The weather really wasn’t that bad here in the DC area, but my son’s school ended up on a two hour delay this morning. Since the wife couldn’t afford to miss school (she’s a month from completing her program), it was left to me to stay home with the boy until school time. Tough job, I know, especially when it allowed me to watch the DVR’d game between UK and Auburn that I had missed last night due to band practice. Another bonus was that I had no traffic coming into work.
That’s nice, you say, but why do you write? Well, since I was delayed two hours coming into school, I listened to the Diane Rehm Show, rather than my usual Morning Edition. Her show this morning was on gun control. I have some thoughts on the subject, but I’ll share those another time maybe. Reason I’m writing is a comment from one of the guests. Not sure which one, but it was one of the pro-gun guys. He said something to the effect of President Obama is not in favor of 2nd Amendment rights. Now it was just a throw away line he used as he teed up some other pro-gun point, but it struck me as odd and kind of an example of the political spin that the folks on the Right use (effectively) and that my pals on the Left don’t quite have the hang of.
Let me give you another example to show what I mean. There are those out there on the Right who have been known to say something along the lines of, “Obama is intentionally ruining the country.” Now, you may believe that Obama and his policies are ruining the country. But do you really believe that Obama is advocating specific policies with the express intention of ruining the country? Or could it be, perhaps, that Obama actually believes that the policies he pursues will make the country better and you just don’t happen to agree with those policies? There’s a big difference. And I think, the same idea goes for the line I heard on the radio this morning. Does the guy think that Obama believes there are no 2nd amendment rights or is it just a matter of maybe Obama and this guy have a different view of how expansive or restrictive the rights of the 2nd amendment actually are?
But even beyond that, when I look at the line from the guy on the radio, I think he’s not even thinking about what he’s saying. It’s so ingrained in the talking points and right-speak of guys like this to make assertions not just about the policy positions of the person they’re referring to, but to actually personalize it and make it about his core beliefs. And since you’re doing that, why not assert that your opponent has the most radical position possible? It’s something the Right does well and that the Left should learn to adopt.