Guns, Republicans and the New Left

Petar Pismestrovic, Kleine Zeitung, Austria

Oh, of course it’s about guns. But what’s coming in the struggle to limit access to aggressive military weaponry is in one sense the ongoing story of the Republican party and whether it really does want to get out of the mess it’s in. Let’s not forget that in the recent past, Republicans have been supporters of the assault-weapons ban.

Greg Sargent is reasonably optimistic.

It is a simple fact that large majorities of even Republicans support specific gun law reforms. A recent CNN poll found that 97 percent of Republicans support background checks on all gun buyers; 60 percent of Republicans support a ban on semi-automatic assault weapons; and 61 percent of Republicans support a ban on high capacity magazines.
The gun control debate is looming as a major test for moderate Republicans (such as they are these days). Are they serious about bucking the notion that the GOP is increasingly becoming the party of aging, southern white guys and the? If so, then perhaps a handful of them can start by supporting sensible gun law reforms that are supported by a vast majority of Americans, in the wake of the slaughter of 20 children. …Sargent, WaPo

Sargent also points to Thomas Edsall’s excellent piece in yesterday’s New York Times. We’ve been waiting and hoping for change. As Edsall points out, the change is here. The culture — and with culture the politics — are different.

The slow implosion of the Republican Party — along with the growing strength of a Democratic coalition dominated by low-to-middle-income voters — threatens the power of the corporate establishment and will force big business to find new ways to reassert control of the policy-making process.

The warning signs are everywhere.

The development carrying perhaps the most symbolic significance was the abandonment last week by 85 House Republicans and 40 of the 47 Republican senators of their longstanding commitment not to raise taxes. …

…The potential institutionalization of a majority Democratic coalition of the downscale – including single women, minorities, union members and the young — is equally (if not more) ominous for members of the top 0.1 percent and for the corporations that have profited over the past 40 years …Edsall, NYT

It seems almost too good to be true. But Sargent notes: “If Edsall is right, then all the sneering at the populist message of Occupy Wall Street — not to mention Obama’s reelection message — is looking awfully misguided.”

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Greg Sargent also reports that the right’s nightmare is deepening. Eric Holder, the “Fast and Furious” ogre many Republicans detest, is putting DOJ’s weight behind the gun battle.

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Author: PRAIRIE WEATHER