The further to the left or the right you move, the more your lens on life distorts.

Tuesday, January 05, 2016


Dogs are wonderful animals. but they can be easily distracted when something more interesting presents itself. Let's say your dog is focused on finding a buried bone in the backyard. Suddenly, a squirrel appears, and the dog forgets the bone and gives chase. The bone is temporarily forgotten and the squirrel becomes the center of the dog's universe.

Barack Obama treats a willing media just like the dog in my opening paragraph. The media should be hunting for real stories—Iran's serial violations of the "deal" that Obama crafted with the terrorist sponsor and the reasons why this administration has done nothing about them; Saudi Arabia's cut-off of diplomatic relations with Iran and the potential for regional war as a consequence; the continuing atrocities perpetrated by ISIS; the Islamic terrorist threat worldwide, the government's inability to properly vet immigrants from the Middle East, and on the domestic side, a stagnant economy, ever increasing national debt, Obamacare's continuing death spiral, and a dozen other failures of this administration. Or maybe, the media should be hunting for inconsistencies in Hillary Clinton's statements about Benghazi, about the Clinton foundation, about influence peddling when she was secretary of state, about her email server, or questions about her role in the foreign policy debacle that is the Middle East. Instead it's:  "Oh look ... there's a squirrel!"

The media is in 'obsession mode' concerning Obama's "executive actions" on gun control —more significant for its hype and partisan slant that for any meaningful impact on gun violence.

Chris Stirewalt summarizes this when he writes:
Not only did the so-called “gun-show loophole” not play a role in any recent mass shootings, but anyone who was already habitually selling firearms at pawn shops, flea markets, or, yes, gun shows, is already licensed or already in violation of the law.

Leaning harder against those who sell firearms - what Attorney General Loretta Lynch deemed “a clarification” - will not do much, if anything, for what the president promised to do to “spare families the pain and the extraordinary loss” from gun violence.

So, in that way, Obama’s new actions are small beer. Much of his supposedly bold actions relate to directing federal agencies to do better at what they’re already doing. One wonders why he waited so long to think of that...

It’s easy to understand why the president would fancy up these measures as bold steps. For himself, Obama can certainly feel his presidency turning into that thin wisp of smoke from a snuffed candle. As with every year since Obama lost the House for his party in 2010, the president is promising to go it alone.
Personally, I support appropriate restrictions on the manner in which firearms are sold, but these restrictions must come from legislative action by an elected congress, not from border line unconstitutional and unilateral actions of an rogue presidency. And for those progressives who applaud Obama's "gutsy" decision to circumvent the congress, consider this scenario:
A conservative GOP president decides to place onerous restrictions on a woman's right to an abortion. He does so through "executive actions" even though a majority of the congress is opposed. He cites the precedent established repeatedly by Barack Obama from 2010 to 2016.
My guess is that the Left and progressives in general would scream bloody murder and the media wouldn't be far behind. That's the danger of unrestrained executive action and that's the Pandora's box that Obama has opened.

But back to "Oh look ... there's a squirrel!"

Barack Obama has demonstrated that he's really, really good at one thing—changing the subject when things are going south. It appears that this "gun control" gambit is an attempt to change the subject away from issues of great importance to the country to an issue that might be emotionally important to progressives, but will have very little impact on the reality of gun violence. No matter. A willing media swivels its head to look for the squirrel, and real issues fall by the wayside. Even GOP presidential candidates rise to the bait, taking their eyes off the many failures of the president and his past secretary of state.

Obama's executive action is indeed as meaningless "thin wisp of smoke from a snuffed candle," but the precedent that he has set in this and other borderline unlawful (and unconstitutional) executive actions may very well come back to haunt the very progressives who now cheer him.