If we are to avoid another performance like 2015, the Republican legislative caucuses of both chambers should use 2016 to prepare for 2017. The most important thing is to do yourself no harm.
We've detailed before how bills like S-283 have no base of support and how they could do enormous damage -- not only to the prospect of turning out our base -- but with any voters who believe in privacy between the sexes and with protecting vulnerable women and girls. Polling shows large majorities in favor of traditional privacy no matter how the question is posed.
When educated as to the number of convicted male sex offenders who could use a law like S-283 to gain access to girls and women for their self-gratification, the response is off-the-charts. Republicans, Democrats, Independents doesn't matter. Many in the LGBT community break ranks with their lobbyist class and oppose S-283 on the grounds that it leaves too many people vulnerable to sexual abuse, rape, and even murder.
Now comes this new threat to the fate of the GOP caucuses in 2017: Legislation that puts politicians ahead of vulnerable women when it comes to the issuance of handgun carry permits. Here's what the sponsor said about his bill:
“I believe that if vulnerable public officials do not have to fear violent reprisals related to their duties, they will be able to better carry out their mission to serve the people of New Jersey. Our dedicated public servants are some of our greatest resources..."
And what about the vulnerable women who have suffered violence and sexual abuse? What about women who have court orders against abusive individuals?
The sponsor is a Republican member of the Senate, so we will refrain from naming names at this point, but a rethink is in order because some in the Second Amendment movement have caught wind of it and are pissed. And if you think about it for more than ten seconds, you can see why.
This proposed law lets the average New Jersey voter know that they have the standing of Medieval peasants -- that their lords and noblemen have the right of self-protection but nobody else's life is worth it.
We exist at a moment when one major political party rigged its delegate-selection process to deny a populist (Senator Sanders) a shot at the nomination, while the other major political party is desperately looking for a way to deny another populist (Mr. Trump) its nomination. When you consider the implications, laws like this one (and S-283) couldn't come at a worse time. They ram home the point that average voters simply don't matter. Their lives can be expended on ridiculous fashion-statement legislation.
How do legislators come up with stuff like this? Who is advising them? Do they exist in a bubble -- apart from the real world of everyday life, of voters and elections and consequences?
Ronald Reagan famously said that "personnel is policy." He understood that it is no good having the best conservative intentions, if all you appoint around you to carry out those intentions is liberal wannabe Democrats and Republicans of convenience. Sometimes we have to look behind the legislator and see who is whispering in his ear, gate-keeping, setting the agenda -- waiting on that pension to accrue and for the pay-day that comes when you can leave to become part of the lobbyist class. How much good is trashed, how many legislators lose, because some staffer doesn't want to offend someone they expect to do business with as a lobbyist?
Isn't it time to examine those people of power who operate behind the scenes, out of sight -- like parasitic worms, eating away at the sinew and muscle of the party they don't care about? Isn't it time to examine them
We understand that the Center for Garden State Families will be conducting polling on issues like those above in key districts around the state. No details yet as to which districts. Stay tuned...