Obama’s Gun Buy
This article is from the archive of The New York Sun before the launch of its new website in 2022. The Sun has neither altered nor updated such articles but will seek to correct any errors, mis-categorizations or other problems introduced during transfer.
President Obama’s plan to use executive action to restrict gun rights of Americans — due to be announced tomorrow — is being preceded by the oddest inversion at the New York Times. For years it’s been insisting that, as it put it in an editorial as far back as 2008, “regulating special-interest money in politics has never been more difficult — or more important.” Now all of a sudden, it is kvelling about the millions that special interest groups are putting into the administration’s Second Amendment abatement campaign.
This paean to special interest spending is appearing at the top of the Times’ front page this morning, under a stack of headlines that begins: “Battleground Shifts In Debate on Gun Control.” A sub-head announces: “Obama Is Set To Act.” A third deck declares: “Buoyed With New Cash, Groups Notch Small Wins Vs. NRA.” The story reports that the President’s “gun control allies” are “using big-money donors” and “shifting tactics” in a bid “to remake the political landscape in the national gun debate.”
Central to the strategy these sugar-daddies — Mayor Bloomberg at the fore — are underwriting is a scheme to “steer clear of a Republican-led Congress that has proved unwilling to touch existing federal gun laws.” In fact the reason for the administration’s most bitter failure on this head — after the murders at Newtown in 2013 — lies in the fact that Republicans and Democrats were unwilling to dilute the Second Amendment. Certainly most of the defense of the second article of the Bill of Rights was carried by the GOP, but key Democrats helped.
In any event, since when does the validity of an act of Congress depend on the party that is in control of it? Is there not even the slightest thought that maybe Congress has its own standing in this matter? Or that maybe Congress knows what it is doing? Activists for the abatement of the Bill of Rights like to talk about how Congress is bought and paid for by the National Rifle Association and the gun manufacturers. It’s just weird to see them turn around and adopt the very tactics they’ve spent decades decrying.
This newspaper has no problem with this burst of new spending. Money is speech, and we need more, not less of it in politics. Even while we disagree with Mr. Bloomberg on guns, we respect his right to spend his honestly-earned lucre for the causes that he cares about, as he clearly does in his campaign to curtail the Second Amendment. He swore to support the Constitution of the United States in order to accede to the office of mayor, but he is not bound by that oath now that he’s out of office. He’s free to oppose any feature of the Bill of Rights he wants.
It’s the liberals who strike us as heavy with hypocrisy. And blinkered to boot. Some day, after all, the Democrats are going to be in power in the Congress and a Republican is going to be in the White House maneuvering to get his or her policies in place. Then how the Democrats are going to howl if the president, whoever he or she might be, attempts to cut out the Congress. How they will rail if this is being done with tens of millions of special interest spondulicks. Then again, if principles were their priority, the liberals would have stood with the Second Amendment in the first place.