It is strange but true that a left-wing government can succeed in implementing an austerity package where a right-wing government cannot. The left leaning government in Greece has implemented austerity measures which would have caused riots if implemented by a conservative administration. Of course there has to be a practical imperative to do so and the apparent betrayal of ideology is excused on the necessity of realpolitik. Similarly right-leaning governments are excused for going against their natural instincts when being heretical. Increasing taxes or increasing public spending can be introduced where a left-leaning government would be critcised for blindly following ideology.
Now it is reported that in the wake of the Orlando massacre, Donald Trump is trying to get the NRA to cooperate in preventing people on watch lists from easily acquiring automatic weapons.
CNBC: Presidential hopeful Donald Trump on Wednesday said he will meet with the leading U.S. gun rights group about preventing people on a government terrorism “watch list” from buying guns, a move that may put pressure on fellow Republicans to enact new gun restrictions following the Orlando massacre. …….
…… The National Rifle Association, a politically influential lobbying group that claims more than 4 million members and has played a key role in thwarting gun control legislation in the U.S. Congress, on May 20 endorsed Trump, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee.
“I will be meeting with the NRA, who has endorsed me, about not allowing people on the terrorist watch list, or the no fly list, to buy guns,” Trump wrote on Twitter.
Trump last month told an NRA convention that he would protect the constitutional right to bear arms. He accused the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee, Hillary Clinton, of wanting to abolish that right, which she says is false. Trump said in a November television interview he would support gun restrictions for someone on a “watch list” who is “an enemy of state.”
I observe that when the same suggestions have been made by Democrats it invites immediate and instant opposition from the NRA.
But it could be different coming from Trump. The suggestion is basic common sense and unexceptionable. While Paris and Brussels demonstrate that even stringent gun restrictions will not stop terrorists from carrying out their atrocities, it may well make their life a little harder. But for the NRA to take a Democratic suggestion on board is not genetically possible. But accepting a suggestion coming from Trump – who they have endorsed for President – offers both Trump and the NRA a potential win/win. Trump could do with demonstrating his effectiveness in achieving something – even when just a Presidential candidate – which Barack Obama has not been able to do in 8 years with the full range of Presidential powers available to him. The NRA has the possibility of demonstrating their consideration not only of “individual rights” but also of “the national interest”.
So my expectation is that the NRA may well accept restricting gun sales to people on “watch” lists or “no-fly” lists and that Trump will be able to take the credit.