Get PJ Media on your Apple

The PJ Tatler

by
Stephen Green

Bio

April 18, 2013 - 10:16 am

Over at Politico, here’s how Glenn Thrush and Reid Epstein see yesterday’s Senate vote on gun control:

Never before had President Barack Obama put the moral force and political muscle of his presidency behind an issue quite this big — and lost quite this badly.

The president, shaken to the core by the massacre of 26 innocents at Sandy Hook Elementary School, broke his own informal “Obama Rule” — of never leaning into an issue without a clear path to victory — first by pushing for a massive gun control package no one expected to pass, and then sticking through it even as he retrenched to a relatively modest bipartisan bill mandating national background checks on gun purchases.

Ignore the spin there, where they claim that Obama made his big push because he just cares so much, unlike all you mean conservatives who want children to die of gun poisoning or whatever. But the fact is, yes, Obama spent a lot of his political capital, maybe all of it, for nothing. He got the vote he demanded, but couldn’t get the votes he needed.

But there’s more to it, and for that let’s go to Powerline’s John Hinderaker:

But why was Obama so angry? I wrote here that it was odd for Obama to make gun control the signature issue of his second term, since there has never been any chance of significant gun control legislation being enacted. It couldn’t possibly get through the House. So why, today, was he so irate about its failure in the Senate?

As we have noted more than once, pretty much everything Obama does is intended to stir up the Democratic Party’s base to drive turnout in 2014. Obama knows he can’t do much of anything as long as the GOP holds the House, so his primary goal is to stoke outrage on the left, in hopes that 2014 will look like 2008 and 2012, and not like 2010.

It’s a strange strategy, especially given that only 4% of Americans think gun control is the top issue facing the nation — and those 4% were likely Democrat voters in 2014, anyway. And then there’s the other risk Obama took and lost: GOP voters saw their Senators — most of their Senators — stand firm on an issue they care deeply about.

But Obama only knows how to stir up his base by using anger, fear, and resentment. Instead, he’s inadvertently given conservatives a positive reason to show up at the polls next year, while simultaneously demonstrating to his base that their duck is very lame indeed.

Stephen Green began blogging at VodkaPundit.com in early 2002, and has served as PJMedia's Denver editor since 2008. He's one of the hosts on PJTV, and one-third of PJTV's Trifecta team with Scott Ott and Bill Whittle. Steve lives with his wife and sons in the hills and woods of Monument, Colorado, where he enjoys the occasional lovely adult beverage.

Comments are closed.

All Comments   (6)
All Comments   (6)
Sort: Newest Oldest Top Rated
Think twice before you follow a sore loser.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Anger can be a powerful motivator, but it's a double-edged blade: if the targets of your anger feel they're being abused, they, too, will be motivated.

The painful part of this is that the GOP has not been all that trustworthy on Constitutional issues, including the right to keep and bear arms. There are too many Republicans willing to trade the Constitution for a few column-inches of tepid praise from a New York Times reporter.

I am reminded of Milton Friedman's exhortation that it's less important to elect good people than to create conditions within which bad people will nonetheless be impelled to do the right thing. Such conditions don't exist at this time.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
or for praise and money from Bloomberg
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Let's not give ducks a bad name, Stephen! ;)
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
"But Obama only knows how to stir up his base by using anger, fear, and resentment. Instead, he’s inadvertently given conservatives a positive reason to show up at the polls next year, while simultaneously demonstrating to his base that their duck is very lame indeed."

You mean Obama is engaged in community agitation errrr organizing? Say it isn't so!

1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Didn't he say that he deserved a vote on this? He got his vote - what's the problem?
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
View All