Some principled conservative™ from The Bulwark had to weigh in on the Robb Elementary School shooting in Uvalde, Texas, and that task fell to Will Saletan, who of course wants “pro-gun extremists” — i.e., Republicans who believe in the Second Amendment — to lose their seats in Congress. Saletan’s piece is all over the place, but what they pulled for the tweet doesn’t make much sense to us. Republicans who accuse the Left of “defunding the police” are helping shooters outgun the police, he claims.

What a surprise that The Bulwark is giving Democrats advice on how to win elections. We don’t know about this take, though:

But it’s time to stop begging. Begging hasn’t worked. Nothing will change on this issue until politicians who oppose any reasonable gun restrictions start losing their jobs.

One reason why these pro-gun politicians don’t lose their jobs is that most of the politicians and activists who support gun laws are liberal. Liberals (a) aren’t very good at understanding or tapping into conservative values that are broadly shared across the electorate. And (b) they don’t have the political intelligence, discipline, or will to pummel their opponents for defying those values.

Conservatives have the skill and the will to create and weaponize wedges. They know how to pounce on a fringey idea—“Defund the police”—and punish all of their opponents for it. They understand that most people fear crime. Most people want law and order. And if you can frame your opponent as a threat to police, you’ll win elections.

It would seem to us, then, that Democrats should stop talking about defunding the police.

We still don’t get it. When Republicans accuse Democrats of wanting to defund the police, they’re helping shooters outgun the police? They’re abetting crime and undermining law and order? What happens when the “pro-gun extremists” lose their seats to the defund the police crowd?

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