The President has issued his gun control proposals, summarized here by the NYT. I have not fully assimilated them, so I don't want to take a position right now. Offhand, it looks as if some are sound, while others overreach.
My focus instead is on how the President presents them. My views are summarized wonderfully by Peter Wehner in Commentary. His piece begins:
Even when I agree in substance with the president, as I do in this instance, I find his combination of self-righteousness and demagoguery to be off-putting. In his remarks earlier today, for example, the president once again took to the task of demonizing his opponents, something he does more promiscuously than any president I can recall.For Mr. Obama, it's never about honest differences over policies. His political opponents have to be painted as morally obtuse, cruel and motivated by the basest considerations. (The president, of course, is always portraying himself as hovering far above politics, a man of stainless integrity and motives that are pure as the driven snow. Which is quite a feat for a man who ran a billion-dollar campaign of unusual ruthlessness and dishonesty.)In this instance, Mr. Obama posed the choices this way: Are members of Congress doing what it takes to "get an A grade from the gun lobby that funds their campaigns? Or giving parents some piece of mind when they drop their child off to 1st grade?" It's not that his critics believe his proposals will be worthless or even wrong. No, their motivation is to "gin up fear or higher ratings or revenue for themselves."
The whole piece is very much worth your time. I bring its opening to your attention because, among other things, it reminded me of how our opponents behave in the death penalty debate. It's not that retentionists are mistaken. It's that they're savage, barbarian and sadistic. And that's on their good days.
This from the side that endlessly whines about the absence of civility.