When the Moran campaign made his opposition to the Surrey coal plant the moral centerpiece of his campaign, even though Moran had voted in favor of a coal plant in Wise, I was merely bemused since I don't really know much about environmental politics.
When the Moran campaign criticized Creigh for his Marshall-Newman vote, saying he needed to be held "accountable," even though Moran had an anti-gay marriage vote record in his background, I attributed it to poor research by his staff of a perhaps obscure vote five years ago. (But when his campaign tried to explain away that vote as having been wrongly recorded, despite the presence of contemporaneous comments from Moran himself showing he was against gay marriage, I attributed it to political malpractice.)
When Brian Moran misstated the procedure for amending the Virgina Constitution on Mark Plotkin's radio show last week, I just felt bad for him.
Now, however, that the Moran campaign has sent out a mailer attacking Creigh on his record on guns, with the headline, "By working so hard to get the NRA's approval, Creigh Deeds has lost ours," just several days after Brian rang up the endorsement of gun rights group opencarry.org, well, now I can only conclude that the Moran campaign is a gift from the blogging gods.
Here is what Opencarry.org had to say about Brian Moran:
Moran has some pretty good pro-gun votes on his record, including voting FOR HB535 in 2005 to legalize carrying concealed handguns in school parking lots, as well as FOR HB 530 in 2004 to preempt all local gun control laws, even those in his home city of Alexandria.
Oh, and by the way, just for the record, here is what they had to say about Creigh Deeds:
But why not vote for Creigh Deeds, of Bath County?
For 2 reasons: (1) Deeds is less likely to catch McAuliffe than Moran [oops!]; and (2) voters need to send a message to Virginia politicians like Deeds (who recently began supporting a ban on private gun sales at gun shows) that caving in on gun rights principles to run for state office will not be tolerated! We cannot afford to allow the Washington Post’s new poster boy for gun control to be elected as Virginia’s next Governor.
And last, but not least, with respect to that NRA approval of Creigh that makes him lose our approval -- Well, the NRA gives Brian Moran an "A" rating, so he has their approval, too.
[shaking my head in pity now]
Anyway, a quick word about Creigh and guns. I am not going to waste time explaining or trying to rationalize his record. Creigh has said many times that his support for gun rights is a matter of principle for him, based on his interpretation of the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution. Now, as a legal matter, I disagree with Creigh (and the Supreme Court, for that matter) about the meaning and precise rights created by the Second Amendment, but I certainly respect, morally and intellectually, someone who thoughtfully interprets that Amendment differently that I and acts accordingly.
In this sense, the Moran ad is defamatory in suggesting that Creigh "worked so hard to get the NRA's approval." He did not. He was merely following his beliefs and his principles with respect to the Second Amendment.
I'm curious what Brian Moran believes in this subject area. What does the Second Amendment mean to him?
Based on this mailer, it appears he apparently doesn't care much about it at all. For him, it appears, guns are just another commodity to be regulated, merely a subject of policy, without any constitutional implications. another subject on which he can pander to his NoVA constituency while hiding a record that directly contradicts his rhetoric.
And yet, his own votes and positions have earned him an "A" from the NRA, and an endorsement from opencarry.org. Who, I ask, is the candidate "working hard" to gain the approval of the gun lobby, principles be damned?
I don't agree with Creigh on this issue at all, but I respect the Hell out him for following his deeply held principles in a responsible manner designed to protect the public safety, for his willingness to, if you'll pardon the obvious pun, stick to his guns.
But more importantly, once again, thank you, Brian Moran. Thank you blogging gods!