Washington might have a gun control bill now were it not for President Barack Obama's overreach. The Great Divider has again lived up to the moniker by refusing to embrace a compromise position and refusing to embrace compromise in general.
After all, compromise is in the realm of governing. Obama stays in the realm of politics, the perpetual campaigner who will try to win back the U.S. House by demonizing the gun lobby and Republicans for dishonoring victims of the Newtown massacre.
The U.S. Senate's rebuff of gun legislation came on the week when Boston grieved its dead, police moved swiftly to find and arrest the marathon bombing perpetrators and Oklahoma City remembered the victims of its own massacre. These were reminders that evil and demented people are among who will kill by whatever means, be it “assault” weapons or “assault” pressure cookers.
Obama and pro-gun control Democrats had opportunities to reach a compromise, most notably in the area of background checks. Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Muskogee, suggested one such compromise. The Democrats weren't interested. Other Democrats joined Republicans in refusing to embrace the overreach, which was predicated on the belief that Newtown justified any means to an end.
Was the gun lobby dishonest about the bill restricting weapons transfers to relatives? You bet. Were any mistruths the reason for its defeat? No way. Americans want sensible, fair and constitutional gun restrictions debated with reason and restraint. Obama consistently refuses to back legislation that has a chance to win bipartisan support before a vote is taken. Sometimes he gets his way, as with Obamacare. Often he doesn't, but The Great Divider still notches a victory in defeat because it becomes part of his campaign strategy going forward.
We're still waiting for him to have a governing strategy. It's pretty shameful that he seems less interested in running the country than in running a campaign.