But My Plan Was PERFECT!

In his hastily called press conference in the wake of the failure of his vaunted gun control push, President Obama’s expression said it all.

It was fury. Pure, barely-controlled fury, and you’re not wrong if you enjoyed watching the interplay of frustration and anger across his normally hypercomposed face.

On the surface it was about the shellacking gun control laws took in the Senate. Make no mistake: while this was a policy loss for Obama, it was also much, much more.

It was the moment the bully gets popped in the nose, and the unexpected sensation of shock and pain leaves him aghast. It was the moment, to use a rather apropos analogy, the mugger finds himself starting down the black void of a .45 barrel in the fist of his intended victim.

It was shock that the glowing, constant press coverage, the lockstep drumbeat on the nation’s editorial pages, the hectoring, lecturing rants from Joe Scarborough and Piers Morgan et al., the Bloomberg TV ads featuring the families of Newtown, the vaunted OFA operation’s push, and all the personal phone calls from President Charm Offensive himself couldn’t move the votes.

And that enraged Obama. His sense that he is uniquely persuasive and that once he “takes it to the people” the argument is over, was directly challenged, and he failed.

The knowledge that even he, suffused in the glow of a landslide reelection, embraced and beloved and fueled by his willingness to carry his human shields from Newtown and Tuscon to every event, couldn’t close the deal on the least-controversial part of gun control was burning in him in that presser and it showed.

Obama is furious he didn’t see the disconnect between his desires and the rest of the country. He’s supposed to be charismatic and smart, and in a hundred Congressional and Senate offices, eyes rolled as he kept pushing a losing hand.

As red-state Democrats have become almost identical to their blue-state companions on every meaningful fiscal and policy issue, gun control is the one fig leaf they hold over themselves to signify to voters, “I’m not like Chuck Schumer! I’m not like Dianne Feinstein! I’m like y’all! Trust me! I’ll never take your guns away!” That wooden moke Joe Manchin is in office because of this ad, and what Mike Bloomberg and Barack Obama never got was that politics is only somewhat national.

He didn’t see that for a Mark Begich or a Heidi Heitkamp to stand for reelection in 2014 or 2016 they don’t need a pat on the head from Obama and a media buy from Mike Bloomberg’s egregious criminal syndicate.

They need to reflect the values and political realities of their home states, not in some academic sense, but when the rubber meets the road in town hall meetings. They haven’t forgotten the disaster of 2010, when the assurances from Washington that Obamacare would be wildly popular and ensure a generation of Democratic political dominance turned to ashes. Their constituents aren’t talking gun control: they’re talking jobs. They finally saw that Obama didn’t understand this, and more importantly, he knows they know.

Obama also hates this because he lost on one of the holy-grail issues of modern nanny-statism: Americans buying things liberals hate. Background checks were the first part of a regulatory and legal regime to increase the friction and trouble and otherness of gun ownership. If only those pesky states and their primitive values hadn’t been in the way…

To Obama and his ilk, the states are an anachronistic inconvenience to be bludgeoned aside with the mighty cudgel of the Commerce Clause. But this time the states pushed back. I suspect they’ll be back for another pass over this target, but this time with a Democratic team wondering if the coach really has it together. The sound of him kicking things in the locker room is still loud in their ears.

  1. FloppyDisk90

    But the polling was overwhelmingly in Obama’s favor on this issue.  Apparently “ignoring reality” on this issue and fighting for our principles wasn’t so “pigheaded” after all.

  2. WI Con

    You nailed it. His face would have looked happier at Mrs. Thatchers funeral.

    Well, this failed but ’90% of Americans believe in Same Sex Marriage’ and Comprehensive Immigration. We’re all behind you. You are so plugged in to us.

     The lamest of ducks.


  3. Tran Quil

    Well said!

    While the deep pockets in the Middle East and elsewhere might make campaign contributions for the national election (where the AG can look the other way), they aren’t going to back the “small fry” back home…  So the Dems in Minnesota, Michigan, California, etc., need their constituents for votes AND to put money in the coffers.

  4. Butters

    Why are we so convinced Obama’s righteous anger, demagoguery, and scolding here is not politically effective?

    I imagine his “shame on us”, “you want children to be slaughtered” approach is very appealing to low information soccer moms. Especially with the MSM and Hollywood echoing the sentiment.

    I wish it weren’t the case, but we need to stop assuming our reaction to Obama is shared by other people.

  5. Yeah...ok.

    I must confess to such behavior as well.

    Since November I’ve been furious I didn’t see the disconnect between me and the rest of the country. How did we not fire this guy?

    • Obamacare

    • Unemployment
    • No Budgets
    • Keystone
    • Solyndra
    • Fast & Furious
    • You didn’t build that
    • Benghazi
    • add your favorite here 
  6. DocJay

    He is just a little little man. This massive media push, on the scale of Obamacare, had all the liberals convinced the world was with them. I guess our guns and bibles might be worth clinging to after all.

  7. DrewInWisconsin

    It’s interesting to note what gets Obama spitting angry, and what he barely registers with the raising of an eyebrow.

  8. Yeah...ok.

    Given elements of this background check component and the speed and choreography accompanying the push for this legislation. One could be inclined to suspect that Fast and Furious was intended to sow some seeds. The legislation and marketing plan have been ready since 2009.

  9. Casey

    I wish it weren’t the case, but we need to stop assuming our reaction to Obama is shared by other people.

    No, the key here is that those who once reacted differently are no longer reacting at all.

  10. DocJay

    Yeah…ok, no kidding. People paying attention know what this administration was doing to destroy the 2nd. The fact that F and F came and went without action against Holder just bothers me immensely. The lack of action emboldened Obama to try this.

  11. tabula rasa

    Nothing brings a sense of reality to person more quickly than a nice pop on the nose (with subsequent nosebleed).

    He was so presidential yesterday.

  12. S

    Rick, I like you again! Just kidding. Great post.

  13. Mr. Dart

    One day after his petulant response to the slapdown of his attempt to restrict 2nd amendment rights in America it’s announced that he’s sending troops to Jordan to help keep the “peace.” 

    I’m pretty sure those troops will have guns. 

  14. Paul A. Rahe

    For Obama, everything is personal. I wonder whether he will try to destroy the red-state Democrats who failed to rally. I certainly hope that he tries.

  15. Butters
    Paul A. Rahe: For Obama, everything is personal. I wonder whether he will try to destroy the red-state Democrats who failed to rally. I certainly hope that he tries. · 2 minutes ago

    The problem is when we assume Obama taking it personal and attacking his political opponents is not electorally effective.

    He’s playing the long game, creating an image of the other side as shameful and selfish and uncaring. Trying to make any political opposition illegitimate. Effectively making he and his party’s electoral prospects immune to real world events and outcomes, because the alternative is so unappealing.

    This of course requires a compliant media to push this narrative (think 60 Minutes putting crying Newtown parents on TV to push gun control)

  16. Peter Robinson

    “It was the moment the bully got popped in the nose.”

    Oh, beautiful!

  17. BrentB67
    Paul A. Rahe: For Obama, everything is personal. I wonder whether he will try to destroy the red-state Democrats who failed to rally. I certainly hope that he tries. · 24 minutes ago

    I think in a lot of those states it is a badge of honor to be on the other side of Obama and if he showed up in AF1 to bash those Senators in their own state, that would probably cement their election.

  18. das_motorhead

    He’s always been small, petty, and petulant, but he keeps driving forward. Everything Rick says is true, but it may not matter. So he’s lost some policy battles –  background checks, Obamacare collapsing under its own weight – but he’s still winning the political war. He’s manipulating the public (and the public is too lazy/emotional to think; shame on them), vilifying his opponents. All of these “defeats” handed to Obama have done little to stop his progressive agenda, and until it really, truly comes crashing down, and the public forcefully repudiates the leftist agenda, I remain unconvinced. The thing is, both defeat and victory work to his advantage. Policy wins codify leftist goals, policy losses give him the chance to paint his opponents as evil and change how people think about conservatives. That, I think, is in a way more dangerous; it’s another way for the left to win the culture wars.

    So, I like seeing him angry, but I’m not sure how much it helps us in the long run.

  19. Rawls

    The fact that stopping a piece of legislation instead of passing one is cause for celebration makes me sad. Why is our side always grasping at such small victories? When do we get a big one?

    Obama may be yelling and kicking things in the locker room, but the Democrats are still setting the tone, which is a huge problem for the Republicans. The Dems have been setting the tone too often for too long.

  20. tigerlily

    I’m glad Obama pushed his gun control designs as far as he could. It’s a political loser and pretty much assures the R’s retain the House and at least pick up seats in the Senate in the 2014 midterms.