to come to clarify this.

    What is clear that every pundit that says " intensity is on the side of gun rights" doesn't know what they are talking about. it used to be so, now it's much more evenly split.

    "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." - Groucho Marx

    by Greg Dworkin on Fri Apr 26, 2013 at 08:58:29 AM PDT

    •  Gun advocates' Intensity (3+ / 0-)

      is bordering on hysteria.  They decry the "emotional" decision to require universal background checks but their emotions are more often than not in high, irrational, furious, paraoid gear.

      •  There was a diary here that blamed the "emotional" (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        a2nite, Glen The Plumber

        ... appeal of Newtown parents and others for the failure of background check legislation.

        Calling other DKos members "weenies" is a personal insult and therefore against site rules.

        by Bob Johnson on Fri Apr 26, 2013 at 10:00:25 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Agreed: The AR-15 factories are working 3-shifts (0+ / 0-)

        The firearms control debate has put more semi-automatic rifles and handguns into circulation, and more ammunition on the street, than an alien space invasion--the old record being held by President Clinton's aWb--and it was done knowing his rhetoric would NEVER result in signed legislation. The House was never going to consider anything pertaining to gun control even IF it made it out of the Senate. I'm still trying to figure out why the President did this.

        Stag Arms has a 70,000 AR-15 backlog of sales right now, and every AR-15 manufacturer in the country has a back-order of at least a year.

        I'm afraid that before it's over the Obama Administration will have TRIPLED the number of assault weapons and high capacity magazines in circulation.

  •  Maureen Dowd wrote a column recently... (0+ / 0-)

    chiding President Obama for not being willing "to get into the weeds" and exert his will on the Senate to get this legislation passed.

    As usual, she either doesn't grasp how he operates, or she knows and chooses to ignore it so that her audience can lap up her usual nonsense.

    Obama is one of those people who doesn't just want to win. He wants his opponents to lose, too.

    So many times he's been able to portray the GOP as out of the mainstream. This time, a few members of his own party are caught in the soup, too.

    If you're a sports fan, you've seen this kind of attitude on display with the likes of, say, Michael Jordan or Mark Messier.

    Obama's been doing this for years. That some people -- especially well-paid folks such as Ms. Dowd -- still don't see it amazes me.

    How about I believe in the unlucky ones?

    by BenderRodriguez on Fri Apr 26, 2013 at 09:06:30 AM PDT

  •  alas, "surrendering" is what Dems do best (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Faito, FogCityJohn, Miggles

    For the past 40 years, we've never met a good bill that we couldn't water down enough to make it meaningless (but just look at how grownup and bipartisany we are hooray!!!!).

    We should adopt the Jellyfish as our party's mascot.

    And we wonder why voters hold their noses when/if they vote for us . . . . .

  •  But, wait, I was told over and over here by a few (4+ / 0-)

    ... folks that even talking about gun control legislation would doom Democrats to devastating losses in the mid-terms!

    You mean these Henny-Penny hand-wringers were wrong?

    Calling other DKos members "weenies" is a personal insult and therefore against site rules.

    by Bob Johnson on Fri Apr 26, 2013 at 09:58:51 AM PDT

  •  Toomey's still a goner come 2016 (0+ / 0-)

    Toomey did, however, vote against the Collins-Leahy anti-trafficking amendment, which was such a no-brainer that the full Dem caucus (including the "no" votes on background checks) voted for it.  

    I really don't care to see my junior senator rise in the polls.  He gets good press for one vote, and that obscures how awful he has been on practically every other thing.  Remember when he contributed to a bill that would address veteran unemployment and then VOTED AGAINST THE BILL HE HELPED TO WRITE?  (If you don't remember this, look up the Rachel Maddow piece on it.  She was livid.)

    As a former head of the Club for Growth, he's resolutely opposed to all forms of government spending (except military and corporate welfare), and he wants to privatize Social Security and Medicare.  He has no regard for civil liberties, civil rights, the environment, etc.

    If there's a good Dem presidential candidate in 2016, Toomey will be gone.  He won by a small margin in 2010 because Philadelphia had abysmal turnout.

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