Beto's Boast

Some time ago a young man named Robert Francis O’Rourke decided he wanted to become a Democratic president.  Self-aware enough to realize he wouldn’t get there as a white guy, he decided to become Hispanic, adopting (at least by his own account) a childhood nickname, Beto.  It didn’t work.  O’Rourke remained -- and remains -- stubbornly Caucasian.

From stolid Irish stock genetically, Beto refused to give up.  Calculating he needed to do more than simply shed his whiteness, Beto decided to shed his maleness too.  To this end, Beto’s campaign has been one of ceaseless pandering and groveling to the Democratic base. 

The most recent proof, his feckless debate declaration that when he becomes President “Hell yes we’ll take your AR15!”  Described in the liberal press as “bold,” it is anything but that, since O’Rourke has zero chance of becoming President, and moving to the left of opponents in a Democratic debate is a sign of weakness, not strength.

While O’Rourke didn’t improve his chances of getting to the Oval Office with the boast, he did make himself something of a hero on the left.  In the Washington Post, Dan Balz, a relatively sober liberal analyst, still could hardly contain his admiration, noting that Beto “…stood out more…” than anyone else on stage.

More tellingly, Balz noted that O’Rourke’s declaration was “…a rallying point of the night regardless of how it will feed conservatives arguments that the secret ambition of all Democrats is to confiscate everyone’s guns.”  Here’s some news for Mr. Balz, who according to his biography has been in journalism since 1978:  Basic logic should tell you that conservatives don’t have to “argue” about “secret ambitions” anymore, since thanks to Beto, the ambition is now out in the open.

For conservatives Beto’s words are vindication for our supposed paranoia and wing-nut sensibilities.  However, it is important to understand that the Democrats (like Balz) still don’t see it that way.  Coming for your AR15 or AKM is not the same as taking your guns -- they are only going to seize “weapons of war” or some such formulation.  They still believe their ultimate goal, really taking all your guns to include gramps’ shotgun, your Glock, plus that lever-action deer rifle, is, well, secret. 

For liberals, Beto’s become a convenient stalking horse for their ultimate goal, which is gutting and (perhaps in a utopic future) repealing the 2d Amendment.  That sounds crazy, since it seems their ambitions are now in the open, but that is not the way it will be played by other Democratic candidates or the mainstream media. 

By the left’s calculation, the idea of confiscation is now out there, which for Democrats is something of a relief.  They will now talk openly of confiscation, without acknowledging that going after “scary assault weapons” today, will mean doing away with the 2d Amendment tomorrow. And you can count on the media to play it that way, continuing to call gun-rights advocates every name for crazy, for daring to equate an AR15 with Joe Biden’s proverbial shotgun “…through the door.”

So while faux Hispanic Robert F. O’Rourke is never going to be President, he has appropriately gotten himself a Jane Fonda-type moment, which conservatives might hate, but liberals will love, even if they won’t nominate him.

Now of course, Beto’s confiscatory idea is plainly unconstitutional.  But as a practical matter, that will only remain effectively true so long as the Supreme Court says so.  A Democratic win in 2020 pretty much guarantees saving them a seat on the Court, assuming Justice Ginsburg makes it into January 2021.  Justice Breyer, who would be 85 by the end of a Democrat presidency, might step down, allowing a younger liberal onto the bench.   And then they need only one more seat, with several aging conservative justices (Thomas and Alito will be in their mid-70s) on the bench. 

For many conservatives Trump’s most significant accomplishments have been his Supreme Court appointments.  He’s kept his promises in that regard, going to the mat for Justice Kavanaugh, something another Republican President was unlikely to do.  Four more years probably guarantees at least one more conservative appointment for Ginsburg.

Robert Francis O’Rourke, despite his various disguises, is not going to realize his Presidential ambitions, even if he has won himself 10 more minutes of fame.  But he has laid the groundwork for a different Democratic President to really come for your guns.  Only by reelecting Trump will we keep our guns, at least for another generation. 

Some time ago a young man named Robert Francis O’Rourke decided he wanted to become a Democratic president.  Self-aware enough to realize he wouldn’t get there as a white guy, he decided to become Hispanic, adopting (at least by his own account) a childhood nickname, Beto.  It didn’t work.  O’Rourke remained -- and remains -- stubbornly Caucasian.

From stolid Irish stock genetically, Beto refused to give up.  Calculating he needed to do more than simply shed his whiteness, Beto decided to shed his maleness too.  To this end, Beto’s campaign has been one of ceaseless pandering and groveling to the Democratic base. 

The most recent proof, his feckless debate declaration that when he becomes President “Hell yes we’ll take your AR15!”  Described in the liberal press as “bold,” it is anything but that, since O’Rourke has zero chance of becoming President, and moving to the left of opponents in a Democratic debate is a sign of weakness, not strength.

While O’Rourke didn’t improve his chances of getting to the Oval Office with the boast, he did make himself something of a hero on the left.  In the Washington Post, Dan Balz, a relatively sober liberal analyst, still could hardly contain his admiration, noting that Beto “…stood out more…” than anyone else on stage.

More tellingly, Balz noted that O’Rourke’s declaration was “…a rallying point of the night regardless of how it will feed conservatives arguments that the secret ambition of all Democrats is to confiscate everyone’s guns.”  Here’s some news for Mr. Balz, who according to his biography has been in journalism since 1978:  Basic logic should tell you that conservatives don’t have to “argue” about “secret ambitions” anymore, since thanks to Beto, the ambition is now out in the open.

For conservatives Beto’s words are vindication for our supposed paranoia and wing-nut sensibilities.  However, it is important to understand that the Democrats (like Balz) still don’t see it that way.  Coming for your AR15 or AKM is not the same as taking your guns -- they are only going to seize “weapons of war” or some such formulation.  They still believe their ultimate goal, really taking all your guns to include gramps’ shotgun, your Glock, plus that lever-action deer rifle, is, well, secret. 

For liberals, Beto’s become a convenient stalking horse for their ultimate goal, which is gutting and (perhaps in a utopic future) repealing the 2d Amendment.  That sounds crazy, since it seems their ambitions are now in the open, but that is not the way it will be played by other Democratic candidates or the mainstream media. 

By the left’s calculation, the idea of confiscation is now out there, which for Democrats is something of a relief.  They will now talk openly of confiscation, without acknowledging that going after “scary assault weapons” today, will mean doing away with the 2d Amendment tomorrow. And you can count on the media to play it that way, continuing to call gun-rights advocates every name for crazy, for daring to equate an AR15 with Joe Biden’s proverbial shotgun “…through the door.”

So while faux Hispanic Robert F. O’Rourke is never going to be President, he has appropriately gotten himself a Jane Fonda-type moment, which conservatives might hate, but liberals will love, even if they won’t nominate him.

Now of course, Beto’s confiscatory idea is plainly unconstitutional.  But as a practical matter, that will only remain effectively true so long as the Supreme Court says so.  A Democratic win in 2020 pretty much guarantees saving them a seat on the Court, assuming Justice Ginsburg makes it into January 2021.  Justice Breyer, who would be 85 by the end of a Democrat presidency, might step down, allowing a younger liberal onto the bench.   And then they need only one more seat, with several aging conservative justices (Thomas and Alito will be in their mid-70s) on the bench. 

For many conservatives Trump’s most significant accomplishments have been his Supreme Court appointments.  He’s kept his promises in that regard, going to the mat for Justice Kavanaugh, something another Republican President was unlikely to do.  Four more years probably guarantees at least one more conservative appointment for Ginsburg.

Robert Francis O’Rourke, despite his various disguises, is not going to realize his Presidential ambitions, even if he has won himself 10 more minutes of fame.  But he has laid the groundwork for a different Democratic President to really come for your guns.  Only by reelecting Trump will we keep our guns, at least for another generation.