The majority of Americans look askance at officials who use gun-rights issues to arm their own political agenda, and Republicans particularly are critical of what they see. “Many elected officials have called for swift government action in response to the Newtown shooting,” points out a Reason-Rupe survey, which reveals that 52 percent of respondents agreed that “elected officials are exploiting the tragedy for political reasons.” Naturally, there’s a partisan divide.
“Democrats differ sharply from independents and Republicans on the issue. Seventy-one percent of Republicans and 60 percent of independents think the tragedy is being politicized, while just 32 percent of Democrats believe so,” says Reason analyst Emily Ekins.
The survey also asked this question: “If the federal ban on assault weapons were still in effect, do you think it would have helped avoid the Newtown shooting?” More than two-thirds said “no,” while another 51 percent said that people should be allowed to own assault weapons.
Among respondents in the wide-ranging poll, 54 percent said there was not a firearm in their household, 49 percent said they were Democrats or leaned that way, and 37 percent were Republicans or Republican leaning. The poll of 1,000 adults was conducted Jan. 17 to 21.
THE RUBIO REVIEWS
For better or worse, the press continues to ponder Sen. Marco Rubio as he parses out productive immigration policy on Capitol Hill and elsewhere. Is the Florida Republican friend or foe to the GOP? Is he visionary or clueless?
“Anyone else noticing the love New York Senator Charles Schumer is showing for Marco Rubio? He’s been calling Rubio courageous for pushing an immigration overhaul that many in his party’s base despise. Wednesday morning he likened Rubio’s appearance on conservative talk shows to ‘Daniel in the lion’s den,’” points out S.V. Date, author of a biography on Jeb Bush and a National Public Radio contributor.
“I love and respect Marco. I think he’s just amazingly naive on this issue. This is the same formula we’ve seen before. Promises of enforcement never materialize, and the amnesty happens immediately,” Sen. David Vitter told talk radio host Laura Ingraham. “As soon as you give illegal immigrants legal status, they are here legally forever, and probably they’re citizens not that long after. If Marco thinks that’s not going happen, I think he’s nuts.”
“I don’t like Marco Rubio’s plan. There. I said it,” notes RedState.com founder Erick Erickson, who says Mr. Rubio’s immigration plan is “warmed over McCain-Kennedy,” while warning, “This is just another policy debate the Democrats can use to get the GOP to fight itself.”
And from a National Review editorial: “Given the growing size of the Hispanic vote, it would help Republicans significantly to lose it by smaller margins than they have recently. But the idea that an amnesty is going to put Latinos squarely in the GOP tent is a fantasy.”
WHAT THEY DIDN’T COVER
The press eagerly covered Big Bird, the fictional Republican war on women and Mitt Romney gaffes galore — but conveniently left out all the naughty bits on the flagging U.S. economy, the “Fast and Furious” gun-running scandal and dubious foreign policy. Ah yes, it’s the mainstream news media at work, a friend to the White House, and an effective friend at that.
Brand new from Regnery Publishing, it’s “Spin Masters: How the Media Ignored the Real News and Helped Reelect Barack Obama,” by David Freddoso, editorial page editor for The Washington Examiner, who deems it all a “great slobbering love affair,” and cites dozens of examples.
“The biggest story of the election was how the media ignored the biggest story of the election,” Mr. Freddoso notes.