Trump Will Win on Gun Control Too

 

My first reaction to Trump statements is often to smash my head through a wall. But the man’s track record forces me to question my initial response.

Trump flipped the script on gun control, just as he did on immigration. And he won on immigration.

The standard Republican responses to “we need background checks,” “close the gun show loophole,” and “let’s ban this semi-automatic” are “we have background checks, there is no loophole and that’s not a semi-automatic, you complete moron.” Trump’s response is “wow, those are great ideas, let’s do them.”

Trump’s response is better.

“Take the gun, then worry about due process” certainly sounds scary. As do his first bombastic statements on all issues. But the idea behind it is that if there’s a clear and present danger, solve the immediate problem and then figure out what if anything you have to undo. This will soften into something acceptable.

And as he did with immigration, Trump had a bipartisan meeting where he encouraged Dems to go strong. They’ll take the bait. They always take the bait.

And then Trump will likely say “wow, that’s over the top, you guys really do want to take away everybody’s guns. Look, I got the Republicans to agree on these sensible gun control laws that do all the things you said you wanted while also respecting the Constitution and the rights of people who just want to defend their families and protect children.”

And Republicans will put some real proposals on the table, including the Gun Violence Restraining Orders that are all the rage these days. And which somehow became “David French’s idea” even though French was just putting an NRO stamp of approval on laws Democrats have been pushing for years. But I digress.

As with immigration, Republicans stop being the absolutist party of no and become the responsible people you can trust to govern reasonably. And the Democrats have open warfare, where their extremists devour their moderates.

Did I mention the Trump-State Twelve? The ten Dem senators up in 2018 in states Trump won, plus the two in Minnesota? For the next eight months, politics is mostly about them. They do not want to be voting on gun control before the election.

Trump has earned some benefit of the doubt. My bet is he wins this one too.

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  1. CarolJoy Coolidge
    CarolJoy
    @CarolJoy

    It seems like you might very well share a brain with Scott Adams. I didn’t understand Trump until I started reading Adams take on the guy.

    The  observation you make about the Trump-State twelve is very astute.

    Sadly youtube and Facebook don’t cotton to Adams’ braininess. So he is now available only on periscope.

    • #1
  2. Gil Reich Inactive
    Gil Reich
    @GilReich

    CarolJoy (View Comment):
    It seems like you might very well share a brain with Scott Adams. I didn’t understand Trump until I started reading Adams take on the guy.

    The observation you make about the Trump-State twelve is very astute.

    Sadly youtube and Facebook don’t cotton to Adams’ braininess. So he is now available only on periscope.

    Thanks. Adams understood Trump far before I did, and a good part of my understanding of Trump’s tactics comes from him.

    • #2
  3. Guruforhire Inactive
    Guruforhire
    @Guruforhire

    Gun Control is the american version of afganistan.  Its the death of empires.  Even Trump can grind his political capital into nothing there, squander a political majority and doom the remainder of his presidency.

    If this isn’t dead and gone from the public conciousness by May, his presidency is over.

    • #3
  4. Gil Reich Inactive
    Gil Reich
    @GilReich

    Guruforhire (View Comment):
    Gun Control is the american version of afganistan. Its the death of empires. Even Trump can grind his political capital into nothing there, squander a political majority and doom the remainder of his presidency.

    If this isn’t dead and gone from the public conciousness by May, his presidency is over.

    He’s not going to lose political capital here. By the gun control march in a few weeks the Repubs will be on defensible ground while the Dems will be alienating the swing voters with deranged rhetoric and annoying teenagers claiming simultaneously to be too young and immature to have guns but so wise that we must let them vote, lecture us endlessly and  set our policies.

    • #4
  5. danok1 Member
    danok1
    @danok1

    As Jesse Kelly repeatedly notes on Twitter:

    https://twitter.com/JesseKellyDC/status/968252177872556032

     

     

    • #5
  6. Painter Jean Member
    Painter Jean
    @PainterJean

    He followed his stupidity on guns and the Constitution with tariffs. He’s lost my vote.

    • #6
  7. Valiuth Inactive
    Valiuth
    @Valiuth

    What did he win on immigration? Nothing has happened.

    • #7
  8. Jack Hendrix Inactive
    Jack Hendrix
    @JackHendrix

    I think you’re right in taking a wait and see approach here, but I just don’t buy the argument that Trump is playing 5-d chess. It’s more plausible that he’s just not a very deep thinker on these issues and says whatever he thinks the room wants to hear.

    Also, I don’t think the immigration debate supports your argument. For starters, it was Trump that gave away his leverage by admitting he’d keep DACA alive if Congress failed to act. (Reminds me of the last occupant of the oval.) Then Trump basically adopts the democratic position in an open meeting. If your theory is correct, Trump would have then stayed in the middle and later point to liberal intransigence. Instead, his advisors got him to rescind his earlier statements and take a hard line approach. This led to the s hole nonsense. Finally, the Democrats always intended to keep DACA alive as a 2018 wedge issue. But that was not because Trump tricked them into it. They are just naturally stupid.

    Again, we should reserve judgement on the gun control/NRA comments. If you are right, Trump will not moderate his position but hug the center by pushing for gun control in an attempt to make the Dems seem even more extreme. Of course your argument also assumes that no actual legislation gets passed and both sides are negotiating in bad faith.

    • #8
  9. Bob W Member
    Bob W
    @WBob

    I agree with you that the statement about taking guns away and only then having a hearing or whatever was way over-hyped. Without a hearing, who would even have authority to decide to take a gun away in the first place? The only situation where that would occur is in some kind of emergency where police already have authority to disarm a citizen without a hearing.  So I’m not really sure what his point was but it’s no reason to think he’s gone soft.

    • #9
  10. Boss Mongo Member
    Boss Mongo
    @BossMongo

    Gil Reich: My first reaction to Trump statements is often to smash my head through a wall.

    https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=die+hard+welcome+to+the+party+pal

    • #10
  11. Rodin Member
    Rodin
    @Rodin

    Painter Jean (View Comment):
    He followed his stupidity on guns and the Constitution with tariffs. He’s lost my vote.

    Valiuth (View Comment):
    What did he win on immigration? Nothing has happened.

    Trump ate with Chris Cox last night and Chris says everything’s cool. The 2d Amendment is secure.

    I agree with Gil, the game is to posture the Dems in the wrong corner with most voters whether or not any legislation occurs. That is what Trump did with immigration by being the “reasonable” guy on DACA that the Dems would not embrace. Things may change and McConnell could blow it, but at the moment the courts are keeping DACA in place while Trump’s solution is not put into effect. That is not a bad place for Trump to be while ICE continues to round up non-DACA illegals who are associated with non-immigration related criminal activities. And with headlines of DACA recipients committing crimes, the Dems do not get better with anyone other than the leftist fringe.

    The gun control debate will follow a similar pattern: Opening bid, recede, plan, rejection by Dems. Repubs postured as the reasonable party.

    • #11
  12. Annefy Member
    Annefy
    @Annefy

    It’s called pacing and leading.

    While Scott Adams is the expert, I glommed onto the technique years ago when a boss used it on me. Even when I knew what he was doing, it was effective. (At one point the boss, me and Scott Adams all worked at Crocker Bank. I’ve often wondered if there was a class on the technique I wasn’t invited to)

    I use it a lot talking to the lefties in my family. I have a well practiced expression of interest I wear when they’re talking, I nod; say something about what an interesting point and pretend I’ve never heard it put quite as well.

    From that friendly start I can then begin to try and convince them otherwise. I’ve had success with a few – a few others are lost causes.

    My lefty brother uses another technique. I say something and he says he’s never heard anything so (redact)ing stupid.

    Needless to say, he’s one of the lost causes. He would have little chance of convincing anyone of anything, even if (miracle of miracles) he was correct about something

    • #12
  13. Front Seat Cat Member
    Front Seat Cat
    @FrontSeatCat

    Thanks – my last post called “Try Everything, President Trump” garnered the same Republican responses as you included in your post.  I can totally relate to everything you said.

    • #13
  14. formerlawprof Coolidge
    formerlawprof
    @formerlawprof

    Bob W (View Comment):
    I agree with you that the statement about taking guns away and only then having a hearing or whatever was way over-hyped. Without a hearing, who would even have authority to decide to take a gun away in the first place? The only situation where that would occur is in some kind of emergency where police already have authority to disarm a citizen without a hearing. So I’m not really sure what his point was but it’s no reason to think he’s gone soft.

    It’s possible–hard, but possible–to argue that President Trump didn’t mean what he said when he broke in for the sole purpose of making a counter-proposal to Mike Pence’s “hearing first” proposal.

    And it will be hard–hard, but not impossible–for Sarah Sanders to walk back when the President said.

    But it’s not fair game, @bobw, to just make up some other meaning for the President’s horrible gaffe.

    Who would have authority to take a gun away? In Trump’s world–until walked back–it would be a parent, a school counselor, a shrink, a social worker, colleagues at work, an IT guy who saw all of the tweets, and ultimately the police (after listening to those people).

     

    • #14
  15. Mendel Inactive
    Mendel
    @Mendel

    Two counterarguments to the OP:

    Trump hasn’t won anything on immigration yet. There is little actual difference between current policy and immigration policy at the end of the Obama administration. Nor has the “debate” changed at all. Even Trump’s announcement of ending DACA was quite lukewarm, and it remains to be seen if he actually follows up on that policy if/when the courts remove the injunction.

    Similarly, I don’t think this recent gun control love-in will do anything but generate lots of rapidly-dissipating heat. Even most liberal media outlets immediately responded to that televised train wreck with “just wait, Trump will be saying the exact opposite in two days”. In other words, nobody on either side takes these types of staged Trumpian melodramas seriously anymore. Which is probably a good thing for everybody, but I don’t think this is some grand PsyOps strategy.

    In the end, I doubt we’ll see any significant change to either gun control policy nor to immigration policy before the midterm elections, Trump’s handwaving and noisemaking notwithstanding.

    • #15
  16. Mendel Inactive
    Mendel
    @Mendel

    formerlawprof (View Comment):
    It’s possible–hard, but possible–to argue that President Trump didn’t mean what he said when he broke in for the sole purpose of making a counter-proposal to Mike Pence’s “hearing first” proposal.

    I think a fair explanation is that Trump simply hadn’t given much (if any) thought to the details of the issue before he opened his mouth. Listening to a recording of the meeting revealed lots of ignorance of current law and basic reality, and several simply incoherent ideas. So he wasn’t so much speaking from the heart as from the top of his head.

    Now, it’s possible that the spontaneity reflects Trump’s genuine instincts about gun control. But do those instincts matter if he turns out to have no desire to press the issue politically, as is almost certainly the case?

    So while it might be difficult for Trump to “walk back” his statements, it should be fairly easy for him to just act like the whole meeting never happened.

    • #16
  17. Kevin Schulte Member
    Kevin Schulte
    @KevinSchulte

    Perhaps it was as simple as political optics. The press could not frame Trump as a “couldn’t care less heartless screw the children republican”

    • #17
  18. Mikescapes Member
    Mikescapes
    @Mikescapes

    Gil Reich (View Comment):

    Guruforhire (View Comment):
    Gun Control is the american version of afganistan. Its the death of empires. Even Trump can grind his political capital into nothing there, squander a political majority and doom the remainder of his presidency.

    If this isn’t dead and gone from the public conciousness by May, his presidency is over.

    He’s not going to lose political capital here. By the gun control march in a few weeks the Repubs will be on defensible ground while the Dems will be alienating the swing voters with deranged rhetoric and annoying teenagers claiming simultaneously to be too young and immature to have guns but so wise that we must let them vote, lecture us endlessly and set our policies.

    I like Reich’s line about teenagers being too young to own guns, but so wise to set policy. That’s about all I liked. All the rest is wishful thinking. Trump’s political capital is in diminishing supply as it is. I doubt that May is some deadline for the end of his presidency if gun control is out of the public’s mind, but flip flopping on the issue isn’t helping. Reich makes a big, speculative jump of insight by reading the minds of swing voters. Maybe they enjoy the anti-gun rhetoric of the hysterical students, egged on by the media and the Left. Dangerous to project the views of Ricochet conservatives onto others. Trump’s off the top of his head comments about seizure first and due process later are the ones that will linger in the public mind. So, at best, it’s an uphill climb, not a scenario that justifies the optimistic view expressed.

    I am not of the view that Trump has come out on top of the immigration debate. Here to, the best take you could put on it is that the water is so muddy that no side has the upper hand. But keep hoping Gil!

    Confiscation w/out representation:  There was a point, or points, in the Cruz saga when the cops could have arrested him:

    “The day before one of those incidents, in November 2012, Cruz’s mother Lynda called to report that he had hit her with the plastic hose of a vacuum cleaner.” Granted he was a juvenile, but at least you get him before a court where mental competence could be adjudicated. Check out the litany of events. https://www.cnn.com/2018/02/16/us/florida-shooter-cruz-records-police-calls-to-home-invs/index.html.

    I’m just making the point that probable cause to arrest can exist where you have a history of dangerous, bizzaro behavior, a violent event upon which to act. Then a court can dish out Donald’s due process.

    • #18
  19. The King Prawn Inactive
    The King Prawn
    @TheKingPrawn

    Just as likely is that he’s an unprincipled idiot who leans whichever way the harshest winds blow. Occam’s Razor and all that.

    • #19
  20. Spin Coolidge
    Spin
    @Spin

    The King Prawn (View Comment):
    Just as likely is that he’s an unprincipled idiot who leans whichever way the harshest winds blow. Occam’s Razor and all that.

    SNAP!

    • #20
  21. Spin Coolidge
    Spin
    @Spin

    As with all things Trump, you have to parse what he says.  That’s fine, I guess.  Did Trump mean, when he said “take the guns first” that you should send cops to people’s house and confisticate their guns if they think the person is a bad guy?  Probably not.

    But what does he mean?  And what is he going to do?  It’s hard saying.  I do know that a lot of gun dealers are making out like bandits, so I guess you can chalk that up to Mr. Trump.

    • #21
  22. Jack Hendrix Inactive
    Jack Hendrix
    @JackHendrix

    The King Prawn (View Comment):
    Just as likely is that he’s an unprincipled idiot who leans whichever way the harshest winds blow. Occam’s Razor and all that.

    Perhaps a slight modification of hanlon’s razor: but substitute malice for planning. Who was it that called him a couch? I forget but it seems to fit.

    • #22
  23. Jack Hendrix Inactive
    Jack Hendrix
    @JackHendrix

    One thing missing from this discussion is the interaction between Trump and Congress. The op presumes that what Trump says becomes the party position. I can’t think of a single instance where that has been true. What has happened is the exact opposite. Trump says something batty and then the leaders in Congress draft legislation that is either adopted by the president, ignored entirely because he doesn’t care or scuttled by a late night tweet for lacking ‘heart.’ The same will be true here. One fears what may happen if Congress reverts to democratic control.

    The true test of the proposition is in an area where executive power alone is at play. Most recently this is the tariff/trade war flap where the president was only too happy to display his complete and willful ignorance on the subject. There he adopts a position no one desires save bernie sanders who is similarly idiotic on the subject of trade.

    • #23
  24. Painter Jean Member
    Painter Jean
    @PainterJean

    Kevin Schulte (View Comment):
    Perhaps it was as simple as political optics. The press could not frame Trump as a “couldn’t care less heartless screw the children republican”

    Yeah, especially when he’s the one painting Republicans as stooges of the NRA.

    He sounded like an ignorant, bloviating idiot – because he is one. He had been quiet enough lately, quiet enough so that I was even coming around to the idea of actually voting for the guy in 2020. This week has reminded me of just why I won’t.

    • #24
  25. Stina Member
    Stina
    @CM

     

    The King Prawn (View Comment):
    Just as likely is that he’s an unprincipled idiot who leans whichever way the harshest winds blow. Occam’s Razor and all that.

    Except so far, evidence supports Gil. You know, experience. The more we go round on this, the more Trump looks smart and the naysayers look… less so.

    • #25
  26. Stina Member
    Stina
    @CM

    Spin (View Comment):
    As with all things Trump, you have to parse what he says. That’s fine, I guess. Did Trump mean, when he said “take the guns first” that you should send cops to people’s house and confisticate their guns if they think the person is a bad guy? Probably not.

    But what does he mean? And what is he going to do? It’s hard saying. I do know that a lot of gun dealers are making out like bandits, so I guess you can chalk that up to Mr. Trump.

    You are trying to do politics the ways it’s always been done.

    The last open Mic session made dems look like idiots and cost them support. What is the likelihood this will produce same?

    It may result it Trump being primaried, but it might just win us a landslide in midterms. I can live with that. Can you?

    • #26
  27. Kevin Schulte Member
    Kevin Schulte
    @KevinSchulte

    Painter Jean (View Comment):

    Kevin Schulte (View Comment):
    Perhaps it was as simple as political optics. The press could not frame Trump as a “couldn’t care less heartless screw the children republican”

    Yeah, especially when he’s the one painting Republicans as stooges of the NRA.

    He sounded like an ignorant, bloviating idiot – because he is one. He had been quiet enough lately, quiet enough so that I was even coming around to the idea of actually voting for the guy in 2020. This week has reminded me of just why I won’t.

    Jean, You throw the word “idiot” around left and right. It is just absurd that you do that.

    Idiots do not succeed in NYC real estate.

    Idiots don’t build things all over the world.

    Idiots don’t accumulate enough wealth to fly in their own airliner.

    Idiots don’t start a 2nd career in TV and rise to the top in ratings.

    Idiots don’t defeat 16 formidable opponents to win the Republican Primary.

    Idiots don’t become President of the United States.

    We are talking three successful careers Jean. His talent stake dwarfs yours and mine. You look foolish when you keep calling a man of his stature an idiot. Your hate for him causes you to sling such slurs.

    • #27
  28. Painter Jean Member
    Painter Jean
    @PainterJean

    Kevin Schulte (View Comment):

    Painter Jean (View Comment):

    Kevin Schulte (View Comment):
    Perhaps it was as simple as political optics. The press could not frame Trump as a “couldn’t care less heartless screw the children republican”

    Yeah, especially when he’s the one painting Republicans as stooges of the NRA.

    He sounded like an ignorant, bloviating idiot – because he is one. He had been quiet enough lately, quiet enough so that I was even coming around to the idea of actually voting for the guy in 2020. This week has reminded me of just why I won’t.

    Jean, You throw the word “idiot” around left and right. It is just absurd that you do that.

    Idiots do not succeed in NYC real estate.

    When you start out with a fortune from Dad, it’s hard to fail.

    Idiots don’t build things all over the world.

    Trump’s main business in recent years is selling his name and putting it on buildings that others build.

    Idiots don’t accumulate enough wealth to fly in their own airliner.

    Again, if you start off in life already rich, it’s not as difficult to accumulate more.

    Idiots don’t start a 2nd career in TV and rise to the top in ratings.

    Really? The few times I watch TV I see very little intelligence and lots of idiocy. The Kardashians, the View…

    Idiots don’t defeat 16 formidable opponents to win the Republican Primary.

    He didn’t defeat them because of his brilliant policy ideas and innovations. He won by promising the moon and the sky, and by being rude – lots of people conflate being a pig with being politically incorrect.

    Idiots don’t become President of the United States.

    Al Gore was on the ticket once and came very, very close – need I say more?

    We are talking three successful careers Jean. His talent stake dwarfs yours and mine. You look foolish when you keep calling a man of his stature an idiot. Your hate for him causes you to sling such slurs.

    I wouldn’t call it so much hatred as contempt and disgust. Nor would I deny he has talent for showmanship and self-promotion. He has those in spades. But those aren’t talents that I regard very highly, so the fact that he dwarfs me in those areas does not mean that he dwarfs you and me in other areas.

    What I said constitutes “slurs” only if they were untrue. Anyone listening to that gun control meeting could reasonably conclude that he didn’t do his basic homework and knew nothing of the Constitution. That’s idiotic behavior in a president.

     

    • #28
  29. Rodin Member
    Rodin
    @Rodin

    Painter Jean (View Comment):

    Kevin Schulte (View Comment):

    Painter Jean (View Comment):

    Kevin Schulte (View Comment):
    Perhaps it was as simple as political optics. The press could not frame Trump as a “couldn’t care less heartless screw the children republican”

    Yeah, especially when he’s the one painting Republicans as stooges of the NRA.

    He sounded like an ignorant, bloviating idiot – because he is one. He had been quiet enough lately, quiet enough so that I was even coming around to the idea of actually voting for the guy in 2020. This week has reminded me of just why I won’t.

    Jean, You throw the word “idiot” around left and right. It is just absurd that you do that.

    Idiots do not succeed in NYC real estate.

    When you start out with a fortune from Dad, it’s hard to fail.

    Idiots don’t build things all over the world.

    Trump’s main business in recent years is selling his name and putting it on buildings that others build.

    Idiots don’t accumulate enough wealth to fly in their own airliner.

    Again, if you start off in life already rich, it’s not as difficult to accumulate more.

    Idiots don’t start a 2nd career in TV and rise to the top in ratings.

    Really? The few times I watch TV I see very little intelligence and lots of idiocy. The Kardashians, the View…

    Idiots don’t defeat 16 formidable opponents to win the Republican Primary.

    He didn’t defeat them because of his brilliant policy ideas and innovations. He won by promising the moon and the sky, and by being rude – lots of people conflate being a pig with being politically incorrect.

    Idiots don’t become President of the United States.

    Al Gore was on the ticket once and came very, very close – need I say more?

    We are talking three successful careers Jean. His talent stake dwarfs yours and mine. You look foolish when you keep calling a man of his stature an idiot. Your hate for him causes you to sling such slurs.

    I wouldn’t call it so much hatred as contempt and disgust. Nor would I deny he has talent for showmanship and self-promotion. He has those in spades. But those aren’t talents that I regard very highly, so the fact that he dwarfs me in those areas does not mean that he dwarfs you and me in other areas.

    What I said constitutes “slurs” only if they were untrue. Anyone listening to that gun control meeting could reasonably conclude that he didn’t do his basic homework and knew nothing of the Constitution. That’s idiotic behavior in a president.

    ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

    • #29
  30. Wade Moore Member
    Wade Moore
    @WadeMoore

    If no nuclear weapons are detonated in anger over the next 7 years then I think we will look back and judge his presidency a success…I guess.

    • #30
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