The conventional wisdom around Washington, D.C. is that the Democrats’ decision to push for impeachment means that their efforts to reach an agreement with President Trump on gun control are dead in the water. The president himself has tweeted as much on Tuesday of this week.
The Democrats are so focused on hurting the Republican Party and the President that they are unable to get anything done because of it, including legislation on gun safety, lowering of prescription drug prices, infrastructure, etc. So bad for our Country!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 24, 2019
But Connecticut Senator Chris Murphy, who’s been in talks with the White House on expanding background check requirements, isn’t ready to throw in the towel. In fact he says hours after Trump’s tweet on Tuesday, he got a call from White House officials.
“They were pushing back on my pessimism,” Murphy said. “I’m glad to continue to talk to the White House.”
Murphy said the draft of a gun background bill submitted by U.S. Attorney General William Barr to members of the Senate earlier this month is a “flawed, but good proposal” that could lead to a deal.
“The next step is the White House’s,” he said.
Murphy may be trying to keep hope alive, but President Trump said on Wednesday he doesn’t know how Democrats will manage an impeachment process while also trying to work with the president on legislative matters.
But in remarks Wednesday in New York, where the president was attending a meeting of the United Nations, Trump called the impeachment inquiry, supported by the entire Connecticut congressional delegation, “a manufactured crisis,” and said he didn’t know whether Democrats “are going to have time to do any deals,” including one on background checks for gun buyers.
“I don’t think they can do any deals,” the president said. “ You know, we were working on guns — gun safety. They don’t even talk — all they’re talking about is nonsense.”
The president also said “I’ll tell you what: Nancy Pelosi is not interested in guns and gun protection and gun safety. All she is thinking about is this. She’s been taken over by the radical left, the whole Democratic Party.”
The idea that the president is going to go out of his way to work with the lawmakers trying to remove him from office seems silly to me. When Nancy Pelosi agreed to the demands of the far-Left factions in the Democrat Party, she in essence decided to make the messaging for the next year a sustained attack on President Trump instead of talking up what Democrats can accomplish legislatively. I happen to think that’s a poor political decision, but its one that will likely benefit gun owners and 2nd Amendment supporters.
It was just a week or so ago that Beto O’Rourke was being blamed for the impasse between Republicans and Democrats on an agreement dealing with background checks and (perhaps) a “red flag” law. Beto’s likely breathing a sigh of relief now that Nancy Pelosi’s launched her ill-advised plan to take down the president. In the end, O’Rourke didn’t help advance the gun control movement, but it’s Speaker Pelosi that’s killed the best chance for gun control in 25 years. Gun control activists can pretend they’ll “worry about impeachment some other day”, but they know that the impeachment push is likely to scuttle their plans for new federal gun laws, at least for now.