People Are Buying More Guns

Monthly Gun Sales Up 10 Percent Since Last September

This isn’t surprising news.  One of the most interesting things about America is that, whenever there’s a strong push for gun control, it always leads to people buying more guns.  It’s not just that the news is constantly filled with reports of increasing danger and violence.  It’s also that there’s a very good chance that a Democrat will be elected in 2020 and, right now, all of the Democrats are running to the left on gun control.

The argument for gun ownership is that everyone has the right to protect themselves.  Gun control advocates regularly ridicule people for being paranoid about the government but it’s easy to be paranoid when someone like Botham Jean can end up dead just because an off-duty cop entered the wrong apartment.  Beto O’Rourke even used the 1970 shooting at Kent State — in which the national guard opened fire on unarmed protesters — to push his gun control agenda, proving that he just doesn’t get it.

Right now, the Democrats are the most effective gun salesmen in America.  For some reason, I doubt that the same people who are stocking up before someone like Elizabeth Warren is elected president are going to want to take part in a “mandatory buyback.”  It’s just a feeling.

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The AARP Election

Bernie Sanders had a heart attack and there’s been a lot of talk about whether or not he should get out of the race as a result.

I don’t have any opinion about whether or not Bernie should keep running for President.  That’s really up to Bernie.  What I will say is that Bernie does have a firm base of supporters who believe in him and who will probably stick with him no matter what.  At the same time, Bernie having a heart attack is not going to help him with the people who were trying to pick between him and Elizabeth Warren.  It doesn’t help that Bernie’s style of campaigning involves a lot of yelling and a lot of pointing and a lot of other things that usually inspire people to reply, “Don’t have a heart attack, mister.”

The main takeaway from Bernie’s heart attack is that all of the presidential front runners are really, really old.  Bernie and Biden are in their late 70s.  (Biden, meanwhile, looks like he’s in his 90s.)  Donald Trump is 73.  Elizabeth Warren will be 71 on election day.  It’s not just that they’re old.  It’s also that they all often come across as being more like the cranky inhabitants of a retirement home instead of as potential leaders of the free world.  It sometimes feels like we’re watching an election for the next president of AARP instead of a world super power.

We keep hearing about how the young people are America’s future but you wouldn’t know that looking at the leading presidential candidates.

 

Nobody Puts Spartacus In The Corner

Up until yesterday, it looked like today was going to be the day that Cory Booker finally ended his floundering presidential campaign.  However, on Monday, Booker announced that he had met his fundraising goal and would be sticking around for at least another month or two.

Cory Booker would probably be better off if he had never been elected to the Senate.  Before he ran for the Senate, he was known for being a pragmatic mayor who defeated a corrupt political machine and fought to save a city in decline.  After he was elected to the Senate, he became known as the type of blowhard who declared that he was having a real “I am Spartacus moment” during the Kavanaugh hearings.

I think that Booker’s Spartacus moment was the time that even Democrats stopped taking him seriously.  It was just too obviously calculated and it didn’t even make any sense.  Booker was threatening to release documents that 1) had already been unclassified and 2) actually supported Kavanaugh’s claim that he had opposed racial profiling in the wake of 9/11.  How any of this was the equivalent of being a crucified slave, the senator from New Jersey could not explain.  If Booker’s goal was to get people to start calling him Spartacus, he succeeded but perhaps not in the way that he hoped.

At best, it made Booker look like a showboat.

At worst, it reminded people of George “T-Bone” Constanza.

I sometimes wonder if Booker would be having more success as a presidential candidate if he had stayed in Newark instead of moving up to the Senate.  When Booker first ran, in 2013, it was just common sense that, if you had presidential ambitions, you had to run for either governor or for the Senate first.  But, with the recent rise of both Donald Trump and Pete Buttigieg, it’s debatable whether that rule still applies.

As a presidential candidate, Booker has had his moments.  As strange as he may act in the Senate, he’s a good campaigner and he’s held his own in the debates.  I imagine he’s staying in the race with the hope that he’ll pick up some of Biden’s supporters when and if the Vice President’s campaign collapses.  But I don’t think, as a presidential candidate, Booker is ever going to live down his I Am Spartacus moment.

At least, not this year.

Having Read The Transcript…

…of the Trump/Ukraine call, it now seems like the most notable thing about it is that Trump talks like that in private too.

I didn’t see anything impeachable.  I didn’t see anything good about it either.  Nothing about the transcript comes across as anything that you would want the president to say while representing the country.  But if you’re going to put this nation through impeachment this close to an election, you need something more than this.

My feeling has always been the same.  Let the voters have their say.  Getting Trump out through a legitimate election is far preferable to getting him out through a partisan impeachment process.

So Much For Bill de Blasio

Bill de Blasio ended his presidential campaign today.

I’m going to miss him.  His presidential campaign was even more improbable than Eric Swalwell’s and distinguished by even more hubris.  His campaign served as a reminder that every politician, no matter how incompetent and unpopular, wakes up every morning and sees a future president staring back at them from the bathroom mirror.

The main lesson to learned from the de Blasio campaign is the lesson that many politicians have had to learn the hard way.  If you want to be president, don’t run for mayor of New York.

I Like Andrew Yang

I like Andrew Yang.

Don’t get me wrong.  I won’t be voting for him.  I disagree with the majority of his policy proposals.  As far as politics are concerned, though we both share some common concerns about Donald Trump,  we are on opposite sides of the partisan divide.

But, on a personal level, I like the guy.  Unlike the professional politicians that he’s facing in the Democratic primaries, he seems to be running because of a sincere love for this country and a desire to make it a better place.  Obviously, you have to a high opinion of yourself to think that you could be President but it’s still hard not to notice that Yang seems to be far more modest and open-minded than Biden, Warren, Sanders, Harris, Buttigieg, or O’Rourke.  While the other contenders are hopping onto every trend and saying whatever they think their base wants to here, Yang has consistently been the only candidate willing to say that there’s more to campaigning and governing than blindly punishing the other side.

There’s a lot of talk about how candidates like Harris, Castro, and O’Rourke have hurt themselves with bad debate performances.  To me, the talk should be about how Yang has risen in the polls after each debate, despite never being given as much time to make his case as the other candidates.  Obviously, many people are responding to Yang’s promise of a universal basic income but there’s also an authenticity to Yang that is missing in the other candidates.

I may not agree with Andew Yang on a lot of things but he is the sort of person who I wish we had more of in politics.

CornPop, We Hardly Knew Ye

Who would have guessed that, out of all the strange stories that Joe Biden has told about himself over the past 40 years, the story about how he confronted a Wilmington gang-member named CornPop would turn out to be the one that was true?

White liberals always like to brag about how they used to hang out in the hood when they were younger.  (Just ask Beto about how he found himself while living in a Brooklyn flophouse.)  It’s their way of saying that it doesn’t matter that the majority of them grew up wealthy and never really had to work for anything in their lives.  They spent a summer working as a social worker or, in Biden’s case, a lifeguard.  They went into a poor community for a few weeks and worked to get people registered to vote.  They did an internship with a social justice law firm.  So, they magically understand what it’s like to be desperate and disenfranchised.  A major part of these stories is always that the local gang leaders came to respect the bravery and authenticity of the Ivy League-bound idealist.

Most of these stories turn out to be bullshit but it sounds like Joe Biden really did his part to keep the mean streets of Wilmington safe.  Good for him.