Rachel Maddow mentioned on her show this evening that a new Washington Post poll finds that about 9 in 10 Americans support background checks for gun purchases at gun shows; other gun-control measures receive varying pluralities of support among those polled. She then pointed out that the Senate Judiciary Committee reported out a bill to strengthen background checks -- 10 to 8 -- with NO REPUBLICANS voting in favor. Interestingly enough, the WashPo poll shows that Democrats have just a narrow lead over Republicans when asked who is more to be trusted on gun control.
The message in all this is that the Democrats should be making use of being on the majority side of this issue. Instead of squirreling away their money for the next gerrymandered election, they should be airing campaign-style spots attacking the Republicans for being dangerously out of step on the matter of "responsible" gun safety.
Instead, the Dems are likely make the same mistake they always make: they don't use their advantage when they have it on an issue, but wait until the public, ever short on memory, forgets the issue and forgets -- if it ever noticed -- that only one party shares their view.
Unless the Dems point out where they differ with the Republicans, and point it out when it matters most, people will revert to the lazy "Oh, both parties are to blame" that we keep hearing, and that the major lazy news purveyors keep falling back on.
No, the two parties are not the same on many very important issues (spending priorities, immigration reform, campaign financing, medical care etc.). It's not that the Democrats are so progressive or insightful, it's that the PTR (Party for The Rich, formerly the GOP) is so totally and dismally beneath contempt.
Democrats: hit them now with a barrage of ads pointing out that the Republicans are the party of lax gun laws and, especially, the party opposed to background checks.
Also, most people do not like banks and the things they do to us. Now is the time for ads about how the Republicans are once again coddling the banks and Wall Street (another non-hero) by trying to destroy the Consumer Financial Protection Agency.
(Also, it's time to start thinking seriously about a public campaign to prepare for real filibuster reform.)
The Dems have to start playing to win; maybe they can drag their anxious-to-compromise president along as well.