It’s time to Break It Down!
Let’s establish one thing up front; Aaron Alexis, the 34-year old practicing Buddhist, and suspected gunman who killed twelve people in Building 197 in the Washington Navy Yard Monday, was a black man. While that factoid pales in comparison to the horrendous, indefensible, and senseless acts he committed Monday, before authorities killed him, it had to be noted. In fact, I had to write those words.
In the past, I have pointed out that the history of mass shootings in America is littered with the names of, presumably angry and/or sick, white men. In longitudinal terms, that fact still stands. Ex-police officer Christopher Dorner’s California shooting spree in February and now, Alexis’ scurrilous acts this week deviate from the trend line. Do not get it twisted. The reality is their actions have not re-ordered all we know about the who of those committing these heinous crimes. It does once again however underscore the havoc and violence that widespread and “too easy” access to guns can cause. In the case of Mr. Alexis, the records indicate he had a temper, heard strange voices, and had a history of gun violence. In retrospect, his high-level security clearance to military facilities is in question. SMDH!
That is all so unfortunate. However, even in the aftermath of this most recent episode, a number of gun advocates have lamented the fact that more of the victims did not have their own guns. It is as though they wish for a return to the ethic of the Wide Wild West.
That is food for thought. But the focus of this brief commentary is the Republican response to President Obama’s “tone” in his comments made shortly after Monday’s incident. It should be noted that at the top of his comments during a White House briefing, President Obama called the act cowardly, and demanded a seamless investigation between local and federal authorities.
The rub, it seems, is he did not stop there. He went on to speak about developments in the Syrian conflict, and then to chide Republicans for threatening to shut down the government because they may not get all they want…which as you probably know, is the rescission of Obamacare. The cavalcade of GOP brass who took exception to the President holding their Party accountable included:
- House Speaker John Boehner called it a shame the President could not rise above partisanship.
- Republican National Committee (RNC) Chairman Reince Priebus tweeted it was disappointing that the President didn’t rise above partisanship
- Former House Speaker, Newt Gingrich, who has his own history with shutting down the government, channeled President Reagan, noting that Mr. Reagan postponed the State of the Union Address because he realized the Country needed to be in mourning.
- Alex Castellanos, a key GOP Strategist, called the press conference self-congratulatory and referred to the President as tone deaf.
It’s clear, the GOP really doesn’t want any spotlight placed on the fact that many of them would like to grind government to a halt. It is even more apparent that they do not wish to be reminded of the fact that the war they were for, before they were against it, before the President backed it, before he sought the Congressional approval the GOP insisted he needed, before he asked for it, may actually be resolved through diplomacy anyway. OMG!
The limitlessly irreverent Bill Maher coined a phrase recently, “Black-track.” The definition…”When a politician changes his mind because he learns President Obama agrees with him.” Amen Bill; the truth will set you free. Meanwhile, “Republicans Call Obama Tone Deaf: More GOP Legerdemain!” I call that claim BS!
I’m done; holla back!
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