For the liberal establishment, “political courage” means a politician spitting in the face of his conservative constituents. The President’s gun proposals demand such political courage, and we conservatives ought to be all for it.
There are people who really believe President Barack Obama is some sort of cunning political grand-master, plotting out the checkmate ten moves ahead of his plodding opponents. Nonsense. He’s actually President Peter Principle, failing ever upward thanks to the disarray of his opponents.
Just when you think he might be clever enough to score his cheap points off of Newtown and turn back to beating the hapless House GOP over taxes he doubles down on guns. This guy probably hits on a 19 with the dealer’s 6 showing.
He made the big announcement of his 23 executive orders and his gun-grabbing legislative wish list in a ceremony so packed with kids that it’s surprising the Wiggles didn’t show up to sing along. They would have had more policy credibility than Biden. The executive orders were astonishingly lightweight – most of them were along the lines of directing Bureaucrat A to talk to Bureaucrat B about synergizing the synchronization of their coordination. He also clarified that Obamacare doesn’t prevent doctors from adding your guns to your weight and your blood pressure on the list of things to pester you about.
On Capitol Hill, the half-dozen or so Democrat senators who somehow nabbed seats from red states back in 2008 reacted to the President’s promise to pursue ban on useful weapons and standard magazines with about the same level of enthusiasm displayed by critics greeting the release of a new Nickelback album. “Political courage” is easy when you've run your last campaign or when you’re writing editorials for the New York Times. It can be downright dangerous to your career when you’re facing the voters in Arkansas and have to explain why you decided that because some Yankee psycho shot up a school they need to disarm themselves to please that guy in the White House and the gang at the New York Times.
The House Republicans, astonishingly, played it well, withholding comment until they see what Harry Reid gets passed out of the Senate. This is as it should be – making this the Democrats’ problem.
Fact is that this is a great opportunity for the Republicans to really get to work for the sake of the country. No, not by passing laws – there are too many laws already. The work they can do that will truly help this country during this Congress is handing embarrassing defeats to Barack Obama, making him expend his political capital for nothing, and damaging the electoral prospects of his enablers in the Senate. Liberals are the problem; the GOP needs to solve that.
Yes, gun control legislation is vital for our country, but not substantively, as nothing being proposed would have made the slightest difference in what happened at Newtown. It’s vital because it’s a chance to defeat the liberals in clear and meaningful way.
Now, we need to give the Republicans some credit – we cannot underestimate their ability to blow a winning hand. In the Senate, a lot depends on the whether the squish caucus in the World Greatest Deliberative Body can resist boot-licking the liberal establishment and providing bipartisan cover for the red state Democrats. It’s easy to imagine Lindsay Graham or one of the other Senate pseudo-cons scoring themselves a handful of cocktail party invitations by stroking his chin on “Meet the Press” and explaining that, of course, no one would need a semi-automatic rifle for hunting.
But then maybe Harry Reid’s obnoxious behavior of late will inspire the GOP Senators to put schadenfreude above sycophancy. It’s got to be a temptation to watch Nevada’s Pride trying to thread the needle on his own “A” rating on guns while dealing with blue state liberals insisting on starting the march to confiscation, red state Democrats freaking out about 2014, and a President whose every utterance gets the NRA 10,000 new members.
Senators, for once, control your urge to blow an opportunity in exchange for a kind word from the WaPo. Don’t throw this guy a life preserver. Watch him tread water as you giggle and point.
The House is the place to really start dealing the pain. Wait until something crawls out of the Senate over the mangled careers of a bunch of red state Democrats – hopefully with zero GOP votes – and then shift the paradigm.
Give the President some of the dough he wanted as part of his 180 degree shift on the “crazy”, “insane”, “evil” idea of actually protecting kids with armed security. Just make sure everyone knows how you’ll back the President on his backing of the NRA’s common sense proposal.
And no, the federal government has no legitimate business involving itself in school security, but this is not the time to rediscover federalism. Peggy Noonan may cluck like a schoolmarm about you playing hardball, but saving this country requires this guy in the White House be a lame duck starting now.
Naturally, out must go anything like an assault weapon or standard magazine ban. He gets nothing in the win column. What’s important is what the House puts into the bill. Start with a clear and unequivocal statement of the right to keep and bear arms as an individual right by statute, as well as by Constitution, and direct that all laws must be interpreted in that light. Make sure you cite both the Commerce Clause and Militia Clauses (Article I, Section 8, Clause 15-16)!
Gee, reaffirming the fundamental individual right kind of puts the screws to folks who keep lying about how they don’t want to take our guns in kind of a pickle. It would force some welcome honesty. A statute like this would also provide a backstop against the next time the Supreme Court has five liberals and decides that the Constitution’s clear statement of the people’s right to keep and bear arms means nothing of the sort. It would also undercut the various state laws that infringe upon the right. Oh, and best of all, no rational red state Democrats could ever consider voting against it. But if one does, even better!
And when rolling this out, send Boehner to the bar for the afternoon and put some of the GOP women out on the steps surrounded by moms and kids who protected themselves from scumbag criminals through the magic of firearms. Ask why the liberals are willing to sacrifice women to be raped, gays to be bashed, and minorities to be intimidated, all in order to disarm law-abiding citizens. Maybe some of the kids can even read their letters talking about how thankful they are that Mommy was able to use her Glock to keep her family from being murdered by that thug the liberal judge released on a technicality.
Yes, time for some political courage. After all, it’s for the children.
Kurt Schlichter (Twitter: @KurtSchlichter) has been published in the New York Post, Washington Examiner, Los Angeles Times, Washington Times and elsewhere. He was personally recruited by Andrew Breitbart and since 2009 his work has been frequently published on the Breitbart.com web sites.