Sorry, I realize that headline’s a little provocative. But that’s what’s going on here.
The gun issue, though probably over for now, is just beginning.
What do I mean? There’s not likely going to be any gun control legislation passed this year, and probably not next either. Expanded background checks fell six votes short in the Senate, and it’s a dead letter in the House. The “assault weapons” ban is ten votes short in the Senate.
But President Obama has declared this just “round one” in the gun control debate, and Vice President Biden has already begun a second effort to get legislation passed. It will intensify after the immigration debate has concluded.
That is, the White House has decided that while the chances of a successful new bill are small, the chances a new gun control campaign will work for Obama politically are good. So the White House will seize the issue to raise money and bash Republicans for the next year and a half in the hopes of winning back the House and trying to pick off GOP seats in the Senate. For example, Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire, who is up in 2016.
Get ready for lots more scenes in the Rose Garden of grieving mothers and concerned children who won a collage-making contest or something, all demanding that we “do something” about the plague of gun violence.
Biden in particular will use this to build his credibility with the Democratic base while Hillary runs around the country making speeches for money.
While it will help Biden, Politico notes today that it could hurt Democrats who are being targeted by New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s outfit, Mayors Against Illegal Guns. Bloombergs ads and local grassroots pressure may prompt destructive primary challenges against Democratic Sens. Mark Pryor of Arkansas and Mark Begich of Alaska, both of whom are up for reelection in 2014.
And once again, instead of leading and trying to move forward legislation that is good for our country and that might pass, the White House will be comfortably and happily in the only mode it really knows – campaign mode.