A snarky President Obama, railing against the Senate defeat of his gun control agenda on April 17, said it was a “pretty shameful day in Washington.”
On cue, the sycophant media joined him in blaming all the usual suspects, particularly the National Rifle Association and Republicans.
Obama was right. There is shame in Washington, but it belongs to the president and the media.
From the get-go, Obama’s plan was twofold. First, he emptied the rusty, moldy liberal pantry of its entire doctrinaire, dog-eared gun control wish list that was certain to fail – just as I predicted in my Jan. 17 post. After all, no crisis should go to waste. Second, knowing it would fail, he wanted to set up the NRA and Republicans as an election foil in 2014.
An obfuscating Obama blamed the failure to pass gun legislation on the NRA and the gun lobby; cowardly (read: Republican) senators; and — this is the real whopper — distortion of Senate rules.
Here is a sample of how Obama and the media have brought shame on themselves:
Nothing President Obama proposed would have had any practical effect in preventing future school shootings. He simply regurgitated the standard liberal wish list trotted out after each tragedy. He shamefully used Newtown for rank partisan politics, forfeiting any chance of enacting meaningful measures such as dealing with mental illness (opposed by progressives) and the copycat effect (opposed by the media).
Senate Democrats were responsible for the defeat. A measure restricting large-capacity magazines was defeated 46-54, with the support of 10 Democrats. A bill that would have banned semi-automatic rifles failed 40-60, with 15 Democrats opposed. Legislation requiring states to honor other states’ carry permits passed with 57 votes, including 13 Democrats. A measure protecting privacy of gun owners passed 67-30.
Sen. Harry Reid runs the Senate and decides the rules. Obama and Reid decided to proceed under Senate rules that block debate and limit amendments. Obama and Reid opted for unanimous consent rules because they were worried that if the bill were opened to amendments, many pro-gun amendments would pass – with considerable support from Democrats. If there was a distortion of Senate rules, it was committed by Obama and Reid.
Obama torpedoed promising negotiations with Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., over background checks on gun show and online sales. Republicans proposed a background check amendment that got nine Democratic votes, but it was defeated by all the other Democrats to avoid giving the opposition a victory. How’s that for shame?
All in all, it was a pretty shameful day in Washington. Our president intentionally forfeited any chance of preventing future school gun violence in a fit of liberal angst. He and his running dogs in the media then dissembled and distorted the facts about why the legislation failed.
Every political junkie – on both the left and right – knows one of the few true bipartisan consensuses in Washington is about gun laws. Our president knows this as well but cynically chose to throw the Newtown families and everyone else under the bus just so he could have a possible 2014 campaign issue to demagogue. Shameful indeed!
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