Well, that’s what the WaPo wanted to say:
Sen Mark Begich declared a “sea change” in the politics of gun control immediately after the school shooting in Newtown, Conn., telling his local newspaper that he would not hesitate to buck the powerful National Rifle Association.
But in the months since, the gun rights group has made itself impossible for the Alaska Democrat, and many other lawmakers, to resist.
Begich has signed on as a co-sponsor of a bill, drafted in consultation with the NRA, that would change the way mental illness is reported in the background check system… [And it descends into agitprop at this point. – ML]
…but the newspaper has a problem; they’d rather have a coward Democrat who guessed wrong on the public’s reaction to gun control – and who is now desperately flailing about to keep his job – and who is desperately flailing about to keep his job – than a principled Republican who wouldn’t have been unsound on this particular civil rights issue in the first place. So they have to make the story about that awful, awful National Rifle Association and its despicable tendency to go out and use the First Amendment to protect the Second. At least that way they can keep selling papers.
But back to the matter at hand. If you were wondering whether Mark Begich is going to be in trouble next year, stop wondering: he will be. Begich got in on a squeaker in 2008, and he seriously stepped in it by pandering to the gun control enthusiasts earlier in the year. But it’s clear now that the man’s more terrified of the NRA than he is of Democratic liberals from the Lower 48. I certainly hope that the latter will keep that in mind when they make their campaign contribution choices for the upcoming cycle*…
Moe Lane (crosspost)
*Mind you, I don’t actually expect liberals to cut Mark Begich off for his apostasy: the natural lot for Democratic progressives is apparently to be smacked in the face until they cough up cash, and you can only see that happen so many times before you’re forced to conclude that they apparently kind of like the situation. But they apparently prefer to suffer like this in secret; so, well…