Monday, December 17, 2012

Video of Obama's Sunday speech on the mass gun massacre in Newtown CT

From PBS Newshour, President Obama: 'Newtown, You Are Not Alone' 12/16/2012:

Ken Dixon and Neil Vigdor in The president comes to comfort Newtown SFGate 12/17/2012 managed to hear in this speech that the President "put Congress on notice about toughening gun laws in the wake of the fourth mass shooting during his tenure." Since he didn't even mention the word "gun," I'm not sure how they got that.

Looking through the transcript, I didn't see any indication of a policy change, just a suggestion that maybe sometime we ought to possibly think about someday having a conversation about possibly doing something that might somehow improve things.

President Obama in cases like this seems to be operating on a saying that was attributed to Richard Nixon during his Presidency though it doesn't necessarily describe well how Nixon ran his Presidency: give the liberals the rhetoric they like and they'll be satisfied, but you have to give conservatives the substance.

Yet in Obama's case, the results often look downright bizarre. In the case of the Newtown mass gun massacre, he's talked vaguely often enough about some kind of unspecified action or change in approach that he gets interpretations of what he says such as that "he put Congress on notice about toughening gun laws," even though he's not actually demanding that Congress, you know, toughen gun laws.

That gives the gun lobbies and far-right fear-mongers cover to tell their followers that the scary Kenyan Muslim atheist President who hates America is about to come confiscate all your guns and maybe force you to marry someone of the same sex, too. So run out quick and buy more guns before you lose the chance forever! Fear and hatred do sell guns. That's not new or unique to the United States.

So Democrats get the worst of both ends. They wind up not getting better gun regulations passed and even ducking the issue so they don't get a lot of credit for trying. On the other hand, the Republicans react as though the Democrats are seriously trying to outlaw guns and they get maximum benefit from the fear-mongering. And the gun manufacturers and dealers do more business. Everyone but the dead and maimed wind up happy.

Well, except for the Democrats, who wind up looking like schmucks. Awesome.

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