Friday, January 02, 2004

Could Dean use guns as a wedge against Bush?

Click here to read an amusing Freeper post speculating on how Dean might actually beat Bush in 2004. It's interesting that at least some Freepers are not buying into the idea that Dean will be a pushover. But the road to Dean's victory that is speculated on here has a couple of interesting bumps.

The first is the suggestion that Dean would run to the right of Bush on gun control by criticizing Bush for renewing the assault weapons ban. This makes little sense since, as far as I know, Dean supports renewing the ban as well. But it is interesting to speculate how Dean might be able to exploit this as a wedge issue if Bush does renew the ban. I wasn't aware that this vital issue would be coming up for Dubya's signature just prior to the Republican convention. Dean could conceivably exploit the bad feelings that might result from a Bush signature.

Which brings us to the second and even more interesting speculation: could Dean get the endorsement of the NRA?

At first I laughed at that notion. But on re-consideration, I began to wonder if it really wasn't that laughable. Dean is certainly the first Democratic presidential candidate in years who could conceivably get that endorsement. But would the NRA really break with the GOP, even in light of a Bush renewal of the assault weapons ban?

Dean has demonstrated a remarkable ability to woo organizations and individuals behind the scenes. He patiently brought SEIU, AFSCME and Al Gore into his stable through months of back-patting and schmoozing. Could he do the same with the NRA? Or, at a minimum, could he persuade the NRA to withhold its endorsement?

I have always avoided the subject of gun politics because it is second only to abortion as a topic that leads to net flame hell. Could someone more familiar with this topic give me an idea on just how outrageous this idea is actually is?


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