When Bret Stephens was a columnist and deputy editorial page editor for the Wall Street Journal, he was fairly reasonable in a country club Republican sort of fashion. He became a “NeverTrumper” in 2016 and then departed for the New York Times in 2017 to be one of their pet conservatives. Somewhere along the way, I swear his brain was sucked out and he was transformed into a Stepford conservative. That is, servile, compliant, and submissive to the progressive orthodoxy at the Times while maintaining his bland Republican ostensibly conservative face.
Yesterday, he did a joint “conversational” column with Gail Collins, a reliable lefty gun hater, on Donald Trump. In it, Stephens was asked if he still wanted to repeal the Second Amendment.
Bret: Yes, and you ought to join me in it.
Gail: Repealing the Second Amendment is totally impossible and talking about it just gives the N.R.A. another paranoia point to exploit. I say focus on the reforms that could actually happen. Like banning assault rifles. Tightening background checks.
Bret: I’m a believer in advocating supposedly impossible ideas, at least editorially. If not us, with the fantastic freedom and reach that The Times gives us as columnists, then who? Anyway, it’s not as if the N.R.A. will ever lack for paranoid fantasies about the deep state coming for their guns. So, if nothing else, starting a serious movement to repeal the Second Amendment might scare them into accepting the kind of sensible restrictions you advocate.
Gail: Instead of giving the N.R.A., um, ammunition to claim we’re out to take away every hunting rifle, I’d rather demand they defend teenage gun purchases and their “open carry” Eden in which every Applebee’s patron is packing heat.
They then return to their conversation regarding the firing of the House Chaplain by Speaker Paul Ryan.
It is kind of amazing when the 72 year old die hard lefty makes more sense that the younger pet conservative. Like I said, I swear his brains were sucked out when he joined the Times.