As President Trump spent time stacking gun bill upon gun bill Wednesday, it was impossible to avoid thinking he might be setting up the Democrats via a gun control “rope-a-dope.”
For those too young to remember, the “rope-a-dope” was a tactic invented and used by Muhammad Ali. It was a way he made his opponents believe he had no fight left in him so that they, in return, would punch wildly and wear themselves out.
Ali would back up against the ropes, put up his guard, and let his opponent land blow after blow after blow. The opponent, in return, would grow confident of victory and risk recklessness. The unacquainted sports fan would watch in disbelief as the great Ali appeared close to going down while the seasoned Ali fan eagerly awaited the moment when Ali would drop the charade and beat his opponent into submission.
The moment would come at the height of the opponent’s confidence, which happened to coincide with the point where the opponent had spent his energy punching an Ali who really was not that tired after all. Ali would then grin, start punching again, and win the match.
A better analogy for what President Trump may be doing to Democrats right now is hard to imagine.
After all, he campaigned against expanding background checks, yet he showed interest in Sen Joe Manchin’s (D-WV) background check gun controls and asked Manchin to put them forward.
Trump also campaigned against an “assault weapons” ban, yet he asked Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) to add her “assault weapons” ban to Manchin’s gun control bill.
Furthermore, Trump spoke in favor of national reciprocity on the campaign trail, stressing his conviction that “concealed carry [is] a right, not a privilege,” yet he rejected Rep. Steve Scalise’s (R-LA) attempt to add national reciprocity to the other gun bills being discussed in the wake of the Florida school shooting.
The totality of it all makes Trump look like he is on the ropes and nearly finished fighting for the Second Amendment.
But we must ask ourselves: is Trump really done fighting, or is he just sucking in the Democrats, letting them grow overconfident of victory before unleashing a flurry that stops their gun-grabbing plan in its tracks?
Gun control “rope-a-dope.”