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President Obama is Hamstrung
Even when the president tries to do something that is positive and isn’t just catering to his political opponents, he has a very hard time. He has this goofy idea that being “bipartisan” is a good thing. Nonsense, nonsense, nonsense!! Some knuckleheaded advisor must have told him he should do that, but it’s wrong. He was elected to move the program that those who voted for him wanted to see him put into place. If they had thought he was going to compromise it away, they wouldn’t have voted for him. The fact is that he is the elected E-X-E-C-U-T-I-V-E. That means he is supposed to execute his program, not the other party’s program. Of course, one cannot always do what one wants, and one might have to compromise and make deals. So be it! However, compromise should not be a goal, even though it is sometimes a necessity. Obama needs to straighten himself out on this.
The silly bipartisanship strategy explains why Obama is giving away so much, but not why he’s hamstrung. The fact is, even if he were going great guns for the program the voters elected him to promote, he doesn’t have the votes to do too much. The fact is, even when the polls show that the electorate overwhelmingly wants something in his program, such as good, single-payer health care, the voters won’t elect enough Congresspeople to pass his program with the ease he needs. Why? Because he has a demon in his pocket, and many voters who otherwise support some of Obama’s goals don’t want to elect Democrats for fear of setting the demon loose.
I’ve been saying this for years and years, and I’ll continue to. The demon is gun control. Back around forty years ago, some Democrats, liberals or whatever, decided that gun control was what the wanted. It didn’t (and doesn’t) matter to them that it violates the Bill of Rights. It didn’t (and doesn’t) matter that the reasons that they want it, controlling crime, etc., is completely hollow, shown to be totally ineffectual to accomplish that. What it comes down to is “I don’t like guns, so you have to put up with it.” It’s no different from saying “I like Mozart, so you’ll have to get rid of all of your Beethoven recordings.”
Then, somebody decided that people who own guns are conservative. Why? I can’t answer that; it is so foolish. The Bill of Rights belongs to all of us. It’s very purpose is to prevent the tyranny of the majority, or more specifically, to prevent any temporary majority from engaging in tyranny against other Americans, and that’s what the Democrats have been doing with gun control. So, gun owners are arbitrarily defined as conservatives, even though gun ownership crosses all class, economic and political lines. The biased press gets on board and the truth is established.
What the Democrats have really done, however, is to say to millions of Americans “go away, scram, get out, we don’t want you anymore,” and gave a big present to their political opponents, the Republicans. After some years of this, gun owners took it to heart and started thinking of themselves as conservatives, even though many feel more support for the Democrats’ programs than those of the Republicans. Some are probably lost forever to the Democrats, but others might come back someday, if the Democrats show enough proof that they are jettisoning gun control permanently and irrevocably.
Sadly, the gun controllers don’t have a clue about the damage they have caused, both to the country and to the Democrats and their traditional allies. Look at the case of labor unions. Unions have traditionally been fellow travelers with the Democrats. I won’t get into the discussion of how much, in general, the Democrats have outright betrayed unions and their members; that’s for another day.
Union Leaders — No Clue!
As for the current topic, gun control has driven an enormous wedge between union leaderships and the members. Union leaders, especially the AFL-CIO, itself, has passed resolutions favoring gun control a number of times over the years. Gun-owning union members despised this! They knew that they had been betrayed, and took it seriously. A 2006 Gallup Poll found that about one-third of Americans living in a household with a gun are Democrats, and that includes a lot of union members. Something like 20% or 25% of the membership the the National Rifle Association consists of union members. In election after election, union leaders beg their members to vote the union’s program. However, many members realize that the Bill of Rights is more permanent and more important.
Most union leaders, like Democrats, don’t know what’s going on. The tell their staffs that gun control is just a “distraction” and do not take it seriously, just like the Democratic Party. They blame the “vast right-wing conspiracy.” However, the ones to blame are themselves. When they stop being toadies of the Democrats and start listening to the members, they might be able to unify the organizations again. But the ideology of labor bureaucrats is very oriented to doing things the way they have always been done, so I’m not holding my breath.
How to Get the Votes
What will Obama have to do to get out of this mess that he and his party cohorts have caused? Both a lot or just a little, depending upon upon how one looks on it, but certainly more than if the Democrats had wised up a few decades ago.
Obama, as the leader of the Democratic Party, doesn’t just have to correct a bad policy, he must fix a decades-long betrayal. Since he himself has stated a position favoring gun control, he can’t just change his mind. Not only will no one believe him, that would just make him and the Party look even more like political sleazes than they do already. Further, even if they meant it, people know that even if the President and Congress stopped passing dopey gun control laws, state and local yokels would still continue to do that. Uh-uh! If Obama really has learned something (doubtful without proof!). He would have to exhibit a heap of proof and make legislation that would cut off state and local politicians at the ankles from passing their own gun control laws.
Here’s the Rx
Here it is:
In the overall scope of things, this isn’t a big deal. It is, however the minimum necessary to get most Americans to trust the Democrats again. If the President wants voters to support his programs, and elect the people to Congress who will support them, with a margin that won’t cause him difficulty, he must bite the bullet and do it.
Will It Really Happen?
Not a chance in Hell, I think. However, I felt obligated to give the man a chance to correct the wrongs of the past, both his own and his party’s. I’ve been wrong before, though, so I’ll be sure to answer or return his call if it comes.
March 7, 2010
Last Updated — April 06, 2013