The politics of guns, I mean Trump

If you watched yesterday’s live broadcast of a meeting of President Trump and a bipartisan group of senators and congressmen, you saw true reality TV.

It was real, for sure, but there also was a lot of playing to the cameras.

For example, would that Trump was being honest that he’d like an increase in the minimum age for buying long guns but you may recall a similar meeting in January when he told a similar group of lawmakers that if they could settle on a bipartisan immigration bill, he’d sign it.

Trump proceeded to badmouth every potential bipartisan bill the Congress came up with. Result: no immigration bill. And no solution to for that group of young adults who came here with their immigrant parents but are not considered citizens and who Trump promised a solution to, uh, after he was the one last year who ended protection to those “kids” and gave the Congress a deadline by which to act to save them.

Thanks to the courts, those young adults have not been thrown out of the country, yet.

Everyone these days needs to blame someone so Trump, with a very straight face, is pointing the finger at Congressional Democrats for blocking a solution to the immigration problem he himself created.

Back to guns. Trump met over the weekend for lunch with leaders of the National Rifle Association (NRA) and came away saying they were good guys and “are on our side” despite the fact that their leadership has been quite public and pointed in saying basically any change to the gun laws is the first step to eliminating the Second Amendment and therefore they oppose it.

Trump told those senators and congressmen yesterday that they were afraid of the NRA which is why they couldn’t pass a bill but he said he was not afraid of the NRA and pushed for a bill that would include things the NRA opposes. He was implying that through the NRA’s donations, and promise of donations, to their campaigns the congressman or senator would never oppose the NRA. (Reminder: Trump received $30 million in campaign donations from the NRA two years ago.)

He obviously is sorta kinda believing in that belief some have that if he opposes the NRA, really opposes the NRA, he could have a “Nixon goes to China” moment. So i imagine he’s trying to figure out a way to “go to China” without getting on a plane.

One person he pointed a finger at specifically was Sen. Pat Toomy, a Pennsylvnia Republican who the NRA chose not to endorse last time because he opposed them on something. But, we’re playing in the moment to the cameras, so who cares about the truth. (Or as his soon to be ex-communications director Hope Hicks allegedly testified, she tells “white lies” to protect Trump. As the Internet meme says, “white lies matter.”)

My guess is he will continue to say he’s for things the NRA opposes until the Congress deadlocks in passing a bill and then he will blame the Congress for its failure to protect our kids and others from potential mass killings. Therefore, eating his cake too.

Donald Trump cares not a whit about good policy. He only cares about good politics, with “good politics” meaning any politics that is good for him.

Anyway, if you’re looking for Trump to lead us to a new era on guns laws, give me a call. I have a candidate I want to sell you.


Former deputy White House press secretary (Reagan and Bush 41) and former head of communications at Republican Natl Committee. My blog:

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