The second, big GOP Presidential candidates debate will be held tomorrow evening, sponsored by NBC and Politico, from the Reagan Presidential Library in California. This will be the first debate with the participation of Texas Governor Rick Perry, the guy who’s announcement more-or-less stole the show at the recent Iowa Caucuses. While November 2012 is a long, long, long way off (eons in Political Time, in fact) conventional wisdom suggests that the winner of the GOP primary will go on to face the incumbent, President Barack Hussein Obama, in the general election. As a public service to the TTAG Armed Intelligentsia, we thought it might be useful to look at the major candidates and the President, from a “what’s their position on guns” point of view. We’ll start with the incumbent, and move on to the challengers, in order of their current poll rankings.
What if you had the power to change history? What if you could influence the future? How ’bout an election or two? Let’s assume that’s possible for the nonce. Would you use that power for good or evil? Would having the power corrupt you, sooner, later, or eventually? And here’s the kicker – would you know if you had it, and if you knew, would it make any difference in your behavior? That’s a lot of what ifs. But that’s the price you pay for reading a book that can turn conventional wisdom on its ear, as does Left Turn, a book by the Marvin Hoffenberg Professor of American Politics at UCLA, Professor Tim Groseclose. But the more interesting question the book raises, is how does this affect the fight over our 2nd Amendment rights?
At any other venue, ex-U.N. Ambassador John Bolton, Iran-Contra-schemer-turned-conservative-commentator Oliver North and conservative gadfly Michael Reagan would be headliners. At the National Rifle Association (NRA) Charlotte confab, they’re the support act. But not the warm-up. The NRA’s fight card violates an unwritten rule in showbiz: keep your powder dry. Save the best for last. The portion of the lineup that I saw today began with Bolton talking about the U.N.’s plan to supersede the U.S. Constitution with international “law”. Reagan’s genetic progeny then spoke on generic conservatism. Followed by former Alaska Governor Sarah “Populist” Palin accusing President Obama of closeted gun grabbing dreams. After that, Oliver North said something, followed by a Congressman who said the same sort of thing, etc. Like most of the crowd, I was there for Sarah’s speech. It was revelatory, but not for the reasons you might think . . .