Democratic Congressional lawmakers from New York have “found religion” following the horrendous events that unfolded in Newtown, Conn. In the last 48 hours, they have demanded with a unified voice that the president lead the charge on tougher gun legislation.
Appearing on MSNBC’s The Ed Show, Rep. Jerrold Nadler urged Obama to “exploit” the tragedy at Sandy Hook to bring home the goods. If nothing else, Nadler deserves credit for candor.
His fellow congress member, Carolyn McCarthy, took the urgency a step further, threatening to “embarrass” the president if he fails to take action on stringent new laws.
McCarthy (D-N.Y.), the foremost gun control advocate in Congress, said she spoke with White House Chief of Staff Jack Lew before Election Day and told him she will exert pressure on the White House to push for gun control legislation.
‘I said, “Jack, I know the president is going through an election and I’m telling you after the election I’m coming out full force,”’ McCarthy told POLITICO Friday. ‘I was just giving the White House a heads up that the gloves are off on my side and I was going to do everything I possibly could. … If that meant embarrassing everybody, that’s what I would do.’
McCarthy, whose political career began as something of a reaction to the shooting death of her husband and son on a Long Island Rail Road commuter train in 1993, explained that initially she wants to just “talk to [sic] the White House.” She added:
I know that they can’t give me an answer tonight, but I want to know what they’re going to do. I need to know what they’re going to do.
She went on to praise Obama’s somber tone in his four-minute White House statement acknowledging Friday’s incident, but said that action should have been taken long ago.
“This is not the time to talk about [gun control],” she said. “It should have been talked about years ago when we started having these mass shootings. It should have been done when Gabby Giffords was shot.”
So how does McCarthy plan to embarrass the White House? She told Politico that her plan was to build “a large-scale public campaign to ban assault weapons,” working side-by-side with “Independent” New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg. But this doesn’t sound all that embarrassing. In fact, it is no different from what she has devoted her life and career for the past two decades. If her goal is really to cause the president angst, she should take a meeting with the guy who runs the other chamber of Congress. Embarrassing the president is his one singular talent.