Tuesday, November 9, 2010

When playing politics, don't let 'backburning' bite you in the butt.

Back burning is a fire fighting technique used to put out forest fires. There is a very good definition of how it is used on Wikipedia. "Back burning is a way of reducing the amount of flammable material during a bushfire by starting small fires along a man made or natural firebreak in front of a main fire front. It is called back burning because the small fires are designed to 'burn back towards the main fire front'. The basic reason for back burning is so that there is little material that can burn when the main fire reaches the burnt area."

There is sometimes a risk that the results of the back burn will increase the size of the main fire instead of reducing it. And because the theory of back burning is a strategy it is not restricted to fire fighting. It also can be applied to politics and especially to the logic used by single-issue groups such as the National Rifle Association handing out political endorsements.

In 2008 the NRA endorsed 53 Democrats for Congress and 52 were elected. These 52 Congressmen had pledged to the NRA they would support the only issue the NRA considered important, the Second Amendment. The problem here is that when these 52 NRA endorsed Congressmen got elected they gave control of the House of Representatives to the Democratic Party who went on to elect Nancy Pelosi as Speaker of the House. We all know, now, what that led to when the Democrats enjoyed two years of absolute majority over the Republicans and ram-roded one piece of socialist legislation after another into law.

The NRA must bear responsibility for the consequences of their endorsements. While there was a momentary halt to anti-gun laws during the last two years, as the NRA endorsed Democrats lived up to their bargain, there was a greater reduction in our Constitutional freedoms from the laws they did in fact help to get passed.

In the 2010 mid-term elections the single-issue NRA, acting like a draft horse wearing blinders, endorsed even more Democrats than they did two years ago. But thanks to the voter turmoil stirred up by the Tea Party movement, only 26 of the 58 NRA endorsed Democrats were elected which ended the Democrat power trip and gave the Republicans an iron-clad House majority. The NRA refuses to acknowledge the errors of their ways in the backing of some questionable Democrats such as Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. In this year’s election the NRA gave a lot of favorable publicity to Reid but withheld endorsing him against Tea Party favorite Sharron Angle, a Republican who was also a NRA Life Member. But the NRA-PVF (Political Victory Fund) admitted they gave Reid a campaign contribution of over $4000. The NRA didn’t endorse Sharron Angle, either, so it is uncertain what the results would have been if they had. In this situation the NRA simply played politics because they were worried that if the Republican beat the Democrat in Nevada and failed to win a majority in the Senate then the Democrats would have chosen a more liberal Democrat such as Sen. Chuck Schumer from New York as the new Majority Leader.

There seems to be great difference between Democrats elected to Congress and their counterparts elected to state legislatures. On the state level there are many Democrats outside of the liberal bastions of the northeast and west coast that are as conservative as Republicans. This is especially true, as far as gun rights go where here in Kentucky a Democrat lawmaker was responsible for introducing Kentucky’s first Concealed Carry Law. Unfortunately, when many of the same Democrats decide to run for Congress and get elected, they become overwhelmed by the liberal influences in Washington, D.C. 
One good thing that did result from those NRA endorsements this year was that some 700 Republicans with NRA endorsements were elected to state legislatures along with 14 new Republican governors. Those new Republican governors will go on to lead the new redistricting of Congressional Districts next year based upon the results of the 2010 census and that will wipe out a few more Democrats currently holding office.

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