“Colorado Republicans bristle as White House meddles in state’s gun control debate”
We hear in Colorado have heard the rumors. But it’s important that this story go national. With a bullet. Ahem:
Republican lawmakers in Colorado say they want the White House to stay out of their state battle over gun control, accusing Vice President Biden of personally leaning on Democratic legislators for their votes in a tight campaign that could change the national conversation on gun rights.
Republican state Rep. Carole Murray told FoxNews.com she doesn’t appreciate “East Coast politics” interfering in her state.
The concern comes ahead of a tense Senate vote — which could come late next week — and after a vote in the House that prompted the White House to take the unusual step of lobbying wavering Democrats. Biden’s office confirmed to FoxNews.com he made four phone calls to Colorado Democrats, two in moderate districts, but did not say what they were about.
Multiple sources, though, tell FoxNews.com that about eight hours into last week’s 12-hour House debate, Biden called Democrats Mark Ferrandino, Mike McLachlan, Tony Exum and Dominick Moreno to solidify support for the measures and to “remind them about the importance of the legislation.”
— To interject here, one persistent rumor, released in a leak, is that Biden told Democrat lawmakers in Colorado that the national party would find candidates to oppose them if they voted the wrong way on these proposed gun-control measures. Conversely, if they voted “correctly,” the President would campaign for their re-election — which may be moot, as local pro-gun groups like the Rocky Mountain Gun Owners association, along with national gun-rights groups, will target these Democrats with pro-gun, pro-individual rights conservatives or red dog Democrats (in the truly blue areas).
House lawmakers in Colorado, home to two of the deadliest mass shootings in U.S. history, narrowly passed a handful of gun control bills last week. The measures are headed to the Senate in early March where they are expected to face an uphill battle, though it’s unclear what steps the White House might take this time to solidify support.
Explaining the substance of the Biden call last week, Exum told The Denver Post the vice president “said it would send a strong message to the rest of the country that a western state had passed gun-control bills.”
Though Democrats have a majority in both Colorado chambers, they will have a tougher time passing the legislation in the Senate, where they have only a 20-15 majority. That means Republicans and other gun rights supporters need to turn only three Democrats to defeat the bills.Colorado has taken center stage in the country’s fight over gun control. As the White House struggles to pass gun control legislation on Capitol Hill, where a Republican majority in the House ensures that only a bipartisan bill can make it through, a successful push for such legislation in the purple, pro-gun rights state of Colorado would be seen as a major victory.
Colorado has attracted national interest from the National Rifle Association as well. David Keene, president of the NRA, went to Denver last month to meet with Democratic Gov. John Hickenlooper and Senate President John Morse.
Keene called universal background checks a political “sweet spot” and added that the current background check systems are underfunded and that forcing them on private sales would be logistically difficult.
Hickenlooper has said in the past he supports background checks but has flip-flopped on almost every other gun control issue – something Republicans point to as proof he’s being politically pressured.
Hickenlooper, recall, initially (and correctly) denied that an assault weapons ban would have prevented the Aurora theater shooting. Since then, however, he has been courted by Bloomberg’s anti-gun group, and Hickenlooper, along with a number of mayors and the police chiefs association, reversed course and have come out in support of the laws — though Hickenlooper is showing signs of wavering, having been met by fierce and vocal opposition within the state, including from many pro-2nd Amendment Democrats, whom he cannot afford politically to alienate.
One line of argument I’ve been developing lately is that any move by constitutionalists or federalists to control or constrain central authority by working at the state and local levels is being undercut by a progressive ideology that, as part of its single-mindedness of purpose, turns locally-elected Democrat officials into proxies for the Obama Administration’s agenda — and worse still, proxies who, in order to perform the tasks the centralized authority demand of them, are willing to cede their local and state authority to the agenda of the central government, in particular, the Executive.
We’ve seen this on the national level with Harry Reid’s willingness to constrain the Senate and abdicate Senatorial powers under the separation of powers doctrine in order to remove any obstacles to the plans of the chief executive and his administrative state. And we’re seeing it now too on the local level, where electing Democrats to represent you on the statewide level is tantamount to electing them as mere puppets of the Obama administration — with the will of their constituents overruled by the demands of the national party platform.
In Colorado, this has meant that the White House has turned more than a handful of Democratic legislators whose constituencies are pro-2nd Amendment into rogue representatives whose allegiances are to their national Party, as it is currently led, not to those who elected them to represent their wishes or beliefs.
Such legislators can and should be defeated, but as the brief two-year supermajority the Dems held in Congress at the outset of Obama’s tenure in the White House proves, it doesn’t take long to institute policies that we will have to spend decades rooting out of the federal behemoth, if we’re able to root them out at all once bureaucracies are built up around them as a kind of civil force field.
Meaning that it is the strategy of the New Left to run candidates as moderates, then direct them, after they are elected, to work in lockstep with national Party narratives at the expense of the constituencies they are sworn to represent.
The willingness of local Democrats to allow progressives to turn such behavior into governing strategy is the reason why it should be a widely disseminated selling point from conservatives / libertarians / classical liberals — who should pay for local advertising in order to get their messages out, and not just at election time, but during legislative sessions, as well — that when you elect a local Democratic representative, you aren’t electing a local Democrat at all, nor are you electing a representative of the specific constituency s/he claims to champion. Instead, you are voting to hand your state’s sovereignty over to the National Democratic Party apparatus, who will direct lawmakers on how to govern Colorado, even as they have no real understanding of the state, its population, or the mood of its citizens.