Throughout Speaker of the House John Boehner’s tenure, every instance of Republican failure has brought nothing but lies and blame aimed at President Obama and Democrats. Now that Boehner is leaving Congress when his caucus suspends their civil war long enough to find a masochist to be Speaker, it looked like a prime opportunity for Boehner to actually be honest and possibly do one decent act to benefit the American people. However, Boehner is a Republican and his mendacity is pathological as much as his tendency to blame Democrats and President Obama for Republican failings. Now that President Obama and a couple of Americans are asking why Congress cannot take action to reduce the frequency of mass shootings, John Boehner has come up with a typical Republican answer; it is not their fault or their responsibility to act.
When a question about whether or not he will allow the Republican House to reconsider the idiotic National Rifle Association’s (NRA) research ban on gun violence Republicans instituted on the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), crippled House Speaker John Boehner did what Republicans were seemingly born and raised to do: he lied. Then he followed the normal step in any Republican plot and blamed President Obama and congressional Democrats for not caring about, and never taking any action to reduce, the proliferation of guns in America or the epidemic of mass shootings ending innocent American lives.
It actually gets worse. Boehner boasted that Republicans have no intention of doing anything to prevent gun violence and said that President Obama and Democrats should stop bitching about Republicans obstructing gun safety measures. According to Boehner, If President Obama and Democrats really cared about mass shooting victims, or wanted sane gun safety measures enacted, they should have done something when they were in the majority during President Obama’s first term in office. The fact is that the President and Democrats did try, often, but Republicans beholden to the National Rifle Association obstructed them and Boehner knows it; he is still a dirty, and cowardly, callous liar.
Boehner said that no-one has ever brought up the topic of the Republican ban on the CDC researching the effect of too many guns in America. Remember, not only have Republicans effectively blocked any action on gun safety, they prohibited the CDC from doing research on how best to stop the carnage. Boehner told reporters that, “I don’t think there’s been any discussions at this point. It’s not been part of the discussions.” Then Boehner feigned compassion and expressed sympathy for the nine people killed and nine more wounded in last week’s routine school massacre in Roseburg, Oregon. Boehner actually said, with a straight face no less, that
“We’ve seen far too many of these. In ’09 and ’10, we had Democrat majorities in the House and Senate. We had a Democrat president. And this clearly was not a priority for them. The president can rail all he wants.”
Obviously Boehner was referring to President Obama’s angry criticism of Congress’ failure to address the issue immediately following the massacre at Umpqua Community College in Oregon.
First, Boehner is correct that Democrats held majorities in both houses of Congress in 2009 and 2010, as well as the White House, but that is the only part of his statement with any semblance of veracity. Senate Democrats did try to pass a watered-down bi-partisan gun safety bill, the Manchin-Toomey compromise, but the National Rifle Association ordered it killed before it could reach the President and Republicans dutifully filibustered the legislation to death. To belabor the point that Boehner is lying, in the House he leads Democrats have introduced gun safety bills to protect children, and legislation requiring a background check for gun purchases, that prove preventing gun violence was a priority for them and Boehner knows it.
Even with a Democratic majority in both houses, the NRA was not going to allow any gun safety proposal to go forward, and as its legislative arm Republicans did the NRA proud. The gun safety compromise created by Senators Joe Manchin (D-WV) and Pat Toomey (R-PA) was defeated despite the fact that both Manchin and Toomey made Herculean efforts to reassure gun fanatics that the legislation was not aimed at “taking their guns.” In fact, Toomey and Manchin informed gun fanatics and the NRA that their legislation strictly prohibited the federal government from constructing a national gun registry from gun background-check records. In fact, written into the legislation were severe penalties for anyone even thinking of using records for a national gun registry. Senator Toomey said,
“Our bill explicitly bans the federal government from creating a registry and creates a harsh penalty for misusing records to create a registry—a felony punishable by 15 years in prison.”
The two senators also sought to allay NRA fears by noting that their legislation does not require background checks for transfers between family and friends who could be mentally deranged, convicted felons, or domestic terrorists. Toomey and Manchin wrote that
“You can give or sell a gun to your brother, your neighbor, your coworker without a background check. You can post a gun for sale on the cork bulletin board at your church or your job without a background check.”
Translation: the federal government really does not care if you give, or sell, a firearm to a criminal so long as they are a member of your family, a friend, a work-mate, or a member of your church. Still, the bipartisan legislation was not enough firearm freedom for the NRA Republicans and despite the Democratic majority in the Senate, Republicans killed the legislation that Boehner claims never existed.
Many Republicans have parroted Boehner’s remark that “We’ve seen far too many of these, but it’s not my problem.” For the past four years and the time being, Boehner has been the highest ranking elected Republican in America, and if there has been no congressional attempt to prevent gun violence it “is Boehner’s problem” but he does not care. In fact, when he was specifically asked about something as weak as background checks for gun purchases, he replied with the same bovine excrement answer he gives when queried about global climate change; “I’m not the expert, but I would like to see us work together on finding effective ways to reduce these horrific incidents.” It is time for Boehner, and all NRA Republican sycophants, to stop their phony sympathy for victims of gun violence and either celebrate the near-daily mass shootings or do something about the problem.
It is noteworthy that Boehner continued to lie by saying he would like to “work together on finding effective ways to reduce these horrific incidents” when time and time again Democrats have introduced gun safety bills in the House only to have Boehner “shuffle them off to a committee” to languish and die. He also cannot seriously think any American believes that Democrats are the source of the gun proliferation when despite several mass shootings on school campuses, Republicans in Kansas are passing legislation mirroring a recent Texas law outlawing “gun-free zones” on college campuses and allowing students to conceal-carry firearms in classrooms. Their goal, like in Oregon, is making it easier for the next NRA-fanatic to bring several guns on campus for the next mass shooting.
One might think that after presiding over the laziest and most dysfunctional House in modern memory, Boehner would have considered doing something out of character; tell the truth and accept responsibility for aiding the NRA’s crusade to put more guns on the streets. However, Boehner apparently intends on ending his tenure as Speaker the same way he has led the House; as a liar blaming President Obama and Democrats for Republicans’ failure to protect Americans from the NRA and gun fanatics’ clear and present danger.