I think this might be the first time I’ve ever written the following words in the same sentence: Michael Bloomberg is right.
Well, kind of. The former mayor and current sugar daddy of the gun control movement is correct in his new column that warns Democrats are headed for a wipeout in November without a change in course. But Bloomberg has a glaring blind spot in his diagnosis of the Democrats’ problems.
Three months after Republicans scored major election upsets in Virginia and New Jersey, largely because of the frustration parents felt with Democratic officials who catered to teachers’ unions and culture warriors at the expense of children, voters in San Francisco recalled three school board members by margins of nearly three to one. Coming from America’s most liberal city, those results should translate into a 7 to 8 on the Richter scale, because the three main factors that drove the recall are not unique to the Bay Area.
I know that Bloomberg has a vested interest in making last fall’s elections a referendum on the teachers unions and not, say, the gun control movement. To be sure, parents ire over educational concerns, which range from lockdowns that went on way too long to teachers and administrators who seem more interested in making our kids woke than educated, played a major role in both the New Jersey and Virginia elections. But Bloomberg never once dares to acknowledge that the Democrats’ embrace of an anti-gun agenda is crippling candidates on the left, including Mr. Hell-Yes-We’re-Taking-Your-AR-15s himself.
The Texas primary is fast approaching on March 1 — early voting began on Monday — but his real challenge is the general election in November, when he is expected to face the Republican incumbent, Gov. Greg Abbott. Some of Mr. O’Rourke’s comments aimed at wooing national Democratic voters in the 2020 presidential primary — such as “Hell yes, we’re going to take your AR-15” — may have already weakened if not doomed his chances in November.
“The comment about guns is going to be his biggest problem,” said Holly Gage, 40, who arrived at the Tyler park early with her family. “My husband is on the fence. It’s due to the gun thing.”
“Texas,” added her mother, Sheila Thrash, 63, “believes in its guns.”
According to Bloomberg, if Democrats tell voters “that schools remained closed for too long, and that improving schools means closing achievement gaps, not eliminating standards,” and adopt Eric Adams-style rhetoric on refunding the police, restoring policies like stop-and-frisk (a hallmark of Bloomberg’s time as mayor of New York), and “getting guns off the street,” they can turn things around ahead of the midterms this fall.
I don’t think it’s going to be that easy, particularly in those swing districts around the country where Democrats have spent the past two years trying to defund the police while also giving them more power and authority to enforce non-violent, possessory gun control laws. And given the fact that the very cities where Bloomberg’s gun control agenda is firmly in place have witnessed sharp increases in violent crime, I don’t think that many American voters are going to be clamoring to back those candidates who offer the empty promise of increased public safety at the expense of our individual rights.