Wednesday, December 09, 2015

Mush From the Wimp

In 1980, an editor put a placeholder title on an article about a speech by President Carter. He was not a fan of the President and entitled it, "Mush From the Wimp" He intended to fix it before it went to print but a few copies got out.

I was reminded of that when President Obama made his Oval Office speech last Sunday. Prior to the speech I was afraid that he was about to announce some new presidential directive to limit guns. Instead he gave a short speech in which he proposed nothing new and only seemed animated when warning about the perils of Islamophobia. In the fight against ISIS (or ISIL) he offered the straw man alternative of a 100,000 man invasion which no one has seriously proposed.

He also doubled down on gun control, insisting that there is no reason for a suspected terrorist to be allowed to buy a gun. This argument is ingenuous. Either he has no idea how the terrorist watch list works or he thinks that no one else does.

To listen to the President, you would think that the watch list* provides a full and complete identification of the suspects. In fact, it is nothing but a list of names, some of them partial names. The list is notorious for false hits such as the five times that Senator Edward (Ted) Kennedy was stopped because a suspected terrorist used the alias "T Kennedy". The list does not contain such things as birth date or address or even middle initial. The left has been complaining about the list for years. Now, because it is politically convenient to use it to pummel Republicans, it's acceptable.

Of course, false hits may not be a bug when stopping gun purchases, they may be a feature. The purpose of this proposal is to keep people from buying guns. The fact that no dmestic terrorists have been on the list is irrelevant.

Which is a term that describes President Obama these days - irrelevant.

*or lists, he seems to be referring to the terrorist watch list and the no-fly list which are separate but similar

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