Sunday, October 4, 2015

Oregon, Obama and The Greatness of an Angry Man

by Nomad

In the aftermath of the Oregon shooting, the visibly upset President Obama spoke to reporters and to the nation.
He was not shocked. It's hard to be shocked when, as the UKGuardian points out, there's been on average a mass shooting – involving four or more injured people – nearly every day. There have been an astounding 994 mass shootings in 1,004 days. The president was angry and he made no effort to disguise the fact.

Somehow, said the president, this has become routine. The events, the reactions, the tears and the prayers. Why must this keep happening before something gets done. Is this something we have all become numb to?

He said the burden of guilt falls ultimately on the American people for not demanding more from their representatives in Washington in their respective state legislatures.
"This is a political choice that we make, to allow this to happen every few months in America. We collectively are answerable to those families who lose their loved ones."
"This is not, Obama said, "something I can do myself."
He asked the American public to consider the ways they can get their government to change the laws and to save lives. "To let young people grow up." He declared
"That will require a change of politics on this issue. If you think this is a problem then you should expect your elected officials to reflect your views."
Now let's compare other reactions.
When asked about what he would do to prevent another massacre like the one we saw in Oregon (and like the ones we see every few weeks) Republican front-runner Donald Trump didn't have any answers. He finally said
"No matter what you do, you will have problems and that’s the way the world goes."
Only hours after the event, Hillary Clinton, the top Democrat in the polls for the 2016 election, said: 
“I’m sick about it, and I feel an absolute urgency for this country to start being sensible about keeping guns away from people who should not have them.”
With a support falling to a miserable 4% popularity, JEB! didn't have much further to fall. 
But his reaction to the news was about as mind-numbingly content free as it could be.
It was summed up into a bite-sized portion as "Stuff Happens."

His seemingly apathetic attitude about the shooting was not particularly hard to understand. 

Back in April, he was at an National Rifle Association (NRA) convention in Nashville, bragging about his many pro-gun efforts in Florida. He challenged anybody to match his "support and defense of the Second Amendment."

Actually, Mother Jones' investigation learned that the money trail to the notorious "Stand Your Ground Law" that Governor Bush heavily promoted lead right back to the NRA.
And most of us know already how that turned out.
How much financial support the NRA is giving his campaign- meaning throwing down a rathole- is anybody's guess. 

So whenever there is a mass shooting (as there is about every week, it seems), JEB! can hardly think of a thing to say. He has worked hard courting the NRA and he certainly doesn't want to lose their support at this point. 
But what he ended up saying was probably the stupidest thing of all. 
Here's the full statement of his remarks in context:
"We're in a difficult time in our country and I don't think more government is necessarily the answer to this. I think we need to reconnect ourselves with everybody else. It's very bad to see. Look, stuff happens and the impulse is always to do something and it's not necessarily the right thing to do."
It wasn't something we should over-react to, he said. By the time the news media had chewed it and spit it out, JEB! had just said "Stuff happens." Where was the passion? Where was the introspection? Where was the pity for the loss of life? 
When he was later asked if he thought he ought to re-phrase his reply.- because if your name is Bush, then you always deserve a second chance. However, he seemed a bit put-off and said,"Ok. Things happen." 
Talk about totally missing the point. 

In fact, the phrase and the general attitude echos the one uttered by Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld in 2003. When Baghdad fell into chaos after Saddam's regime fled. Rumsfeld said with a shrug:
"Stuff happens and it’s untidy, and freedom’s untidy, and free people are free to make mistakes and commit crimes and do bad things.”
It wasn't the government's responsibility, he implied. There wasn't anything we could do about it.

Nothing JEB! might have said could have better reminded the American public of the careless and arrogant and incompetent attitude of his brother's administration. JEB! seemed to be promising more of the same. 

Soon enough, JEB! did the totally expected and blamed the media, blamed the liberals and anybody else he could think of for his gaffe, accusing them of distorting his words "to advance their agenda in the wake of a tragedy." 

Suddenly it was all about JEB! and not the victims in Roseburg, Oregon, That's says so much about the character of the candidate. It's no surprise he is very nearly at the bottom.