Grow up/Game on.

Originally, I was planning what I thought was an interesting and creative post suggesting Obama should nominate himself to the Supreme Court (I know of no law prohibiting it), resign his post as President, allow Biden to serve as #45 for a few months, and contribute a much needed practical perspective to the Court’s jurisprudence.  In the end, though, I had planned to suggest we have so many qualified judges, prosecutors, law professors and others that President Obama doesn’t need to nominate himself.  There are dozens if not hundreds of more qualified Obamas out there that would serve the Court well for years.

Instead of all that, I have one reaction this Sunday morning for any Republican politicians or otherwise who is claiming that Obama shouldn’t nominate Scalia’s successor – grow up.  This is ridiculous. It’s the “I’m taking my ball and going home” argument, except they didn’t even bring a ball to the playground in the first place.  The President fills vacancies on the Court. Done. End of sentence.

There is no “a conservative must be replaced by a conservative.” It’s an artificial, made up balance that you don’t get to enforce when something like this happens.  Stop throwing a tantrum like a small child.  President Obama is still president for almost an entire year, just over 11 months.  He gets to find a replacement. The Senate must vet and confirm qualified candidates. If the Senate does not do its job, and plays the role of petulant child (to what end I don’t even know), the American people will lose further faith and confidence in our government.  The Supreme Court is the one branch more than any other that relies on trust and faith. Lower courts, companies, individuals, state governments and many more parties to disputes take action in the real world because of something these 9 people wrote on a piece of paper.  If we lose faith in the Court, and people stop following the Court’s orders, then it can get scary quick. To wit, it would require the executive branch/law enforcement to physically enforce the Court’s decisions.  That’s not a place any of us want to go.

But it’s where we’ll end up, if short-sighted politicians play games with real power and influence.  Of course right now it’s only the usual suspects – Cruz, McConnell, etc. – but I was disappointed to see Gov. Kasich chime in during last night’s debate.  I’d like to believe he did not have much time to consider all angles and he’ll return to earth with a proper approach this week.  Or maybe I am completely out of touch with the GOP and how politics is played today? It’s not impossible.  I’d like to think that’s not the case and I’m simply approaching this objectively and with common sense.

When a Supreme Court justice passes away in office, the President selects and nominates a replacement. It’s that simple. Ask any high school civics class.

Now, this is not to say President Obama is not without practical constraints and a sense of duty of his own.  President Obama should work with Congressional Republicans to find a replacement that everyone can support.  Of course he should.  I’m not writing this morning for unilateral Presidential power or for Obama to get whatever he wants.  What I’m suggesting is that the political machine should gear up and get to work.  For Obama to simply put off this responsibility for 11 months simply because his term is ending or because 2-3 power Elephants think a Republican will be in the White House on January 20, 2017 is not right. It’s just not.  The President should select a candidate that is undeniably qualified and the Senate should do its job and put that candidate through the vetting and testing, but based in reality and fact, not political gamesmanship.

To continue the ball theme, Obama is the football coach whose team got the ball back on a controversial call in a tie game looking down the field with 80 yards to go and less than 1 minute on the clock. The Republicans are playing defense shouting at the ref about the call.  They’re just hoping for the other team will kneel on the ball and go to overtime.  A coin flip will decide who gets the ball in OT and somehow that’s better. (It shouldn’t escape us that it will allow them to ratchet up the fear factor in this election cycle. We should elect a GOP candidate to preserve the balance on the Court. Sheesh.)

Let’s show the American people, in this, an election year, that we still have the ability to conduct ourselves professionally and responsibly.  Tomorrow is President’s Day and I realize that the Court has always been a political football of sorts. Presidents placed their friends on the Court. A President attempted to restructure the Court to do his narrow political will. The Court has to make tough choices that, in some cases, the other 2 branches couldn’t handle. I’m not suggesting the Court can never be used for political ends.

I’m saying let’s ACTUALLY play the game. It’s game time. This is what its all about. A SCOTUS justice passes away. The President nominates a qualified replacement. The Senate ensures the selection is capable of the job. And it all happens in the fishbowl of Washington politics.  Fair game. Game on.



What did we learn tonight?

I think there were two valuable lessons from tonight’s primary results in New Hampshire.  First, follow Aaron Rodgers advice and R-E-L-A-X, relax. This is New Hampshire. This primary, while first, is always quirky and never an indication of the winner.  Instead, it is a test of a variety of smaller questions.  New Hampshire can end a campaign but it cannot lock-in a winner. Let’s not assume that now Sanders and Trump and the presumptive favorites. It’s just not true. HRC has 8x the delegates of Sanders already and Trump has only a slight lead over the field in committed delegates.

Second, and perhaps more important than anything else in this election thus far, diversity breeds understanding, compassion, and complexity.  Homogeneity makes things easy. My initial response to Senator Bernie Sanders’s candidacy was one of nonchalance and respect. Respect because here was a man who had not changed his message for more than 35 years. His entire adult life devoted to a single idea – social justice. Nonchalance because while I respect Senator Sanders’s commitment his message seems more fitting for a political science classroom than a ballot box.  I will admit this could be the exact attitude that keeps the establishment in power but it is also realistic.

I have exactly the opposite view of Mr. Trump. Intense concern and disrespect. Mr. Trump is not the idealist but the instigator. Believing only in winning at all costs, Trump simply appeals to the basis instinct of a frustrated and confused mob.  This is not as bad as it sounds because I don’t believe it will lead to violence the way some on the right and the left, alike, fear (or like to imply).  What’s true is that limited, similar populations tend to be able to pull off ideologies that do not work in a large complex nation.  Exhibit A – Scandinavia. Exhibits B&C – Iowa & New Hampshire.

Sanders and Trump, as ideas, do not work (or win) in a country of 350 million people all pursuing their own individual self interest.

So, while I love New Hampshire as a place to live, work, visit, vacation, eat, drink and relax, it is not a barometer of the country. It is a relatively similar population with a quirky, independent streak that most people either love or have never encountered.

But before you think I’m headed for the obligatory “nothing to see here,” I do have one big takeaway. John Kasich and Jeb Bush finishing second and (probably) third, respectively, could mean a few months from now we are talking about how all we needed was patient to see the “real” candidates rise to the top.  This not meant to diminish the popularity or success of Senator Ted Cruz and Senator Marco Rubio, but it seems the age/experience/timing supports Kasich and Bush being more more traditionally popular choices.  You could argue that 2016 is game changer for politics in this country but I doubt it.  Generally, we’ve shifted back and forth from young to experienced from Republican to Democrat. Carter-Reagan/Bush-Clinton-Bush-Obama. In that pattern, Kasich and Bush seem the more logical frontrunners. Tonight could be the night that shifts the GOP from Cruz/Rubio to Kasich/Bush. We’ll see.

The adult in the room theory

In some ways, it is not my theory and yet you would think more people would be talking about it.  Unless, of course, you had a vested interest in keeping the ludicrous cycle of clicks and sound bytes flowing.  But I digress. This is not about this author, who has fewer readers than Martin O’Malley, being smarter than cable news commentators. This is about why Hillary Clinton is going to win the Presidency of the United States.

I kept waiting for someone or something to prove me wrong. I aired the theory at several dinners with friends and family. Still, I’m finding the mainstream media unwilling or unable to state the following: the Republican candidates for the Party’s nomination do not appear serious or, in other cases, capable. The serious one (read, Jeb! Bush) is pushed to the back of the line and discounted. The capable ones (read, John Kasich and Chris Criste) are either mocked or taunted. The young, pretty one (read, Marco Rubio) is careful not to say anything of substance…ever. The smart one (read, Ted Cruz) is disliked and not representative of the American people or any people. The woman (read, Carly Fiorina) is not allowed to be on stage, though that may be ABC News’ fault, and has some questions of leadership and decision-making. The non-politicians (read, really?) are the definition of half-hearted and inexperienced. And this is not a partisan piece. Yes, I’m purposely targeting the weakest point of each candidate but there is something here. It’s like that moment at a restaurant when you cannot decide between 3-4 dishes and inevitably whichever one you pick, the salmon, you feel like you are missing the better choice.  I’ll leave it to you to decide which candidate is the filet.

The point is this – who is the adult in the room? When things get serious in, I-don’t-know, the general election, the American people are want to go with strength and stability. If the election were today, we have a problem. Hillary Rodham Clinton, the most experienced and traditionally prepared for the job, is having trouble with appearing “too political” (accepting money from Goldman Sachs while threatening to be tough on Wall Street) and likable. It is unclear if push comes to shove whether the American people need the president to be likable.  Ever since Ronald Reagan, it would appear the answer is yes.

There in lies the rub. The Republicans might not consolidate around their adult.  Or they might not have one. Or the donors/media coverage/voters might not let the Party pick one. If the GOP doesn’t send a clear message, the voters will be left with only one option. HRC.

Her likability, her fluid relationship with the email classification, her inability to connect and her history with her husband will not matter when things get serious. We vote for the adult in the room. Bottom line.

A lot can happen in 7 months. 7 months ago Tom Brady was suspended for 4 games, Peyton Manning was coming off injury, Andrew Luck was a top fantasy football draft pick and the over/under on Carolina Panthers wins was like 7.5.  A lot can change in 7 months. An election is no different than a football season.  It’s why we watch the games.  Only with elections its for keeps. A minimum of 4 years with an option for 4 more and a place in history. #45.

We like entertainment and drama as much as the next civilized country. So, we allow the Bernies and Donalds and others to hang out when it’s cold (in part of the country) and we indulge our imagination, but that’s all it is. An indulgence.

Though the media echo chamber makes it hard to hear in the moment, it feels a lot like an intelligent lawyer, U.S. Senator, and Secretary of State rises to the top when things get serious…and they always get serious.

Unless something drastic changes, we vote for the adult in the room and that is HRC.


President Obama’s Big Picture

In today’s New York Times, Maureen Dowd wrote a column that is already one of the most e-mailed stories on the website and brought up something really interesting about President Obama’s attitude (or at least focus) in his second term.  Really it is the second half of his second term.  In these two years, the President is often referred to as a “lame duck” implying the President no longer has the prospect of being reelected (or affecting the mid-term elections) and therefore cannot be “held accountable” by voters.

A President’s behavior in these years can be extremely informative about a President’s character and priorities.  In college, I wrote my senior thesis on Presidential motivations when reelection (or any election) is no longer a consideration.  Comparing lame duck Presidents brought up two key points. First, Presidents did act with less restraint or at least attempted too in the lame duck years.  Second, most Presidents (Reagan and Clinton, specifically) were unable to fully pursue their stated goals because each was constrained by scandal (at worst) and external forces (at best).

Similarly, though occurring after my research, George W. Bush had more of a mixed experience. His lame duck years were quieter probably due to diminished public opinion and the intensity of the “other” 6 years.  His last year devoted to the on-coming financial crisis.  Put bluntly, there was not much time or opportunity for the boldness or scandal associated with the conventional wisdom of a what lame duck is.

According to Ms. Dowd, President Obama “rewriting” the lame duck years.  She writes, “Daniel Patrick Moynihan used to tell colleagues that one is only president from the inauguration to the first midterm. But President Obama is rewriting the book on Oval Office juice.” My initial response was – oh, come on.

Admittedly, I jumped to conclusions.

I was assuming Dowd was giving Obama more credit simply because it’s been so long since we have had a comparable second term (Clinton).  Upon 10-seconds of actually thinking about it, it occurred to me that one difference between Reagan, Clinton and Bush is that Obama is largely free from personal or political scandal and unconstrained by international tension (at least at it relates to our homeland).  He is free to focus on topics or make comments that in earlier years his political advisors would almost certainly have demanded he steer clear.

What I cannot understand is why? Why can a President only speak his mind and make his supporters (and himself) proud when elections are no longer on the horizon.  Some may call it naive, but if President Obama cannot “go Bulworth” as the article suggests, then no one can.  The combination of 24/7 news cycle, social media and so-called super political action committees (PACs) has rendered straight-forward, candid thought impossible.  Now, I don’t know if those are the three largest culprits but I intend to continue to explore this in coming months.

My take has always been that politics is like any other market.  Voters are consumers.  Candidates are producers/providers.  The candidate with the best product or service at the appropriate price point will win the most voters.  Note: this does not always mean the most inexpensive.  Seems to me like we (the electorate) are primed for the candidate who speaks – the entire campaign – like its their lame duck years.

Perhaps this is impossible without the essential confidence-building years of actually being President beforehand.  President Obama recently sat with Marc Maron for Maron’s WTF podcast.  During the hour-long conversation, Obama reflected on how much more confident and precise he is now as compared to his first campaign.  So, I’ll admit a candidate running on the Lame Duck strategy without the experience could be seen as reckless or dangerous.  See: Trump, Donald.

I’m not advocating the speak-first and think-later strategy of a publicity whore.  I’m suggesting candidates must channel creativity, candor and courage in order to get the attention of new markets (see: consumer analogy from earlier).  The real progress will be made when we recapture a large market share of the middle.  It’s like the real economic recovery.  We need to get new consumers/new capital back in the market.  Similarly, I have hopes that President Obama’s lame duck years overlapping with the 2016 President election will spark a new attention to the changing social-political landscape.  Yeah, I won’t hold my breath.

At the same time, I think Ms. Dowd correctly pointed out that President Obama could still have a dramatic impact on the country and the election if he wants to.  According to her column, this is who he is.  Based on the past 6 years, I’ll withhold judgment until we have a few more examples.  But I’ll definitely be watching.  One thing is for sure, President Obama may have the purest form of lame duck politics that we’ve seen in a generation or more.

President Barack Obama

President Barack Obama

Thanks for reading.

We’re back. Explanation needed?

In some ways, it was best to take a break from The Political Pickle about 18 months ago. Working hard in a new job, spending time with a new daughter, and becoming frustrated (cynical?) with the political climate, I decided to stop the small experiment that was this blog.  Over the last 18 months I basically dismissed politics and chalked everything coming out of Washington as smoke-and-mirrors.

More recently, I have felt the tug to get back into amateur political observation.  The upcoming 2016 Presidential election partly to blame, I also have been moved back several large social shifts in the last few months and year – law enforcement boundaries, race relations, gun violence and same-sex marriage, just to name a few.

And while I still have a time-consuming job, an energetic daughter and my healthy skepticism of politics, I enjoy writing and the outlet for my thoughts on today’s issues.  I think I need this. We’ll see if it lasts.

Enough said.

Obamacare but who cares?

This week I saw two interesting things that have driven me back to the blog: 1). did not spiral down into a political story. It somehow stayed relatively factual and 2). Everyone missed/is missing the point.

To me, this isn’t about public healthcare, President Obama’s leadership or the government being able to handle a major website.  Though all those things are true especially in the short term, these outcomes – ineffective launches, partial solutions/partial failures, and discord in addressing problems – are symptoms of a larger problem.  We, the royal we, all of us, do not want to have to put in the work required to solve problems, to get things right, to actually implement positive change (and not just change for change sake).

Our expectations about work, timing and sacrifice have so drastically changed as a result of technology that our perception of public policy is now totally unrealistic.  We want complete and beneficial solutions and we want them immediately.  We elected President Obama in the midst of a financial crisis and two wars but then pretended like that wasn’t a big deal and he should have us out of trouble in less than a year. Two or three years tops.  I’m as guilty as the next voter of unrealistic expectations 6 years ago.  The difference, I think, is that somewhere along the line I realized it.

Let me use as an example.  Throughout the last week or so, we’ve heard a series of complaints (larger issues than just a crashing website) – Obamacare was a bad idea, government cannot do “big things,” this is going to continue to fail now that the launch failed.  What we’ve forgotten is that the private marketplace wasn’t doing a great job prior to this attempt.  Healthcare was expensive, limited in its coverage and exclusive to certain types (or classes) of people.  So, in this era of quick fixes and high expectations, we’ve conveniently forgotten that one reason we had to resort to Obamacare was the private market failed.  Furthermore, we don’t know the government is going to do it well or even right.  Public policy is, by nature, trial and error.  But is that a reason not to try or to give up on Obamacare?  If so, what’s your idea? What’s a better idea?  Returning it to employer-based private healthcare returns us to a system of inflated costs, ballooning treatment, no prevention to speak of, and many of the most sensitive (the poor, kids, poor families with kids) left without help.  We’ve seen the private market fail, in some cases spectacularly so, in recent years.  The mortgage/financial crisis comes to mind. The point is not which is better because these are not mutually exclusive.  The point is where do we turn when we have a problem? How do we approach solving society’s big problems? I’ll try to stick to the issue de jure.

For those who complain the uninsured or underinsured is a made up problem and the private market can handle it, I have a quick example to the contrary.  A young woman who wants to start a family requires special medication in order to have a healthy pregnancy. Fair enough.  Other than the pregnancy, there are no major health concerns and the medication is temporary just until the pregnancy is considered out of the danger zone (in other words, you can start telling your friends).  As a result of temporary medicine, this woman is uninsurable in the private market.  Yup, preexisting condition.  But she’s not taking the medicine anymore? Get this – she might get or choose to get pregnant again, and if that happens, she may need the medicine again, and the medicine is kinda expensive, but will be required by the doctor should a pregnancy occur, and therefore the private health insurance does not want to risk the cost and will not cover the woman.  Forget that chain of “ifs,” and just look at the decision itself.  An otherwise healthy woman who has a family, provides for them and creates stability both in the community and in the insurance pool is rejected because of the helpful (temporary) medicine used in the early stages of conception.  Makes sense from a business sense, right? Obamacare says this person must receive healthcare and cannot be turned down.  Am I saying that this hypothetical alone is sufficiently evidence that Obamacare was the right decision or policy choice? No. Not at all.  What I am saying is – challenge! If you argue that Obamacare is a bad idea, fine. What’s your idea?

My guess is that someone out there, some health insurance executive or some other experienced veteran of the healthcare industry already knows what the solution is (Obamacare or otherwise) but for a variety of issues – cost, political climate, feasibility, etc. – the solution is not possible right now.  Ok. Then, we’re back to square one.  Which brings me to my original point, this is serious business.  We cannot just expect that we can create an “exchange,” pressure insurance companies into it, throw together a website, and get the right balance of people in order to lower costs and achieve broad healthcare offerings.  It takes time and commitment.

Nothing in life worth doing is easy.

I always use this example when talking about religion, but it fits for public policy too.  Why should being religious or being devout be easy? Working out and staying in shape isn’t easy.  It’s tough. It requires discipline and dedication.  Education isn’t easy.  It’s long, expensive and challenging.  A college degree, graduate degree or professional school degree is an accomplishment and educated workers are compensated accordingly because it’s valuable.  If medical school were easy, how much would you trust your doctor?  Ok, ok, you get the point.  For some reason, we don’t hold politics in the same esteem.  We just assume that the President, Congress and others should just “get it done.”

We, the royal we, all of us, need to roll up our sleeves and get to work.  Similarly we need allow our politicians the same freedom.  When they don’t, we have to be paying enough attention to hold them accountable.  But that’s not gonna happen, is it?

Not only do we not hold them accountable when they shut down the government and spout useless rhetoric (see the Tea Party, Rep. John Boehner, Sen. Mitch McConnell), but we also do not understand when politicians do not take us (the voters) seriously.  They know that we’re not paying attention. There’s no incentive to work hard or get things right.  The only incentives are soundbytes and re-elections.  We don’t like when it requires hard work, when the solution is complex and when it will take years (a generation?) of discipline to correct systemic problems.  If we don’t have the discipline to pay attention and hold public leaders accountable, why should we expect they’d stay disciplined to address these problems?

My take is this is part of a larger cultural issue, of which I’m just as guilty, that we talk a good talk but we can’t walk the walk.  I’m doing it right now. I’ve written this blog post and that’s as far as my observation or passion will take me.  I’ve got a job, family and limited time (just like everyone else) so I cannot take on the Washington establishment. I cannot try to change people’s minds about what government can do and what leaders should be or could be.  Why? I’m having trouble figuring out how to get paid to do it.  Until I can, I’ve got a regular job to go to and try to make enough money to pay for the mortgage, health insurance and student loans.  There is no incentive for me to take this on.  I’m busy.  Is Obamacare working? Is it not working? Who cares? Nothing is gonna change anyway…right?

Look. I’m not trying to be a Debbie Downer here.  All I’m saying is that we have no one to blame (see Obama, see Congress) except ourselves.  We maintain a double standard for public policy choices. These unrealistic expectations make it seem that things which are true in our own lives (valuable achievements are difficult and take time/discipline) somehow are not true in Washington. Yet at the same time, we do not have time or resources to get involved.  Where does that leave us on Obamacare? on public policy generally? What does it mean for “big” problems facing our generation?

I don’t know.  I’m still working on that.  But if I figure it out, I’ll let you know.  Hopefully you’ll be able to spare a minute.

Rayguns don’t kill Zorbians, Zorbians kill Zorbians

Driving home tonight I heard a radio story about efforts by gun rights group to “make sure” that “we” don’t overreact and over regulate gun shops and gun sales.  And so, I decided to blog about it.

I know I haven’t written in a while – the combination of the bar exam, a new job and a pregnant wife. All good things.  And meanwhile, I thought I was missing out on commenting on this political story or that one.  On the election. Over before it started.  On the fiscal cliff. But as momma always says, if you don’t have anything nice to say…

And then…Newtown, Connecticut.  

Even though I felt compelled to write, I couldn’t.  It would have been a bad idea.  For starters, it hit really close to home.  Because we live about 15 minutes away from Newtown, almost everyone in our area had a connection to those taken at Sandy Hook Elementary School.  It was a bittersweet day.  A friend and co-worker’s daughter (a 3rd grader) was hidden by her gym teacher and survived the assault.   Our dear friends lost their nephew (a first grader).  So, it was not a good idea to enter the public discourse.

I think I’m passed that.  I think I have something different to say that is not reactionary and (hopefully) not personal.

Back to that NPR story and the idea that we need to “be careful” to avoid the over regulation of gun sales. I’m going to expand the idea (slightly) simply to make a point.  It’s a market. A market that sells legitimate sporting guns, semi-legitimate recreational guns and illegitimate assault weapons. We left regulation up to the market.  Minimal regulation based in a constitutional right, but nonetheless we committed to minimal market regulation. And the market failed.

The market failed to self regulate.  The market failed to work.  Supply and demand is way off. It’s laughable to me that after a major market failure, the market participants have the nerve to caution the rest of us about knee-jerk reactions and the “ignorance” of supporting gun control. 

Well, I have bad news for you. This is the world we live in. And there is no turning back. Ask Ron Paul.  As much as we want the libertarian world of personal freedoms and strict consequences for violating others’ rights, all we can do is influence the status quo.  The behemoth is lurching forward.  Practically speaking, we work within the system we’re given. There is no revolution.

In this system, when market actors prove that the market cannot regulate itself or the failure is so severe that the survival of a class or economy of people depends on emergency funding, the government steps in. We might not like it, but its reality.

Crude oil tankers. Autos. Investment banks. 19th Century steel mills.

Did the government solve everything? No. Of course, not.  But the government made a difference.  Government acted when no one else would (or could).  Regulation comes in two forms and both are reactive (but only one is retaliatory). The first is emergency stimulus-style spending that aids an entire industry.  The second is Dodd-Frank style oversight that penetrates an entire industry (for better or worse).  

Either way, it is a reaction to a crisis.  And we have a crisis. Gun violence.

The gun industry has proven that it lost control.

Tucson. Aurora. Newtown. Webster.

After a “market crash” like this, there will always be increased regulation.  The NRA (read, all pro-gun lobbyists), the Second Amendment Foundation, common sense American sportsmen and even the (slightly misinterpreted) Second Amendment itself are not enough to stop the tide.  The financial industry, the true market (itself), could not win a deregulation argument in the face of a breach of the public trust.

This is not a liberal agenda.  This is the world we live in.  In the days after the Newtown elementary school shooting, I heard more than one commentator (and some friends) claim that we live in a violent world and nothing we can regulate will stop true evil.  This claim – there is no stopping truly determined child killers – is true (in some sense) but is disingenuous.  We can slow them down, we can make their “goal” much more difficult.  Likewise, I would say, this is the world we live in.  The government is going to get involved in industries that cause (or at least don’t stop) major crises.  There’s nothing we can do.  This is the price of major societal failure. 

We do not have to wait to decide what to do about guns.  We don’t have allow a “cooling off” period.  There was no cooling off period as GM was going out of business.  There was no cooling off period during the bank bailouts and Dodd-Frank negotiations.  And there is no cooling off period today.  (And by the by, when is the last time cooling off worked?)

I know the response to this idea is going to be some variation on “two wrongs don’t make a right.” Government overregulation in one market doesn’t justify the same in another.  I disagree.  This. Is. What. We. Do.

Like it or not, the only legitimate response we have is to add layers of bureaucracy.  Make it more difficult to evade background checks.  Make it harder to get a gun. How? Paperwork. Our answer to everything.

Some people (members of the NRA) don’t believe in a world where background checks and government systems can keep the mentally ill from obtaining dangerous firearms.  Some people (many people who aren’t members of the NRA) don’t believe in a world where good guys with guns have safe, successful shootouts with bad guys with guns and no one except the bad guy gets hurt. So, if I had to err on the side of one imaginary world or the other, I’ll take my chances with government regulation.

We had a major failure, we have a crisis and now we will get government involvement in the market.  If you didn’t want the government to get involved, everyone should have done a better job when they (we) had the chance.  Now, it’s too late. 

And our only savior is a good guy with paperwork (sorry, I couldn’t resist).