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Senior Correspondent

All Politics is Local

All Politics is Local


President Obama went on television Sunday night to acknowledge the terror threat and attempted to reassure a jittery country that “we will overcome it” after the attack in San Bernardino. However he said little if anything that was new, as he tried to reassure the country.

Ever since the Paris attacks, the President has urged Americans not to let fear turn them against Muslims. He tried to use the attack in San Bernardino, as he has in other mass shootings, to call for stricter gun laws. His persistence produced zilch.

Most Republicans and some Democrats have refused to move on bills that would do away with background loopholes at gun shows, limit the distribution of ammunition or prohibit the sale of certain kinds of semiautomatic weapons, according to the New York Times.

In October, Mr. Obama , turned to advisers to see whether there were actions he could take without the approval of Congress. His advisers  reportedly are at work on some ideas that would lead to more background checks. A proposal  would face “legal, practical and political challenges,” the aides say. Until you hear otherwise we remain hostage to the gun lobby.

People vote their fears, not their hopes, James Farley told me in an interview back in 1964. Farley was Franklin Roosevelt’s campaign manager in FDR’s sweeping victories in 1932 and 1936 in the Great Depression.

This is the incendiary card Donald Trump is playing with. He is calling for the government to bar Muslims from entering the country. Trump’s  poll numbers rose in part part after repeating false stories that thousands of Muslims partied in New Jersey on September 11, 2001.

The Times said several Republican strategists believe that Trump’s maneuver is in part to challenge rivals Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas and Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida to match Trump  in audacity.

As Jim Farley might have said: There is no freedom from fear in an election year. All politics is local.

This article originally appeared in the San Leandro Times.

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