The Democratic Party has not functioned as a serious policy organization for a long time now, and this week’s political stunt — otherwise known as Tony Evers’ special session to address gun violence — only proves the point.
On the national level, the Democrats’ political stunt is impeachment. They know there’s no serious impeachable offense on the table, and they know they can never get two-thirds of the Senate to go along, but they are going to impeach President Donald Trump anyway because that’s the best way to keep the nation distracted from their increasingly socialist agenda.
They need to do that to avoid being completely wiped out in next year’s elections.
The agenda — Medicare for All, the Green New Deal, eliminating the electoral college, student loan debt cancellation, a wealth tax — if and when all this becomes front and center, the Democrats will be lucky to avoid a George McGovern landslide, and for the same reasons.
On the state level, Evers’ own stunt is wrapped in hypocrisy. In calling a special session, Evers knew his bid to dismantle the Second Amendment, not to mention the due process rights of Wisconsin citizens, would fail.
Senate majority leader Scott Fitzgerald and Assembly speaker Robin Vos told him as much. But that did not deter Mr. Evers, who insisted on wasting taxpayer dollars for the special session anyway.
It’s important to understand just why the governor persisted. And it’s also important to understand that Mr. Evers did not call the special session to make Republicans look bad, as some believe.
Indeed, though he cites polls showing how much Wisconsinites love red-flag laws and universal background checks, those polls merely reflect opinion about how good those measures sound at first blush, before people take the time to really examine the consequences of passing such laws. Then the numbers always change.
The truth is, gun control has always been a terrible issue for candidates to run on because the vast majority of Americans, even among Democrats, support the Second Amendment, and they generally don’t support candidates who try to take away those rights.
Just ask Beto O’Rourke. He came out for gun confiscation, and a month later he was done.
So Gov. Evers did not call this session because he thought he would make Republicans and conservatives look bad, or because he thought it would strengthen him electorally, he did it for one reason and one reason only: to raise money.
As our report in this edition shows, Mr. Evers called the special session so he could fire up the faithful and give them a reason to fork over money in a non-election year. It has absolutely nothing to do with gun safety.
Not that the Democrats don’t want to take away your guns. They do, and they would if they could get away with it. But that has more to do with power — controlling a defenseless population — than it has to do with public safety.
In the meantime, the Left uses tragedies and the hyperbole surrounding those tragedies to raise money for their political campaigns.
It should be noted that in his radio address announcing the special session, Mr. Evers made a point to emphasize he was a supporter of the Second Amendment. That is laughable, of course, and even more laughable that he would actually say it.
But it underscores just how much the governor recognizes that the issue ultimately could work against him and his comrades.
Make no mistake, though, this governor is an enemy of the Second Amendment, and this governor aligns with the left-wing fringe of his party far more than he does with what’s left of its moderates.
Not just on guns, but on many issues — such as joining the radical governors’ U.S. Climate Alliance — the governor hails from the far left. His campaign fundraising platform, Act Blue, is the darling of such far-left politicians as Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.
And there is an immense problem with that platform. It is touted as a tool for gathering small grassroots donations and for showing off grassroots strength — and some of it is — but the truth is a lot more complex and problematic.
For one thing, its infrastructure wasn’t built from the grassroots but from the top down. For another, it’s not just small donors funneling money into the coffers of favorite left-wing candidates and causes, but elites such as George Soros and his family and many others.
Like many typical left-wing “grassroots” movements, much of the grassroots part is fake. Some have called the operation a conduit for laundering soft money, and have called for it to be audited.
There’s another, even more important issue that has been raised.
As columnist John Pudner wrote in the Dallas Morning News
earlier this year, and in such magazines as The Hill
, the website allows credit card donations that are not verified, so anyone from any country in the world can give as many small donations to a candidate or group with no paper trail.
Here’s how Pudner explained it: “A group in Russia or China could give a thousand separate $100 donations in bulk gift card donations through ActBlue and all that is required is the credit card number and expiration date. Campaigns wouldn’t know who gave the money.”
So while the vast majority of contributions flowing through Act Blue are probably legitimate, there’s no guarantee that all of them are, and it’s no telling how many are not really small contributors but Democratic elites and how many are simply illegitimate.
As such, Mr. Evers and other Democrats should stop using Act Blue until all transactions can be verified, and they likewise need to pipe down about foreign interference in elections until they do.
But then, the Democrats are not about legitimate issues and constructive debates. They are about using stunts to raise money, and to do it with any platform they can.
At week’s end, Tony Evers will be moaning and groaning about gun violence and public safety. The rest of us should be moaning and growing about the violence that Democratic stunts do to our political civility.
The rest of us should worry, too, about the day when these stunts, manipulations, and questionable fundraising schemes make Democrats strong enough to attempt such things as gun confiscation.
Right now, it’s not gun laws that need reforming; it’s the Democratic Party that badly needs reform.