Did gun control cost McAuliffe and Democrats the Virginia election? washingtonpost.com‘s headline asks. Because a one-word article wouldn’t fill up the spaces between ads, writer Robert McCartney paints a picture of a band on the run. “When Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe and his fellow Democrats study what went wrong for them in Tuesday’s crucial legislative elections, one possible mistake stands out: Their aggressive advocacy of gun control in a pivotal Senate race in the Richmond area may have backfired by producing a pro-Republican backlash.” Possible mistake? May have backfired? Just in case that isn’t enough qualifiers to distance McCartney from the reality at hand, the jobbing journo quotes unnamed “analysts.” Like this . . .
In a race that proved decisive in enabling Republicans to retain control of the Senate, Republican Glen H. Sturtevant won the 10th District seat after benefiting from a huge turnout in conservative Powhatan County, which analysts attributed in part to the gun issue.
Sturtevant beat Democrat Daniel A. Gecker [above] after GOP supporters ran ads blasting Gecker for trying to win the seat with $700,000 of outside help from pro-gun-control TV advertisements paid for by a group linked to former New York mayor Michael Bloomberg.
A group linked to former New York mayor Michael Bloomberg? That’s like saying the totally awesome F-35 program is “linked” to the United States government. Dude, Michael Bloomberg owns Everytown for Gun Safety, which paid $700k for a pro-Decker TV ad campaign with money supplied entirely by Michael Bloomberg.
“The gun thing — I would have done it differently,” Sen. J. Chapman “Chap” Petersen (D-Fairfax) said. “It’s speculation at this point, but I feel the Gecker seat was one we thought we were going to win. . . . [The gun issue] was one variable that was thrown in at the last minute.”
A Richmond Times-Dispatch editorial said Gecker “made a massive mistake” by accepting the ads from Bloomberg. “A campaign focused on guns redounded to Gecker’s despair,” it said.
“Redounded.” There’s a word a pro-gun right advocate can savor, for some time to come, hopefully. Meanwhile, McCartney’s done calling a drubbing a drubbing, albeit deploying weasel words and unnamed sources to soften the blows. It’s time for some serious spin!
Other leaders from both sides said the gun issue cut both ways because it helped energize the Democratic base in the district’s liberal neighborhoods in Richmond.
“It certainly increased the intensity for some people who were pro-Second Amendment but also for some people who were pro gun control,” said Sen. Ryan T. McDougle (R-Hanover), chairman of the Senate Republican caucus.
He and others also said that hotly contested local races, such as for sheriff and county supervisor, had boosted turnout in Powhatan.
McAuliffe stayed out of the spotlight Wednesday, and his spokesman directed questions about the election to the state Democratic organization. There, press secretary Morgan Finkelstein said it was “too early” and data were “too inconclusive” to say whether the gun issue had helped or hurt the party overall.
“I think the biggest takeaway is that we don’t have to be afraid to talk about guns,” she said.
Right. Just like the biggest takeaway from the Gulf War is that we shouldn’t be afraid to withdraw our troops from politically unstable, militarily weak middle eastern countries prone to religious extremism and tribalism (i.e. any of them).
The rest of McCartney’s article abandons the entire gun rights question. But the point’s been made: gun control advocates start with lies, spread their lies and then lie about Americans’ rejection of their lies. What did Bloomberg and his statist minions learn from the voters in Virginia? Nothing. Some people never learn.