By David A. Keene, President
The world was shocked when President Obama assured Russian President Dmitry Medvedev that the Russians need to give him some “space” between now and the November election because after he is re-elected he will have more flexibility to deal with sensitive issues like missile defense.
This wasn’t the first time Barack Obama has either been overheard or has said something he shouldn’t have without realizing he was being picked up by a live microphone. However, Obama’s blatant request that a foreign leader help him keep his post-election plans from the American people surprised even his supporters.
Politicians are continually getting caught saying things they shouldn’t around live microphones. Their candid comments, captured when they don’t think anyone is listening in, are often funny or embarrassing, but sometimes they reveal something about the politician he or she would just as soon keep private.
Former President George W. Bush famously turned to Vice President Cheney as he caught sight of a New York Times reporter and called the man a “major league a——–” some years ago, prompting Cheney to mutter “big time” in agreement with his boss. The exchange was caught by a live mike to the embarrassment of both men and, to a lesser extent, the reporter.
Marginally more serious was President Obama’s earlier off-handed disparagement of Israel’s prime minister, caught during a supposedly private conversation with the president of France. Since it was known that President Obama and the prime minister are anything but close, the harm that was done was not to their relationship, but to America’s reputation.
Second Amendment supporters were perhaps less surprised by his comments than most because Obama’s Second Amendment public utterances and his real plans for a second Obama administration are very different. We remember his pledge to the Brady Campaign’s Sarah Brady that he intends to keep his promise to his anti-gun allies, but that for now he has to work “under the radar.” She and her friends, like Russia’s leaders, know that if Obama is re-elected he will work to deliver for them, not for us.
Gun owners have known for some time that once he’s run his “last election,” as Obama described it to Medvedev, this president is planning to pursue the ideological policies he has soft-pedaled thus far to avoid stirring up voters who strongly oppose what he would like to accomplish.
Nowhere has this strategy been clearer than in his administration’s reluctance to confront supporters of the Second Amendment head on. Everything from the regulatory harassment of firearm dealers, to enlisting a Mexican president to demand that Congress reinstitute the Clinton era “assault weapons” ban, to the launching of the “Fast and Furious” operation have been designed to ramp up domestic political support for new gun control measures and to set the stage for a post-election assault on the Second Amendment.
Shortly after the Medvedev affair, President Obama met again with Mexico’s President Calderon, but this time the two of them must have made certain their private conversations wouldn’t be picked up by either standard or live mikes. After their private meeting, Calderon praised Obama for his increasing regulatory pressure on U.S. firearm dealers along the Mexican border and once again called on Congress to ban the sale of “assault weapons” and to enact a firearm registry.
President Obama thanked Calderon for the praise and said he wants to do more to keep guns sold in this country from making their way to Mexico, but was careful not to specifically endorse his friend’s call for an “assault weapons” ban or firearm registration in this country.
Obama didn’t need to be explicit if we are listening—his attorney general recently called on Congress for more gun registration, and his budget this year includes an assault on hard-won firearm protections enacted by recent Congresses. To anyone who pays attention, the president is clear enough: an assault on the Second Amendment will be a top priority in a second Obama administration.
Obama wants to be elected very badly, so he is following the campaign spin-strategists who don’t want voters to guess where he stands before the votes are counted in November lest they send him packing. And besides, he has promised his anti-gun friends what he’s promised Medvedev. All they have to do is let him have a little “space” between now and Election Day.
The NRA will fight with truth—our members don’t intend to give Obama and his cronies any space at all.
The president may well have promised President Calderon when the mikes were turned off that he’ll gut the Second Amendment during his second term. But American gun owners know that President Obama has it in for us. If we do what we need to do between now and November, he will never get the chance to deliver on these “under the radar” promises.