It’s time once again, gentle readers, for the Louis Renault Award of the Month! And this month’s winner by a landslide: President Barack Obama! There has been substantial controversy on the LRA Institute staff about this particular award, with many arguing that Mr. Obama should be permanently disqualified owing to the fact that whenever his lips are moving he’s almost certainly lying, therefore, how could anyone reasonably be shocked–shocked! by anything he says? But cooler–or at least more cynically inclined heads prevailed, so by all means, read on and try to not lip-read.
UPDATE, 02-02-13, 2010: The White House has released this photo that appears to depict Mr. Obama, with one of the most neophyte stances I’ve ever seen applied to what appears to be an over/under shotgun of some kind, firing said shotgun at least once, apparently in August of 2012, which proves conclusively that he may have fired a shotgun once in August of 2012, so he obviously couldn’t be any danger to the Second Amendment, because he’s, you know, like, one of us! I mean anyone who has, at least once, clumsily fired a shotgun must be a staunch defender of liberty, right?
No, I don’t know what the odd stream of gas emanating from the top of the barrel is. If it was a recoil reducing port of some kind, there would be multiple ports releasing gas on both sides of the barrel, and such recoil reducing mechanisms aren’t generally applied to over/under shotguns anyway. With the way he’s holding the weapon, it’s a miracle the recoil didn’t break his nose.
Back to the original post…
In the most recent edition of The New Republic, Franklin Foer and Chris Hughes provided a much-coveted media tongue bath of an interview of Mr. Obama, asking such probing questions as:
Can you tell us a little bit about how you’ve gone about intellectually preparing for your second terms as president?
Lets talk about that in terms of guns. How do your speak to gun owners in a way that doesn’t make them feel as if you’re impinging upon their liberty?
Notice that Mr. Foer doesn’t ask if Mr. Obama is actually impinging upon liberty, but how Mr. Obama might best rhetorically trick people into thinking he isn’t. Mr. Obama obliged:
Well, in our comments today, I was very explicit about believing that the Second Amendment was important, that we respect the rights of responsible gun owners. In formulating our plans, Joe Biden met with a wide range of constituencies, including sportsmen and hunters.
Right. The Second Amendment is all about sportsmen and hunters, it…what’s that? It has nothing to do with sportsmen or hunters? I’m shocked, shocked! Back to you, Mr. Obama:
So much of the challenge that we have in our politics right now is that people feel as if the game here in Washington is completely detached from their day-to-day realities. And that’s not an unjustifiable view. So everything we do combines both a legislative strategy with a broad-based communications and outreach strategy to get people engaged and involved, so that it’s not Washington over here and the rest of America over there.
Ah yes. Washington is detached from the day to day reality of the little people, so the way to deal with that is broad-based communications and outreach and engagement and involvement. Yes. That’s what we God and gun clingers are crying out for. “If only,” we cry out, ”Mr. Obama would engage and involve us with broad-based communications and outreach strategies, then we’d be more engaged and involved in outreached communications…and…I gotta go lie down…”
But perhaps we God and gun clingers are being a bit too cynical. Consider this exchange between Foer and Mr. Obama:
FF: Have you ever fired a gun?
[Mr. Obama:] Yes, in fact, up at Camp David, we do skeet shooting all the time.
Wow! All the time?! Skeet shooting? Mr. Obama? We God and gun clingers are impressed, aren’t we? Not so much.
At Fox News, Jana Winter provided a version of Mr. Obama’s skeet shooting frequency and prowess somewhat at odds with his version:
News of President Obama’s apparently long-secret fondness for skeet shooting came as a surprise to those who say they have witnessed the president;s ‘awkward’ attempts at pinging the (clay) pigeons.
This has only happened with the president at Camp David, at most, a couple of times, according to a source who says he has been to the retreat on a half-dozen visits with Obama.
‘The only time he shot skeet was for President’s Cup,’ said the source, referring to a shooting competition tradition involving the presidential Marine guards. ‘I was there. He stayed for about five minutes, and couldn’t leave fast enough.’
Skeet shooting ‘is very hard,’ said the source. ‘Especially for someone not used to guns … He couldn’t have been more uncomfortable.’
The source said a friend of his recalled Obama skeet shooting one other time at Camp David — very early on in his first term.
I’m shocked–shocked! I’m particularly shocked in light of Vice President Biden’s recent advice for citizens to arm themselves with double barreled shotguns, a weapon he believes to be far more effective than any “assault weapon.”
As for cynicism, it looks like Lilly Tomlin was right:
No matter how cynical you get, it is impossible to keep up.