Like a President

Before I get started discussing President Obama’s announcement regarding action on gun control, I want to address this cowardly and pernicious little ad the NRA folks thought was actually acceptable discourse:

Did you catch that? “Are the president’s children more important than yours?” Hm. Maybe they are under more of a risk because, for one thing: THEIR FATHER IS PRESIDENT. They have armed guards at their school. They have Secret Service protection. This is because there are people who would genuinely want to hurt or kill their father, and would even hurt or kill them, even though they are children. Barack Obama has faced an unusual threat level during his presidency. But no one should be unaware that this is something he knew about upon taking the job:

Because we all know that is part of the risk. So why is the NRA going to play dumb about why some children get more armed security—could it be because they need it, situationally? Because we really should not accept a cultural paradigm where everyone needs Secret Service, okay? Can we acknowledge that the president’s family really does?

But the attitude that leads to such a question regarding President Obama’s “elitism” is a failure to acknowledge that President Obama is, for all intents and purposes, one of our elite. He is the twice-popularly-elected POTUS. Whether his executive job is paying the nation’s debts or responding to public outcry over gun violence, there are things the people who elected him expect him to do, and the Constitution affords him some authority, actually—to do that stuff. And it is not an impeachable offense for him to try and do his job. And that is the staggering thing: some people are going to roll up in front of a camera after two elections and talk about my president like he isn’t one.  Or say he shouldn’t have the authority to do his job.

Seriously. He is the president even if some people don’t like it. Even if their feelings are really hurt. Even if they want to say the I-word all day long.  Because we know you can get impeached and not even be removed from office, for one thing. And for another—when did being president become a high crime or a misdemeanor? You know, when they outlaw being president, only outlaws will want to be president—or did I just give away the operating plan of the GOP?

Hm. He has to do his job. I would dearly like to see his opposite numbers in Congress do their actual jobs, too. Wouldn’t that be something?

But let’s just say, for argument’s sake, that that job probably shouldn’t include drafting articles of impeachment until they have a real thing to impeach him for? Because for one thing, here is the White House response to a petition that kind of asks Obama to go ahead and impeach himself:

Believe it are not, petitions like the one you signed are one of the reasons we think We the People is such a valuable tool. There are few resources that do more to help us engage directly with people about the issues that matter to them—especially people who disagree with us.So let us use this opportunity to set the record straight:

President Obama didn’t declare a war in Libya—and the limited military mission he did order was in keeping with decades of historic precedent.

The Supreme Court has ruled on the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act—and they upheld the law.

The President has deep respect and appreciation for the Constitution—he studied it in law school, he taught students about its principles as a professor, and as a lawmaker and now as President, he’s carried out its precepts.

And let’s be clear, many of those who have been called “czars” have in fact been confirmed by the U.S. Senate as prescribed by federal law, and others hold policy jobs that have existed in Administrations stretching back decades.

So the short answer is that we won’t be calling for the President’s impeachment—and given the fact that you made your appeal to the White House itself, we doubt you were holding your breath waiting for our support.
Here’s the important thing, though. Even though this request isn’t going to happen, we want you to walk away from this process with knowledge that we’re doing our best to listen—even to our harshest critics.
The key is that we can disagree without being disagreeable. That’s the kind of public dialogue Americans deserve.

President Obama has said time and time again that neither party has a monopoly on good ideas. And he’s repeatedly asked that all Americans—those who agree with him, as well as those who don’t—do their part to get involved with their democracy.

That’s why the White House has created a host of new tools and channels to help concerned citizens hear from us, and more importantly, to help President Obama hear directly from you. And the fact you signed this petition means you’ve already found at least one of them.

Tell us what you think about this response and We the People.

What a classy answer. I don’t aspire to the presidency myself, but what I would tell people who wanted me to go and get impeached, or resign, for having czars, executive orders/actions, or opinions, all of which are legal parts of the job—if I were president—wouldn’t be so nice.

I’m just saying, he is the president. You know. Barack Hussein Obama. Who will have his Inauguration next Monday on the day we observe Martin Luther King Jr Day. And which means you will pry my president’s ability to do his job out of my disembodied Obotic bloggy handlike servitors because I voted for change and I still think we have one coming. And I really could give a good goddamn whose nose is rubbed in it. But if it’s the NRA’s—that’s A-OK with me.

(X-Posted at Strangely Blogged.)

Posted by Vixen Strangely on 01/17/13 at 12:10 AM • Permalink

Categories: PoliticsBarack ObamaBedwettersNuttersTeabaggeryOur Stupid Media

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I had absolutely no doubt in my mind that the GOP would move to impeach the president.  I was actually shocked that they didn’t try to do it during his first term.

The bit about targeting the President’s daughters is truly sickening.  The NRA is one of the planet’s most repugnant organizations.

Brava! Vixen.  This very important point—the man is doing his job—is not made loud and long enough.

Republicans just cannot come to grips with that fact, which is why we need to give them a major timeout come 2014.

It comes down to the difference between stochastic and specific threats, and once you’ve defined the president as illegitimate, he’s fair game, as are his family.

Here’s Charlie Brooker from 2008, speaking for quite a few of us across the Pond:

Last week I watched the most frightening horror movie I’ve ever seen. It was about three hours long, and, incredibly, it all unfolded live. I’m talking, of course, about the inauguration of Barack Obama. Yes it was inspiring, yes it was uplifting ... but it was also genuinely terrifying on a very human level, because just like you I was watching it with the terrible nagging suspicion that he might get shot at any moment.

At this point it’s worth stating unequivocally that I’ve never wanted to see anyone being shot, thank you very much, whether they’re a president or the world’s biggest arsehole or both. And fortunately, such things rarely happen. But I’ve seen too many films, and far too much 24. I’ve been conditioned to almost expect it. So now, whenever the news cuts live to a politician - any politician - making a speech, I’m gripped by an eerie sense of dread and have to change the channel. ...

Everyone I know had voiced the same dark fears, even in the face of constant updates from the news networks regarding the mammoth security operation surrounding the day. We were told Obama would be travelling in a mortar-proof vehicle thronged by secret service vans, each filled with about 200 tiny Jack Bauers, packed in like sardines; there were radio jammers to prevent the detonation of bombs and a magic experimental gas enveloping the Mall capable of transforming bullets into harmless glitter. Nonetheless, the entire thing unfolded like one of those scenes in a slasher flick when the heroine heads into a spooky old house on her own, and it all goes quiet, and you tense uncontrollably in your seat, knowing that at any moment someone in a hockey mask is going to burst from a cupboard wielding a threshing machine or something.

The rolling news networks, which rarely shy from exploitative gimmicks, clearly missed a trick by not offering an alternative commentary option in which a jittery, paranoid viewer accompanied proceedings with jittery, paranoid narration. “Here’s the presidential motorcade now ... oh Jesus, he’s stepping out! He’s in the open! Where’s security, goddammit? Look at the size of that crowd ... let’s hope they frisked everyone on their way in. He’s approaching the podium ... That bulletproof glass is a bit low for my liking. Oh Christ I can’t watch.” And so on.

When the ceremonial cannons went off following the swearing-in itself, you could actually hear buttocks clenching around the world. Did they really have to do that? It just felt downright mean. Because, quite frankly, the vast majority of people on this planet would be far happier if, for the remainder of his presidency, Obama only makes public appearances encased within a gigantic iron-and-concrete ball, addressing crowds via a Wi-Fi link to a nearby tannoy. And even then, it’d be more comforting to assume that this was, in fact, a bluff: that the concrete ball was empty, and the man himself was actually speaking to us from a deep underground bunker, ideally one situated on a different planet, made of cotton wool, in another universe altogether, unmarked on any map, somewhere round the back of our most peaceful and powerful collective dreamings.

Good post, Vixen.

I was disappointed with the tone of the NRA commercial.

However, inasmuch as the NRA is advocating armed guards for the protection of schoolchildren, I don’t think that the commercial can be seen as a criticism directed at the protection of the president’s children.

Obviously the snarky commercial is intended to highlight the idea that other children should have armed guards protecting them as well. (As if armed guards in schools are something new.)

The idea of “elitists” is amusing to me.  Frankly, just about every politician and lobbyist, including the executive staff of the NRA, could be considered elitists.  Probably more people will be hit by the $450,000 tax bracket in Washington than anyplace else. (With the possible exception of Hollywood.)

My personal view about the guns is simply if the bad guys are using them in the commission of their crimes and violence, then the good guys need to have the ability to purchase the same weapons to have parity.  I am a military veteran and a gun owner, and my wife is a better shot than I am.  Where I live, telling people that something is wrong with guns is like telling the Japanese something is wrong with eating rice.

Beyond that, my view is that constitutional amendments could be changed if an overwhelming majority of the American people felt it was truly the right thing to do.  It could not be that one side wanted to and the other side did not.  I think the bill of rights would require real American agreement, and then the second amendment or some of the other amendments might be amended in the face of overwhelming support.

Your logic is faulty, formerly amherst. The ad was an attack on the President for attempting to reserve to himself a right (armed guards) denied to ordinary citizens. No such right is denied to ordinary citizens nor would it be under any of stricter gun regulations he is advocating.

Armed guards in every school aren’t under consideration—no one is offering to pay for them, for one thing and in the places where the NRA style lunatics like Sherrif Arpaio are trying to put them in place for free we are running up against the obvious fact that gun owners with no visible job are generally criminal or incompetent or both and no sane parent would want to have them anywhere near their children’s school. Teachers, parents and janitors need to pass criminal background checks before they get near our kids—why would gun owners be subject to lesser regulation?

So the ad is a straight up smear accusing the President of despising the safety of our children while protecting his own. But of course that’s the exact opposite of what he and the rest of us are trying to do. We are not retreating to armed, guarded, compounds and leaving the poor citizenry outside. He is actively attempting to lower the threat level. Its the NRA who is aguing that security should be privatized—which is simply another way of saying that people who can pay for safety will get it and the rest of us can be fucked.

I really don’t care if you and your wife own guns. You are law abiding citizens, no doubt, with no intention of killing anyone outside your own family. In fact statistics show that you probably will never have to defend yourself against an outside agressor—you might kill yourself or your wife through a negligent discharge, your risk of committing suicide with one of those guns is massively incrased, you might end up shooting one of your kids or having your guns stolen and used in a crime but you are probably not going to willfully shoot up a school. So the kinds of laws and regulations the President has proposed won’t affect you.

I daresay the Secret Service guarded the Nixons’ children and the Bush twins in addition to Amy Carter, Chelsea Clinton and now the Obama girls.

A huge threat to children of people like the president is kidnapping.  It doesn’t matter a whit who the president is, what his party affiliation is or, ahem, if he is or is not a “blah” person.  The job of the Secret Service is to make his family safe to help keep our nation safe.

Also, what aimai said.

Thanks, aimai; well said.  People like formerly Amhearst always use the “I am a reasonable gun owner” approach, when the issue is not owners, but guns

President Reagan had the best the CIA could offer, and yet a crazy person managed to shoot him and James Brady.  Columbine High School had armed security when those 2 students shot up the place, and the armed security never even got close to them before they killed their victims and then killed themselves.  Its the gunz.

And, for the NRA to come this close to putting a target on the Obama children is way past the bug fuck crazy line.

‘Murica! Fuck Yeah!

On 01-18-2013, approximately 10:30 a.m. the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office received multiple 911 calls regarding a man with a gun, described as a rifle walking on Walnut Drive towards the Cutten Elementary School. Initial reports were the man was wearing a Camo colored backpack. Deputies were immediately dispatched to the area and arrived within three minutes. Deputies located the man who at that point had walked past the front of the elementary school. The man was holding a 12 gauge Remington 870 shotgun above his head as deputies arrived. The man was wearing a camouflaged tactical vest loaded with sixteen rounds of 12 gauge buck shot and slugs. The shotgun was unloaded. The deputies immediately detained the man and asked him what he was doing. The 18 year old male told the deputies, “I am on the way to the courthouse to make a point that law enforcement can not protect kids and I am going to protect the kids.” The 18 year old male was taken into custody for a mental health evaluation and his weapon was seized.

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