The state of Michigan is in a fight over potentially passing gun control. While I think it’s a bad idea, the truth is that it’s likely to pass. That doesn’t mean pro-gun lawmakers and groups are rolling over, nor should they.
Last week, I wrote about the Michigan GOP making a controversial tweet and then standing behind it.
As I said then, I respect it.
However, I also get that a lot of people won’t. Some are going to feel some kind of way about a Holocaust reference. Yet a new story about the kerfuffle popped up, with some interesting arguments.
And by interesting, I don’t mean good ones.
You see, the story, titled “Michigan GOP’s Holocaust post shows growing far-right extremism in the party, experts say,” kind of makes it clear there’s going to be some degree of unhinged here.
There is a phrase that political experts, Jewish leaders and elected officials repeatedly used when responding to Michigan GOP Chair Kristina Karamo’s vehement defense of the party’s social media posts linking the Holocaust to gun reform bills introduced in the wake of the Michigan State University mass shooting: “I am not surprised.”
Disgusted, yes. Outraged, yes. But surprised, no.
“I think it was intentional, and she’s using the same tactics that she used when she got elected as a state party chair, which is fear and divisiveness,” said former U.S. Rep. Dave Trott, a Republican who served in Congress from 2015 to 2019. “So I’m not surprised she’s doing more of the same.”
“What we’re seeing from Karamo and these freaks — it’s not a political party anymore,” Jeff Timmer, a former executive director of the Michigan Republican Party who is now with the anti-Trump Lincoln Project, said of the state GOP. “It’s an anti-American, authoritarian movement that’s wearing the masquerade of a political party. We need to stop treating this as politics and recognize it for the domestic terrorist threat that it is.”
Well, that’s fascinating.
Of course, coming from someone with the Lincoln Project, that’s hardly surprising seeing as they started off as just being anti-Trump Republicans and are now full-on anti-anything the GOP supports. That clearly includes gun rights.
What Timmer and people like him cannot do is show how an argument that disarming people can lead to totalitarianism is totalitarianism.
There’s not a single authoritarian regime anywhere on the planet that permits extensive private ownership of firearms. Defending that right, even if you don’t like what form that defense takes, isn’t a pathway to authoritarianism.
I’m not saying I agree with the Republican position on everything. I don’t. But while I’ve seen the GOP have its authoritarian tendencies from time to time–the Patriot Act, for example–they’re far from the only party to have those tendencies.
Only one party, though, seems to push gun control and actually gets upset when they’re reminded that the right to keep and bear arms is meant as a check on authoritarianism.
I’ll give you one hint about which party that is, too. They aren’t the party of Bush, Trump, or Reagan.
So yeah, you’ll forgive me if I somehow doubt that the defense of the right to keep and bear arms so we can defeat authoritarianism is somehow authoritarian in and of itself while gun control isn’t.