Elmer Fudding their way to the presidency

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Time’s Swampland blog has an insightful post about what they refer to as “The Hook and Bullet Crowd,” a reference, apparently self-created, to the millions of avid hunters and fisher…uh…people in this country.

No mention of this group of voters would be complete without referring to the numerous occasions when Democratic candidates donned their orange vests and Timberlands and trudged into the woods with rifle or shotgun in hand for their photo ops.  These moves are often criticized and seen as hollow by the media and, in turn, by the opposition. In the attempt to get a good photo op and try to say with one picture what thousands of words about how Democratic positions on the environment benefit hunters and anglers, they often end up shooting themselves in the foot.

Of course, when Republicans go out in the woods to “hunt” (if shooting caged birds can be called that), they prefer to shoot old guys in the face.  Yet incidents like this and their record on the environment do little to tarnish their bona fides with the hunting community.  Go figure.

If McCain or Obama want to get the support of this crowd, both would be advised to leave the vests at home, put down the shotguns, and figure out how to fund the preservation of our nation’s open spaces and hunting grounds.  As Time reports, Chris Wood of the non-partisan conversation group Trout Unlimited said:

“Right now the forest service, half of its budget is spent fighting fire. The bureau of Land Management budget was cut in half the last four years and they have nowhere near the ability to handle the kind of development we’re already seeing. With these agencies budgets the way they are, fish and wildlife would clearly be sacrificed.”

While millions of Americans drive to work and depend on their cars, there is a multi-billion dollar hunting, fishing and wildlife viewing industry that depends on pristine lands and waters — areas that have suffered under Bush. And they vote, too.

And please, please, please, Barack Obama.  If you pick up a rifle for some lame photo op.  Please shoot me with it so I don’t have to watch this ridiculous spectacle play out again.

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