President Obama likes to talk about the “American idea.” The expression seems to mean something important to him, though his angry talk on Tuesday about gun control and what not to call Muslim terrorists makes one wonder just what that idea is. The venomous, partisan tongue-lashing after 49 more deaths at the hands of radical Islam – an expression we are not supposed to use – was a blame America speech pure and simple.
If I was the president I’d be angry, too. All Obama probably wants to do is step down in glory. Every terror attack removes some of the shine from that all-important legacy.
Terror failure, discourse crisis, 49 still dead
Don’t blame the president. What happened in Orlando, San Bernardino, Fort Hood, Chattanooga, Boston, and elsewhere are not his fault any more than 9/11 was.
They were the fault of radical Islam.
What we can blame Obama for is insisting on a dialogue that minimizes Islam’s role in terror attacks. That’s a hard thing to get this administration to do. Relabeling has become a hallmark of Obama propaganda and a fallback to cover up failure. We relabeled illegal aliens “immigrants.” We relabeled African Americans who clash with police “victims.” We even relabeled those sentenced for drug crimes “deserving individuals” when we let them out of prison early.1
We haven’t actually relabeled radical Islam. The president hasn’t given us a name. He prefers to talk about ISIS as if radical Muslims acting on their own volition either don’t exist or aren’t a terror threat. Perhaps it’s best to follow his example and call them nothing. It’s impossible to talk about terror that comes almost exclusively from one religion without naming that religion. Besides, we all know which one to blame: Obama’s religion of peace.
Had the president’s anger not been so obvious he might have gotten away with what he said about the Orlando massacre. He might have done a better job of hiding the fact that his speech wasn’t about terror. It was thinly disguised damage control for the Clinton campaign. When Americans worry about their safety and security they swing right. Obama knows it.
Love, tolerance, and a pressure cooker bomb
After the Boston Marathon pressure cooker bombing the president praised our open society:
But more than that; our fidelity to our way of life — to our free and open society — will only grow stronger. For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but one of power and love and self-discipline.2
A free and open society is part of the American idea, but sometimes we have to draw limits. “No Fly, No Buy” is a slogan for legislation being eagerly pursued by Democrats. Republican arguments against it are feeble. I’d rather have a few travelers mistakenly inconvenienced when they buy their next firearm than have radical Islamists purchasing guns.
The party’s flimsy excuse to refuse to play ball on terror makes Republicans look like irresponsible idiots. The GOP should appease Democrats with a No Fly, No Buy bill. Then they should get back to dealing with radical Islam.
Blame America, radicals, or Obama terror failure?
The day after his outburst the president talked of not being able to find a foreign terrorist group responsible for the Orlando attack.3 He reiterated that “Our mission is to destroy ISIL.”4 That isn’t happening and it doesn’t address the domestic terror threat he refuses to name. Just because ISIS isn’t behind an attack doesn’t mean that radical Islam is not responsible. It doesn’t mean we should blame America or Republicans, either.
When he claimed that “the weapons are only going to get more powerful”5 he wasn’t talking about a pressure cooker bomb, knives, or commercial jets. He was making a campaign speech.
Responsibility hasn’t been much of a priority on this president’s watch so we shouldn’t expect him to demand responsibility from the Muslim community. It’s easier to resort to partisan politics and turn American deaths into an excuse to back Hillary on guns. Press Secretary Josh Earnest joined in and blamed American politics:
Right now, basically every Republican in the Senate is on the record protecting a loophole that allows individuals who are suspected of having ties to terrorism and their ability to purchase a gun.6
Just blame America
The blame America, not Islam tone from Obama is glaring:
We are also going to have to have to make sure that we think about the risks we are willing to take by being so lax in how we make very powerful firearms available to people in this country.7
Trying to relabel radical Islam is an interesting twist to the stifle rhetoric ploy. It won’t keep us safe any more than gun control will stop radical Islamists from killing people. Like Obama’s other efforts to make things seen more palatable by slapping a new label on a lie, refusing to face the truth puts us in jeopardy.