There's something really startling about the apparent ease with which the Speaker of the House -- the body responsible for raising revenues and spending money -- tosses away that responsibility. Startling in this case because it was his party that purposefully created a crisis that he now steps away from resolving.
House Speaker John A. Boehner, in the wake of the embarrassing defeat of his backup plan to avert a fiscal crisis in two short weeks, on Friday called on the Senate and President Obama to find a way out, but added that “God only knows” how Washington is going to get control of its finances. ...NYT
John Boehner, wounded by his own party, is now officially, it seems, ducking his responsibilities. He's not the only winger trying to get away with something.
Conservative gun lobbyist, Wayne LaPierre, having spent much of his life encouraging the purchase and use of everything that could be called a "gun" is also a duck. Today he shifted responsibility for our recent history of gun slaughter back to the governments -- federal, state, and local -- for preventing such horrors as the slaughter of 26 teachers and small children in a school last week. La Pierre is incensed by the notion that he could be blamed in anyway for that horror.
Wayne LaPierre, the group’s executive vice president, read a statement to reporters but did not take questions, and ignored outbursts from protesters who interrupted him.
But it was the vehement insistence that the single best line of defense was to put armed guards in schools — and the absence of any openness to various suggestions for new gun control measures — that dominated the event at a downtown hotel not far from the White House.
Mr. LaPierre said this should be done right away, with the details left to the discretion of local schools. The N.R.A. would provide a template or model program after consulting with security experts. ...NYT
Right. The NRA will tell them what to do; we will pay for it. Exactly the wrong way around.
La Pierre doesn't see himself as a "perp." But he is. If we were living in the days our "originalists" cling to, both La Pierre and Boehner would be on the Mall today, in stocks.
Greg Sargent thinks the NRA will ultimately lose respect on this one.
I do wonder, though, whether LaPierre’s performance today — combined with his unwillingness to even brook discussion of any reforms — will ultimately help the gun control side a bit. After all, his tone — aggrieved, angry, hostile — seemed highly off kilter in the wake of such an awful tragedy. And LaPierre revealed again that the NRA does not speak for the majority of rank and file gun owners. CNN’s latest poll shows very broad support for specific gun law reforms, such as background checks on every would be gun purchaser and bans on assault weapons and high capacity magazines. Even majorities of Republicans favor these. ...Sargent, WaPo
The New York Times' editorial board, the following morning, has this comment:
Mr. LaPierre looked wild-eyed at times as he said the killing was the fault of the media, songwriters and singers and the people who listen to them, movie and TV scriptwriters and the people who watch their work, advocates of gun control, video game makers and video game players.
The N.R.A., which devotes itself to destroying compromise on guns, is blameless. So are unscrupulous and unlicensed dealers who sell guns to criminals, and gun makers who bankroll Mr. LaPierre so he can help them peddle ever-more-lethal, ever-more-efficient products, and politicians who kill even modest controls over guns.
And Charles Blow reminds the NRA of this home truth: where there are more guns, there are more gun shooting and murders.
An analysis this year from the Violence Policy Center found that “states with low gun ownership rates and strong gun laws have the lowest rates of gun death.” The report continued, “by contrast, states with weak gun laws and higher rates of gun ownership had far higher rates of firearm-related death.” According to the analysis, Massachusetts, Hawaii, New Jersey, New York, and Connecticut had the lowest per capita gun death rates. Each of those states had “strong gun laws and low gun ownership rates. On the other hand, “ranking first in the nation for gun death was Louisiana, followed by Wyoming, Alabama, Montana, and Mississippi.” Those states had “weak gun laws and higher rates of gun ownership.”
What’s more, deaths may be a misleading statistic that minimizes the true breadth of gun violence. Another report this year by the Violence Policy Center, using data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, found that while gun deaths remained relatively flat from 2000 to 2008, the total number of people shot went up nearly 20 percent since 2001. Why the difference between rates of shootings and deaths? “Advances in emergency services — including the 911 system and establishment of trauma centers — as well as better surgical techniques,” the report said. ...NYT
We have before us, ladies and gentlemen, the reason why Republicans (and some Democrats) opt for fantasy over reality. The facts tell them they are wrong over and over again.