Monday, December 02, 2019

Best Of Luck With Those Issues

This not about Ilhan Omar or anti-Semitism, nor even about Michael Bloomberg or apologists for Communist China.  This pertains to Democratic party activists or, alternatively, the race to be the Democratic nominee for President in 2020.

In a segment Saturday on Michael Smerconish's CNN program, proudly centrist and Independent host Smerconish and NYU professor Scott Galloway fawned over Michael Bloomberg's "evidence-based" or "data-driven" governing. At 5:17 in the video below, Smerconish's producer puts onto the screen an excerpt, from a recent Politico article, which explains why strategists for the ex-New York mayor believes he could be nominated: 

The evidence for the alleged noncraziness is based on polling, an emphatically low regard for the current field of Democratic candidates, and an emphatically high regard for Bloomberg’s purported assets. These include a compelling life story, a record of accomplishment as mayor, credibility with activists on gun control and climate change, and an ability to nationalize the race this coming winter and early spring with a historic torrent of money and messaging.

It would be enervating if someone (other than Bloomberg, friend of plutocrats everywhere) passionate about gun safety or climate change were to become the Democratic nominee and elected President. It won't happen.

Do we recall Washington governor Jay Inslee and his campaign dedicated to fighting climate change? Gone. How about Beto O'Rourke (who turned out to be a bad candidate, partly for other reasons) and his passion for gun control? Gone.

Ilhan Omar is not gone. She's still a member of the US House of Representatives, still (barely) arguably an anti-Semite, and victim of a plot to assassinate her by someone threatening to "put a bullet in her (expletive) skull," evidently because she is a Muslim.  Last month, after Patrick W. Carlineo Jr. had pled guilty in federal district court and was scheduled to be sentenced, Representative Omar sent a letter to the Judge urging leniency because

The answer to hate is not more hate; it is compassion.  Punishing the defendant with a lengthy prison sentence or a burdensome financial fine would not  would not rehabilitate him.It would not repair the harm he has caused. It would only increase his anger and resentment.

Paired with the rest of Omar's argument, the letter is misguided on several levels. However, as John Oliver would put it, the point is that Patrick Carlineo Jr. should not be the poster boy for the need for criminal justice reform. An FBI agent had signed the complaint against him and

About a week later, the authorities found a loaded .45-caliber handgun, three rifles, two shotguns and hundreds of rounds of ammunition at Mr. Carlineo’s home, prosecutors said. Because of a 1998 felony conviction, he was legally prohibited from owning a firearm.

In Omar's case, reasonable regulation of dangerous weapons is merely a nice thing to support because the public overwhelmingly supports it. However, it takes a back seat to compassion for felons.

It would be less of a problem if Omar were alone. However, she is not. In June I wrote of passage in the House of Representatives of

the Bipartisan Background Checks Act of 2019, which would have would have "required background checks in private sales, including gun shows and online transactions. by a vote of 220 to 209.The bill would ensure that all sales (with a few exceptions) are run through the national criminal background check system. Having passed the House with 232 votes from Democrats but only 8 from Republicans, it was dead on arrival in the Senate.

The bill included an amendment (since reintroduced in the House by a Virginia Republican but stalled in committee) to require that law enforcement be notified "when an individual attempting to purchase a firearm fails a federal background check," which notably would have included illegal immigrants. After first being rejected, the amendment passed the House with 194 Republican votes (one against) but with only 26 Democratic Representatives in favor and 208 opposed.

Let that sink in.  The party which supports sensible gun regulation overwhelmingly rejected a measure which would have effected notification of law enforcement when an individual attempting to purchase a firearm fails a federal background check. Presumably, it would have been acceptable were it not likely to inconvenience a few illegal immigrants who wanted to buy a firearm.

Support for illegal immigration or criminal justice reform.  Whatever the sentiments of the Democratic popular base- more positive for the latter than for the former- Democratic elites will sacrifice gun control for other causes.   And concern about climate change is sufficiently weak even in the Democratic Party that a legitimate presidential candidate who based his campaign on the threat it poses was out almost before he was in.

If Michael Bloomberg is predicating his presidential run on the basis of the interest he has shown in gun control and/or global warming, his chances are slim and none, with slim on its way out of town.  It would be as likely to survive as would have Ilhan Omar, had the man whom she suggested is the mere victim of "systemic alienation and neglect" had his way.

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