Obama’s Reichstag Moment

Onlookers in front of the Reichstag (German parliament) building after its virtual destruction by fire. Berlin, Germany, February 28, 1933.

Written by: Bill Colley

Readers on the left will call it cold but a terrible thought crossed my mind Friday as President Obama nearly cried while speaking about the Connecticut school shooting.  The thought was reinforced when a news reporter added afterward Mr. Obama’s press secretary, Jay Carney, could also be observed shedding tears off camera.

Remember a twenty year old movie with the title Bob Roberts?  It’s about a conservative candidate who’ll stop at nothing to sway public opinion.  Bob_roberts_posterHe and his handlers even engage in a phony assassination attempt.  In public Roberts appears a cripple in the aftermath.  In reality the gunman was firing blanks.  The bogus gunman never gets an opportunity to share the truth because he’s killed by the other conspirators.  The liberal actor Tim Robbins was behind the movie.  It was called a satire.  It was designed to tell the public the American right would stop at nothing to achieve its goals.  In reality instead we got Bob Dole and Mitt Romney and in hindsight it shows us the right couldn’t plan an evening on the town much less a grand conspiracy and yet the American left in its effort to portray the opposition as goose stepping Nazis continues to fear the equivalent of the burning of the Reichstag.

I don’t know much about movie making.  When I worked in TV news I didn’t have to do my own editing.  I did observe and asked a great many questions and do believe I could at least give you a rough outline of my own political film.

I’ll start with the requisite heartbreak about the school shooting in Newtown.  Many of us have children.  Mine is no longer a little girl but when she was of kindergarten age and still today dad is filled when he thinks of her with worry.  While I didn’t have tears Friday I was benumbed.  It was the feeling I had after the terrorist attack in Beslan in North Ossetia, Russia.  Yet I also felt a fear it was a Reichstag moment for the Second Amendment.

My movie is a complex piece of cinema.  The plan is in place when a government controlled and mentally ill person opens fire in a crowded mall before the Christmas holiday.  His gun jams and then we’re told he killed himself after opening fire on others.  The death toll is small and the public reaction is to quickly rubberneck while passing and then go back to buying presents.  The reaction was the same in Kansas City.  The conspirators, men and women with a desire to put government in complete control of your lives, need something much more shocking.  The next step is just simply beyond the pale of civilized behavior.  When the shooting stops there is carnage so great we can’t emotionally process the grief.  The conspirators offer a solution.  Turn over your weapons.  You’ll get some groceries in exchange (this is actually taking place today, as I write, in Baltimore, Maryland).  TV reporters tell us many of the families of the dead children likely already purchased Christmas gifts and the presents may already be wrapped (coincidentally, I saw a reporter say these things Friday night on television).  The overall weight of the tragedy is so great mayors of big cities far away call news conferences and demand the President move against the gun lobby.

In reality there is a danger here according to one former big city mayor.  Rudolph Giuliani appeared on Fox News shortly after the first news conferences and mentioned there are strict gun regulations in Norway and yet the laws didn’t impede Anders Breivik.  I believe Giuliani’s words will be lost in the emotional cyclone.

The man in charge in Washington claimed an unknown film was behind the deaths of four Americans in Libya.  Until the President mentioned this brief movie it appeared most people in the Islamic part of the world had no idea the picture existed.  Then there were riots and massive death tolls but nobody in the White House appears to have shed tears.  The dead from the riots were collateral damage on a much bigger stage.  In order to cover-up an intelligence disaster the ends justified the means.

Are you peacefully willing to give up your firearms?  A few days ago a legendary entertainer and political activist, Harry Belafonte, suggested Barack Obama establish a dictatorship and jail opponents.  Of course a Reichstag moment might be necessary.  Meanwhile there are drones in the sky and cameras on streets and every swipe of your debit card and call on your cellphone tells the story of your life and it’s all easily accessed by Homeland Security.  If you’re already getting a government check there is leverage for someone powerful enough to take it away.

Today I am deeply saddened by tragedy and just as much so by what I believe my government is capable of doing to perpetuate a twisted philosophy of control.  Merry Christmas.