Washington State Democrats will be getting the full treatment from presidential hopefuls Bernie Sanders and Hillary Rodham Clinton, starting Sunday with Sanders rallies in Vancouver, Seattle and Spokane, in that order, the Seattle Times reported last night.
Clinton isn’t scheduled to hold rallies when she visits next week. Instead, the only thing she’s holding is an outstretched hand for some big money contributions at a little high-end gathering at the Medina home of Costco co-founder Jeff Brotman and his wife, Susan, the Seattle Times reported earlier this week. The pricetag: $2,700 a head, and “up to $50,000 for hosts who will get a private reception with Clinton,” the newspaper said.
The newspaper also noted this morning that Clinton has been endorsed “top elected leaders, including Gov. Jay Inslee and the entire Democratic congressional delegation. On Wednesday, King County Executive Dow Constantine added his endorsement.”
Northwest Second Amendment activists haven’t forgotten that the “big money” behind I-594 came from many of the same checkbooks that will be opening up for Clinton next week. Clinton has said on the campaign trail that she thinks the Supreme Court was wrong on the Second Amendment in the Heller ruling, authored by the late Justice Antonin Scalia.
The Seattle Times endorsed Sanders several days ago, along with Republican John Kasich. On Wednesday, the newspaper editorialized in favor of hearings on the nomination of Judge Merrick Garland to the U.S. Supreme Court. Gun rights advocates, including Bellevue’s Alan Gottlieb, founder of the Second Amendment Foundation and chairman of the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms, say Garland has an anti-gun history on the bench.
The New York Times editorial board went a step further, arguing for Garland because, “If you tried to create the ideal moderate Supreme Court nominee in a laboratory, it would be hard to do better than Judge Merrick Garland.” But conservatives, and especially gun owners, don’t want an “ideal moderate” to replace Justice Scalia, who died unexpectedly last month. They want a demonstrably pro-Second Amendment conservative to fill that seat, to retain the current balance on the high court.
That threat to the Second Amendment and rulings in the Heller and McDonald cases apparently doesn’t bother the Times editorial board as much as a threat to a right the editors evidently do hold dear: abortion. This column takes no position on abortion, but only notes what the Times is worried about: “…a widespread effort by anti-abortion advocates throughout the country to chip away at a constitutional right they don’t like by pushing legislation claiming to protect women’s health.”
What about the widespread effort by anti-gun advocates throughout the country to chip away at a constitutional right they don’t like by pushing legislation claiming to protect public safety? Yesterday in an email fund raising blast over the name of Stephanie Ervin, campaign manager for the Alliance for Gun Responsibility, the group is touting Initiative 1491, which it is pushing as a way of “protecting” communities from “gun violence.”
Isn’t that the same thing they said about Initiative 594 in 2014? Apparently that measure didn’t work because they need to chip away at gun rights even more. As this column noted in December, passage of I-594, the so-called “universal background check” measure, has been a failure because several cases over the past year proved that it hasn’t kept guns out of the wrong hands.
More than just a bit ironic was this statement in the email message: “We will not sit back in stunned silence as more and more Americans become victims of the epidemic of gun violence in our country.” Yet, in the wake of last Sunday’s internationally-publicized self-defense shooting of a hatchet-wielding man at a Boulevard Park convenience store, the Alliance has been unusually silent, almost to the point of lockjaw.
Sanders might win in Washington State next Saturday. But Clinton will no doubt leave with bulging pockets. Sanders at least tries to mix with “the masses.” Clinton seems to mix more with the limousine liberal establishment, at least here in “the other Washington.” Rank-and-file Democrats might keep that in mind as they head for the caucuses next week.
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