Senate

Gun Control Backfires on Obama

Barack Obama

President Obama loves to point to a poll that said 90 percent of all Americans wanted tougher background checks.  After the measure failed in the Senate, Obama wanted that 90 percent to let Congress know how they felt.

Talk about your backfires:

But a new Washington Post/Pew Research Center poll suggests that post-vote attitudes stray from the wide support for the background check measure before the debate, which hovered around 85% in multiple polls.

A plurality of Americans–47%–say they are either “angry” or “disappointed” with the Senate’s action on gun legislation, far different from the amount of people who strongly approved the proposal before the vote. Meanwhile, 39% say they are “relieved” or “happy” about the vote.

I always thought those earlier numbers were soft, and they were.

You see, one of the issues has always been that many polls don’t really capture how committed to something a respondent really is.  Someone may support the idea of tougher background checks, but how important is really is to them.

Media Using Boston Bombers to Revive Gun Control Debate

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev

Well, that didn’t take long. The media is already pointing out that the Tsarnaev brothers, who are suspected of planting the bombs at the Boston Marathon and getting involved with a shootout with police, were not licensed to own firearms:

The two brothers suspected in the Boston Marathon bombings, who police say engaged in a gun battle with officers early Friday after a frenzied manhunt, were not licensed to own guns in the towns where they lived, authorities said on Sunday.

In the confrontation with police on the streets of a Boston suburb, Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev were armed with handguns, at least one rifle and several explosive devices, authorities say.

But neither brother appears to have been legally entitled to own or carry firearms where they lived, a fact that may add to the national debate over current gun laws. Last week, the U.S. Senate rejected a bill to expand background checks on gun purchases, legislation that opponents argued would do nothing to stop criminals from buying guns illegally.

Let’s hold on just a second here. The Tsarnaev bothers didn’t legally obtain the firearms used during a shootout with police in a state with some of the most restrictive gun laws in the country. For example, Massachusetts has banned so-called “assault weapons” and has limited magazines to 10 rounds (similar proposals failed last week in the United States Senate). Massachusetts also prohibits anyone under the 21-years-old from owning a handgun. Dzhokhar, who was apprehended on Friday evening, was 19.

Shame on You, Johnny Isakson

Johnny Isakson

It hasn’t been a good few weeks for me if I wanted to be proud of my senators.  First, we had Saxby Chambliss use a ridiculous argument against same-sex marriage, and now we have Johnny Isakson’s opposition to a filibuster on gun control legislation.

Isakson’s office is reportedly saying he opposes the legislation, and that may be true, but he sees no problem with it passing.

You see, the United States Senate is in the hands of the Democrats.  They want this to become law.  That means it’s likely to pass the Senate.  Isakson isn’t a complete moron.  He knows this.  He knows that in a vote, the bill passes.

He should also know that he swore and oath to “support and defend the Constitution of the United States”, and on that he’s falling down on the job.

The problem stems from the misguided idea that universal background checks would do anything to curb violence in this country.

Folks, gang bangers, drug cartels, and other violent groups aren’t exactly deterred by laws. They’re criminals. By definiton, they skirt the law.  A universal background check will put more of a burden on the law abiding citizen who would like to purchase a gun from a buddy.

Isakson should know this.  I suspect he does know this.  However, instead of supporting an effort that is both legal and ethical as a way to block this, he’s arguing that members of his own party should sit down, shut up, and do nothing as they watch this nation go further down the tubes.

Obamanomics: Not Smarter Than a Cave Man (or JFK)

Obamanomics

One thousand, four hundred and twenty four…that’s the number of days that have passed since the Democrat-controlled Senate performed their constitutional duty to pass a budget, more than a year before the ubiquitous iPad was invented. Judging by the contents of that budget, we can see why Democrats were scared to reveal their plans before Obama was safely re-elected and no longer accountable to the voters. It is unbridled recklessness that passes for the Democrat budgeting process.

Such sheer irresponsibility reminds me of P.J. O’Rourke, the civil libertarian who once said “Giving money and power to government is like giving whiskey and car keys to teenage boys.” Admittedly, it is not fair to compare elected Democrats to drunken teenage boys who, even with a fleet of cars and a swimming pool filled with whiskey could not hope to achieve as much damage as is being done by Democrats right now.

The Senate budget demands nearly one trillion dollars in new tax increases, on top of the nearly $700 billion already conceded by Republicans just a few months ago in the “Fiscal Cliff” deal. An almost equal amount would supposedly be cut from spending, but considering the bait-and-switch tactics that have become the modus operandi for Democrats, it is hard to believe that those cuts would ever come to fruition.

UPDATE: Rand Paul is Filibustering Obama’s CIA Nominee

Rand Paul's filibusters John Brennan

This post has been updated. Scroll down to view the latest.

Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY), who has become the fiercest of President Obama’s drone program, is currently in the middle of a traditional filibuster against the nomination of John Brennan. He been at it for a just over two hours, having started at 11:47am.

You can watch it live here.

Brennan, who was nominated by President Obama to serve as director of the CIA, was asked some very direct questions by Sen. Paul over the drones program. Sen. Paul wanted to know whether or not the White House could perhaps target American citizens who are merely suspected terrorist activities inside the borders of the United States.

Attorney General Eric Holder responded to the questions raised by Sen. Paul about the drone program. “The question you have posed is therefore entirely hypothetical, unlikely to occur, and one we hope no president will ever have to confront,” Holder wrote. “It is possible, I suppose, to imagine an extraordinary circumstance in which it would be necessary and appropriate under the Constitution and applicable laws of the United States for the President to authorize the military to use lethal force within the territory of the United States.”

Sen. Paul recognizes that he won’t be able to keep going for a prolonged period of time, but he is using the time to highlight the various issues problems with the use of drones against American citizens, thus denying them due process.

Senate Confirmations: An Opportunity Squandered

President Obama’s foreign policy team is undergoing a makeover, with the nominations of Senator John Kerry as Secretary of State, former Nebraska Republican Senator Chuck Hagel as Secretary of Defense, and the Deputy National Security Advisor John Brennan as CIA Director.  All three gentlemen are expected to be confirmed; Kerry already has, Hagel will likely be confirmed (following an abysmal hearing) later this week, and Brennan faces his confirmation hearing this Thursday, which will essentially be the GOP’s final chance to hold Obama accountable for broken national security policies.

The GOP squandered two opportunities to ask proper questions of Kerry and Hagel.  The Kerry confirmation hearing was a jovial affair for one of the first advocates on intervention in the Libyan civil war in 2011, which, by the way, received no congressional authorization.  When Kerry was questioned about congressional authorization, he essentially bragged about his history of support for unilateral Executive action in Grenada, Panama, Kosovo, Bosnia, and yes, Libya.

2012 Elections: Forget the President, It’s Congress That Matters

It appears that the 2012 race for President is all but set. Mitt Romney will very likely win the Republican nomination and he will face Barack Obama in November. For those of us concerned about restoring liberty, the rule of law and the  Constitution, and getting a grips on our debt and economic crisis; this is not a joyous prospect. Neither man has a record of leadership on those issues and in fact, both men have proven time and time again to be advocates of more government, more spending, and more debt. No matter who is elected President, I’m not optimistic that our serious issues, especially concerning the debt and the economy will be addressed. We need to look elsewhere to at least hold the tide against more spending and more debt. We need to really pour our energies into the Congressional elections and electing more Constitutional conservatives and libertarians.

Every even numbered year, we have the chance to change the entire makeup of the House of Representatives and one-third of the Senate. Imagine what kind of difference we can make if we elected Constituional conservative majority in the House and give Jim DeMint, Tom Coburn, Rand Paul, and Mike Lee some more company in the Senate this go around. The only way to do that is get involved. Find a Constitutional conservative candidate in the primaries and back them and volunteer for them. If there isn’t one in your district, consider running yourself. Granted, it maybe too late in many states to do this for 2012, but consider it for 2014.

Chris Dodd Thinks Anti-SOPA/PIPA Websites Are Abusing Their Power

If you’re like me, you hoped that you wouldn’t be hearing anything more from allegedly corrupt former Senator Chris Dodd (D-Conn.) after he decided in 2010 not to seek a sixth Senate term. Unfortunately those hopes were dashed when the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) decided it just couldn’t pass up the opportunity to hire somebody who allegedly knows exactly what it takes to buy a senator. The MPAA selected Dodd as its new head lobbyist chairman and CEO last year. Now Dodd is taking aim at Wikipedia, Google, and other websites involved in today’s protest against the SOPA/PIPA internet censorship legislation pending in Congress:

It is an irresponsible response and a disservice to people who rely on them for information and use their services. It is also an abuse of power given the freedoms these companies enjoy in the marketplace today. It’s a dangerous and troubling development when the platforms that serve as gateways to information intentionally skew the facts to incite their users in order to further their corporate interests.

The U.S. Constitution, Obama’s Door Mat

A few days after the 2008 elections, Valerie Jarrett, co-chair of President-Elect Obama’s transition team, was interviewed by Tom Brokaw on “Meet the Press”, where she stated: “ [Obama] is prepared to really take power and begin to rule day one.” At the time it was written off by most as simply a poor choice of words, but after the last three years in which Obama has compiled an inglorious record of contempt for the Constitution, Jarrett’s words now have proven prophetic. Obama has even surpassed FDR in the sheer brazenness of his contempt for our nation as a rule of law under the Constitution, and in attempts to make servants of the other co-equal branches of government.

Obama truly seems to see himself in the role of a king, with power to enforce his agenda by sheer will, ignoring law and precedent in crushing opposition to his executive branch tyranny. Two recent events have added to our despicable president’s legacy of corruption, disdain and contempt for the Constitution; his signing of the National Defense Appropriations Act, which funds military and defense operations, but that also contains a provision that should terrify every American that loves freedom; and Obama’s appointment of Richard Cordray as Director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, a new agency created by the Dodd-Frank financial reform law.

So…will turnabout be fair play?

There’s an old saying, “What’s good for the goose is good for the gander.”  For the metaphorically impared among you, it means that if something is acceptable for one person to do, then it should be equally acceptable when another does the exact same thing.  Failure to adhere to this is generally called hypocrisy.

So, now that President Obama has made three recess appointments - you know, without Congress actually being in recess or anything - there is a factor out there that’s not really being discussed.  Sure, many people are arguing against the constitutionality of his actions, and rightly so.  However, the question I have is whether Democrats who are applauding this move now will do so when a Republican president tries it a few years down the road?

For the record, I’m going to guess that they won’t be as understanding.

This isn’t a new phenomenon in politics in the least.  Look at arguments against President Clinton getting us involved in Kosovo.  They look remarkably like arguments made against President Bush getting us involved in Iraq (including the idea that we should get United Nations support).  The only difference was the speakers.  On the flip side, the arguments for going into Kosovo were mirrored by the other side leading up to our invasion of Iraq.

The thing is, these kinds of moves only create a precedent by which the other side can try the exact same thing next time around.  However, many progressives are applauding the action.  Many conservatives are denouncing it.  I’m willing to bet that the next time around, the roles will be a complete 180 from where they are now and I would laugh if it wasn’t so tragic.


The views and opinions expressed by individual authors are not necessarily those of other authors, advertisers, developers or editors at United Liberty.