Gloves come off, swords come out: Political brutality begins

Gloves come off, swords come out: Political brutality begins

Alan Gottlieb 
Andre Traversa/


Gloves come off, swords come out: Political brutality begins


Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images


Hillary Clinton enjoyed last night’s primary victories.

Yesterday’s primary election results sealed the deal for Hillary Rodham Clinton to become the first woman to secure her party’s presidential nomination, but hanging over that achievement like a storm cloud is the inevitable clash on the horizon, a five-month bare knuckles battle between her and presumptive Republican nominee Donald J. Trump to take the White House.

Between now and Nov. 8, the nation may face a bigger challenge than two world wars. America is resilient, but it is bitterly divided and many believe the very life of the nation is at stake. Gun rights organizations have warned that the Second Amendment is on the ballot. Trump has repeatedly declared that he will protect the right to keep and bear arms. Clinton has made gun control a cornerstone of her campaign.

Already, a so-called “super PAC” calling itself Rebuilding America Now has launched an advertisement that compares Bill and Hillary Clinton statements. The ad is called “Hillary Clinton: More of the Same” and it is not flattering.

Today’s New York Times has a piece on Hillary headlining her “Long, Grueling Quest” that contains a line almost certain to be used against her. “As a politician’s wife, first lady, senator and secretary of state — and as a two-time candidate for president — Mrs. Clinton, 68, has redefined the role of women in American politics each time she has reinvented herself,” the article observes.

With Clinton’s honesty and trustworthiness already having taken a beating, being described as someone who has “reinvented herself” more than once is red meat for opponents. Also, don’t be surprised if she becomes the “What difference at this point does it make?” candidate.

On the other hand, liberal PACs have a wealth of video clips of Trump making brash, inarticulate, wild and even bizarre statements available. If he thinks he has already been through a firestorm, emerging from a field of 17 candidates, he is mistaken. The past year will seem like a cake walk compared to what the liberal machine is capable of unleashing.

Gun owners will be caught in the middle of this mayhem, and many may be dragged kicking and screaming to the polls. They are the Cruz conservatives, the “Never Trump” people who don’t trust The Donald with their gun rights. During one off-the-cuff chat with a leading gun rights advocate at the recent National Rifle Association gathering in Louisville, he observed that while gun people may have doubts about Trump, they can be absolutely certain about Clinton.

As this column reported back on May 23, “After…Trump spoke to the NRA, social media was still busy with back-and-forth over whether some people will refuse to vote for him ‘on principle.’ The real question should be whether those ‘principles’ will compel them to allow Clinton to win and therefore make the next appointments to the U.S. Supreme Court and various lower federal courts where gun law questions are argued and often decided.”

Eight years ago this month, the U.S. Supreme Court issued the landmark Second Amendment ruling in District of Columbia v. Dick Anthony Heller. It affirmed that the amendment protects a fundamental individual civil right to keep and bear arms outside of militia service. Six years ago this month, in the case of McDonald v. City of Chicago, the high court incorporated the Second Amendment to the states via the 14th Amendment.

Both of those rulings were narrow 5-4 decisions. Clinton was caught on audio last fall telling a private gathering that, “the Supreme Court is wrong on the Second Amendment, and I am going to make that case every chance I get.” What if she gets the chance to appoint three justices to the high court? There is one vacancy with the death of solid conservative Antonin Scalia. Many observers believe Clinton would delight in filling his seat with a solid liberal.

Five months in a political campaign is an eternity. Many things can and will change. What will not change is Clinton’s effort to make the so-called “gun lobby” a bogeyman that must be defeated for the country to “move forward” with a “progressive” agenda. A lot of people look at the past seven years of “progress” and figure the country might be better off if we all moved back into log cabins.

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