Manchin, Trump and Breitbart (With 4/24 update)
Which is do you think is more likely to happen?
A. President Trump relocates his tie factory in West Virginia
B. President Trump signs expanded background checks on the public and private sale of guns
I realize that even with Trump's unpredictable record so far, both are longshots. That said, I think a tie factory for West Virginia has a better chance of happening than Trump signing expanded background legislation.
Senator Manchin, however, who previously expressed the hope for the tie factory (see previous post), believes that expanded background checks are a possibility. Here is what the Senator told CNN yesterday:
Sen. Joe Manchin said Friday he believes the failed background check proposal for gun purchases stands a better chance under President Donald Trump than it did under President Barack Obama.
"Donald Trump's the only person that can do that right now," the West Virginia Democrat told CNN in an interview following a job fair hosted by his office.
Manchin appears to be using a variation of the "only Nixon could go to China" argument often heard in the 1970s. (As a long time foe of recognition of China, Nixon thus had the credibility to change American policy toward China.) Manchin further explained:
He argued that many of his constituents said four years ago they were fine with the substance of the amendment but feared it would lead to a slippery slope for Obama to implement more gun control.
People have different perceptions of Trump, he added.
"There's no one who believes he's going to take their guns away," Manchin said.
Manchin said Trump could do this by saying he wants to keep guns out of the hands of terrorists and criminals. "He would be the person that could help us with that," he said.
I understand Manchin's logic and appreciate his continued effort to enact some type of gun legislation, but it isn't going to happen under a Trump administration still very much under the influence of far right and 2nd Amendment absolutist thinking. Other than CNN, no one else has paid attention to Manchin's Trump/background checks comment except for right wing sites. Here's AWR Hawkins from Armed America Radio at Breitbart:
Perhaps West Virginians need to have the fortitude to show up to the polls on November 2018 and replace gun-control Senator Manchin with someone who will protect the Second Amendment.
Hawkins considers Manchin pro-gun control and doesn't bother to mention that Manchin gets an "A" rating from the NRA which rates members of Congress from A+ down to F. Apparently anything less than an A+ makes you an enemy as far as Breitbart and the far right are concerned.
If you've never been there, you might want to pay a visit to Breitbart.com to see the news site that has had a major influence on Trump's presidency. It's quite a sight/site.
Recent actions by Trump certainly do not support Manchin's view. As Think Progress headlined on Saturday:
Trump abruptly asks pro-gun control surgeon general to resign
The Trump administration asked U.S. Surgeon General Vivek H. Murthy, an Obama administration appointee, to resign his role on Friday and quickly moved his deputy, Rear Adm. Sylvia Trent-Adams, into the role. . . .
The full reasons for the Trump administration’s request that he step down aren’t clear. But one clue may lie in Murthy’s views on gun control.
These views were immediately apparent after President Obama nominated him to the post and the National Rifle Association circulated a letter opposing his confirmation. . . .
Murthy’s views on gun control likely conflicted with Trump’s. On the campaign trail, Trump called for getting rid of gun-free zones and released a position paper that called for easier sales of automatic weapons, a federal concealed carry law, the removal of expanded background checks on gun sales, and “empowering” citizens to defend themselves with guns.
In March, Trump signed a bill that loosened restrictions on the sale of guns to people with mental illness.
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