Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich has offered some powerful advice to Republicans facing a rough ride into this year’s mid-term elections about going on the offensive to fire up their base, but he overlooks one huge, and taken-for-granted voting bloc in the process.
According to Gingrich, “Republicans nationwide – even those in ‘safe’ seats and those who are not up for re-election – must not get comfortable playing defense. All of them must be prepared to go on offense. This does not mean simply attacking Democrats. It means setting goals in Congress and aggressively fighting to achieve them.”
He then lists some of those goals including passage of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, the Modern Employment Reform, Improvement, and Transformation (MERIT) Act, and the Employee Rights Act.
Noticeably absent, however, are two pieces of pending legislation that should not be gathering dust on Capitol Hill but already signed by President Donald Trump. Both bills had momentum.
The Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act and the National Hearing Protection Act are both vigorously opposed by anti-gun Democrats, and because gun politics is now in the spotlight, expect them to become campaign issues.
Republicans, if they want to maintain faith with gun owners who gave them back control of Congress and the White House in 2016, must offer more than promises that “we’ll get it done.” They need to do it now.
“Republicans must put together a set of strong, popular legislative actions and start fighting for them – every single day.”—Newt Gingrich
Democrats and the gun prohibition lobby that supports them, will predictably argue that both measures will allow criminals to carry guns across state lines (they already do), commit violent crimes (as if they don’t, already) and put school children at risk (neither of the recent school shooters were old enough to get licenses to carry, anyway). These are smokescreen issues that deceptively tug at emotions, but they have absolutely no connection to reality.
But this is old hat to anti-gun Democrats; creating bogeymen where none exist and attacking a constitutionally-protected fundamental right as though it were a disease.
Scare tactics are nothing new in politics. Veteran liberal political writer Joel Connelly pokes at Democrats who are trying to gin up their machine by raising the specter of Republican attacks on Washington Gov. Jay Inslee. The former congressman who abandoned his seat in “the other Washington” to succeed Christine Gregoire as the latest in a string of Democrats to occupy the governor’s office in Olympia, has his share of critics, but he does not appear vulnerable.
Anti-gunners will say Second Amendment organizations also resort to ridiculous scare tactics to raise money and fire up their donors. That’s going to be harder to argue, however, after last weekend’s “March for Gun Control” and this week’s diatribe by retired Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens calling for repeal of the Second Amendment.
Henceforth, gun rights groups can never be accused of being paranoid about attacks on the Second Amendment. When marchers are demanding repeal and a former jurist puts it in print, that shifts the discussion from fantasy to fact.
A lot of seats will be up for grabs this November. Gun owners present a formidable voting bloc that the GOP all-too-often takes for granted. They will not be content to live on promises, they want results. It’s time for Republicans to deliver.