Steve Benen on Kelly Ayotte’s ‘smoke screen’

Steve Benen blasts Sen. Kelly Ayotte, along with Sens. Dean Heller and Jeff Flake, not for her vote to kill bipartisan background check legislation, but for eagerly pretending she didn’t kill it:

The point here isn’t just to criticize poor policy judgment, though that certainly matters. Rather, the point is that these three — and only these three — feel compelled to mislead their constituents in a coordinated way, cynically hoping that public ignorance will allow them to get away with their vote. It’s about putting a smoke screen — emphasizing support for “strengthening” background checks through half-measures that won’t pass, instead of “expanding” background checks in real legislation — that confuses voters just enough to let these three senators off the hook. …

Instead of saying, “Here’s why I opposed the bipartisan measure on background checks,” they’re effectively arguing, “I love background checks so pay no attention to those pesky facts.”