Hell hasn’t frozen over, but it’s a bit chillier down there this morning.
Why? Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee — a man with whom I rarely agree — offered a fascinating critique of President Obama’s immediate response to the Dallas shootings overnight.
The president, said Huckabee — himself a former Republican candidate for the highest office — politicized the event by introducing the topic of gun control during his statement on the killing of five Dallas law enforcement officers.
The president, Huck said, needed to be more Reaganesque in his response. Huckabee recalled how President Reagan sought to bring the nation together after the Challenger shuttle tragedy. That, he said, ought to be the model for presidents to follow in this time of national grief.
As Politico reported: “During his statement earlier Friday morning in which he condemned the attack as ‘vicious, calculated and despicable,’ Obama remarked that ‘we also know that when people are armed with powerful weapons, unfortunately it makes it more deadly and more tragic, and in the days ahead we are going to have to consider those realities as well.”‘
Huckabee, of course, focused more on the latter part of that statement rather than the first part. But he does make a valid point about how presidents ought to react publicly to events such as this.
“He doesn’t need to inject the divisive arguments like gun control at a time of great grief for the nation,” Huckabee said. “And he ought to do for us what Ronald Reagan did after the Challenger disaster. And that’s remind us of what we have in common, not what separates us. And that’s why I’m always so frustrated. Barack Obama has such great potential to be a leader.”
The president has labeled the acts in Dallas correctly. They were “despicable,” “vicious” and “calculated.”
My hope now is that the president goes to Dallas and embraces the police department and the families of those who were struck down and offers words of healing to a nation that is stunned.
That, too, is how Ronald Reagan would react — and it’s also what Barack Obama has done many times during his presidency.