I was out doing some work late today, picking up a few things. The news had been dominated over whether there was or was not an arrest in the Boston Marathon bombing case, so I really wasn’t expecting anything other than media navel-gazing over how wrong they had gotten one story line after another all afternoon. But when I started my truck and the radio came on, I was met with what sounded to me like a whiny, petulant little child, having a tantrum. It took me a second to realize it was actually our president, having a bit of a hissy-fit over the fact that his gun control bill died in the Senate today.
I’m not necessarily all that old, but I’ve been politically “conscious” since the Reagan years, and I have no recollection of ever hearing a president carry-on like this over a bit of pet legislation failing in Congress. Honestly, the closest reaction I have seen is my ten-year-old daughter being told no, she cannot get the latest Monster High doll on Amazon until she has earned enough allowance. Sheesh!
Obama’s understanding of why his gun control bill failed in the senate was summed-up in one word: politics. He said the only reason it didn’t pass was “politics,” then went on to accuse the NRA of “willfully lying about the bill.” Obama himself then proceeded to willfully lie about it himself. What a shock.
He went on at length about the “gun show loophole” and how this terrible thing would now remain such a dire threat to the safety of America. Of course the truth is, there is no “gun show loophole.” It’s utter nonsense. How do I know? I bought my first gun at a gun show. Guess what? I had to have a background check. Yep, the reality, at least for those living outside Barack-land, is that sales at gun shows work exactly like they do for firearms everywhere else. There is no “loophole.” It’s just another bit of completely dishonest demagoguery from our truth-challenged president.
Our president was upset that his bill had been killed by “politics.” Well I know he has only been in Washington for a little over four years, so maybe he hasn’t figured it our just yet, but “politics” is the process by which all legislation is passed in America. Obama didn’t seem to notice, or to mind that “politics” was the method used to shove-through his monstrosity of a health care overhaul by the skin of its teeth, and over the objection of 60+% of voters. Nope, “politics’ is only bad if you don’t win in Barack’s world.
In George W. Bush, we had a president who was loath to use his veto power, even on a bill he didn’t particularly agree with if it had made it through Congress. In Reagan, we had a president who would make the case for his proposals directly to the people when he felt strongly about it. Even Bill Clinton never had the bad grace to put on a show like the one we saw today. He understood how things worked in Washington, how to get the things he wanted done, and how to bow-out with grace when they didn’t go his way. In Barack, we get a temper tantrum. I would not have been surprised if he’d jumped up & down and threatened to hold his breath until he turned blue—that is how petulant he sounded.
Today, you’re a winner not just if you think we don’t need more stringent gun control measures, but also if you simply have respect for the legislative process. If you really, truly want increased gun-control measures, keep making your case, and try to convince your fellow Americans and your elected officials to support them—that’s how it works. How it should NOT work is for a single man to try to strong-arm his personal preferences through Congress over the objection of the majority, and over principled criticism. And in the mean time we can all hope and wish for a grownup to occupy the office of our chief executive.