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There is an ancient Vulcan proverb: Only Nixon could go to China.

This enigmatic epigram comes to us straight from that most mysterious of Vulcans, Commander Spock. What can a 23rd-century Starfleet officer tell us about the politics of gun control and the 2012 presidential election? It suggests a worrisome possibility…

First off, what does it mean that “Only Nixon could go to China?” Wikipedia puts it succinctly:

As a political metaphor, it refers to the ability of a politician with an unassailable reputation among his supporters for representing and defending their values to take actions that would draw their criticism and even opposition if taken by someone without those credentials.

We all know that Romney’s pro-gun credentials are anything but ‘unassailable.’ But remember that only anti-communist Nixon could establish relations with the communist People’s Republic of China, while Johnson would have been roasted alive for such a ‘pinko’ capitulation.

And only Bill Clinton (of the ‘tax and spend’ Democratic Party) balanced the federal budget and institute significant reforms in the federal welfare system and negotiated the NAFTA treaty. He faced significant opposition from his own party in doing so, but he got it done with Blue Dog Democrat and GOP support.

In short, this means that sometimes only a Republican can successfully advocate a policy that contravenes the traditional Republican agenda. And ditto for Democrats.

Since The Mittster isn’t particularly renowned for standing firm to his principles (whatever they are), I’m concerned that this phenomenon might prompt him to reach across the aisle in mid-2013 with a bold (read: draconian and misguided) gun control initiative. Guns and gun control don’t really seem to be part of his belief system one way or the other, but he might throw gun rights under the bus solely for the purpose of buffing up his bipartisan credentials.

This move would certainly infuriate the libertarians and gun owners in his base, just as Clinton’s support of welfare reform and NAFTA enraged the poverty lobby and the labor unions. But we can count on a few Blue State Republicans to stand by their suddenly ‘moderate’ president, and they would join the entire Democratic caucus.

Either way the election goes, our 2A rights are far from guaranteed.

What does all of this mean? Only that nothing is for certain during or after this presidential election. As they say, the only certain thing in life is change, and you can’t even count on that.

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  1. See, and I was feeling sorta-OK about him, and you had to go and scare me again.

    Thanks for the wake-up call.

    I know of no solution other than renewed vigilance.

    • Except that Romney is no Nixon – he’s already widely regarded as something of a RINO in the party, and so the NRA and others will remain quite vigilant. It would be a Santorum or a Huckabee who would be the Nixon-to-China on this issue.

      • A classic example would be the Hughes Amendment to the Firearm Owners Protection Act of 1986.

  2. I understand the logic. We should vote for Obama because he can’t go to China.

    Wait, what?

    • Nope. But I don’t recommend sleeping easy with Romney in the White House either. The problem with him is that he can stab gun owners in the back, knowing that (as you imply) they really have no other choice but to vote for him again.

  3. Well ok so I am paranoid.
    Given the financial issues we face, and the inability of Obama to get anything done. I am more apt to vote for Mitt. As far as gun rights we will still need to be on guard with 2A, but I think Mitt will help turn around the financial crisis. I am not a one issue voter, but given how Obama like to bypass everyone via executive order because he feels he can’t get it done otherwise, I would prefer kicking everyone out and starting over. We also need to maintain the house majority, and get a majority in the congress. We might then have a chance.

      • Yes, Obama is worried about getting reelected, but he is just as worried about dem’s getting elected in the future. Republicans don’t seem to worry about what they did in the past (short voter memories) but when it comes to gun rights, most don’t forget (1994) and not just republicans!

        • Sorry, but there’s only one election and one Politician he cares about. He threw away a large majority in the House to pass Obamacare, and did not bat an eyelash.

          It’s like how I always tell people it is impossible that Obama is a Muslim, because Muslims believe in Allah, but Obama only believes in Obama.

    • Is that only because you already have a know on how Obama really thinks about gun rights (Anti) and Mitt and his whichever way the wind blows so goes his opinion?

  4. Trekkie alert: When Spock said that line, he held the rank of Captain.

    To accomplish what was described here, Romney would have to have a majority in both houses of Congress in favor of gun control. While I trust him no more than I do a Nigerian prince’s advice on financial matters, the political reality is that for now, gun control is a pipe dream.

    This state exists because we keep the pressure on our elected representatives, so don’t anyone go resting on our laurels. Cato the Elder added “Carthage must be destroyed” into every speech that he gave, and we have to do the same.

  5. “Since The Mittster isn’t particularly renowned for standing firm to his principles (whatever they are), I’m concerned that this phenomenon might prompt him to reach across the aisle in mid-2013 with a bold (read: draconian and misguided) gun control initiative. Guns and gun control don’t really seem to be part of his belief system one way or the other, but he might throw gun rights under the bus solely for the purpose of buffing up his bipartisan credentials.”

    If Romney got elected and did this, I wouldn’t be surprised. The guy will say ANYTHING to get elected… and this is the candidate the GOP expects people to vote for in opposition to President Obama?


    • Well because Ron Paul supports smaller government and following the Constitution – and that’s just CRAZY.

      • Ron Paul was just too honest for the GOP to consider him. It was shameful watching the Romney-backed ads torpedo his campaign.

        I sincerely hope Mr. Paul raises a big stink at the national convention.

  6. I agree that Mitt doesn’t seem to have any real principles. But what you’re all missing is that he will be looking to get re-elected. There’s a reason most Democrats and almost all Republicans refuse to touch gun control, and that’s because it isn’t popular. Sure all the morons in the media hate guns, so it sometimes sounds like a lot of people are for gun control, but it is a losing issue with large majorities of real voters. Unless somehow the national mindset on gun control changes radically in the next few years — after gradually becoming more and more pro-gun over the last decades — Mitt won’t want anything to do with it.

    Second term all bets are off, because he can do whatever he wants without worrying about the voters. Which should be the strongest argument to vote for him and get Obama out now, for anyone looking for a reason.

  7. “And only Bill Clinton (of the ‘tax and spend’ Democratic Party) balanced the federal budget”

    Technically, it was all smoke and mirrors. The IT/Dot Com economy was a huge bubble that burst (starting popping late Summer/Fall ’99 when Bill was still in office). Clinton and the FED used liquidity easing of easy loans to businesses and consumers, currency debasement (mass printing of FRNs electrical or paper), and inter-government borrowing ie US debt to put people to work (temporarily) bring in undeserved tax revenue and “balance” the annual deficit/budget. The big err huge US long term debt just kept growing and growing.

    • You’re right, and it is a shame that more Americans don’t fully comprehend just what happened to the US economy starting in 1998. When the Asian monetary crisis started, Greenspan opened the floodgates and flooded the US with easy credit. This put the stock market into overdrive towards a bubble that was sure to burst, and such it did.

      Then the Fed started ramping again in 2003, and that got us the housing bubble.

      The Fed is now the largest buyer of US Treasury debt, and it is only the Fed’s antics that are keeping interest rates as low as they are.

    • Don’t forget the Enron/worldcom et al. frauds and other “accounting irregularities” that made the late 90’s look quite a bit better than they actually were.

  8. obama in the white house gives strentgh to schumer,pelosi, boxer, feinstein etc. that is fact. not voting for romney because of a what if is giving support to the above. make your choice, i’ve made mine.

  9. There’s hardly a dime’s worth of difference between these two clowns. They’re both Harvard twerps, and the worldview of Harvard is “Hooray for us, screw the rest of you.” They, like most of Harvard’s output, studiously avoided serving in the military, they’re much more financially successful than either their work ethic or intelligence would predict, and they have little to nothing in common with most of America.

    The only thing that keeps a GOP presidential candidate from advocating or implementing widespread gun control legislation now is this: The GOP’s electoral statistics look increasingly dim as rampant immigration and immigrant-pandering policies (free handouts, in-state tuition, a policy against enforcing immigration laws) put the flood of immigrants from central and south America solidly on the side of the DNC. The northeast and left coast are now effectively lost forever to the current Republican party platforms – or at least until these states go bankrupt.

    If the GOP lost gun owners because Mitt (or some other GOP leader) stabbed gun owners in the back, it would be the end of the GOP as a national political party, period. The GOP would lose states where gun owners and people who view gun rights favorably are in the majority – states like the Dakotas, Kansas, Texas, Wyoming, Montana, Utah, Idaho, etc. In return, the GOP would not, however, pick up such states as California, Oregon, NY, NJ, etc.

    Romney is already stretching the bounds of what the GOP can achieve in electoral votes, and he’s able to do it only because the economy is as bad as it is. If the economy were doing any better, no GOP candidate would have a chance to win the necessary electoral votes against an incumbent president peddling a platform of racism and welfare handouts.

  10. Mitt has no principles. He would happily throw gun owners under the bus for political points.

    On the other hand, Obama does had principles, and they are diametrically opposed to ours. Obama WILL appoint anti-gun judges; Mitt “might” but it won’t be a litmus test.

  11. “And only Bill Clinton (of the ‘tax and spend’ Democratic Party) balanced the federal budget and institute significant reforms in the federal welfare system.”

    Strange that Clinton gets credit for “balancing the budget.” The Republicans basically had to put a gun to his head. Remember when those mean Republicans had to shut down the government?

  12. The analogy fails, as pointed out above. Nixon made his career on fighting communism, at home and abroad. Romney made his by being a pragmatic businessman and Massachusetts politician.

    In terms of gun control, the only real advantage a Romney president offers vice Obama is that there’s a better chance that Romney will appoint justices that are defenders of individual rights (esp. on that issue) in the event that there are additional vacancies on the Supreme Court. That alone is probably worth the vote for him (assuming you’re a single-issue voter on the gun issue…which I’m not.)

    Other than that, I don’t really see a difference between the two on the RKBA issue. Hold the guy’s feet to the fire regardless of who wins in November.

  13. Welfare reform and gun control are so different it’s not worth comparing them. Welfare reform was essential for economic reasons and represented a moral dilemma, whereas gun control would create no economic benefit and cause more problems than it solves. It’s not possible to compare the two.
    Is Romney on par with Heston on guns? No, of course not, and if he wants to win he needs support of moderate and liberal types who are fed up with the economic situation but need more reasons to jump to the GOP. This election is primarily about economics, secondarily about foreign policy, and finally about social issues. Although guns are always on the chopping block for some Congressmen the SCOTUS and state decisions makes blanket bans untenable.
    Romney has my support only because we can’t afford 4 more of Big O. I think it’s too late already to think we can do this without huge tax increases but if we can stop some of the spending we might have a chance.

  14. A vote for Mittens is a vote against Obama. Obama is a Sociopathic Communist Tyrant who is instituting the organized destruction of America using the identical plan the Communists used in Spain during the “Spanish Civil War” which was actually a thinly veiled commie insurgency. Keep in mind that the Commies won control of the Spanish Republic through elections and rapidly ruined the nation’s economy. When the commies lost the following elections they launched a nationwide terror campaign, burning 300 churches in one day, murdering thousands of Catholics. With Russian arms they captured a city vital to Spain’s defense, disarmed the local population, confiscated ALL private property including food and clothing and murdered thousands more including foreign volunteers who were non-communists. The Leftist media world wide called the Communists “Republicans” and called the non-communists Fascist even though they were actually Phalangists. We Always vote for the lessor of 2 evils, don’t be beguiled by members of the Fifth Colum

  15. I never know who is going to win an election but I always know who is going to loose. Us.
    Just like I never know is going to be getting my money but I always who it won’t be. Me.

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