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Opening Arguments

In their sights

OK, gun-toters and other Second Amendment fans. How much of a one-issue voter are you? The NRA is endorsing Democrat Brad Ellsworth over Republican Dan Coats in the U.S. Senate race:

Coats voted for the Brady Bill, which requires a five-day waiting period for handgun purchases. He also voted in one instance in favor of a temporary semi-automatic weapons ban, though he ultimately voted against its final passage after the ban returned from conference committee.

Coats' campaign said he, too, strongly backs gun rights.

But it is endorsing the Republican, Marlin Stutzman, in the 3rd District congressional race against Democrat Tom Hayhurst; back in April, it gave him an A+ rating.

I think it's fair to say that Ellsworth and Stutzman would be very different kinds of congressional members. Stutzman would be a consistent fiscal conservative; Ellsworth talks a good moderate game right now, but he voted for the stimulus and Obamacare and other big government as a representative. Speaking of talk, how are we to take Coats' assurance that "he, too, strongly backs gun rights"? Even if he's sincere, do his earlier votes indicate a tendency to go along with the crowd at the wrong time?

I tend to be a little bit of a one-issue voter sometimes, too, but my issue is "tax me modestly and spend the money rationally." I wonder how many one-issue voters, such as the gay rights voters and pro-life voters, always let that that issue trump other considerations, and how many go by, shall we say ambient circumstances? If there's little danger of Congress going the wrong way on your issue, there's less incentive to vote solely on your single issue than if there is a legitimate reason to worry. Given the current climate and recent Supreme Court action, I'd think anti-gun legislation would be unlikely at this time. But I'm so focused on fiscal conservatism that I might be missing something.


Kevin Knuth
Fri, 10/01/2010 - 10:20am

Stutzman would be a consistent fiscal conservative? His record says otherwise- http://runmarlinrun.com/tax-increase/

Fri, 10/01/2010 - 11:00am

Rumor has it he hasn't been too fiscally conservative with respect to farm subsidies.