January 27, 2013

GESTURE POLITICS:

Barack Obama is Not Pleased : The president on his enemies, the media, and the future of football (FRANKLIN FOER AND CHRIS HUGHES, 1/27/13, New Republic)

Barack Obama's pre-presidential manifesto, The Audacity of Hope, has only one extended riff on gun control--not a homily on behalf of the cause or even a meditation on the deep divisions opened by the debate, but a story of crummy luck. While State Senator Barack Obama was vacationing in Hawaii, visiting his grandmother and hoping to "reacquaint myself with Michelle," the Illinois legislature abruptly returned to consider bills making the possession of illegal firearms a felony offense. Joining this special session would have required him to backtrack thousands of miles with a sick 18-month old in tow. So Obama stayed put on the islands, while back in Springfield, the package failed by a slim margin. His campaign manager warned him that a political opponent would likely pillory his absence in an attack ad featuring a beach chair and a Mai Tai.

That Obama didn't include the substantive case for gun control in his treatise was characteristic. A strain of wisdom ruled a generation of Democratic Party politics: You might pay a price for reticence on the issue in a big city like Chicago, but in the rest of the country, it was a noble loser, bait for backlash in electorally crucial Rust Belt states with not even the remotest hope for legislative victory. In 2010, the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence judged Obama's efforts on behalf of its issue worthy of an "F."

So when the president learned of the massacre in Newtown, how could he not have felt at least a pang of guilt about the failure of his party and administration to keep gun control on even a low simmer? Indeed, his aides described the massacre as having knocked his tightly held interior life into full view like no other event. "I had never seen him like that as long as I've known him," his speechwriter Jon Favreau later told The New York Times, recalling the day of the killings, when Obama sat gob-smacked behind his desk.

On the day we visited the White House, about a month later, the president had just finished presenting his robust slate of gun control proposals--so robust, in fact, that the next morning's newspaper would declare it almost certainly doomed to failure in Congress. But that was the point. 

Those are two stories about different ways to do nothing while making the Left think you care.  Talk Democrat; govern Republican.  He's their Nixon.



Handful of Senate Democrats could block assault weapons ban (CORINNE LESTCH, 1/26/13,NEW YORK DAILY NEWS)

Democrats desperately trying to pass an assault weapons ban in the Senate have come up against an unlikely roadblock -- members of their own party.

At least six of the 55 Democratic senators are wary of the ban or have simply shot it down, which means the proposal would be defeated unless the legislators -- all from rural states -- have a change of heart.

Max Baucus and Jon Tester of Montana, Mark Begich of Alaska, Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota and Joe Manchin of West Virginia all oppose the ban. Maine Sen. Angus King, an independent who usually leans left, is another naysayer
Posted by at January 27, 2013 8:40 AM
  
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