Barack Obama’s public dismemberment in Wednesday night’s debate with Republican Mitt Romney was bad, but a bigger loser than the president was the Brady Campaign because it failed to bully nearly-absent moderator Jim Lehrer ahead of time to interject gun control into the discussion.
Liberal Seattleites are clearly on the defensive, as one can see from the post-debate remarks in the Seattle Times this morning. The “Empty Chair” turned out to be an empty suit whose reign of empty rhetoric hit a massive speed bump, if not a stone wall. The verbal hate spasms in the Times’ reader feedback section just might reach a new low in vituperation which, if one considers the temperament of Seattle liberals, just didn’t seem possible.
Tax-and-spend (other peoples’ money) liberals lost, and so, too, did the debate demonstrate that there is no more air left in the Brady camp’s tires.
As Washington Times Senior Editor Emily Miller noted yesterday, the Brady Campaign – as reported by this column – had attempted to prevail on Lehrer to insert its agenda into the debate. The Brady Bunch “lined up relatives of some of those killed in the Aurora, Colo., theater shooting to pen a letter on Monday that appealed to (Lehrer) to ask the candidates a loaded question.”
UPDATE: The damage appears even worse for the Brady Campaign, and it is apparently self-inflicted. Our friends at the Days of Our Trailers blog managed to capture what appear to be screen shots from Facebook of a prepared Brady Campaign press release touting what it thought Obama was going to say about guns. However, the president remained silent on the issue, and the Brady Campaign had to hastily rewrite its release, also captured at the DOT website. Evidently, someone at the Brady Campaign expected the president to talk about gun control, and he, or moderator Lehrer, let them down.
Instead, Brady Campaign President Dan Gross issued this statement: “Jim Lehrer missed an opportunity tonight to move our national conversation forward, but we, and the families, know that the conversation has only just begun.”
Miller, who was deservedly honored last weekend with the Second Amendment Foundation’s “Journalist of the Year” award at the Gun Rights Policy Conference, nailed it.
Twenty years ago, had the Brady Campaign sought to insert its “gotcha” questions – designed to embarrass any remotely pro-gun candidate – into a debate, it likely would have succeeded. But the gun prohibition crowd has lost its political traction, except in Miller’s neighborhood, otherwise known as the District of Columbia, and in such other Second Amendment gulags as Chicago, New York and New Jersey.
While Democrats added a gun control plank in their party platform in August, it is growing more evident by the day that most Americans consider that scrap wood, good only for kindling to ignite their fires. As Miller reported, gun sales this year are up. Smith & Wesson, she said, has reported a 48.3 percent spike in sales and there are $392 million in backlogged orders, a 164-percent increase over the same period last year. Background checks, she added, continue to rise.
Miller’s perspective is important because, as she acknowledged during her remarks last weekend, she’s very new to the gun politics scene. What she has discovered has obviously alarmed her as a citizen and a journalist, and writing about it not only earned her the SAF honor, but also the 2012 Clark Mollenhoff Award for Investigative Reporting from the Institute on Political Journalism for her series on the District of Columbia’s deliberately confusing, discouraging and expensive gun regulations.
So, when Miller sees something and writes about it, people who are not stereotypical “gun nuts” will pay attention; far more attention than they are evidently paying to the Brady camp’s exploitative efforts.
Obama got such a shellacking Wednesday night, a question about his plans for gun control might have served only to cement his political coffin shut. Suffice to say the president is lucky Lehrer didn’t wake up behind the wheel long enough to open the gun issue, because it would have created a gaping wound.
Some Obama apologists are contending that the president was “not on his game” against Romney. That’s nonsense and they know it. Last night’s performance was Obama’s game; a political hipster who believed he would win by just showing up and tossing out some shallow platitudes that would be devoured by his cheerleaders in the mainstream press and at MSNBC.
Instead, it was Obama who was devoured by a far-better-prepared challenger with real business experience who understands that “revenue” is a Beltway nickname for higher taxes. Whatever else gun owners are, they are taxpayers, provided they still have jobs.
Wednesday night rattled the liberals, including the gun prohibition lobby because it signaled they may be very short on time to push their agenda with even a remote chance of success. They got two anti-gun Supreme Court justices from Obama, but their legislative agenda is rusting along the political highway.
If Romney can deliver like this again, making Obama stare at the floor like a teen caught in the act with no excuses for running up his credit card debt while his dad stares him down with a lecture about finances, then Obama is finished.
That’s something for Attorney General Eric Holder to worry about.
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Second Amendment Foundation
Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms
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