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Barack Obama, Exploiter-in-Chief

AP photo

AP photo

Senate Republicans should have bucked the NRA and passed the Toomey-Manchin background check bill. And Democrats should have bucked their anti-gun base and embraced licensed, concealed-carry laws. It’s common sense.

But a sensible solution to gun violence was another victim of Washington gridlock this week because there is a leadership vacuum in the White House.

Once again, America’s chief executive proved that he is less interested in solving problems than in scoring political points. Follow Obama’s daily schedule and there was zero attempt (when has there ever been?) to build a bipartisan coalition to solve the problem of gun violence. None. Obama bloodlessly exploited the Sandy Hook tragedy with a meaningless gun control bill that even the left-wing New Yorker conceded would have done nothing to prevent the Newtown massacre – much less the violence in Detroit. As in the Gabby Gifford’s shooting, Democrats shamefully exploited a shooting for political gain (and there was Giffords as a political prop at Obama’s Rose Garden ceremony condemning the Senate vote).

Obama has one goal in mind: Embarrassing Republicans with swing voters in order to swing the House to Democrats in 2014. Power is all that matters to him (MSM coverage was advocacy – the best reporting is by the WSJournal’s Kim Strassel here).

He has won a second term. Why not expend his political capital on legalizing drugs, which drives the gang warfare that consumes his Chicago and our Detroit? Why not use his political capital to reform welfare, which corrupts work and two-parent families and is the root of young male violence?

Why not? Then American could truly make progress on its most vexing issue: Violence.

Henry Payne
Henry Payne is the auto critic for The Detroit News. A 25-year newspaper veteran, Payne is also a Pulitzer Prize-nominated cartoonist with United Feature Syndicate, a former columnist and editorial writer for The News, and a contributor to The Wall Street Journal, New York Post, and other publications. His auto reviews appear every Thursday in the Drive section.