February 01, 2007


ONCE AGAIN THE DEMOCRATS are betraying working-class interests, backing forcible disarmament measures that will guarantee -- just as they did in 1994 -- another decade of Republican rule, with all its attendant outsourcing, downsizing, union-busting and Enron concentration of wealth. Thus -- in keeping with the practice John Ehrlichman acknowledged during the Watergate hearings -- Washington state is again being used as a human rat-maze in which to test techniques of oppression: this time not by Machiavellian Republicans but by fanatically anti-gun Democrats who intend to turn Washington into a national poster-state for forcible disarmament.

As I wrote on 23 December 2004:

It’s not Gregoire’s victory that makes me regret my vote for her. It’s the truly horrific reality implicit in the way she won -- a reality that may require further explanation: Older readers will remember how Chicago Mayor Richard J. Daley stole the 1960 presidential election from Richard Nixon by massive vote fraud and gave the presidency to John Fitzgerald Kennedy. What most people do not know is that from then until 1972, when the Daley forces were at last ousted by the coalition that (unfortunately) celebrated its triumph by nominating George McGovern, Daley and his machine ran the national Democratic Party in much the same way Hitler ran Germany: Daley’s word was law. (Hubert Humphrey’s 1968 candidacy would have been impossible without Daley’s approval, and the riots at the 1968 Democratic National Convention were part of the reaction to Daley’s tyranny.) Similar tyrannical relationships, built on similar coups, were characteristic of local Democratic politics: the Haig and Kenny machines in Hudson County, New Jersey, and the Crump machine in Memphis. Because each of these county bosses delivered critical votes, they (and their local party apparatchiks) became absolute dictators. And thus it will be in Washington state now that the Seattle/King County Democratic machine has handed Gregoire the governorship.

I have already discussed what this will probably mean for Washington state gun owners, but I will say it again. The King County Democrats have sought total abolition of Second Amendment rights in this state at least since the mid-1980s. In the late 1980s, they nearly succeeded in sneaking a total semi-auto ban through the legislature, and Gov. Booth Gardner would have signed it had it not been defeated at the last minute. In 1994, Seattle/King County Democrats pushed through a state law criminalizing any mental disorder for which the outpatient treatment-period was greater than two calendar weeks, a maliciously anti-gunowner measure that Second Amendment advocates cravenly accepted with submissive silence but which was finally (and courageously) vetoed by Gov. Mike Lowry after intense lobbying by mental-health professionals and veterans’ organizations. In 1997, Seattle/King County Democrats organized Initiative 676, which under the guise of mandatory “gun safety training” would have imposed New-York-City type licensing and registration on the whole state. All of these anti-gun horrors will no doubt come back to life again in this year’s legislature. Gun shows will be prohibited. Mandatory storage will be imposed -- mandatory storage as in Canada or Washington D.C., where all firearms not only have to be locked in safes but kept disassembled (and thus rendered useless for self-defense). Concealed carry permits may well be abolished. And because of the debt she and her fellow Democrats owe the Seattle/King County party apparatus, Gregoire and her more rationally minded colleagues cannot resist the anti-Second Amendment onslaught. It is the Washington state version of the Daley/Haig/Kenny/Crump syndrome, and there is absolutely nothing anyone can do about it until 2008.

I was clearly wrong about the timing -- a few valiantly pro-gunowner Democrats kept the forcible-disarmament fanatics at bay during Washington state’s 2004-2006 legislative biennium. But now the state Senate’s Labor, Commerce, Research & Development Committee has scheduled a public hearing for 8 February (Thursday) on Senate Bill 5197, which would prohibit most private sales of firearms and would thereby end gun shows forever. Based on what I know of Washington state legislative practice -- I covered the legislature here during the late 1970s and early 1980s -- the bill would not be brought up for a hearing unless its enactment were already a sure thing, or as close to a sure thing as the always-treacherous realm of politics can produce. Thus I was obviously right about the eventual consequences of King County‘s mysterious “discovery” of the votes that gave Gregoire the election.

The legislative sleight-of-hand evident in moving the bill via the commerce committee (to avoid a pro-gunowner coalition of Democrats and Republicans on the Judiciary Committee, which normally handles such matters), is merely further proof of the Democrats' fervor. Thus the “public hearing” is likely to be nothing more than a sham: the Democratic Party’s forcible disarmament advocates are identical to all other fanatics in that no amount of logical argument can possibly sway them; if the Second Amendment community turned out 500,000 or even a million citizens to testify against SB 5197, it would make no difference at all. And once the bill reaches the Senate floor, its passage -- and eventual enactment by both houses -- is all but certain. As they say in Brooklyn, “da fix is in.”

More to the point, passage of SB 5197 will undoubtedly signal the beginning of a whole new Democratic effort to impose forcible disarmament -- most likely including the unprecedented disarm-the-public-by-criminalizing-mental-illness measure the Democrats schemed up and approved with such gleeful malice in 1994. (The rationale behind the 1994 legislation, a provision in the so-called Youth Violence Act, is the statistical fact that 50 percent of all U.S. citizens will at some time be in therapy, even if only for a few months; thus by criminalizing anyone who is in outpatient therapy for more than two weeks, half the state’s citizenry would have been permanently disarmed.) While the Democrats are no doubt counting on Washington state’s relative isolation to conceal their renewed anti-gunowner offensive -- the state’s politics are generally ignored by national media -- the fact SB 5197 has been scheduled for a hearing proves the party’s hatred, contempt and hysterical fear of firearms and firearms owners has not abated at all. And -- note again the Ehrlichman testimony -- what happens in Washington state will unquestionably determine how the Democratic Party will approach forcible disarmament in 2008: especially whether the agenda will be hidden or openly declared.

Constitutional issues aside -- a gun-show ban (whether de facto or de jure) nullifies not only the right to keep and bear arms but several First Amendment rights as well -- the most important consequence of the Democrats’ resumption of their forcible-disarmament crusade is that it guarantees (just as it did in 1994) the restoration of Republican dominance. Washington state voters, furious over the forcible disarmament measures imposed by the Democrat-dominated 1994 legislature, retaliated by giving the Republicans control of both House and Senate until 2004. Nationally, even President Bill Clinton finally admitted it was “gun control” that cost the Democrats so dearly: not just Congress, but the 2000 and 2004 presidential elections as well. Which means that the Democrats’ fanatical commitment to forcible disarmament actually protects America’s Big Business fat-cat masters: it keeps New-Deal-minded Democrats out of office and thereby guarantees that absolutely nothing will ever be done to end the downsizing, outsourcing, union-busting and employee-subjugation that have all become commonplace as capitalism gives itself ever more fully to the expression of its Inner Tyrannosaur.

Note, for example, how two of the nation’s most notoriously savvy politicians -- Clinton and his wife Hillary -- sabotaged the enactment of national health care, first by conducting all the deliberations in secret (perhaps the better to let the pharmaceutical and insurance interests dominate the process), next by tying health care to forcible disarmament. At the beginning, the electorate was outraged by soaring health care costs and deeply shamed by the fact the United States was (and remains) the only industrialized nation on earth in which adequate health care is not a right but a privilege determined entirely by wealth. But by the time the Clinton wrecking crew was finished, the Big Lies told by the Harry and Louise commercials had been given the most receptive audience possible. And national health care was again doomed, this time probably indefinitely.

Byzantine notion that it may seem, I cannot but wonder if this sort of backhanded betrayal -- fostering the political conditions that guarantee the continued Enroning of America -- is indeed the only real purpose served by today’s Democratic Party.

Posted by Loren at February 1, 2007 01:52 PM | TrackBack