This evening in Hartford, Connecticut, President Obama continued to argue that anyone who opposes his "common-sense gun safety reforms" is doing so only for the crassest political reasons. "There is only one thing that can stand in the way of change," he declared, "and that's politics in Washington." His motives, by contrast, are completely pure:
This is not about me. This is not about politics. This is about doing the right thing for all the families that are here that have been torn apart by gun violence. It's about them and all the families going forward, so we can prevent this from happening again….Every once in a while, we set politics aside, and we just do what's right.
Who could possibly disagree? In Obama's telling, only "powerful interests that are very good at confusing the subject, that are good at amplifying conflict and extremes, that are good at drowning out rational debate, good at ginning up irrational fears." That's pretty rich, coming from a man who claims that massacres like the one that took 26 lives at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, last December have become "routine," who falsely asserts that the man responsible for those murders used a "fully automatic weapon," and who in response to that horrible event pushes policies that could not possibly have prevented it, while citing the grief and outrage it generated as if they were arguments for the same gun control policies he has supported all along.
The choice for members of Congress, Obama says, is simple: "What's more important to you—our children, or an A grade from the gun lobby?" Evidently this is what Obama, who emphasizes that "we have to be able to put ourselves in the other person's shoes," considers an exercise in sympathetic imagination.
The text of Obama's speech is here.