Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Presidential words mean little

By Frank Moraes

Yesterday, Jonathan Chait wrote his only article about the shooting thus far, "The Bracing Political Reality of Gun Control." He notes that there is one good thing to come out of this tragedy: we woke up to the fact that the conservative appeal that we not politicize mass shootings is itself politicization. And so people are talking.

But he continues on to argue that we are fooling ourselves if we think that this event will lead to a big change in gun laws. I agree with him. This goes back to an argument I have long made: politicians will at best listen to their constituencies. Why should a representative from a deep red district in Mississippi change his stance on guns just because people are screaming in New York? And Chait isn't being cynical. Quite the contrary, actually. He says that if we want to change gun laws, we have to work at it: step by step. We can't just wait for a tragedy and think that the President will make it all right.

Over on You Tube, WhoIsWillo posted this very striking video that compares how the last three presidents have reacted to similar tragedies. Spoiler: it is all the same -- down to the exact words, in many cases. It is not from the top that we change:

(Cross-posted at Frankly Curious.)

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