Monday, May 6, 2013
The Sunday Talk Shows
All the talk shows minus Fox centered on gun control issues, Obama's first 100 days of his second term, the immigration standoff, Syria, and Al Qaeda and its relationship to the Boston marathon bombers. Fox News Sunday continued with their obsession over Benghazi. The conservative broadcast station wants to find that smoking gun that pins the first scandal on President Obama.
As it is every Sunday, conservative republicans outnumbered the democrats as guests. Republicans are allowed to continue pushing their background check talking points without opposition. They continue to say background checks would not have prevented Sandy Hook, without a Democrat saying that it's about the past shootings and future ones and not only about Sandy Hook. The tragedy that took place in Sandy Hook was the basis for a call to action. There are not enough people on the left who will stand up and say that background checks is merely the starting point and work towards an agreement from that point of view. This argument started with a watered down background check bill and will only get passed in the House after it's weaken even further. Everything is being played on the GOP's home turf because this tactic of governing as though you've won the last two elections seems to be working for them.
The hosts and guests all agreed that the president is off to a shaky start but they also had to admit that he has a lot of tools at his disposal to be considered irrelevant. I think President Obama is playing the long game; losing some battles along the way to win the war.
The base of the GOP has already gotten over the shock of losing two consecutive presidential elections, so they don't feel a need to change their views. They still believe that a policy that does not deport 11 million people who are here illegally is indeed amnesty. The base would rather that the 30 GOP governors impose some more voting repression laws instead. Despite what Senator Rubio says, they know that if the immigrants become citizens, most of them will vote for Democrats and the win will go to the president. The Senate would have to pass a bill with at least 75 vote margin to have any king of leverage on John Boehner and the Tea Party coalition.
Republican representative, Tom Cotton of Arkansas didn't waste any time on Meet the Press to go after what he perceives to be a weak president in Barrack Obama. He continues to talk about the five attacks on the homeland since the president was elected. That's what's wrong with a Sunday's talk show where no one wants to confront a controversial person or subject because of a national audience. Tom Cotton, Peter King, Rand Paul and Ted Cruz don't mind saying controversial things because their base eats it up. Let's take the misfits who wanted to blow up the Sears building in Chicago. In reality they couldn't find Chicago using a GPS, the same goes for the Manhattan bomber who locked himself out of his car and couldn't ignite gasoline. Timothy McVeigh and the terrorist who hijacked the airplanes to attack our country are the real deal and not be put into the same category as the losers and wannabe jihads. I don't know where to put one of the Boston Marathon bombers, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev and his three friends who tried to dispose vital evidence. I do think that they should all be tried in a Federal court and be punished accordingly. Dzhokhar was obviously brainwashed by his older brother but there's still not any evidence that shows he was affiliated with a radical Islamic group. I think a Congressional hearing on the events that led to the bombing is in order.
The GOP controlled House will hold another of many Benghazi hearings because they think the whistleblowers will shed some more light on the horrific event eight months ago. Supposedly the whistleblowers were threatened by the State Dept. to withhold crucial testimony. I'm pretty sure that the government gave a stern warning to the employees, as any large bureaucracy would. We'll see what it amounts to. For example, I imagine a petrochemical company would warn an employee about his testimony to the EPA. The Republicans remind me of what the democrats had to go through to get classified and non-classified 9/11 documents from the Bush White House. Yesterday, the GOP guest on Fox News was complaining of the State department looking over their shoulder as they looked over documents. The State Dept. probably remembers how Sandy Burger tried to stick documents in his socks a few years back.
I think Cokie Roberts hit the nail on the head when she said “there are a lot of people criticizing the president because he's not intervening in Syria but they don't really offer an alternative because there's not a good one.” Oh sure, now that Israel has struck the Syria a couple times people like John McCain can mock our current military leaders for their reluctance to set up a no-fly zone because of Syria's air defense system. I'm pretty sure the president regrets his “Red Line” statement but I seriously doubt that it weakens our country if we don't follow up on our threats. It's like a 6'5” 365 pound who gives you a stern warning but some reason choose not to beat you beat you up at the moment. Does a 5' 0” 110 pound person really feel emboldened after that or does he consider himself lucky?