Monday Morning Open Thread


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Professor Krugman, on “Whistling Past the Gun Lobby”:

Almost five years ago Thomas Schaller published an important book titled Whistling Past Dixie, which basically argued that it was time for Democrats to stop running scared of the views of Southern whites — they weren’t going to get those votes anyway, and demographic change had proceeded to the point where they could win national elections without the South. Indeed, so it has come to pass: while Obama did win Virginia, he did it by appealing to the new Virginia of the DC suburbs, not the rural whites, and otherwise he had a totally non-Dixie victory.

So Nate Cohn argues that this same logic applies to gun control: the voters who care passionately about their semi-automatic weapons are rural whites who ain’t gonna vote Democratic in any case — and the new Democratic coalition doesn’t need them. David Atkins takes it further, saying the awful truth: the pro-gun fanatics are basically the kind of people who think that Obama is a Kenyan socialist atheistic Islamist, and the urban hordes are coming for their property any day now. People, in other words, who already vote 100 percent Republican — and lose elections…

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Besides the 8,000-pound gorilla, what’s on the agenda for another Monday morning?

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37 replies
  1. 1

    I go back to work at Miami-Dade County Public Schools today (I work in central administration) where I know I will have e-mails and bulletins dealing with the aftermath in Newtown.

    I’m not a parent, so I don’t know the visceral shock that comes when confronted by a horror that takes a child away, but I know that many of the people I work with, both at the schools and at the office, are devastated. But despite the devastation and the soul-draining horror of last Friday, we will go on. We have to.

    We all have one goal, whether or not we are parents, and that is the safety and well-being of every child in our care. I often say that I don’t work for this or that boss up the chain of command in my office; I work for the kids of Miami-Dade County. We get up every working day and do our job so that those children will have a better world of their making.

    That’s what I’m going to do today. That’s why I got into this business in the first place.

  2. 2
    Chris says:

    Here’s my morning thought. Whatever happened to the blogger The Poorman? I miss that guy, he was awesomes.

  3. 3
    amk says:

    South may not matter much for the presidency but they sure do matter in the congress (see the effing red congressional map) and senate.

    And that’s where the focus of gun control/gun safety or whatever fuck you wanna call it has to be. Piling on the kenyan muslin ain’t gonna cut it unless of course the agenda is to blame him for any failure.

  4. 4
    Raven says:

    I’m going to keep at this until I at least get an answer. Pat Lang at Sic Semper Tyrannis is a confederate apologist and a second amendment pervert. Why does this blog link to his? This is his latest post:

    All

    Babak – Is your opinion that submission to tyranny is the only path? pl

  5. 5
    Calouste says:

    I won’t be surprised if guns are going to end up the same way as that other peculiar institution of the South. The gun lobby has been working hard to normalize their views by pushing concealed carry laws and stating that teachers should be armed etc., not unlike the fugitive slave laws preceding the Civil War that the South tried to use to force their views on the North. I wouldn’t be surprised if we see an attempt in the next few years to force states to recognize concealed carry permits issued in other states or something similar. State’s rights, what state’s rights?

  6. 6
    Raven says:

    Pat Lang:

    EquiliiusT
    Pens and guns were needed then and are needed now. The 2nd Amendment was put in the Constitution AFTER the revolution. It had nothing to do with the British. Insurrection is not the intention. What is needed is the political weight of an armed citizenry in the balance against government recklessness. The police, even at local levels, are far too arrogant and willing to push citizens around. Here, in my home place, the local police force “raided’ a local home last weekend and ordered several dozen kids out onto the lawn where they lined them up and breathalysed them in the cold night. This took several hours. A neighborhood woman and a man who is a federal prosecutor objected to this proceeding and were both threatened with arrest on various grounds. You want the police to have an absolute monopoly on potential force? pl

  7. 7
  8. 8
  9. 9
    Linda Featheringill says:

    @Raven: #6

    I appreciate the need to have protection against the Protectors but I don’t think that guns will do the job. The police have more guns and are probably more likely to pull the trigger than most civilians. Filing civil suits against the police department seems to be most effective, from what I’ve observed.

  10. 10
    Patricia Kayden says:

    Dems have already whistled past the gun lobby. The issue is what amk said in comment #3: the Congress needs to pass gun control legislation but won’t because Repubs control the House.

    Doesn’t mean that President Obama/Democrats in the Congress shouldn’t try to get something passed.

  11. 11
    Raven says:

    @Linda Featheringill: My point in posting that is to illustrate to position of someone who’s blog is link to this blog.

  12. 12
    Raven says:

    Well, Mornin Joe is on the case. He says “Good luck to the gun lobbyists. . .The battle we have to win is for the safety of our children”.

    eta I have to say this, he’s taking this head on. He’s including violent movies and video games and rejecting his former ideological views on gun control.

  13. 13
    BruinKid says:

    Wow, this is quite a change for Joe Scarborough right now. Obviously he’s not going as far as some here, but for a guy who had always gotten a 100% rating from the NRA while in Congress, this is a pretty big move.

    It was also good of him to caution against blaming the mentally ill, as his own son has autism.

  14. 14
    TheMightyTrowel says:

    annoyed with hertz. reserved a small car for $30, they said were out and the only left was $140. needed the car so i paid up. going to call the airline i booked with and raise hell.

  15. 15
    Baud says:

    I’m generally wary of pundits who say that Democrats don’t need the votes of such-and-such group, because that’s only true to the extent voters (esp. Democrats) come out to vote in elections, which few pundits seem to encourage.

    That said, like in so many other areas, we have an opportunity to start the long walk back from Crazytown, so let’s take the first step.

  16. 16
    Keith says:

    Besides the 8,000-pound gorilla, what’s on the agenda for another Monday morning?

    Since news programming and blogs are completely saturated with segments/posts on said gorilla, probably a whole lot of gaming. This isn’t meant to be insensitive, but it’s all that was on all weekend, and I just turned the TV on to a sobbing interview with the family of a victim this morning and opened my browser to entire pages full of posts/stories about it.
    I just need a break from all of it (really, I needed a break from it by about Saturday afternoon, but even football’s covering it). This is where I want to go back to a time where there was no 24 hour news channel.

  17. 17
    R-Jud says:

    We were burglarized on Wednesday– went out for 40 minutes to our daughter’s nursery school Christmas performance, and came back to find a broken window out back and a bunch of stuff missing.

    They caught a suspect within 2 hours of our reporting it (fortunately, he was the dumbest thief in the world) and we’ll be going to get our stuff back today now that it’s all been recorded as evidence. He would have been REALLY disappointed if he’d tried to sell my jewelry.

  18. 18
    pk says:

    What is getting lost in all this is who encourages this paranoid mentality? It was CNN which put insane Glenn Beck on the airwaves, followed by FOX news. You have country awash with guns and a media which openly encourages hatred and paranoia and then everyone is shocked as to why there is a shooting rampage every other day.

  19. 19
    Bob h says:

    And do we really need to fear NRA spending on campaigns when Democrats have shown they can go $ for $ with the Republicans.

  20. 20
    amk says:

    @pk: Yup. The fifth columnist fourth estate played a major role in pushing the racist teabagging nuts and the birther crowds along with outright xenophobia.

  21. 21
    PurpleGirl says:

    I have to find (or otherwise get) my current eye glasses prescription so I can get a new pair of reading glasses. Last Thursday I lost my current reading glasses. I found the most recent prescription before the current one but I really need to get a new pair of the correct lenses. A costly problem.

  22. 22
    leeleeFL says:

    @PurpleGirl: I think the place you got your glasses made will have the scrip on file. Mine did.

  23. 23
    Lojasmo says:

    @Linda Featheringill:

    Absolutely false. If you removed EVERY shooting by police, it wouldn’t put a dent in annual gun death totals.

  24. 24
    geg6 says:

    Today is the first day of the only time I am allowed to take extended vacation since I am the only financial aid officer on campus and this is our least busy time, the week of fall finals. I’m off from now until January 2. I can’t tell you how much I am looking forward to this, even though I have tons of work to do around the house (first up, putting decorations on the tree in the living room that’s been there for two weeks now).

    This evening will be bitter sweet for me. One of our office work studies will be graduating on Friday. She’s a wonderful young woman who has worked for us all four years (plus a semester) she’s been in college, which is unusual. It’s been great watching this painfully shy girl turn into a confident outgoing young woman. Friday was her last day at work and we’re taking her out to dinner tonight (the whole admissions/student aid office). We’re going to miss her terribly, but I’m so proud of her I could just burst.

  25. 25
    Keith G says:

    Fixin to shove off to care for folks at a hospice for those who are HIV positive. Our oldest is an 80 yr old Korean War vet. – a kind and gentle man.

    It will be very cheery by comparison.

  26. 26
    justinb says:

    Will the mobile site ever work again? WTF am I supposed to do before I fall asleep, or when I wake up in the middle of the night?

    Help!!!

  27. 27
    flukebucket says:

    @Raven: It is amazing how opinions can change when a person is not running for re-election.

  28. 28
    chopper says:

    @R-Jud:

    if only you had a concealed weapon when you were out of the house.

  29. 29
    some other guy says:

    Re: whistling past the gun lobby

    In my state, Wisconsin, it’s not unusual to own guns and vote Democratic. The large annual deer hunt is fairly non-partisan. I’d imagine Minnesota is somewhat similar.

    On the whole, they make up a relatively small portion of the Democratic coalition, but they could swing elections in individual districts.

    Of course, being Democrats, they are generally reasonable people so they’d probably support a reasonable amount of gun control without defecting to the Republicans. Pushing for an outright ban on semi-auto rifles might be going too far, for instance, but limiting clip sizes is something I’d imagine they might support.

  30. 30
    Shana says:

    I live near the NRA headquarters in Northern Virginia and drive along the highway adjacent to the building a couple of times a week. I’ve made it a habit over the years to give the building the finger, below the window line because I don’t want nearby drivers to think it’s aimed at them. A very small silent protest against their crazy policies, but it makes me feel a little better.

    Anyway, I had a thought on Saturday that I’d like some feedback on from all of you. I want to go out to a local dollar store and buy 20 dolls and dump them at the NRA’s front door. I’m not by nature an activist and wouldn’t want to speak to the media, but I’m not sure how/if to proceed. Your thoughts BJ community?

  31. 31
    R-Jud says:

    @chopper: My first coherent thought once we’d figured out what had happened was: “Thank God we weren’t home.” My second thought was “Thank God I live in England now, he almost certainly wouldn’t have had a gun.”

    I want to go out to a local dollar store and buy 20 dolls and dump them at the NRA’s front door. I’m not by nature an activist and wouldn’t want to speak to the media, but I’m not sure how/if to proceed. Your thoughts BJ community?

    They’d probably call the cops and get bomb-sniffing dogs to check out the dolls.

  32. 32
    Tonal Crow says:

    @Raven:

    Well, Mornin Joe is on the case. He says “Good luck to the gun lobbyists. . .The battle we have to win is for the safety of our children”.
    __
    eta I have to say this, he’s taking this head on. He’s including violent movies and video games and rejecting his former ideological views on gun control.

    Republicans are extremists through and through. Instead of simply making it more difficult for one person to kill many, they want to control what we say and see. No dice for me. I don’t like most R movies nor shooter games, but it’s hardly my place — or anyone else’s — to prevent you from making them or viewing them.

  33. 33
    DFH no.6 says:

    On the broader point of the post – that the Democrats don’t need yahoo crackers, nor the large subset of gun-nut yahoo crackers, since said crackers are becoming rarer due to demographic changes, they vote Republican anyway, and Republicans are now losing elections – color me skeptical.

    Not that the Democrats should mostly ignore these people as potential voters – that’s bleeding obvious.

    But I see, today, the majority of states with Republican governors and Republican legislatures, and the House of Reps still pretty solidly Republican (likely to stay that way for the next couple election cycles). To say nothing of the predominately Republican federal judiciary (yes, mostly due to elections long past).

    Republicans still win plenty of elections, and the party (and its backers, like the NRA) are still pretty damn strong. Because, yahoo crackers (rich and poor alike).

    President Obama and the Dems will (largely) win the current federal tax, spending, and debt battle; of that I am certain. Because, 2012 national elections.

    Meaningful gun control in the foreseeable, though? No way.

  34. 34
    AxelFoley says:

    @amk:

    South may not matter much for the presidency but they sure do matter in the congress (see the effing red congressional map) and senate.
    __
    And that’s where the focus of gun control/gun safety or whatever fuck you wanna call it has to be. Piling on the kenyan muslin ain’t gonna cut it unless of course the agenda is to blame him for any failure.

    This.

  35. 35
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Shana:

    If you could get a friend to go with you, maybe you could set up a whole memorial outside their door (candles, flowers, etc.) I’m not sure what the laws are in Virginia, though — in some places, the sidewalk is public property and you could do a protest like that, but in other states, the sidewalk is private property and you could get in trouble for it.

    ETA: Though I guess usually the memorials are set up outside the crime scene to honor the victims, so I’m not sure if a mixed message might be sent (“The NRA are victims, too!”). Hm.

  36. 36
    Bobby Thomson says:

    On a happier note, any ideas what to get my big sister for her wedding this Friday? She’s been with the same woman for decades and raised three kids together, two of them in college, so they don’t need a toaster.

  37. 37

    […] My take on it basically echoes kthug in Whistling Past the Gun Lobby, via Anne Laurie on Balloon-Juice: […]

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