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.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.
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.
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.