04.22.2013 2

The left’s real shame

NRD Editor’s Note: This column originally appeared at TheHill.com.

By Rick Manning Obama’s failure to push his gun control agenda through the Democratic-controlled United States Senate revealed the craven political power of big government.

A president with the assistance of a friendly media can drive emotional messages featuring victims, along with media-certified four-Pinocchio statements to try to whip the nation into a frenzy to urge legislation. Yet, only when it fails does the real big government beast expose itself.

In a startling admission, one official with a major gun control group bemoaned in the post-defeat haze, “Bribery isn’t what it once was,” to which he explained. “The government has no money. Once upon a time you would throw somebody a post office or a research facility in times like this. Frankly, there’s not a lot of leverage.”

Once the stun factor wears off, the ramifications of this bald statement are threefold.

First and most obviously, the gun control lobby admits that their issue is a political loser dependent upon government “bribes” to win.

Former Rep. Barney Frank (D), who represented a liberal Massachusetts district, noted the same political impotency of the gun control movement in his book, What’s Wrong with the Democrats and How to Fix It where he wrote, “Liberals must remember, however, that the political costs of gun control are also higher. There are a large number of people who care fiercely about what they believed to be their right to own guns without restrictions as long as they use them lawfully.”

The second “a-ha” from the failed whining of the losing gun control movement is a confirmation of the impact of big government on efforts to further expand its size and scope.

Cutting off the discretionary money spigot through measures like the sequester and the end of earmarks, the president’s capacity to wield power in a fair fight against those without the ability to spend other people’s money to accomplish their political ends is dramatically diminished.

If the minor real cuts from the budget fights have done nothing but stifle the ability of big government to beget more big government, they have been a rousing success.

And third, the same professional left that browbeats Congress on campaign reform, transparency and open government depends upon backroom bribes in the form of funding pet projects and grants to accomplish its agenda.

Is there any wonder why one of the first acts by the Republican Tea Party Congress elected in 2010 was to end the use of earmarks. Protecting the people from this type of backroom bribery has never been a concern of the left, who instead are obsessed with finding ways to neuter their ideological rivals through laws designed to keep them from fully participating in the political process

On April 17, the gun control lobby lost.

But their biggest loss was when out of frustration, someone told the truth.  They cannot win unless they can bribe members of Congress using taxpayer-funded goodies in Obama’s Santa sack.

And that admission is the real shame to come out of this debate.

Rick Manning (@rmanning957) is the vice president of public policy and communications for Americans for Limited Government.

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