The stunning and dangerous hypocrisy of the GOP is on full display as Republicans betray the trust of the American people.
President Obama addressed the nation Sunday night from the Oval Office detailing the nation’s counter-terrorism strategy at home and abroad and reassuring Americans that the United States is prepared to meet the dangerous and “evolving” threat of terrorism.
Leading Republicans including all of the presidential hopefuls were swift in their criticism proving themselves to be dangerous hypocrites.
As detailed below, the hypocrisy began last week with Republicans shooting down a Democratic measure to ban those on the terror watch list from buying guns.
Republicans Vote To Preserve Suspected Terrorists’ Gun Rights
Republican hopeful Ted Cruz provides a perfect example of the kind of dangerous hypocrisy dripping from the Republican Party.
Thursday morning the Tea Party favorite linked the San Bernardino massacre that killed at least 14 people to the recent terrorist attacks in Paris.
“At this point, the details of what happened in San Bernardino are still unclear,” the Texas Senator told a group of donors and activists with the Republican Jewish Coalition. “But our prayers are with the families of those who were murdered and those who were shot. And all of us are deeply concerned that this is yet another manifestation of terrorism, radical Islamic terrorism here at home. Coming on the wake of a terror attack in Paris, this horrific murder underscores that we are in a time of war.”
Later that very same day, Cruz voted against against a measure to “disarm terrorist combatants” in that very same war.
A loophole under U.S. law permits people identified as terrorists by the FBI to legally purchase guns — including military-derived assault weapons like the .233-caliber guns used by the alleged San Bernardino killers Syed Rizwan Farook and Tashfeen Malik. An amendment before the Senate Thursday afternoon would have given the U.S. attorney general authority to “deny the transfer of firearms or the issuance of firearms and explosives licenses to known or suspected dangerous terrorists.” [emphasis added]
Cruz joined 52 fellow Republicans and, sadly one Democrat – Heidi Heitkamp (ND) “in voting to preserve the right of known terrorists to buy the weapons they need to wage war in America,” as Rolling Stone noted.
Cruz and his fellow GOP presidential hopefuls voting down the measure have all received donations from gun rights groups this election cycle according to a report by the Center for Responsive Politics.
Cruz led the pack, receiving more than $36,000 from gun rights groups, followed by Senators Rand Paul, Marco Rubio and Lindsey Graham and of course, the measure was opposed by the NRA, which spent $26 million to support Republican candidates in the 2014 midterm elections and is expected to spend even more in the upcoming election cycle.
Republicans Vote Against Measure To Close Background Check Loopholes
At the same time Republicans were voting to preserve terrorists’ gun rights, they showed a complete disregard for the safety and security of Americans in voting down an additional Democratic measure – one to close background check loopholes to make it harder for felons and the mentally ill to buy guns.
As of last week, there have been 355 mass shootings, and there have been 1048 people killed by police officers, and we are only 341 days into the year so far, yet somehow that is not enough for Republicans even consider any meaningful common-sense gun restrictions.
As Liberals Unite reported last week, Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas), the ‘R’ stands for Republican, introduced a competing bill undercutting the provisions to block those on the terror watch list. Got that? He introduced a bill that would allow people in this country who are on a terror watch list – a list of people that are suspected of being terrorists – to legally purchase weapons.
Cornyn warned that the Democratic legislation would mean “the government can take from you valuable constitutional rights,” calling it “un-American.”
So, according to Cornyn and other Republicans, it’s anti- American to make it hard for people who want to kill other people to buy guns.
Republican Hopefuls Give Pathetic Responses To President’s Address
NBC News published a comprehensive accounting of the response by the Republican presidential hopefuls to President Obama’s speech and we will present a few highlights here.
- Donald Trump: Steering clear of discussion of any policy details, Trump “said he wished President Obama would refer to the terrorist group as ISIS, instead of ISIL, “like everyone else” and once again said that the U.S. should have kept the oil from the Iraq war.
- Ted Cruz: Cruz offered a pre-buttal to the speech.”While Obama said people on the no-fly list should not be able to buy a firearm, Cruz issued a strong defense of the Second Amendment: ‘The President should be looking to stop those who would do us harm – not attempting to take away the constitutional liberties of millions of innocent Americans.'”
- Marco Rubio: Rubio appeared on Fox News and “used the term ‘radical Islam,’ which Republicans criticize Obama for not using. He also said Obama is ‘overwhelmed.'” Earlier in the day, he falsely claimed that “There are over 700,000 Americans on some watch list or another that would all be captured” in the measure intended to stop suspected terrorists from buying guns that he voted against.
- Ben Carson: Carson who has been heavily criticized for his seeming lack of comprehension of foreign policy “offered no details on what he would do but through his communications director called the president’s speech ‘strange.'”
- Jeb Bush: Speaking in rambling general terms, “the former Florida governor tied the president’s address to Hillary Clinton.”
- John Kasich: “The Ohio governor called for ground troops to defeat ISIS.”
- Rand Paul: An isolationist like his father, “he called for an end of immigration and refugees from countries with a large ISIS presence.”
Democrats Are Hitting Back At Republican Hypocrisy
The United States has suffered “four horrible acts of violence in the last month – three of which were right here at home,” yet Republicans see fit to block bills barring suspected terrorists, felons and the mentally ill from purchasing firearms. “
Why? For precisely the same reasons that the National Rifle Association argues: That doing so would strip some innocent people of their constitutional rights to gun access.
Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) said that he was “aghast” that Republicans blocked the bills.
“To say it’s okay for would-be terrorists to buy guns after what happened in Paris and in California shows just a total disregard for public safety and a total fear of the NRA, and it’s hard to believe the NRA could be so unreasonable. They’re digging their own grave,” he said.
On Thursday morning before the vote, Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) said the NRA is a “quasi-militant wing of the Republican Party.”
Those who choose to do the NRA’s bidding will be held accountable by our constituents. Something has to be done. We must take a stand. The American people are desperately looking for help, some help, any help.
You Can Make A Difference
It’s time for Americans to rise up and take control of their government.
How you might ask?
- Contact your elected officials and tell them your thoughts.
- Register to vote. You can go here to learn how.
- Challenge the NRA by joining The Coalition To Stop Gun Violence.
- Educate yourself using resources like Campaign to Unload (Facebook) and Organizing for Actions’ Gun Violence Prevention Plan.
- Support the Brady Campaign To Prevent Gun Violence.
- Write a letter to your local paper. Make your voice heard in your own community and tell your neighbors that it’s time to expand background checks for gun sales now.