As the multiple mass shootings from the weekend dominate newspapers and Twitter-fights, the presumptive Democratic nominee, Auditor Nicole Galloway, has been quiet.
Unlike other issues, like HB 126, where Team Galloway has issued statements, and blasted fundraising emails, there’s been nothing on the gun issue.
That’s a contrast to other MO Dem Party leaders like Rep. Crystal Quade, or Jill Schupp, who immediately took to Twitter to bemoan the policies that allow gun tragedies to continue.
What It Means
· One would think that calling for moderate changes in gun laws would dovetail nicely with the path Team Galloway seems to have mapped out: win the cities and suburbs.
· But, in fact, Galloway’s plan hinges on a third component: don’t get killed in rural Missouri.
· And any talk of gun control in rural Missouri could trigger a very real “Obama is coming for your guns” visceral reaction.
· Lest you forget how important guns are to Missouri: Greitens ran an entire ad without an message, just him shooting a machine gun and grinning.
The Bigger Picture
· Republicans have adopted a “fire up your base” strategy in Missouri, convinced that the math is in their favor: There are more Republicans than Democrats. If they come out to vote, they’ll win.
· Democratic statewides, meanwhile, chart “thread the needle” campaigns. They are trying to replicate a Nixon/Kander/Koster/McCaskill path (though it hasn’t worked lately): focus on economic issues, and veer culturally conservative (wear boots, go deer hunting, lean against a tractor).
· The problem for Dems (in the words of one Dem I spoke to recently): the national brand of the Democratic Party is so emmeshed in liberalism, that it’s damaged in the eyes of your average Missourians. Regardless of what they do, they can’t overcome the (D) behind their name.
Gun Debate 2020? Don’t Count On It
Despite Democratic calls for some gun control measures, there’s no evidence that any Missouri Republican legislator is interested in signing on to them.
· It’s hard to imagine Missouri joining the ranks of California and New York, for example, and banning assault weapons.
· But background checks and “red flag” laws would seems like a reasonable policy changes which could appeal across party line.
· For example, Southeast Missourian publisher Jon Rust opines in their favor. See it here. “Freedom and rights are foundational to American life, but without life itself, they mean nothing. More protections are needed to safeguard the innocent.”
· The Republican congressman representing Dayton became a supporter for changes in gun policy yesterday.
· The political truth: Missouri won’t budge so long as its address doesn’t show up on this list.
Mission Creep in the GOP?
The series of polls I’ve done to baseline the Republican Senate primaries all show exceptional support for President Donald Trump with Republican primary voters.
It’s interesting because Trump’s politics continue to veer from the conservative principles which used to dominate the Republican Party.
Former Republican congressman Joe Walsh recently tweeted: The Republican Party once believed in:
*limited, honest, & transparent government
*opportunity for EVERYONE
*the rule of law
The Republican Party now believes in:
This is largely true. As someone who grew up in the Reagan Revolution it’s incredible to see Republicans shrug at Trump’s attack on free trade, and immigration. And I’m amazed at the collective amnesia of Reagan’s tax hike in 1982, after rising deficits from his tax cuts jarred Republicans into action. There’s barely a word about trillion-dollar deficits during record low unemployment.
This new style Republicanism appears to be replacing conservative values for populist values. So far, it hasn’t infiltrated the Missouri political ecosystem.
There are warning signs. One of them is US Senator Josh Hawley, who has attached himself to this new shift. His proposal to put a default limit on social media “screen time” is about as anti-free market/nanny state as imaginable.
Likewise his proposal to tax foreign investment in the United States is about as far away from the Wealth of Nations as Republicans have traveled since Richard Nixon’s price controls.
What It Means
Could it be that the party of smaller government has run out of smaller government ideas?
Alixandra Cossette deleted Kansas City Royals Baseball Club.
Julie Feast deleted Union Electric Co. DBA Amerenue, Ameren Services, Ameren Corp.
Anne Gassel deleted Missouri Eagle Forum.
Lincoln PAC - $10,000 from Bobby Allison.
MO Opportunity PAC - $10,000 from Anheuser Busch Companies.
MO Energy Dev Association State Line Political Committee - $16,665 from Ameren Missouri.
Missouri Energy Development Association Political Action Committee - $20,000 from Spire Missouri Inc.
Missouri Energy Development Association Political Action Committee - $16,667 from Ameren Missouri.
MO Energy Dev Association Gateway Political Action Committee - $16,668 from Ameren Missouri.
Happy birthdays to Carol Kehoe, Rep. Vic Allred, Don Suggs, and Mike Dethrow.