I don't know what Dennis Kucinich was thinking when he appeared on Hannity a few nights ago but I do know he delighted Sean Hannity by validating right-wing fears about the over-reaching of the Obama administration and by letting Hannity's anti-Democratic comments beforehand go unchallenged.
Before bringing on his guests, Hannity spent several minutes urging Republicans to “unite” and “fight” President Obama's proposed gun violence measures. “This is not Bill Clinton's 1994 assault weapons ban... (It's) your right to bear arms being shattered by these left-wing lawmakers,” Hannity said. Otherwise, he said with his customarily inflammatory rhetoric, the Obama administration will “take away your Constitutional rights” and “bankrupt the country” in its effort to “transform America into his socialist utopia.”
It's possible Kucinich never heard what was said before he joined the discussion. But anyone with even the slightest familiarity with Hannity knows that his end game is always smearing Democrats and the left. And the “Obama unconstitutional power grab” meme is a Fox News/right wing fave. Kucinich ought to know that. So while I can understand someone's misgivings about stricter gun regulations, I simply can't understand anyone who fashions himself as a serious liberal saying what Kucinich said.
He began by noting that historically, Americans got weapons to protect themselves from a tyrannical government. Then he added, “So now, with government getting ever more powerful, people weaponize themselves, but what's happening at the same time? More of our tax dollars is going to helping to make the government more powerful. Somebody has to puzzle that out for me.”
Hannity couldn't have looked more pleased. “Beam me up, Scotty,” he said. “...Dennis Kucinich is the first liberal that seems to actually have an understanding of the Second Amendment.”
Memo to Kucinich: Any time Hannity is delighted with a liberal's comments, it's a sure sign you've played right into his hands.
Later, Hannity turned to Kucinich to ask if we don't need to look at mental health as a path to reducing gun violence.
Kucinich replied, “Thank you.” He did say that if he were still in Congress, he'd give “careful consideration” to the Obama administration's proposed assault weapons ban. “But I want to say something, Sean,” he added. “What you just said: fundamentally right. This is a broad issue that touches all of American society. We have, unfortunately, a violent society. Guns make it very easy for people to act out on their aggression. But the truth is that the mental health problems in our society have not received enough attention. You do when there's violence... but we weren't able to get mental health parity in a lot of health care legislation.”
I'm not saying that any and all liberal guests should be combative on Hannity. Or even be an Obama-administration mouthpiece. But they do need to realize that they are playing a role in Fox News political theater, not having a serious or wonky exploration of policy, and understand how their lines will play in Peoria.
I think you have a point that drugs play a large part in gun murders but I don’t see how the “war on drugs” is such a huge cause.
And while I agree that the war on drugs should be completely re-vamped and may well do more harm than good, I don’t see how that would solve the problem of gun violence in our country.