(2 of 2)
Which is not to say that the Democrats have been completely blameless. The past 20 years have seen great racial progress in this country. The killing of Martin by a vigilante crime-watch stalker was an exception to the norm; the vast majority of African Americans who are shot suffer at the hands of other African Americans. But here's Al Sharpton, with the imprimatur of MSNBC, acting as racial ringmaster for another media circus, and here's Jesse Jackson back looking for some camera time too. (I'm sure that the Limbaugh-Drudge wing of the Republican Party is thrilled that the Democrats are drifting back into racialist politics after a 20-year hiatus.) But a much larger problem is that many Democrats, including the President, have given up fighting for sane gun laws.
And gun laws have steadily grown more insane. Right now, the National Rifle Association is on the cusp of another bloody triumph, the so-called National Right to Carry Reciprocity Act, which could force gun-control states like New York and California to respect the "right" of citizens from the fever swamps of Florida to tote their weapons around Times Square and downtown Los Angeles. The bill passed the House, with lots of Democratic help, in a disgracefully easy 272-154 vote. A version narrowly failed in the Senate three years ago, but it could be revived this year. I would have liked to hear the President, when he lamented the Martin killing, say something about the need to place some reasonable limits on the right to bear arms. But he didn't.
Gingrich called the President's fatherly words "disgraceful." He said Obama has made it a race issue. But I have a son who hangs out on the streets of New York wearing a hoodie, with other kids who wear hoodies and slouch about with their hands stuck deep in their pockets. From the rear, he looks a bit like Trayvon Martin too.
TO READ JOE'S BLOG POSTS, GO TO time.com/swampland