When Republicans run for office, they tell their base they support the Second Amendment, they believe in local control of education, and they will defend the Constitution.

That’s what the base wants to hear. Republican voters lap up the rhetoric and mark their ballots for candidates with the Rs in front of their names. Then they go home content in the knowledge their Republican majorities will protect the Second Amendment, get the feds out of education and defend the Constitution.

But between election cycles, some of these Republicans do the exact opposite. They kill bills to protect the right to keep and bear arms. They railroad legislation to give communities local control over education. And they shred the Constitution. When election time rolls around again, they trot out their old talking points and the voters return them to office, convinced their guy is defending their values because, hey, that’s what the Republican brand does.

Just in the last few weeks, Tennessee Republican Jon Lundberg joined two Democrats in a committee and killed a bill that would have set the stage to withdraw state enforcement of international gun control. In Virginia, Republican leadership killed legislation to block federal gun control. And in Mississippi, Republicans blocked several bills to end Common Core in the state.

These are just a few examples. This kind of thing happens all the time. And it’s not just these issues. Across the board, many Republicans work behind the scenes to stop legislation their constituents would certainly support.

Politicians get away with it because nobody pays attention. People are too busy worrying about what Trump said to concern themselves with the actions of their state legislators. They remain oblivious, voting their brand over and over again.

I don’t mean to just pick on Republicans. Democrats are just as bad. I can’t tell you how many privacy bills I’ve seen defeated because Democrat champions of civil liberties cow-tow to police lobbyists. Deceiving voters with sweet rhetoric and doing the exact opposite is an equal opportunity sport.

Mike Maharrey

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