I’ve seen a few Democrats on me on social media saying they thought Joe Biden’s performance with the auto workers the other day it was a good episode, and a sign of strength.
I was truly, truly not convinced.
If Biden now has a reputation as a champion of gun confiscation — and if construction workers in Michigan are asking him about it, it suggests he does — he is going to have a hard time winning back the voters that Trump peeled away from the Obama coalition. Barack Obama didn’t say much about guns at all until his second term had begun, and, once he did, he presided over the loss of the Senate, the loss of the White House, and a record-breaking period of civilian firearms sales. Judging by their rhetoric, Democrats seem to believe that the center of gravity has changed on this question since then. But the evidence for this is scant. The State of Virginia is run solely by Democrats — Democrats who were bankrolled by Michael Bloomberg and who promised to pass restrictive gun control as their first priority. They failed, and sparked a massive backlash in the process. Do we think the playing field looks different in Michigan?
In a way, Biden‘s outburst serves as a Rorschach blob; Democrats see a Trump like outburst a candidly unguarded rhetoric; conservative to see a working stiff cornering a candidate with wildly contradictory messages on the issue, and the candidate flailing.
I’m going to stick with “flailing“.