Archive for the ‘tragedy’ Category
By John Feehery
The Boston attacks will have an inevitable, if unpredictable, impact on the debates in Washington D.C.
We now know that the perpetrators were legal residents, that they were Muslim, that they were Chechen, that they were pretty young. We know the older one was disaffected and unhappy with living in America. We know he was radicalized to become anti-American.
We surmise that the younger one was less radical but perhaps more prone to being influenced by his big brother.
We don’t know if this were part of a bigger plot planned by Al Quaeda or some other American-hating Islamic group. We still don’t know what role Chechnya played, since their beef is with the Russians and not with us. That part is kind of weird. The Russians don’t love us and we don’t love them.
There will be a call for more funding to pay for domestic surveillance and tracking of potential terrorists. There will also be a call for more money for First Responders and for TSA agents. When terrorism rears its ugly head, that takes precedence over budget stuff. Look for those calls to intensify. The sequester looked like a big political winner two weeks ago. Not so much today.
Gun control is not coming back any time soon. When the white-hat wearing Chechen dude was running all over the Watertown and other Boston suburbs, that killed gun control. Some people tried to make the link between guns and bombs. That only link is that when a terrorist is running around the suburbs, suburban voters aren’t content to lock their doors and watch television. They want the right to protect themselves.
Harry Reid and his colleagues killed a modest bill in the Senate the week before Beantown. That bill is not coming back.
My first reaction after hearing that an immigrant (actually two immigrants) did the dirty deed was that the immigration bill was dead. But Marco Rubio and others are making some good points in defense of their bill.
This was a law enforcement issue and an intelligence issue, not an immigration issue. These guys were here legally. They were not snuck in the country. The FBI had actually interviewed them, for Christ’s sake, because of concerns raised by the Russians. If there was a breakdown, it was because of FBI incompetence, not because of the INS.
Some right-wingers want us to keep all of the foreigners out. They are crazy, stupid and probably racist. We are a nation of immigrants. We need immigrants. What we don’t need is to make it easier for terrorists to get here. Maybe we should let the Mexicans in and keep the Muslims out.
In any event, Boston made it more difficult for immigration reform to pass. Not insurmountable, but the mountain is higher than previously thought.
The Boston attacks made us look more closely at explosion in Waco. Was it just an accident or was it part of a terrorist conspiracy? Look for more regulations or better oversight of the regulators because of this event, especially because it happened over the same week as the Boston event. That will require more resources, and the demand for those resources will become part of the national discussion.
There will probably be other things that happen in DC because of what happened in Boston. Stay tuned.
By John Feehery
Why do these things always happen in threes?
First, the Boston attacks at the conclusion of the Marathon.
Then, the ricin letter sent to Senator Wicker.
Finally, the explosion in Waco.
What the Hell is going on here?
There is no connection between the three. The crackpot in Mississippi had nothing to do with the Boston Massacre, and I doubt whatever happened in Waco had any connection to either event.
But that is not how our mind processes it.
We see three adverse events and we immediately assume they are connected. And in a cosmic sense, maybe they are.
It’s kind of like when an old celebrity dies. Almost immediately, two others kick off of equal or near-equal fame.
Of course, they might not be as equally famous, but in our minds, we make them so.
That is called the rule of threes.
When I was in grade school, my composition teacher told us always to have three supporting points for whatever our main point is.
So, at an early age, the rule of threes is drilled into us.
The Senate killed the Gun bill yesterday. Will they similarly kill the immigration bill and some other high-profile bill that I can’t think of to make their own rule of three.
Some Democrats tried to make the case that because of the bombs in Boston, we should now move forward to pass gun laws. The theory? That because Americans feel more insecure that somehow they would support more gun control.
I actually think the more insecure people feel, the more they want their guns to protect themselves.
We live in an age of panic.
People are panicked about everything: Teen killers, inflation, the Federal Reserve, Obamacare, bombs, sinkholes, Lindsey Lohan, the next generation of the Avian flu.
It is awfully hard to make the case to some Americans that the best way to make them feel secure is to take away their guns, even if you aren’t actually doing anything to take away their guns.
Jonathan Papelbon, the Phillies relief pitcher (and coincidently a proud member of my rotisserie baseball team) just accused Obama of trying to take away everybody’s guns.
Now, Papelbon might be wrong, but his comments should not be discounted as the ravings of a mad-man. He is quite sane. Otherwise, he wouldn’t be a relief pitcher for the Phillies. Ummm, check that. Well, he’s sane enough, and broadly represents a cross-section of the country.
If the Phillies’s top closer thinks that Obama is trying to take guns away from the American people, just imagine what they think in Alabama?
In any event, these latest explosive events make it awfully hard to legislate until the smoke clears.
My suggestion is that the Congress immediately adjourn and try again once we find out more about what happened.