Senate Democrats will soon have the opportunity to vote on Neil Gorsuch’s Supreme Court nomination. In recent days, the National Rifle Association sent a letter to Senate leadership, warning of consequences for those who oppose Gorsuch’s bid. NRA-ILA head Chris Cox wrote (as reported by the Washington Examiner):
“Because of the importance of this issue to NRA members and gun owners throughout the country, votes on his confirmation will be considered in future candidate evaluations and we will notify our members accordingly.”
Translation: Senators can side with the radical anti-gun leadership of Chuck Schumer, pictured above, or they can vote with their constituents in support of gun rights.
The NRA will make sure they can’t have it both ways. Even in states that did not vote strongly for President Donald Trump, the NRA’s nod can make all the difference in the world.
Republicans have already announced an offensive against Democrat Senators in Trump-supporting Red States. These include (courtesy of Gateway Pundit):
Florida Bill Nelson (D)
Indiana Joe Donnelly (D)
Michigan Debbie Stabenow (D)
Missouri Claire McCaskill (D)
Montana Jon Tester (D)
New Jersey Bob Menendez (D)
North Dakota Heidi Heitkamp (D)
Ohio Sherrod Brown (D)
Pennsylvania Bob Casey (D)
Virginia Tim Kaine (D)
West Virginia Joe Manchin (D)
Wisconsin Tammy Baldwin (D)
Included in that list are NRA A-rated Senators Jon Tester (Montana), Joe Donnelly (Indiana), and Heidi Heitkamp (North Dakota). They all voted against the strongly pro-Second Amendment nomination of Jeff Sessions as U.S. Attorney General. B+ rated Bob Casey (Pennsylvania) also voted against Sessions. The NRA has noticed.
A-rated Joe Manchin from West Virginia broke from his party to back Sessions, as he likes his seat and can read the writing on the wall.
“You can’t be pro-gun if you don’t vote pro-gun.”
Professional lobbyist extraordinaire Todd Vandermyde reminded me of this while teaching me how to lobby in the Illinois General Assembly.
Of course, the corollary to the aforementioned rule: you won’t keep that A-rating if you vote against gun rights. Nationally, the NRA has fired a shot across the bow of those flirting with siding with Schumer on guns and Gorsuch.
Undoubtedly, the NRA will bring their forces to bear against politicians who lose touch with the constituents who put them into office. Obviously, this includes Democrat US Senators.
Math doesn’t lie.
I called Donald Trump’s win in the general election as early as March last year based upon the enthusiasm gap between Republicans and Democrats in the primary races. If this enthusiasm gap holds, Democrats have much to fear in the 2018 races even without antagonizing gun owners.
Democrat Senators have a particularly tough choice ahead of them in the coming days. Choose wisely, boys and girls and I’ll tell you why: The People Of The Gun pay attention. We vote, too.