ChrisWeigant.com

Archive of Articles in the "Domestic Policy" Category

Obama Was Wrong

[ Posted Friday, June 24th, 2022 – 15:53 UTC ]

Barack Obama created many memorable soundbites and campaign slogans, but one of the best-remembered is (as he phrased it in a tweet): "There are no red states or blue states, just the United States." This call for unity in politics was generally well-received, since it spoke to (as another former president once put it) "the better angels of our nature."

But what is becoming more and more obvious is how wrong Obama got this. His words sound blissfully naive, at this point. Because we are devolving further into the Divided States of America, seemingly with every passing day. Today's Supreme Court decision which overturned Roe v. Wade is merely another milestone on this grim journey.

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The House January 6th Select Committee Hearings [Episode 5]

[ Posted Thursday, June 23rd, 2022 – 18:56 UTC ]

Today saw the final June hearing of the House Select Committee on January 6th. Next week, Congress scarpers off on one of their many two-week holiday breaks, ostensibly for the July 4th holiday, so we won't be getting another of these hearings until the week of July 11th, at the earliest. But the committee does indeed plan to hold more public hearings, although they continue to hold their cards very close to the vest on exactly how many such hearings will take place, as well as the subject of any of the upcoming hearings. Perhaps this is done to build tension and interest among the public, or perhaps it is just because they are now reportedly being flooded with new information and new testimony, all offered up since the beginning of the public hearings earlier this month.

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The House January 6th Select Committee Hearings [Episode 1]

[ Posted Friday, June 10th, 2022 – 17:24 UTC ]

Last night's hearing was meant to be an overview of the upcoming miniseries season. The next seven hearings were outlined, which will expose what Representative Liz Cheney called Donald Trump's "seven-point plan" to overturn a free and fair election. Next week, we will get at least two and possibly three more hearings (the official January 6th Committee website only lists the first two (as of this writing), on Monday and Wednesday mornings, but it is being widely reported there will be a third next Thursday at 1:00 P.M. Eastern time). That's a fairly fast pace, and it looks like the next two weeks will be chock full of hearings. I am assuming that at the end there will be a final hearing in primetime which will wrap up the entire storyline and present the full case to the American people about what went on, who was responsible, and what we should do now to ensure that it never happens again.

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Waiting For The Show To Start

[ Posted Thursday, June 9th, 2022 – 15:57 UTC ]

I am reminded, listening to all the hype and buzz building about tonight's House January 6th Select Committee's nationally-televised primetime hearing, of the lyrics of Emerson, Lake, and Palmer's "Karn Evil 9" ("Come inside the show's about to start / Guaranteed to blow your head apart"). But maybe that's just me.

For once, though (progressive rock references aside), the show that we'll all see tonight may actually live up to its billing. Because for once, Democrats are approaching it with professional help in presenting their findings as a narrative. This is more important than you might think.

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The GOP's Mental Health Hypocrisy

[ Posted Wednesday, June 8th, 2022 – 15:49 UTC ]

Republicans have come up with all sorts of attempts to deflect the public's attention from the enormous number and easy availability of guns in this country, some of them far wackier than others. But the more-reasonable response they've largely gathered behind is to say that all mass shootings happen because of "crazy people," and therefore we should put lots of effort into weeding those crazy people out before they can cause atrocities. That's what they say they're for, at any rate. As a way of deflecting attention, it's a lot better than what the fringe of the GOP is saying, after all.

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Friday Talking Points -- Enough!

[ Posted Friday, June 3rd, 2022 – 17:25 UTC ]

Last night, President Joe Biden gave only the second evening address (not counting speeches to joint sessions of Congress) of his presidency. The last time he did so was over a year ago. The subject of his speech this time was a grim one: the recent massacres of innocents in Buffalo, New York, and Uvalde, Texas. And all of the others which didn't receive quite as prominent media coverage, as well. He urged Congress to act, in the strongest possible terms. He pointed out that Republicans are the ones obstructing any progress whatsoever, and pleaded for some bipartisanship in the Senate.

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Biden To Give Televised Address To Nation

[ Posted Thursday, June 2nd, 2022 – 15:36 UTC ]

President Joe Biden is about to give an evening speech on national television. This shouldn't be all that rare an event, but with Biden it sadly has been. Last March, he gave such a speech on the COVID-19 pandemic response. Last March. Biden himself has reportedly been frustrated by his inability to get his message out, but he really bears a goodly portion of the blame for this himself. Where was the speech to the nation on the Russian invasion of Ukraine? How about a primetime address on inflation? Or the infant formula bottleneck? Or gas prices? Maybe he shouldn't have given a speech on each and every one of these important issues, but it would have been nice to see at least one or two of them addressed by the president, or perhaps a few within just one speech.

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Second-Class Adulthood

[ Posted Tuesday, May 31st, 2022 – 15:26 UTC ]

In the political debate over possible restrictions on gun ownership that has followed the massacre in Uvalde, Texas, one idea has popped up which seems pretty reasonable on the face of it: don't let 18-year-olds buy assault rifles -- make them wait until they are 21 instead. But this opens up a much wider debate, one that few are talking about or even considering. Because the trend, over time, seems to be to slowly and incrementally raise the age of being considered an adult from 18 to 21 years old. If you are 18, 19, or 20, you are a sort of second-class adult, allowed to do certain things which could have life-altering consequences, but barred from doing others for another three years. Sooner or later two questions are going to have to be dealt with in a fundamental way, and so far they aren't on a lot of people's radars: "Is this even constitutional?" and: "Should we just raise the age of being considered an adult to 21 for everything?" Doing so would be a lot more legally consistent, but it would also be an enormous change for tens of millions of Americans and would probably not be very politically feasible (to say the least).

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Friday Talking Points -- This Is Shameful

[ Posted Friday, May 27th, 2022 – 17:01 UTC ]

Last week, America experienced a racist extremist shooting up a grocery store, in an effort to kill as many Black people as he could. This week, America had to once again watch as innocent schoolchildren age 10 or under were massacred for no reason whatsoever. This is who we are, and it is shameful.

It is not, however, who we want to be. The public wants more and tighter gun safety laws, by an overwhelming margin. But even in the wake of the horrors of yet another slaughter of innocents, most people who follow politics don't expect much of anything to change. No new laws will pass the Senate, or if something does manage to be worked out, it will be weak and watered-down and likely ineffective at stopping such outrages from regularly happening.

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From The Archives -- A Sad New Normal

[ Posted Thursday, May 26th, 2022 – 15:55 UTC ]

Here we are again. That, as you'll see below, is how I started an article written five years ago, after the Las Vegas slaughter. Because I find I cannot write yet another one of these articles, when nothing has changed and nothing is likely to change any time soon.

Politico just put out some new poll numbers, from an insta-poll taken after the Uvalde, Texas school massacre. They show pretty much where the American public has stood for quite some time now: gun control measures are either popular or overwhelmingly popular. By the numbers:

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