In the aftermath of the
"Never let a good crisis go to waste."
So they used the bodies of the dead as leverage for their politics and framed the national debate in terms of gun control rather than terrorism inspired by the radical jihadists of Islamic State.
It was all about protecting their presumptive
All that emotion about gun control, much of it sincere and thoughtfully offered, was nevertheless used by party operatives to herd voters. It was about shaping the argument on their terms, about capturing the rage and fear out of
It doesn't matter if that solution won't work. What matters to political tacticians is defending vulnerable flanks by keeping the issue on safe ground.
The law about never letting a crisis go to waste was offered years ago by a wise Democrat and President Obama's former chief of staff,
And recent days have proved him right once again.
The crisis for all Americans involved the horror of terrorism and the evil of
But the crisis for Democratic politicians was of a different sort. They didn't want to discuss Islamic State or jihad. They offered gun control.
And they had to immediately brand the tragedy to their advantage. So led by the president and aided by the American media that by and large prays on the altar of big government activism and reviles the Second Amendment, it was done.
Is it cynical to think so? No. It is cynical to insist otherwise. I don't want to drag you away from your safe space, but that's how politics works: Frame the debate so your political assumptions and buzzwords are incorporated into the news narrative and the rest is all gravy.
And so it was the guns.
Gun control was the shield to protect Mrs. Clinton, to keep the dialogue away from terrorism, from any mention of Islam, which would invariably lead to a discussion of her many policy failures in the
The Democrats could not allow this. Clinton and President
And so the screaming ensued. It was the guns, they said, the guns, the guns. This was the mantra, not only of gun control, but of reconciliation between the Democratic tribes.
It was not what Mateen said clearly by his own hand on his social media accounts, where he said he slaughtered Americans for the glory of Islamic State.
Republicans use similar Pavlovian dark magic. There is little difference between the party tacticians. They are experts in prompting their meat puppets.
Instead of gun control, the Republicans often opt for patriotism and fear of all Islam.
And while Democrats used 49 bodies from
Out of a ruined
As the authors of this, Republicans have paid for it in the collapse of their party. And in part because of their tone-deaf corporatist leadership, the
The president has his hands in this, too, from his disastrous
But how can you put all that on a tweet or in a 60-second clip on TV news?
So it was the guns, not terrorism, not the Islamic State, until Obama's own CIA director,
Obama and the Democrats have been stressing that Islamic State has been weakened and that Trump and some Republicans exhibit racism by demanding a stop in immigration from Muslim countries.
But Brennan said the CIA believes efforts to degrade the Islamic State haven't worked as well as we'd hoped, and that the Islamic State is planning to send fighters to infiltrate refugee groups and immigrate to attack the West in guerrilla-style strikes.
He said the Islamic State "has a large cadre of Western fighters who could potentially serve as operatives for attacks in the West."
Reality isn't a slogan to fit on Republican or Democratic bumper stickers.
But it's out there.