Steve Chapman
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Whenever you hear about a psychic being arrested, the natural question is: Why didn't she see that coming? Conservatives who raise dire alarms about what will happen in Barack Obama's second term face a similar problem. They need him to lose so their predictions will not be exposed as products of raging paranoia.

Rick Santorum says the defeat of Obama is imperative "so that future generations do not say about America, 'When men were free.'" After Obama was heard telling Russian President Dmitry Medvedev he would have "more flexibility" on missile defense after he's re-elected, House Speaker John Boehner accused Obama of planning dangerous "unilateral concessions."

Former Bush speechwriter and Washington Post columnist Marc Thiessen laid out "the top ten disasters that would befall America if Obama were re-elected" -- notably defense cuts so huge that "America will no longer be a superpower."

But no one can match National Rifle Association official Wayne LaPierre, who in February warned that Obama's plan is "get re-elected and, with no more elections to worry about, get busy dismantling and destroying our firearms freedom."

Oh, really? I usually agree with the NRA on gun issues, but when it comes to predicting the future, the organization is more useless than a Ouija board.

In 2008, it told gun owners Obama would "ban use of firearms for home defense," "pass federal laws eliminating your right-to-carry" and "mandate a government-issued license to purchase a firearm." Wrong, wrong and wrong again. In fact, the president has been so respectful of Second Amendment rights that the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence gave him an "F."

LaPierre's fantasy of a second-term plot is no more believable than the first-term version. Obama, after all, didn't know at the beginning whether he would be re-elected -- and still doesn't. If he wanted to eviscerate Second Amendment rights, wouldn't he have done it immediately? Wait four years, and the chance to pry our guns out of our cold, dead hands might be lost forever.

The critics seem to think that after this year, Obama will be free to liberate his inner radical and turn the United States into a more hellish version of North Korea. This scenario glosses over the president's cautious temperament and aversion to liberal crusading, which often cause Rachel Maddow to grind her teeth.

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Steve Chapman

Steve Chapman is a columnist and editorial writer for the Chicago Tribune.
 

 
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