Tuesday, February 20, 2018

The Trump Opposition In Connecticut

There are two stories in the Hartford Courant of general interest. The first is a front page, top of the fold story, “Getting To Know Joe Ganim” the present Democrat Mayor of Bridgeport now running for governor.

The story is what we call in the trade “a puff piece.” Perhaps all we need to know about Ganim is that he’s not John Rowland, though the recent past of both are eerily similar. Would a major newspaper in Connecticut publish a top of the fold, front page puff piece on Rowland if, after his release from prison, he had run for, say, mayor of Hartford, won, and then announced his candidacy for governor, as Ganim did in Bridgeport? Unfortunately for the hapless Rowland, he went into the radio talk show business on his first release from the hoosegow.

The second front page, top of the fold story, parked next to the Ganim story, is “Gun Control Hopes Rise,” reprinted from the Washington Post. Here is the lede: “The school shooting in Parkland, Florida has sparked an urgent push for gun control, giving activists cautious hope that politicians might be willing to take some type of bipartisan action – action that has been illusive after previous mass shootings... President Donald Trump said Monday that he is open to improving the background check system used to screen those who buy firearms, a measure that has bipartisan support and the backing of the National Rifle Association(NRA).”

The shocking note in the story is that Trump and the NRA, vilified shamelessly in Connecticut by the state’s all Democrat U.S. Congressional Delegation and a colluding media – U.S. Senators Dick Blumenthal and Chris Murphy taking the lead – have voiced support for the FixNICS Act, a Murphy-John Cornyn bill. Murphy offered a gloss on all this: “Trump’s support for the FixNICS Act, my bill with @John Cornyn, is another sign the politics of gun violence are shifting rapidly.” The paper noted that Murphy added a proviso: “the bill alone is not an adequate response to mass shootings.”

How should we characterize “the politics of gun violence?”

The data on gun violence have been manipulated by Murphy and others, whose rhetoric is maddeningly misleading. “First get your facts, then you can distort them at your leisure," Mark Twain said.

The “recent development” reported in the story – hinting that Trump has had a Damascus Road conversion on the matter of gun regulation – is what Twain used to call “a stretcher.” But it should serve as a speed bump for highly partisan opponents of Trump, including all the Democrat members of Connecticut’s U.S. Congressional Delegation, but most especially rhetorical flame-throwers Blumenthal and Murphy. Both, for example, have suggested Trump is batty or senile or malevolent. Trump, and anyone associated with him, however remote the association, have “blood on their hands.” And the caveat in the story, suggesting further unalterable opposition, indicates that Murphy in the future plans to take that speed bump at ninety miles an hour: “The bill alone is not an adequate response to mass shootings.” Approval of the bill allows Murphy to have his cake and eat it too.

And what does that mean?

It means that Murphy and others do not want Trump’s presumed Damascus Road conversion to kill a promising campaign bludgeon. The same stratagem shows itself in the highly attenuated Trump-Russian collusion stories. According to the law, one may be innocent until proven guilty, but process justice can delay an accounting of innocence or guilt as long as the means of delay are available.

When I was a sophomore in High School my father, who believed that idleness was the Devil's playground, got me a job for a summer on construction. I shoveled dirt near newly installed catch basins and helped with road curbing. The first day on the job, I was too energetically shoveling dirt, when I felt a shove from behind, which toppled me in the mud. It was the back-hoe driver nudging me with his shovel. “Hey kid,” he said, very kindly I thought at the time, “you’re killing the job.”

Murphy, Blumenthal and the rest of the Democrat firing squad do not want the imitation blood they’ve daubed on Trump’s hands to disappear until after the upcoming elections, at which point, so they hope, they may be able to kill -- not with kindness -- all election efforts by Republicans to reform Connecticut and pull the state from its ditch.

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