Rachel Maddow detailed the surprising dynamic going on in a Democratic primary in Illinois where a former congresswoman likely won't win because of her vocal support of the gun nuts lobby, even to the point of channelling Wayne LaPierre with her [gun laws] "always hurt law-abiding citizens" crap from a 2010 YouTube video for a Second Amendment Freedom Rally in Chicago.
As Rachel noted on the show on Friday, a super PAC run by New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg (I) has taken an active interest in the special election, hitting Chicago's airwaves with ads targeting Hutchinson and former U.S. Rep. Debbie Halvorson (D) for having earned "A" ratings from the National Rifle Association.
The RNA's grade, Rachel noted, "is a scarlet letter" in the heavily-Democratic district, so much so that it helped push Hutchinson out of the race altogether.
If there were any doubts that the post-Newtown environment has changed, ask yourself: when was the last time a congressional candidate was forced to quit after taking heat over a positive NRA rating?
Robin Kelly, meanwhile, is eager to tout her "F" rating from the right-wing organization. Though the Democratic primary remains quite crowded, the race increasing appears to be a showdown between Kelly, who enjoys backing from Bloomberg and progressive groups like the CREDO super PAC, and Halvorson, who is scrambling to convince voters she disagrees with the NRA on a series of key issues, her previous boasts about her "A" rating notwithstanding.
The Democratic primary is a week from tomorrow, the winner of which is very likely to win the seat. Given the national implications, it's a race worth watching -- we haven't seen one like this in a long while, but it may prove to be a sign of things to come.
For her part, Halvorson blames outside groups like Bloomberg's PAC for trying to buy a congressional seat. Halvorson even claims she's still the frontrunner, seemingly oblivious to her fate. Or perhaps she figures she'll land a gig at Fox News slamming Democrats anyway, as evidenced by this segment with Megyn Kelly last week.