Sometimes I’ve been a little bit unclear about what, exactly, it means to “politicize” an event. After all, some things are inherently political. For example, the attack on the Benghazi compound either did or did not reflect administration failures before and during the attack, and did or did not involve an administration cover-up after the attack. Any report on the attack was, therefore, going to end up taking sides in a political fight.
What I do know, however, is that there are some venues where the political subject matter should never be touched . . . say, at a memorial service. There, you talk about those who died and what they meant to those who still live. If you start politicizing the event by talking about your ideas about what caused the person’s death, you’ve pretty much lowered yourself to the level of the Westboro Baptist Church. In their case, of course, one needs a complete vocabulary of Shakespearean invective to describe adequately the human detritus that populates that loathsome organization.
So what does it say about the fact that, at the Navy Yard memorial, President Obama saw the microphone and thought, “Wow, what a great opportunity this will be for me to push a deeply divisive and, in the last political go-round, unpopular political agenda”? For Obama, to have the thought is to act on it. So, in front of grievingfriends of relatives, Obama gave a political speech:[youtube]http://youtu.be/RisL1Yh-7ME[/youtube]
As President, I have now grieved with five American communities ripped apart by mass violence. Fort Hood. Tucson. Aurora. Sandy Hook. And now, the Washington Navy Yard. And these mass shootings occur against a backdrop of daily tragedies, as an epidemic of gun violence tears apart communities across America — from the streets of Chicago to neighborhoods not far from here.
Aside from turning the President into a card-carrying member of the “Westboro Baptist Church House School of appropriate conduct at a funeral or memorial service” club, those two sentences pack in a world of dishonesty.
First, Fort Hood wasn’t “gun violence,” it was an act of war committed by a dedicated jihadist taking orders from foreign leadership. Second, there is no epidemic of gun violence across America. Take away specific areas and perpetrators (i.e., young black men living in “gun-free,” Democrat-run urban enclaves) and you end up with gun crime rates comparable to those in Europe. And third, as Katie Pavlich nicely points out (hat tip: Hot Air), none of Obama’s gun crime initiatives would have prevented Aaron Alexis from going on his killing spree: