President Obama in Kansas City tries to push his nose back in, after it starts growing again. Obama frequently plays with his nose while speaking, something Dr. Phil tells us means Obama is lying to the people. Or, hey, let's be fair. Maybe Barry just picks his nose when he's nervous.
"We fought a good fight earlier this year [to establish stiffer background checks for gun purchases], but we came up short. And that means we’ve got to get back up and go back at it. Because as long as there are those who fight to make it as easy as possible for dangerous people to get their hands on a gun, then we’ve got to work as hard as possible for the sake of our children."
Problem is, last time people got worked up about this, right after the Newtown murders of so many little kids, Congress said "fuck you" to Obama and to the American people—who had briefly favored expanded background checks for gun ownership.
And why did things go against the gun control advocates?
Because, as usual, even with broad initial public support, Obama couldn't close the deal. The NRA, masters of pushing hysteria as fact, claimed the government wanted to expand background checks to enable it to build a vast national database of gun owners—the better to seize all the guns when Big Brother determined it was time to do this. Public support for the background checks eroded quickly, and now is a shadow of what it was in December, 2012.
Of course Obama and the gun control bill's supporters said the NRA charge was crazy—and that building any kind of database out of the background check data would actually be illegal—but the problem for Obama and that claim, was that the government's credibility on promising not to build vast databases of citizen data is pretty much zero.
After a summer of NSA disclosures, which revealed that the government regularly breaks the law, and infringes the constitution to the point the whole lot of perpetrators and enablers of domestic spying need to go to fucking jail, the American people have absolutely no reason to trust anything Barack Obama says about not building a giant database of gun owners, or anything else the feds can build a database out of to track American citizens.
Meanwhile, the President is warning everyone that the Republicans have seized the budget process and the national-debt-paying process hostage to try to bring down his only notable domestic achievement since taking office: Obamacare. In describing the Republican motive for bringing the US government to the brink of shutting down and default on paying its bills, Obama said Friday in Kansas City that it was really all aimed at himself:
"Unfortunately, right now the debate that's going on in Congress is not meeting the test of helping middle-class families. It’s just they're not focused on you. They're focused on politics. They're focused on trying to mess with me."While it is absolutely true that the Republicans have wasted enormous amounts of time and money taking endless, frivolous, votes declaring their hatred of Obamacare and their willingness to defund it, it is also true that Republicans have characterized the overturning of Obamacare—by any means necessary—to be their primary mission. If you go to the Republican National Committee, like right now, you will be met by THIS:
Is the President's mission in pushing the gun control debate, one which is almost as frivolous (in terms of any hope of getting something passed) as are the endless Republican House votes on Obamacare, to just "mess with" John Boehner or Mitch McConnell? Or the NRA?
Note Obama's language in defending Obamacare as a settled issue, that Republicans should stop fighting to overturn:
"Now, let’s put this in perspective. The Affordable Care Act has been in law for three and a half years. It passed both houses of Congress. The Supreme Court ruled it constitutional. It was an issue in last year’s elections. The guy who was running against me said he was going to repeal it. We won. (Applause.) So the voters were pretty clear on this."Regarding Mitt Romney, "the guy" Obama refers to here, one reason he had a hard time making the case against Obamacare, was that Romney was "the guy" who invented it, or anyway whose version of a mandated health care program Obama's team chose to copy and implement nationally. People did not reject Romney over Obamacare, but because Romney was even more clueless and out of touch with average Americans than Barack Obama. In fact, very few Americans feel enthusiastic about Obamacare.
OK, so regarding what Obama says about the done deal on Obamacare, consider how Republicans, and how many Americans, would respond to Obama's continuing campaign to regulate the Constitutional right to buy and possess firearms:
- The Second Amendment has been "in law" for over two hundred years. That's a little more than three and a half.
- It passed both houses of Congress. And better than that, it was ratified in the states.
- The Supreme Court of course doesn't get to rule on the constitutionality of the Second Amendment, but they did recently interpret the amendment as providing for an individual right to keep and bear firearms.
- Gun control was not much of an issue in the 2012 campaign, but it has already been a big issue in a recent recall election in Colorado, where gun-control advocates lost to the NRA, and two Democrats lost their seats in Colorado's state legislature. Will 2014 be a big gun control year? Some portion of the electorate is definitely upset by Big Brother crushing liberty, and they definitely identify gun ownership—not processed and held for sifting by the US government—as a key tool to defend their freedom.
Of course, in light of continued mass shootings in the US, and the terrible situation—really like a civil war—in Chicago, the President has every reason to seek a solution to gun violence. But his call to gun control supporters to push once again for obtaining something they could not get back when the Republican House was about as ready to expand gun background checks as they have been in years, seems again a very odd thing. We should recall that, back in April, even in the Democratic-controlled Senate, Obama could not win enough support to bring expanded background checks to a final vote.
The White House is already making preparations for a government shutdown, and likely is preparing for a default on paying the national debt as well. If the Republicans back down, and blink after driving the nation right to the brink of a disastrous Congressional outcome, the American people will rightly judge the GOP to have lost the fight. Can the Republicans afford to lose face so thoroughly to a president that many people consider to be already a struggling lame duck?
And, what happens if, as has been happening a lot lately, President Obama blinks? Will he fundamentally change Obamacare to please the less-crazy Republicans? Will Democrats back such a betrayal, to avoid a default on the national debt?
Or should the whole mess be referred to the UN Security Council? Or Vladimir Putin?
If the disgust felt by the American people for their governments gets any worse, it will be no surprise to see a mass movement of citizens breaking bad on the politicians. Maybe that will just be an electoral metaphor. Maybe.