Dangerous Gun Lobby Seizes Platform from President

Yesterday, the President rolled out his answer to the Newtown massacre. He’s putting the guy who was put in charge of the Middle Class Task Force during a different crisis in charge of a similar commission to solve gun violence.

If you’re wondering how Joe Biden does with these task force thingies, here’s what the MCTF promised to deliver:

  • Expanding education and lifelong training opportunities
  • Improving work and family balance
  • Restoring labor standards, including workplace safety
  • Helping to protect middle-class and working-family incomes
  • Protecting retirement security

Ahem. Given that Obama’s gun control press conference was dominated by questions about his plans to make retirement less secure by cutting Social Security, I guess we shouldn’t put too much stock in Biden’s new Task Force.

Meanwhile, the NRA has obviously put more serious thought into how to “lead” on this issue than the White House. They have scheduled a Friday night news dump press conference for tomorrow, at which they will describe how they plan to be “part of the solution.”

Few reporters are going to dedicate a lot of energy to a press conference as they’re trying to pack up for Christmas.

But the press conference did provide Meet the Press with an excuse to schedule Wayne LaPierre for a one-on-one chat with hack David Gregory. No matter what you think of MTP, it accords the leader of a group that has spent decades making it easier for gun nuts to massacre people a certain stature and the opportunity to frame this debate.

Mind you, I don’t blame the NRA here, I blame the White House. The White House has a use-it-or-lose-it soapbox. And in this case, they seem to have had little interest in using it.

Which suits LaPierre and his massacre-enablers just fine.

Marcy has been blogging full time since 2007. She’s known for her live-blogging of the Scooter Libby trial, her discovery of the number of times Khalid Sheikh Mohammed was waterboarded, and generally for her weedy analysis of document dumps.

Marcy Wheeler is an independent journalist writing about national security and civil liberties. She writes as emptywheel at her eponymous blog, publishes at outlets including the Guardian, Salon, and the Progressive, and appears frequently on television and radio. She is the author of Anatomy of Deceit, a primer on the CIA leak investigation, and liveblogged the Scooter Libby trial.

Marcy has a PhD from the University of Michigan, where she researched the “feuilleton,” a short conversational newspaper form that has proven important in times of heightened censorship. Before and after her time in academics, Marcy provided documentation consulting for corporations in the auto, tech, and energy industries. She lives with her spouse and dog in Grand Rapids, MI.