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This is quite an indictment, especially coming from one of the "good guys" in the gun safety debate:
Sen. Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) revealed that some members of his party opposed expanding background checks for gun sales recently because they didn't want to "be seen helping the president."
Two weeks ago, only three Republican senators [aside from Toomey] voted for the bipartisan background checks amendment sponsored by Toomey and Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.), despite overwhelming popular support for such a measure.
“In the end it didn’t pass because we’re so politicized. There were some on my side who did not want to be seen helping the president do something he wanted to get done, just because the president wanted to do it,” Toomey said.
In subsequent comments, he tried to walk that remark part-way back by noting he meant to say Republicans across the nation in general, not just those in the Senate.
“The toughest thing to do in politics is to do the right thing when your supporters think the right thing is something else,” Toomey said.
As crazy as it is for Republicans to oppose something that they support just because Obama wants it, Toomey is on to something. Check out this poll released last week by Gallup: According to the survey, 73 percent of Republicans would vote in favor of a national referendum that would "require background checks for all gun purchases." However, in the very same survey, 50 percent of Republicans said they didn't want the senate to approve legislation to "expand background checks for gun purchases."
So on the one hand, three-quarters of Republicans want universal background checks ... but they are glad the Senate defeated legislation aimed at accomplishing that goal. And according to Pat Toomey, the explanation for their mixed-up priorities is that they'd rather hate on Obama than enact policies that they support. And even worse: Almost all Republican politicians are too cowardly to stand up to their ravenous base.
It's truly pathetic.
Originally posted to The Jed Report on Wed May 01, 2013 at 08:32 AM PDT.