A couple of days ago, discussing the post-Newtown onslaught against the Second Amendment, I pointed out that "This fight is no longer over gun rights. It's over the future of America." That's been reinforced by two recent articles.
First, the Atlantic notes that 'From Guns to Immigration, Obama Sidesteps the GOP'.
Sick of negotiating with congressional hardliners, the president moves to leverage his campaign apparatus and the bully pulpit to push his policy priorities.
. . .
Mobilizing voters against the GOP and its special-interest allies is part of a broader White House bid to pursue higher taxes, immigration reform, and climate change legislation -- so-called third-rail issues that traditionally give Democrats fits.
Former White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs, a confidant of the president, signaled the high-testosterone approach shortly before Obama's announcement on guns, telling MSNBC, "The president has the most exciting campaign apparatus ever built. It's time to turn that loose."
He speculated that the National Rifle Association is lobbying lawmakers with the names and numbers of new NRA members in each congressional district, gun-rights supporters galvanized by the Newtown elementary school massacre. "If the NRA has a list," Gibbs said, "then Obama for America has a bigger list."
There's more at the link. Bold print is my emphasis. It's a very interesting perspective on White House strategy. Recommended reading.
As if to reinforce and support this approach, Slate opines, 'if he wants to transform American politics, Obama must declare war on the Republican Party'.
As Obama explained in his last press conference, he thinks the Republicans are dead set on opposing him. They cannot be unchained by schmoozing. Even if Obama were wrong about Republican intransigence, other constraints will limit the chance for cooperation. Republican lawmakers worried about primary challenges in 2014 are not going to be willing partners. He probably has at most 18 months before people start dropping the lame-duck label in close proximity to his name.
Obama’s only remaining option is to pulverize. Whether he succeeds in passing legislation or not, given his ambitions, his goal should be to delegitimize his opponents. Through a series of clarifying fights over controversial issues, he can force Republicans to either side with their coalition's most extreme elements or cause a rift in the party that will leave it, at least temporarily, in disarray.
. . .
On gun control, the National Rifle Association has overreached. Its Web video mentioning the president's children crossed a line.* The group’s dissembling about the point of the video and its message compounds the error. (The video was also wrong). The NRA is whipping up its members, closing ranks, and lashing out. This solidifies its base, but is not a strategy for wooing those who are not already engaged in the gun rights debate. It only appeals to those who already think the worst of the president. Republicans who want to oppose the president on policy grounds now have to make a decision: Do they want to be associated with a group that opposes, in such impolitic ways, measures like universal background checks that 70 to 80 percent of the public supports? Polling also suggests that women are more open to gun control measures than men. The NRA, by close association, risks further defining the Republican Party as the party of angry, white Southern men.
The president is also getting help from Republicans who are calling out the most extreme members of the coalition. New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie called the NRA video "reprehensible." Others who have national ambitions are going to have to follow suit. The president can rail about and call the GOP bad names, but that doesn't mean people are going to listen. He needs members inside the Republican tent to ratify his positions—or at least to stop marching in lockstep with the most controversial members of the GOP club. When Republicans with national ambitions make public splits with their party, this helps the president.
. . .
Out of fear for the long-term prospects of the GOP, some Republicans may be willing to partner with the president. That would actually mean progress on important issues facing the country, which would enhance Obama’s legacy. If not, the president will stir up a fracas between those in the Republican Party who believe it must show evolution on issues like immigration, gun control, or climate change and those who accuse those people of betraying party principles.
Again, more at the link - and again, bold print is my emphasis. It's an article I personally found repellent, due to its left-wing/progressive bias, but it contains a lot more background information than the Atlantic article. Worthwhile reading, on the principle of 'know your enemy'. (Note that I'm not a Republican, and don't support that party - in many ways they're as useless and as dangerous as the Democratic Party. However, there are more in the former party who think as we do than in the latter party. For that reason alone, it's unfortunately necessary to sometimes do things that work in its favor . . . disgusting though that thought is to many of us. Unfortunately, the Democratic Party has abandoned those who support gun rights. It's now our enemy.)
Those of us who take the Constitution seriously, and regard it as the framework for our discussions, our activism, and our politics, must realize that the other side doesn't see it that way at all. I'm sure many of us agree with the perspective offered by Mike Adams, who writes that 'The Bill of Rights is not negotiable'. I certainly do. (A tip o' the hat to Rev. Paul for the link to that article.) Unfortunately, our opponents flatly disagree with Mr. Adams, and with us. To them, the Bill of Rights is not only fully negotiable; it's actually irrelevant in terms of politics. It's an anachronism, something out of the past like the dinosaurs - and just as dead. This is precisely why they proclaim, loudly and frequently, that the Constitution is a 'living document', to be reinterpreted according to the understanding of the modern world rather than cast in stone. That also means they don't need to go to all the trouble of generating a Constitutional amendment, and having it approved - they can simply alter the way they understand and apply the document. That's so much easier.
Folks, our enemies are not only opposed to the Second Amendment to the US Constitution. They're opposed to almost everything we hold dear - limited central government powers and responsibilities, an emphasis on personal liberties and freedoms vis-à-vis the power of the State . . . you name it. The massive mobilization of public opinion that the Obama administration is planning to support gun control measures is only the beginning. Once it's mobilized, it'll be turned against any and every other measure that our Founding Fathers held dear, in favor of replacing them with a centralized 'Big Brother' state that controls almost every aspect and facet of our lives.
Such a nation won't be worth living in.
We're in for the fight of our lives. We'd better not lose.
Fortunately, as John Richardson points out in an excellent analysis of the gun rights situation:
... the people who have supported Obama in the past have a multitude of interests and causes ranging from economic issues to gay rights and everything in between. By contrast, gun rights supporters regardless of whether they belong to the NRA, GOA, CCRKBA, SAF, or any of a number of state-level organizations are focused on one thing - gun rights.
. . .
Make no mistake that we are in a war but it is a ground war that we can win. Those on the side of the Second Amendment put our money where our mouth is and back it up with calls and letters to politicians.
We need to apply his perspective to every liberal, left-wing, progressive, anti-Constitutional initiative that the Obama administration and its allies seek to advance. It's no longer about gun rights alone - it's about the sort of nation America is, and will be in future.
Time to get to work.