President Obama is hopping mad about the growing list of Republican senators – now up to 14 names in all – who have signaled their willingness to join Senators Mike Lee (R-UT), Rand Paul (R-KY), and Ted Cruz (R-TX) in opposing gun control legislation, a vow that has generally been interpreted as a filibuster threat. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell added his name to the list on Monday.
This led to the following burst of cognitive dissonance from the President, as related by Fox News:
President Obama criticized the proposed filibuster during a campaign-style event at the University of Hartford in Connecticut about 45 miles from the elementary school where 20 first-graders were shot and killed in December.
???Some back in Washington are already floating the idea that they might use political stunts,??? said Obama, who was introduced by Nicole Hockley, whose son, Dylan, was one of the victims. ???They???re not just saying they???ll vote ???no??? on ideas that almost all Americans support. They???re saying they won???t allow any votes on them at all.???
Many in the crowd responded by chanting: “We want a vote.”
The president also said some family members who lost children in the Dec. 14 school shooting are referring to the massacre as 12/14, just like the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks are called 9/11.
???For these families, it was a day that changed everything,??? Obama said. ???And I know many of you in Newtown wondered if the rest of us would live up to the promises ??? once the television trucks left, once the candles flickered out, once the teddy bears were gathered up ??? your country would move on to other things. Newtown, we want you to know that we???re here with you.???
How dare these Republicans attempt a political stunt! Don’t they know only Obama is allowed to stage those? Obama’s little dramatic productions come at substantial taxpayer expense, since not only have the President and his immense retinue been flying around the country to hold campaign rallies, but he’s flying eleven family members of the Sandy Hook Elementary School victims back to Washington aboard Air Force One so they can lobby for new gun control laws. With all due respect to these grieving parents, how can that avoid classification as a “stunt?” Shouldn’t this legislation face sober deliberation, and stand on its own legal and logical merits?
It looks like the big post-Newtown gun control push is boiling down to universal background checks – which, whatever their other merits might be, would have done exactly nothing to stop the Newtown massacre, as the killer stole his guns from his mother. The Senate is expected to begin debating its gun-control package this week.