Barack Obama can spin a lie into what sounds like something akin to the truth better than anyone in politics has done in my lifetime — and that’s saying something because it’s starting to be quite a long time. His State of the Union speech was Exhibit A.
“They deserve a vote,” he intoned during the obligatory gun control portion of his speech. “They deserve a vote,” he repeated, just in case you missed it the first time. “Gabby Giffords deserves a vote. The families of Newtown deserve a vote. The families of Aurora deserve a vote. The families of Oak Creek and Tucson and Blacksburg and the countless other communities ripped open by gun violence — they deserve a simple vote.”
Really? On what? Something! We simply must vote on something! As right-wing rocker Ted Nugent succinctly told a reporter who asked him if we shouldn’t do something, “Well, if your child is drowning, I could throw her a cinderblock. That would be doing something. It would just be the wrong thing.” This perfectly describes the whole debate over the issue of gun violence.
The emotional response of so many Americans to Obama’s demand for a vote on his half-baked gun control measures simply underscores their misunderstanding of the issue. The catalyst for this assault on the Second Amendment was, of course, the senseless murder of 20 first graders last December. No single act of violence has ripped at the nation’s heartstrings like this incident. This has not been lost on Obama and company. Never let a crisis go to waste, remember?
Meanwhile, there are 300 million other people who also “deserve a vote.”
While Obama assures us that “the state of our union is strong,” America’s fiscal crisis is careening toward becoming a total economic train wreck. Don’t the young, the old and the middle aged, the rich, the poor and the middle class all “deserve a vote” on a balanced budget amendment?
Obama talks about protecting children, yet he gutted the very popular Washington, D.C., school choice program in order to please his supporters in the National Education Association. Now he advocates that every 4-year-old be sent to a government-run pre-school, presumably so politically correct indoctrination can begin even earlier. Oh yes, this president cares about children — if they happen to be lucky enough to make it out of the womb alive. He couldn’t care less about the 55 million unborn children who, for the last 40 years, have had no rights of any kind. In Obama’s world, they don’t “deserve a vote.”
Proponents of traditional marriage have seen their views trampled by a radical minority intent on destroying the institution altogether. Wouldn’t you love to see an up-or-down vote in Congress on that one, rather than watching them hide behind judiciary rulings?
And what about the military and, by extension, our veterans? “In 2011, Congress passed a law saying that if both parties couldn’t agree on a plan to reach our deficit goal, about a trillion dollars’ worth of budget cuts would automatically go into effect this year,” Obama said in his State of the Union address. “These sudden, harsh, arbitrary cuts would jeopardize our military readiness. They’d devastate priorities like education, energy, and medical research. They would certainly slow our recovery, and cost us hundreds of thousands of jobs. That’s why Democrats, Republicans, business leaders and economists have already said that these cuts, known here in Washington as ‘the sequester,’ are a really bad idea. Now, some in this Congress have proposed preventing only the defense cuts by making even bigger cuts to things like education and job training, Medicare and Social Security benefits. That idea is even worse.”
Setting aside for a moment the fact that, out of all the programs mentioned, defending the nation is the only constitutionally mandated obligation of the federal government (something one might assume a “constitutional scholar” would know), consider the fact that the United States Senate, controlled by Obama’s party and run by his lackey, Harry Reid, has not passed a budget since April 2009.
Don’t the American people at least “deserve a vote” on that, Mr. President?
Doug Patton describes himself as a recovering political speechwriter who agrees with himself more often than not. His weekly columns are syndicated by Cagle Cartoons newspaper syndicate. Readers are encouraged to email him at firstname.lastname@example.org and/or to follow him on Twitter at @Doug_Patton.