It seems Senator Heidi Heitkamp’s top agenda item for her time in Washington DC so far is to try and manufacture a political mythology around herself. Case in point, this profile of Heitkamp the “defiant Democrat.”
That’s an important thing for Heitkamp. She needs her red-state constituency to perceive her as something different than what her national party represents. Why doesn’t Heitkamp just leave her party if she doesn’t believe what it stands for?
Please, don’t ask inconvenient questions.
Anyway, as evidence of Heitkamp’s “defiance” her position on gun rights is cited:
On the topic of gun control, Heitkamp does not hesitate when asked if she’ll support an assault weapons ban; her answer is a definitive no.
“There’s literally hundreds of thousands of guns already out there,” says Heitkamp. “This isn’t a solution to the problem, that’s my first thing. And I think if you read the case, the Second Amendment case, you got some serious Second Amendment challenges in all of this, and my personal perspective is that you are ignoring what could actually work to prevent this from happening because you are following an agenda that you already had before this ever happened, instead of taking a look at this circumstance, these situations and how do we prevent this violence.”
A definitive no? Maybe in this interview which is supposed to be about Heitkamp’s defiance, but let’s remember that Heitkamp has in other interviews said that we have to “put everything on the table” for addressing gun violence.
Heitkamp at one point called President Obama’s gun control proposals (which weren’t even public yet at that point, if you needed evidence for the fact that Heitkamp was merely posturing) “extreme,” but when an anti-gun group called her out on the issue she caved.
Heitkamp is going to be a “defiant Democrat” in the same way that Senator Kent Conrad, her mentor remember, was a “budget hawk.” Which is to say that she’ll work very, very hard to create a cloud of perception for the media to buy into which she’ll use to obscure the way she governs.