“On Wednesday, Mr. Bloomberg will send a personal letter to hundreds of the biggest Democratic donors in New York,” nytimes.com reports, “urging them to cut off contributions to the four Democratic senators who helped block a bill in April that would have strengthened background checks on gun purchasers.” This punitive move against Mark Pryor of Arkansas, Max Baucus of Montana, Mark Begich of Alaska and Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota could easily backfire on the doyenne of disarmament. The defunded pols can appeal to voters’ state pride, railing against interference from Big City bullies. The potential loss of $2.2m—spread amongst the four Senators—isn’t as great as the potential opportunity to bash Bloomberg. Like this . . .
In response to Mr. Bloomberg’s ad, Mr. Pryor filmed his own, in which he adopts a defiant tone. “The mayor of New York City is running ads against me because I opposed President Obama’s gun control legislation,” Mr. Pryor says in the ad.
And if Bloomberg’s defunding and big bucks ad campaign against the “defectors” does work?
“What they are doing,” said one senior Democratic aide who, like many people interviewed for this article, declined to go on the record criticizing the mayor, “is increasing the likelihood of a 100 percent A-rated N.R.A. Republican being elected.”
Even better (for The People of the Gun) . . .
Mr. Bloomberg’s idea to use his formidable resources against Senate Democrats was enough of a threat to the majority leader, Harry Reid, that he raised the issue with the mayor in Washington in February.
According to a person with direct knowledge of their conversation, Mr. Reid told the mayor that he thought any efforts to attack Democrats would be shortsighted, and could ultimately result in a Republican Senate majority.
“Do you think you’d be better served by Majority Leader McConnell?” Mr. Reid said, according to this person, referring to Mitch McConnell of Kentucky.
What we have here is an arrogant little bastard thinking he can bend the political system to his will with the simple application of financial firepower. Yes, the same man who’s accused the NRA of buying off politicians is trying to buy off politicians. Or blackmail them. Same difference.
The difference between Bloomberg and the NRA is that the NRA is answerable to its 5+ million members. And the pro-gun lobby is practiced in the fine art of real politik. As such, they’re probably thanking their lucky stars that Mayor Hubris has entered the fray on the national level. Hoisted by his own petard? Here’s hoping.
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