YOU ARE CORRECT, SIR: Kornacki gets it right!

TUESDAY, JULY 24, 2012

On two issues, our side has lost: Steve Kornacki broke through the clutter on last evening’s Last Word.

All over the One True Liberal Channel, the droogs were asking why the Democrats don’t fight for gun control. At long last, someone explained why Romney won’t be pushed on this topic:
KORNACKI (7/23/12): I think if we’re going to be honest about it, we’d have to say part of the reason is there’s not going to be any pressure from his opponent in this race on the subject. Barack Obama is not really any more interested in having a debate and having a discussion about gun control. And that’s really consistent, I think, with the lesson the Democratic Party has drawn from the last ten years.

I think a strong case can be made they’ve drawn the wrong lesson. But what Democrats decided in the wake of the 2000 election with Al Gore and President Bush, Democrats said we lost in 2000 because we lost states like West Virginia, where sort of blue-collar, rural white populations turned on us because we’re the party of gun control, so we’re not going to talk about that anymore.
Kornacki went on from there, but his understanding jibes with ours. On the very night when Candidate Gore conceded in December 2000, we were told by a top campaign operative—we think it may have been [name withheld]—that no Democrat would ever run on gun control ever again.

West Virginia was mentioned to us—but so was Tennessee, where the NRA ran a very large, late ad campaign which tipped the state to Bush.

We were told the party had agreed that the issue had finally been settled. And it seems that operative must have been right. At some point, gun control was renamed “gun safety.” But as Kornacki explained last night, neither Kerry nor Obama ran on any such issues.

MSNBC is assembling a new group of liberal TV Kool Kidz. Often, Kornacki seems to be the only one who knows what he’s talking about. (Sometimes, this annoys Lawrence.)

All last night, the others wailed and gnashed their teeth, wondering when Obama will fight. Kornacki gave the explanation we heard twelve years ago.

As he did so, he basically made this statement: We liberals have lost the gun control fight. We thought of Kornacki’s recent column, in which the headline asks this punishing question:

“Has the right won on taxes?”

Well yes, they’ve largely won there too, although we liberals don’t seem to know it. As a candidate, Obama endorsed the vast bulk of the Bush tax cuts. Eight years earlier, we liberals thought those cuts were a bad idea.

We liberals have largely lost the debate on taxes; we’ve wholly lost the debate on guns. The only way to turn that around is to go and talk turkey to voters. We have to persuade the voters we’re right. And no, a sitting president can’t magically do that by himself.

Unfortunately, our liberal team is poorly skilled when it comes to that basic task. We prefer to mock the electorate, the people among whom we’ve lost.

We prefer to call the voters names. It doesn’t even cross our minds to set up forums at which we can talk to those low-information rednecks.

(Just for the record: At such forums, we would also have to listen to the rednecks. Yuck!)

Our new liberal stars seemed baffled last night. Maybe that’s what happens when we let corporations select our top liberal stars for us.


  1. at the grass roots level the self styled real americans are largely willfully ignorant. deep down they arent antagonistic to d party policies but to the people of the d party having any control over *their* government and culture.

  2. Dan Baum makes much the same point as Kornacki regarding Dems and gun control. This is a good short read. No paywall here:

    Near the end he writes:

    "I’d argue that we’ve sacrificed generations of progress on health care, women’s and workers’ rights, and climate change by reflexively returning, at times like these, to an ill-informed call to ban firearms, and we haven’t gotten anything tangible in return."

  3. Thanks for the link, Blake Elder. Note this paragraph:

    In 2003, the Centers for Disease Control—no friend of the gun lobby—evaluated fifty-one studies on everything from the effectiveness of gun bans to laws requiring gun locks, and found no discernible effect on public safety by any of the measures we commonly think of as “gun control.” Two years later, the American Journal of Preventive Medicine did a similar survey and came to much the same conclusion.

    Since gun control doesn't work, why do liberals support it?

    BTW the media tend to under-report underplay defensive gun use.

    1. I'm sure any story about defensive gun use is about as appetizing as stories on Christian largess, to media narrators.

      That said, what are the chances that an assault weapons would be needed in such a scenario?

      I have no difficulty giving nod to principles that are predicated on things more abstract than 'the odds', but not to the point where they utterly defy commonsense.

  4. I hope Bob makes it a point to engage, well, lets call them "rednecks" on political issues. I do it, and it hurts! No worse than reading a post by David in Ca, though....

    Anyway, glad Kornaki is getting a shot he's usually pretty good. It might be worth considering that some issues drift in cycles over time, back and fourth in popular opinion, and gun control may be one of these. A lot of this beating up on Dems over blood that is rightfully on the hands of people like David in Ca seems like liberal self loathing, so what else is new?

    1. "A lot of this beating up on Dems over blood that is rightfully on the hands of people like David in Ca..."

      What a hateful thing to say, and utterly simplistic way of thinking.

      This sort of mentality is the precursor to tribalism.

      It's not as advanced as tribalism. It not about even the most rudimentary or primordial sense of shared experience and commonality, but is strictly an infantile and utterly egocentric demand for one's own way.

      It's the intellectual equivalent of stomping on the floor and throwing blocks at anyone who utters the word "no".

      This IS the emotional and mental essence of these control freaks, and it's why they view with pique and suspicion all but complete agreement from friend and foe alike.

    2. You better get to a sink and a shrink dear, the blood is on your hands too.

    3. You better get to a sink and a shrink dear, the blood is on your hands too.

    4. You can do a duet one of these day with a pro-lifer.

  5. But what Democrats decided in the wake of the 2000 election with Al Gore and President Bush, Democrats said we lost in 2000 because

    Al Gore lost in 2000? In fact he won, and for the Democrats to walk around saying "we can never again discuss gun control" is as nuts as Republicans saying "we won because we are pro gun" (they didn't win.)

    1. Yeah. And they came within a few thousand votes in Ohio in 2004 of unseating a war time president for the first time in the nation's history, took over the House and Senate in 2006, and added seats in both houses while they were winning the White House in 2008.

    2. Gee, and why do I feel like we lost? Oh, war in Iraq, PATRIOT Act, war on terror, increasing wealth disparity, warrantless eavesdropping, extra-legal drone assassinations of American citizens, massive tax cuts for the already massively wealthy, cuts in government employment and services, and a sitting "Democratic" president who can't wait to "win" re-election so he can go after Social Security yet again. Thank God for winning!

    3. Has this been a bad dream? Wow! I dreamed that George W. Bush was president from '01 through '08.

      Horace Feathers

  6. The post suggests what liberals should do, so I feel obliged to chime in. The rest of the post is at least believable.

    There are studies that link crime to political upheaval. You can see that between attacks on diaspora Jews of France and Israel/Palestine, and of course in the aftermath of Iraq. So if that's the real cause, and I think anyone but a hypocrite has a lot of work to do to say it isn't, talking about laws, and not the culture is the problem.

    In fact, Aurora, Colorado has the highest search count for "WWE RAW," a peculiarity it happens to share with about every state in the country with a ban on gay marriage. From that, it's not hard to figure out why the voters you say are respectable think they're being talked down to about guns.

    Too bad it was a Marxist, Dr. Reich, who figured most of this out in the 30's and was censored until after the millennium.

  7. Donna GratehouseJuly 25, 2012 at 2:13 AM

    I think our time would be better spent blocking GOP voter suppression tactics and getting our vote out. As 2006 and especially 2008 amply demonstrated, when Democrats vote we win.

  8. Also, I'm part of the "electorate" too and conservatives mock me and call me a communist and baby killer and whatnot on a regular basis. They don't seem to be paying a price at the polls for that.

  9. One last thing, Sommersby seems to be laboring under some (ironically)elitist assumption of his own about Republican voters. Michele Bachmann gets elected every time in a district with a median income of $70K. I would really like to know what strategies he'd propose for Democrats to reach out to the "rednecks" there.

  10. Some people cannot be reached by any means whatsoever.

    Democrats have but one strategy, the one that worked in 2008. Barack Obama.

    I fear that since the novelty of electing a Black President cannot be duplicated, many Democrats will sit this election out, as they do for mid-terms.

    What I tell liberals who feel Obama has let them down is that two Supreme Court Justices will probably retire in the next four years. If that doesn't matter to you, stay home and watch the results on TV.

    That tactic of sitting out an election is euphemistically called "Sending a message to Washington."

    Good luck with that.

  11. Donna GratehouseJuly 25, 2012 at 3:48 PM

    Liberals didn't sit out the 2010 midterms. It was moderate voters flipping to Republican that was the problem. I realize hippie punching is super-fun but the numbers are still what they are:

  12. Sigh....these "rednecks" used to be the heart of the Democratic party. FDR's huge wins would not have been possible otherwise. It behooves us to figure out how to reach out to these folks and bring them back into the party. Calling them ignorant racist rednecks ain't gonna do it.

  13. Haha Anon fine place to pick a fight about Our Tribe.

    Oh yeah and I'm sure they respect people speaking their mind (me) more than someone who "ain't gonna" do anything but be behooved to politically shepherd "folks."

  14. Hi! I've been reading your blog for a long time now and finally got the bravery to go ahead and give you a shout out from Lubbock Texas! Just wanted to tell you keep up the excellent job!

    My blog - personal loans online

  15. Let's hope it business hope doesn't crash. Іf yοu аre passionate abоut
    doing Day Ιn and Day Out. Leadеrship iѕ back in fashion.
    RecοverуRecovеrу іs thе
    procеss οf prοvіding information about the bank's insurance using the FDIC.

    Also visit my web site ...

  16. The popularity of call duty black ops has seen the rise of motion controls, which
    has given gamers a reason to get off the couch and be active.

    People with the Inattentive type of ADHD.

    Here is my web site online video games

  17. Amber C Nov 30, 2011, 12:03pm UTC and hunger Games For Nintendo Wii is
    about feeding him to the lions. It was one of the things that you have checked your ISO file and all is
    good, you need to look elsewhere. One person picks a word or
    phrase for her team to guess.

    my site :: web site