Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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December 8, 2006
By: Kevin Drum

LIBERALS AND THE MOUNTAIN WEST....A few months ago Christina Larson wrote an article for the Monthly suggesting that hunters and fishers, historically a pretty conservative constituency, were starting to break with the Republican Party over its support for drilling and mining on public land and its relentless denial of global warming, which is starting to ruin streams, wetlands, and breeding grounds across the country. Others have made similar observations, including David Sirota, based on his campaign work for guys like Brian Schweitzer and Jon Tester. (David wrote a piece for us in 2004, "Top Billings," about Schweitzer's victory that year in the Montana governor's race.)

Given all this, it was interesting to see the Washington Post pick up on this theme a few days ago:

At the same time, Democrats consolidated gains from 2004, picking up the governorship in Colorado, a Senate seat in Montana and two House seats in Arizona. Democrats already controlled governor's seats in Arizona, Montana, New Mexico, Oregon, Washington and Wyoming.

Perhaps more significant, Democratic and Republican politicians from New Mexico to Montana have found common ground with hunters and anglers in opposing widespread energy development on wild public lands, halting drilling in several areas where the public felt that wildlife and scenic values trumped economic consideration. In the past year, bipartisan grass-roots opposition has also killed off a number of proposals to sell federal land and use the revenue to pay for governmental operations.

As the Post notes, locals in the Mountain West states are a lot less hostile to liberal "newcomers" these days, instead teaming up with them on environmental issues in ways that would have been unthinkable just a few years ago. This is clearly a dynamic to keep our eyes on. The Mountain West could turn out to be the next major electoral battleground.

Kevin Drum 12:43 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (48)

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Comments

Perhaps to some extent the Mountain West has always been viewed through the prism of Idaho extremists or Dick Cheney in Wyoming, which is ridiculous. Montana has long had a moderate streak.

Posted by: Vincent on December 8, 2006 at 12:49 PM | PERMALINK

There you go again internalizing right-wing talking points. Do you really mean "liberals," as the title of the post suggests, or "Democrats?" The two are not necessarily synonyms.

I'd say liberals as such will continue to get their asses kicked in the Mountain West as they always have. Democrats, however -- that's a different story.

Posted by: Jim J on December 8, 2006 at 12:49 PM | PERMALINK

locals in the Mountain West states are a lot less hostile to liberal "newcomers" these days

Speak for yourself. This liberal lives in Washington state, and he fervently wishes Californians would stay at home and stop moving here. You folks made a mess of your state. Stay and clean it up, and don't bring your problems up here.

Posted by: Winda Warren Terra on December 8, 2006 at 12:52 PM | PERMALINK

I think Sirota is just plain wrong. The Mountain West is libertarian not liberal which means they are naturally Republicans. They hate high taxes, the welfare state, and big government regulation on business that suffocates the entrepreneurial spirit. if you want Westerners to vote Democrat, you'll have to support cutting taxes like the death tax and replace the income tax with a consumption tax, privatize social security and cutting the welfare state, and eliminate EPA regulations that prevent businesses from making money. I just don't see that happening.

A good suggestion on how to do is at TNR.

Link

Posted by: Al on December 8, 2006 at 12:54 PM | PERMALINK

Winda Warren Terra,

Liberal living in Washington state? Then, please explain your post of yesterday where you, or someone stealing your handle, tried to smear the Governor of Washington, Christine Gregoire, by trying to attach her name to an anti-semitic post by a troll?

Posted by: thethirdPaul on December 8, 2006 at 12:59 PM | PERMALINK

On a similar subject, it's about time to look at funding for federal parks, forestry, and wildlife departments. We need to have qualified stewards taking care of public assets. These belong to the PEOPLE, and the revenue received from the leasing of public lands needs to go to stewardship and management of resources. And stop the selling off of public lands UNLESS it can be proven to be in the best interest of the American people.

I don't want to visit MacDonald's Yellowstone Park in the future, or Disney's Yosemite.

Back to the original topic...

Posted by: Ranger Jay on December 8, 2006 at 12:59 PM | PERMALINK

The mountain west doesn't hate the welfare state; they just like to SAY they hate it, while sucking up all the federal dollars they can. Nice try, Al.

Posted by: Dave on December 8, 2006 at 1:01 PM | PERMALINK

Wittle Allykins is right -- people in the West are libertarians who love warrentless wiretaps, theocracy, and selling everything to campaign donors.

Posted by: Al's Mommy on December 8, 2006 at 1:04 PM | PERMALINK

Al wrote: "The Mountain West is libertarian not liberal which means they are naturally Republicans. They hate high taxes, the welfare state, and big government regulation on business ..."

And they love massive Federal subsidies which take money from the pockets of the taxpayers in Democratic / liberal "blue states" and transfer it to the self-proclaimed "libertarians" in Republican "red states".

"Conservatism" is the culture of dependency -- dependency on government handouts while whining about paying taxes.

Posted by: SecularAnimist on December 8, 2006 at 1:05 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin, glad to see the comments back up. Can you enlighten us as to what steps, if any, your guys took to keep this spam storm from happening again?

Posted by: Disputo on December 8, 2006 at 1:07 PM | PERMALINK

Given the choice I think Westerners would prefer rich liberal tourists than rich conservative strip miners and oil drillers.

Posted by: markg8 on December 8, 2006 at 1:09 PM | PERMALINK

Paul 3 - we all got co-opted. WWT was one of them.

Posted by: Global Citizen on December 8, 2006 at 1:27 PM | PERMALINK

This is not all that hard to figure out. The Republicans have taken up the cause of the various extractive industries. Those extractive industries have developed a reputation for not only extracting natural resources from the Western landscape, but for extracting money from the Western economy while refusing to pay to clean up the mess they create becoming wealthy. Why clean up, most of the mining and oil companies are headquartered some place else.

Westerners are natural environmentalists. They love the land. They are also not stupid. They understand that the various extractive industries are doing to Montana and the rest of the west exactly what they did to Pennsylvania and the other Eastern states when they trashed them 100 years ago.

That is why Democrats have been doing better and better. Everything changed when the Democrats stopped fighting gun control and the environmental movement figured out that the Western natives have the same and sane long term goals.

Unless the Eastern Democratic establishment figures out a way to screw things up, there is a real good chance much of the West will turn blue.

Posted by: Ron Byers on December 8, 2006 at 1:28 PM | PERMALINK

I'm one of those small-el libertarian/Big Dee Democrats, and I've been screaming for years, much to the consternation of good "liberals" that the DemocratIC party could regain in two or three election cycles in the midwest and mountain states what they lost in the south after the passage of the Civil Rights Act if they would just lose that stupid fucking gun control plank. Well whaddya know? They did and they are.

Posted by: Global Citizen on December 8, 2006 at 1:30 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin, glad to see the comments back up. Can you enlighten us as to what steps, if any, your guys took to keep this spam storm from happening again?

I hope they keep it secret--no sense tipping their hand to a troll who tried to shut down a website run by a Non-Profit Company.

Posted by: Pale Rider on December 8, 2006 at 1:39 PM | PERMALINK

I'd say liberals as such will continue to get their asses kicked in the Mountain West as they always have. Democrats, however -- that's a different story.

John Tester is a liberal? He didn't win because he called himself a 'liberal.'

He won because he had a flat-top haircut and looked like a wheat farmer who's won a few beer chugging contests.

Posted by: Pale Rider on December 8, 2006 at 1:41 PM | PERMALINK

I think "liberal newcomers" distorts the political history of the Mountain West. In the 1970s Democrats held a majority of the region's Senate seats, including seats in Idaho, Wyoming, and Utah. In the 1980s they lost ground and in the 1990s it turned bright red. Now the pendulum is swinging back, but the 1970s Mountain West produced a bunch of flaming liberal Democrats including Bruce Babbit, Gary Hart, Pat Schroeder Frank Church, and George McGovern (ok, S. Dakota, but it's close) as well as many more moderates. The influx of white California suburbanites in the 1980s and 90s helped swing some of those states to the right. If anything the right winggery of the Mountain West is as much the product of those outsiders as it is a reflection of a presumed innate conservative character of the Rockies.

Posted by: ft on December 8, 2006 at 1:54 PM | PERMALINK

The influx of white California suburbanites in the 1980s and 90s helped swing some of those states to the right.

The decision by the Xian right to base themselves in CO Springs also helped.

Posted by: Disputo on December 8, 2006 at 2:02 PM | PERMALINK

I agree with GC: Dems can win the West on one issue, and one issue only:

GUNS.

Lighten up on the guns (let gun control be a local urban issue), and you'll win these folks over.

GC - he didn't co-opt me. Kind of hurt my feelings.

Posted by: Extradite Rumsfeld on December 8, 2006 at 2:15 PM | PERMALINK

Maybe you'll be next, ER. Hope springs eternal, as they say.

Posted by: Global Citizen on December 8, 2006 at 2:28 PM | PERMALINK

Gobal Citizen wrote: "... if they would just lose that stupid fucking gun control plank."

It is stupid to think that the weak or nonexistent gun control laws that might be workable and culturally acceptable in, say, rural Montana, are what's needed in Washington DC, New York City, Philadelphia, Miami, etc., but of course the NRA constantly tells everyone that it must be so.

It is stupid to think that citizens and public officials who want strong laws that will keep guns out of the hands of drug gangs in cities are trying to take hunting rifles away from hunters in Montana, but of course that is exactly what the NRA constantly tells the hunters in Montana.

It is stupid to think that there is any reason on Earth that cheap, easily concealable handguns and military assault weapons should be legal for anyone anywhere to own.

As far as I am concerned, I would be happy to see all guns banned, period. But I realize that I live in a country where some people have a cultish worship of guns as some sort of cultural icon (after all that's how the West was won -- from all the Indians that the Europeans exterminated with guns) and other people enjoy slaughtering helpless animals for fun with high-powered weapons, so that's not going to happen.

The least the gun nuts can do is stop whining when people in urban and suburban areas want restrictions or regulations on gun sales that will reduce the numbers of us who get killed in the street every day.

Posted by: SecularAnimist on December 8, 2006 at 2:28 PM | PERMALINK

Thsnks, GC - Apologies to Winda Warren Terra - I, too, was co-opted several times.

Yes, Guns and the Spotted Owl did hurt in the small towns across the Northwest - However, some of these folks have since learned that it was their own huge timber companies who cut the deals with the Japanese which caused small mills to shut down. It was not the Spotted Owl which forbade the milling of timber being shipped to Japan. It was those lovely folks who lived in the McMansions on the crest of the hills.

The two tier nature of the west dictated a feeling of don't go against "Speak no evil against The Man" - Huge mining, logging and cattle companies were owned by the very rich - The rest of the population worked for them and many lived in company towns.

For a classic example of greed and disception, look up the disaster of Libby, Montana and the WR Grace company - A virtual horror of vermiculite and asbestos - Even this month the court house in Gallatin County, Montana was closed because of asbestos found in a renovation project - Huge coverups by Grace - Brought to light by reporters from Washington state. Neighbors turned on neighbors over the disclosures.

Thank you George, for attempting to turn this great nation into a two tier society.

Posted by: thethirdPaul on December 8, 2006 at 2:30 PM | PERMALINK

I'm one of those gun owners that was angered by the gun control plank for years - but I'm enough of a civil libertarian to realize that I had a lot more at stake re: the Constitution under Publicans than I did under Democrats. The NRA wants to pretend that the second amendment is all that matters, and it isn't. The entire Constitution is worth defending, and that is exactly why I am heavily armed.

Posted by: Global Citizen on December 8, 2006 at 2:39 PM | PERMALINK

"And extremely dangerous!"

Posted by: stupid git on December 8, 2006 at 2:47 PM | PERMALINK

Only when riled, Git, only when riled.

Posted by: thethirdPaul on December 8, 2006 at 2:48 PM | PERMALINK

"Montana has long had a moderate streak."

Moderate? Try liberal. Pat Williams was the rep for western Montana until we lost one of our House seats. Organized labor had been strong. Ironically, it was the shutting down of mining that helped end the liberal labor tradition here.

And I agree with dropping the gun control bit. Both sides should realize that gun control does very different things in rural vs. urban settings.

Posted by: John on December 8, 2006 at 2:52 PM | PERMALINK

John wrote: "Both sides should realize that gun control does very different things in rural vs. urban settings."

The NRA spends many millions of dollars every year to ensure that rural gun owners don't realize that.

The idea that many people in rural areas have, that gun control is all about Big Brother's jackbooted shock troops in black helicopters taking away their hunting rifles, doesn't just come out of nowhere. It is the direct result of the multi-multi-million dollar propaganda campaigns of the vile and despicable NRA, which does not represent the interests or the "second amendment rights" of gun owners, but the greed of gun manufacturers who profit from flooding the cities with handguns, which have no purpose except murdering human beings.

Posted by: SecularAnimist on December 8, 2006 at 3:26 PM | PERMALINK

SA: While I'm a gun owner, I'm not clinically insane. the NRA will get their first and last dime from me when they pry it out of my cold, dead fingers.

Posted by: Global Citizen on December 8, 2006 at 3:29 PM | PERMALINK

One thing I haven't seen mentioned in any of the comments above is the fact that the Mountain West is becoming more urbanized, along with the rest of the country. The more concentrated the population, the more "liberal" ways of living become important.

I live in Tucson, which has always been a "liberal" enclave in a red state.

Also, the whole "ranch" (aka tough, exaltation of the individual over the whole, etc.) lifestyle is becoming increasingly difficult to maintain, even with significant subsidies allowing ranchers to graze their cattle on federal land at low cost. Water shortages are also mounting, making ranching less feasible.

Ranchers are also becoming environmentalists to preserve what they still have. Many are now cutting deals with organizations such as Nature Conservancy, where when old ranchers die out, their land will become part of a nature preserve, rather than being sold to developers.

There are many factors going on now which, IMHO, make "liberalization" of the Mountain West almost inevitable.

Posted by: Wolfdaughter on December 8, 2006 at 3:37 PM | PERMALINK

Hey!

I said "look to the Mountain West" MONTHS ago.

Posted by: Cal Gal on December 8, 2006 at 4:04 PM | PERMALINK

Just one comment on guns. It's an issue I'm happy to give up for electoral supremacy, but it is not just an "urban issues." Or it is, but it is not one that can be solved through local or state legislation. We have super strict bans in NYC, it's just really easy to import assault weapons from elsewhere. State weapons bans are basically useless if even one state is making it easy to acquire the guns. It just creates a national network of first legal, and then illegal gun sales. That is why illegal guns are very cheap now, but would (hopefully) be prohibitively expensive for most run-of-the-mill criminals under a national ban.

Besides, I read that Philly is more dangerous than Baghdad. But maybe that wasn't an argument for gun control? I get so confused...

Posted by: Sam L. on December 8, 2006 at 4:40 PM | PERMALINK

Sam L. wrote: "State weapons bans are basically useless if even one state is making it easy to acquire the guns. It just creates a national network of first legal, and then illegal gun sales. That is why illegal guns are very cheap now, but would (hopefully) be prohibitively expensive for most run-of-the-mill criminals under a national ban."

This commonsense argument is exactly why the vile and despicable NRA spends millions upon millions of dollars telling rural gun owners that the Brady bill and bans on cheap "Saturday night special" handguns and military assault weapons and armor-piercing cop-killer munitions are just the first step on the "liberal agenda" to kick down their doors and confiscate their hunting rifles.

Posted by: SecularAnimist on December 8, 2006 at 4:53 PM | PERMALINK

Aye. On the other hand, I don't know how much of a problem guns really are in cities, so much as a symptom of other really bad problems like say, high unemployment and low opportunity and low education and an incredibly unjust criminal justice system for young minority men.

Posted by: Sam L. on December 8, 2006 at 5:05 PM | PERMALINK

Wolfdaughter has a point about the "urbanization" of the Mountain West. My home of La Plata County in Colorado is bright blue for one reason; the City of Durango (pop. 15,000) attracts lots of liberal minded, active, urban refugee professional types (like me) and we are able to outnumber the rural conservatives. This is the case in many, many places easterners consider "rural," and is the reasons Colorado's 3rd Cong. Dist. is now blue.

Posted by: Doug-E-Fresh on December 8, 2006 at 5:06 PM | PERMALINK

Al (at the top) is right on this one: these people are libertarians and naturally conservative. Look at Nevada this year: the scuttlebutt before the election was that Democrats had a chance, but they ended up with virtually nothing, re-electing the vapid Sen. Ensign to effectively undo any good that Reid might accomplish. Backlash against Republicans may have gained Demos a few seats here or there, but I can't see it lasting, protection for the ol' fishin' hole notwithstanding....

Posted by: NevadaBob on December 8, 2006 at 5:15 PM | PERMALINK

Anywhere the Democrats can pick up votes is good, but let's not overhype the amount of people who live there.

Rocky Mountain West (AZ, CO, ID, MT, NV, NM, UT, WY)

1960: 3.8% of popular presidential votes cast
1964: 4.0%
1968: 4.0%
1972: 4.4%
1976: 4.7%
1980: 5.0%
1984: 5.1%
1988: 5.5%
1992: 5.7%
1996: 5.9%
2000: 6.1%
2004: 6.5%

Someone else pointed this out, that what we're seeing in the Rocky Mountains are Democrats doing well in Governors races and in some Senate contests. The Democrats did very well in those kinds of races in the Rockies back in the '70s, while losing at the presidential level by substantial margins.

Rocky Mountain West (AZ, CO, ID, MT, NV, NM, UT, WY)

1960: Nixon-Lodge 53.5%
Kennedy-Johnson 46.3%

1964: Johnson-Humphrey 56.5%
Goldwater-Miller 43.3%

1968: Nixon-Agnew 52.9%
Humphrey-Muskie 38.1%

1972: Nixon-Agnew 63.0%
McGovern-Shriver 32.3%

1976: Ford-Dole 55.8%
Carter-Mondale 41.2%

1980: Reagan-Bush 60.7%
Carter-Mondale 28.8%

1984: Reagan-Bush 66.1%
Mondale-Ferraro 32.6%

1988: Bush-Quayle 57.6%
Dukakis-Bentsen 40.8%

1992: Bush-Quayle 38.1%
Clinton-Gore 36.3%

1996: Dole-Kemp 46.4%
Clinton-Gore 42.6%

2000: Bush-Cheney 54.7%
Gore-Lieberman 39.7%

2004: Bush-Cheney 56.7%
Kerry-Edwards 41.9%

Posted by: Chris on December 8, 2006 at 5:42 PM | PERMALINK

Meanwhile, since the topic of this thread touches on "environmentalism" and the impacts of global warming on the American west, I think this is relevant:

Carbon Emissions up One-Quarter Since 1990: Study
by Gerard Wynn
December 8, 2006
Reuters

Excerpt:

Global carbon emissions rose nearly 3 percent in 2005, up more than a quarter from 1990 levels despite many governments' pledges of cuts to fight global warming, a scientist who provides data for the U.S. Department of Energy said.

"The rate of acceleration is quite phenomenal," said Gregg Marland, senior staff scientist at the U.S. Carbon Dioxide Information Analysis Center (CDIAC), which supplies emissions data to governments, researchers and NGOs worldwide.

"Half of all emissions have been since 1980. I think people lose track of the rate of acceleration. You tend to think of (this as) something that's been going on -- it's not," he told Reuters late on Thursday.

Rising emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases are contributing to severe climate change, including rises in sea levels and extreme weather, many scientists say.

They say dramatic cuts in emissions are needed by mid-century to reduce the scale of such changes, and the steep rise in emissions in recent years underscores the size of the task facing governments round the world.

The CDIAC estimates that global carbon emissions rose some 200 million tonnes to 7.9 billion tonnes in 2005, 28 percent above 1990 levels. This followed a rise of nearly 5 percent in 2004, it said.

It is difficult for me to imagine any realistic scenario in which CO2 emissions will be -- not "could be" but "will be" -- reduced enough, soon enough, to avert a planetary catastrophe. Indeed, when one looks at the changes that are already occurring in the Earth's biosphere, it is evident that the catastrophe is already underway and may already be irreversible.

Posted by: SecularAnimist on December 8, 2006 at 5:43 PM | PERMALINK

Back in the day, I had a professor, who, while he was a raving enviro, stressed to us wanna-be environmental lawyer types that, although you may not want to believe it, some of the best friends of the environmentalists (at least when it comes down to the practical issues of keeping this stream clean, or that bit of prairie wild) are the rod and gun types. And now that there seems to be some small bit of daylight growing between the actual fishers & shooters and the NRA, maybe this can be exploited a bit more.

Posted by: Marc in Denver on December 8, 2006 at 6:11 PM | PERMALINK

Pale Rider: "John Tester is a liberal? He didn't win because he called himself a 'liberal.'

He won because he had a flat-top haircut and looked like a wheat farmer who's won a few beer chugging contests."

You evidently have a very low opinion of Montanans, to believe that a flattop and farm duds is enough to make Montanans ignore what a candidate stands for.

Jon Tester didn't call himself a liberal; he just took liberal positions on a bunch of issues. Apparently Montanans liked that.

Or maybe they were fooled by the haircut. Whatever.

Posted by: RT on December 8, 2006 at 8:59 PM | PERMALINK

"and its relentless denial of global warming"

This is a simple, straightforward lie.

Even Kevin and his readers know how to do research of the form http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&lr=&q=site%3Awhitehouse.gov+%22global+warming%22&btnG=Search, so why does he think he can get away with it?

Posted by: am on December 8, 2006 at 10:53 PM | PERMALINK

This commonsense argument is exactly why the vile and despicable NRA spends millions upon millions of dollars telling rural gun owners that the Brady bill and bans on cheap "Saturday night special" handguns and military assault weapons and armor-piercing cop-killer munitions are just the first step on the "liberal agenda" to kick down their doors and confiscate their hunting rifles.

Posted by: SecularAnimist on December 8, 2006 at 4:53 PM

As far as I am concerned, I would be happy to see all guns banned, period.

Posted by: SecularAnimist on December 8, 2006 at 2:28 PM


Well, actually because we KNOW it's the first part of an agenda by people like you outlaw firearms entirely or regulate them to such a degree that they are effectively outlawed. It's not hard to recognize the thin end of the wedge.

Being a gun owner and living in California I see this approach first hand. It's simply an easy way out for politicians who don't want to address hard education,law/order and employment issues. It's also an easy way for suburbanites wanks to give themselves warm fuzzies that they've helped do something about the "violence problem".

It's too bad, maybe I'll have to move to one of the mountain states so I can vote Democrat in state races and not abstain as I have been. One of the things that has hurt the party over the past decades has been it's abandonment of the the Pabst Blue Ribbon class in favor of the Chablis and Brie set. Hopefully the recent success of more conservative Democrats marks a sea change.

Posted by: sprocket on December 9, 2006 at 12:11 AM | PERMALINK

I'm so tired of that Scum Party meme "the chablis and Brie" set. I haven't seen anyone eat Brie in years, it's like calling the Scum voters "the loofah and falafel" set. Oh, wait, maybe that IS appropriate.

I have (seriously) changed my mind about the 2nd amendment in recent years. I believe all liberals should be armed to the teeth so when the Dobson-inflamed Zombies come marching up my front walk, I intend to take out as many of them as I can.

Posted by: jprichva on December 9, 2006 at 12:28 AM | PERMALINK

It's all about the new urbanization of the West. Until fairly recently, the West was deeply libertarian with a few pockets of cultural conservatism (Colo. Springs, Utah, Idaho). But now the West is growing like crazy and the residents want to put the breaks on things. Traffic is out of control. Smog is getting terrible. Water costs are going up. Schools are overcrowded. Sewers and roads are inadequate. Mostly Latino working class immigrants are getting mobilized. Put these factors together and you have the ingredients for a Democratic trend. Phoenix doesn't have the same issues as rural Montana. But both share a lot of similar issues and the old libertarian streak is dying out as the Westerners ask for more from the government.

Populism has a long history in the West, but the libertarian streak reacted hard to Clinton in the gungho days of the 1990s. Now those same voters that wanted to take their snowmobiles through Yellowstone National Park want the government to stop excessive growth in exurban Denver. The pendulum is heading back to the Democrats. The only game the GOP has anymore is immigration, but as elsewhere, anti-immigration fever will only galvanize Western Latinos behind the Democratic Party. The trend looks very good for Dems in the West.

Posted by: Elrod on December 9, 2006 at 12:51 AM | PERMALINK

These folks are real, down to earth, and easy to talk to. Progressives easily bring them on board, we just need real progressive people to do it.

Posted by: Jimm on December 9, 2006 at 6:12 AM | PERMALINK

This is a simple, straightforward lie.

Really, shitface? Tell that to Jim Inhofe as he clears out his motherfucking office, you sad little piece-of-shit hit-and-run troll.

Posted by: ahem on December 9, 2006 at 12:16 PM | PERMALINK

jprichva: "I'm so tired of that Scum Party meme 'the chablis and Brie' set."

I hate to digress from the topic at hand, but I am too. You can be damn sure the GOPers and their propagandists aren't hanging around trailer parks gulping down Pabsts and Cheetohs all day.

How I wish Repubs would go back to being honest WASP Anglophile elitists (see Buckley, William F.; King, Florence; etc.). But this populist bullshit it what sells now.

Posted by: Brian on December 9, 2006 at 1:47 PM | PERMALINK

Hunters should also realize the harm done to their sport by population growth, which is pushed by conservatives through growthenomic fallacies and welfare for the non-poor subsidies like the child tax credit.

Posted by: Neil' on December 9, 2006 at 9:20 PM | PERMALINK

"It is stupid to think that the weak or nonexistent gun control laws that might be workable and culturally acceptable in, say, rural Montana, are what's needed in Washington DC, New York City, Philadelphia, Miami, etc., but of course the NRA constantly tells everyone that it must be so."

Why? The strict gun laws in those places aren't doing a damn bit of good. The places that receive the highest ratings from the Brady Bunch for their strict gun laws also tend to be the most violent places in the country. Actually those lenient laws are quite workable in many urban environments--Miami being a good example. Violent crime in FL has dropped at a faster rate than the national average since CCW laws were adopted.

You're not thinking rationally here--we ALREADY have incredibly strict gun laws in many of those places, hell guns are completely illegal in Washington DC. How exactly would laws from places like say...Virginia or Montana make it any worse?

I'd argue they'd make it better. Criminals uniformly prefer unarmed victims.

You might disagree, but in any event you certainly can't show me that gun control's doing a damn bit of good in those urban places you mention.

"It is stupid to think that citizens and public officials who want strong laws that will keep guns out of the hands of drug gangs in cities are trying to take hunting rifles away from hunters in Montana, but of course that is exactly what the NRA constantly tells the hunters in Montana."

You're still being irrational, and are chugging too much of Sarah Brady's rancid blather. Strong laws that keep guns out of the hands of drug gangs? Which are those? Huh? What strong laws are you talking about?

And yes, many of the laws you're thinking of will indeed take hunting rifles away. Not everyone hunts with a muzzleloader. Some of us do hunt with weapons Sarah Brady wants to take away. Do you even know anything about guns? It doesn't sound like it.

In any event, that's a red herring. Hunting is NOT mentioned in the 2A, it's NOT the only reason to own a gun, and frankly over 80% of gun owners do NOT hunt.

So spare me the bullshit about not wanting my hunting rifle. I'm a vegetarian. I could care less. The reality is you want to deny me a weapon I'd use to protect myself and my home. At least be honest about it.

"It is stupid to think that there is any reason on Earth that cheap, easily concealable handguns and military assault weapons should be legal for anyone anywhere to own."

What's stupid is for gun controllers like you to think that continually regurgitating the same tired arguments is going to someday make them make more sense. Cheap, concealable guns? What's wrong with that? Guess we can't have working class people owning guns, eh? How much is too cheap? $400? $500? How much should guns cost before they're legal? Guess you think only rich elitists like Dick Cheney should have guns, and not working class folks like me? Fuck that.

What a moronic argument.

Newsflash--automatic assault weapons have been tightly regulated at the Federal level since FUCKING 1934 GODDAMMIT. Do a google for National Firearms Act of 1934. Why is that lost on you gun controllers? You ALREADY have the laws you want in place. Actually, Josh Sugarmann of the VPC has been quoted as saying he knows damn well the gun control movement benefits from purposefully confusing dolts like you about semiauto and full auto weapons. For the LAST FUCKING TIME--you can't own a fully auto weapon unless you've paid the govt an inordinate $25,000+ tax stamp and had the BATF examine your rectum with a flashlight and a blowtorch. For all practical purposes, fully auto military weapons like AK47s, M16s, and M60s are already denied to the general public.

The reality is that all rifles, military or not, are used in fewer than 1% of all gun crimes. Crooks seldom use rifles because they're expensive and difficult to conceal. So you blathering on about "military assault weapons in the hands of the common folk" is worrying about a non issue. Crooks use handguns.

"As far as I am concerned, I would be happy to see all guns banned, period."

Yeah, cause that'll work. Just like banning drugs, gambling, prostitution, and alcohol worked out so well. Moronic sentiment at best.

"But I realize that I live in a country where some people have a cultish worship of guns as some sort of cultural icon"

First of all, there are 80mil gun owners in the US, and a great majority of us are law abiding folks. That's not a cult. That's our culture. If anyone's a cult, it's you folk still sophmoric enough to think banning guns makes any fuckin sense. You also live in a country where people value the ability to defend yourself and use guns for sporting, hunting, competitive, and defensive purposes. You also live in a country where people value the freedom to choose--you can't favor all these freedoms most of us liberals cherish but not allow the freedom to choose to participate in your own defense.

"and other people enjoy slaughtering helpless animals for fun with high-powered weapons, so that's not going to happen."

Whereas you just buy your meat at the grocery store where you've paid someone to slaughter it for you. Like that's so much better. Fuck you you elitist prick. Some people enjoy providing their own sustenance.

"The least the gun nuts can do is stop whining when people in urban and suburban areas want restrictions or regulations on gun sales that will reduce the numbers of us who get killed in the street every day."

All those restrictions do is keep law abiding citizens from being armed. Criminals are criminals because THEY DON'T FUCKING OBEY THE LAW YOU SIMPLETON. They're not going to pay any attention to any of those regulations you're nonsensically carping about. So give it up already. There are 80mil gun owners in the US. Only a fraction of 1% ever are involved in a gun crime. You don't take something away from the 99% who obey the law because of the 1% who don't. That's not democracy, it's not justice, and it's not good social policy.

And one more thing--there's no such thing as cop killing armor piercing rounds. Any centerfire rifle cartridge commonly used for hunting (.223, .243. .270, .308, etc) will zip right through a kevlar vest.

But you're all about protecting hunter's rights and not taking THEIR guns away, right?

Fuck gun controllers are predictable if nothing else.

Posted by: Sebastian on December 10, 2006 at 10:44 AM | PERMALINK




 

 

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