Friday, February 15, 2019

Proudly Taking Credit

After President Obama in February of 2008 told a predominately black audience that children shold not be fed "Popeyes" and otherwise an inadequate diet, Princeton professor of African-American studies Eddie Glaude wrote

A reversal of sorts; a black president who has presided over the dismantling of a tradition, who masterfully uses the language of black struggle in the service of Wall Street who is lauded for his celebration of black culture and his performance of black cultural cues, but whose policy leaves much to be desired. This is someone who chastises black people for eating Popeye's chicken for breakfast."

One individual commented "he also had a Bill Cosby moment. The only difference is he's potentially in a position where he can actually render aid, and not just chastisement. That type of honesty is below my pay grade."

 And so this, too, is classic Obama:
I'm proud of all of them.  Given that proud is "Feeling deep pleasure or satisfaction as a result of one's own achievements, qualities, or possessions or those of someone with whom one is closely associated." the parents of those Parkland students should be proud.

But President Obama? He's not their parent, teacher, or pastor, but someoneposing as really committed to reducing gun violence.  He had his chance, eight years or 2,920 days of chances, yet

During his first term, Obama didn't call for any major new restriction on guns or gun owners. Instead, he urged authorities to enforce the state and federal laws already on the books. In fact, Obama signed only two major laws that address how guns are carried in America, and both actually expand the rights of gun owners.

One of the laws allows gun owners to carry weapons in national parks; that law took effect in February 2012 and replaced President Ronald Reagan's policy of required guns be locked in glove compartments of trunks of cars that enter national parks.

Another gun law signed by Obama allows Amtrak passengers to carry guns in checked baggage, a move that reversed a measure put in place after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

During his second term, in January of 2016, Obama did issue 23 executive actions. However

those executive actions contained no new laws or regulations; and they were not executive orders, which are different than executive actions.

"For all the pomp and ceremony, nothing in the president’s proposals is going to put a dent in U.S. gun crime or even substantially change the federal legal landscape. In that sense, apoplectic opponents and overjoyed supporters are both probably overreacting," wrote Adam Bates, a policy analyst with the libertarian Cato Institute's Project on Criminal Justice.

When Barack Obama claims pride in the young people pushing for gun safety measures, he is taking credit for at least a small portion of the activism rendered necessary in part by inaction in the eight years he could have actually accomplished something. It is unsurprising in an individual whose presidency featured soaring oratory evoking good feelings obscuring a presidency of limited accomplishment.

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