On today’s Trifecta, Scott Ott has us look at Senator Pat Toomey, and his teamup Democrat Joe Manchin on expanding background checks for gun purchases. I got in a good answer to Scott’s second question, but I need to expand on it because I forgot to mention one important bit.
Scott’s argument was that Toomey probably honestly does believe in the bill he’s pushing, and that that’s fine. It’s place, if I heard Scott correctly, where reasonable people may reasonably disagree. I don’t see a simple background check as an infringement, provided it’s done quickly and honestly.
But Scott’s question to me was why would Toomey risk the wrath of his constituents for a bill that can’t pass? I think the answer lies in the second half of the question.
If Toomey is a reasonable believer in reasonable background checks, then he’s working to pass a bill he believes in. That’s fine. And if he doesn’t? He knows two things: One, the bill probably won’t pass the Senate, and it almost certainly won’t pass the House. Two, that he’s gone a long ways towards showing the GOP can be “reasonable” by the President’s own estimation. The bill had a big GOP sponsor, and if it can’t make it past Harry Reid’s Democrats… well, that’s hardly the fault of Pat Toomey.
Oh, he also knows a third thing: He’s in his first year and has plenty of time to make good with his 2A constituents, and to regain his perfect rating from the NRA.
So Toomey may or may not be wrong on this one particular issue, but by playing it the way he has, he’s eliminated some of the GOP’s stigma and helped to humiliate a President.
That’s not a bad week’s work.