Props to the GOP: it’s SOP

Props to the GOP: it's SOP

by digby

Greg Sargent:

Of all the arguments we’ve heard in the gun debate, few are more absurd than the claim that President Obama and Democrats have used the Newtown families as “props” in a nefarious plot to exploit them for political ends.

Those making this case are using eerily similar language. Rand Paul yesterday said: “I think in some cases the president has used them as props.” The Washington Times today opined: “The shame is how the gun-control advocates have exploited the grief of these families, bearing up under a sadness beyond knowing by the rest of us, using them at every opportunity as props to make a political argument.”

And here’s GOP consultant Ed Rogers:

It was cruel of the president to involve the Sandy Hook families in a fight that was not their fight. For all the good they can do and all the deference and respect they deserve, it is a travesty that the families of the Sandy Hook victims were used as props and lobbyists and that the tragedy of Sandy Hook was contorted into a Washington legislative battle about expanding the federal paperwork required to make a gun purchase. The Sandy Hook families didn’t create this farce; it was the president’s idea.
As it happens, the idea that Obama and/or gun control advocates are “exploiting” the families and using them as “props” is not just silly; it’s demonstrably misleading on the facts.

Greg actually has to go to the trouble to prove that the Newtown families aren't dumb animals being led around against their will by the Washington sharpie Barack Obama. It's pathetic.

But if you want to see some props, I'll show you some props:

You can understand why all these Republicans would assume the White House would cynically use the families of the victims as props.

To them, cynical manipulation is SOP:

On May 1, 2003, Bush became the first sitting President to make an arrested landing in a fixed-wing aircraft on an aircraft carrier when he arrived at the USS Abraham Lincoln in a Lockheed S-3 Viking, dubbed Navy One, as the carrier lay just off the San Diego coast, having returned from combat operations in the Persian Gulf. He posed for photographs with pilots and members of the ship's crew while wearing a flight suit. A few hours later, he gave a speech announcing the end of major combat operations in the Iraq War. Far above him was the warship's banner stating "Mission Accomplished."

Bush was criticized for the historic jet landing on the carrier as an overly theatrical and expensive stunt. For instance, it was pointed out that the carrier was well within range of Bush's helicopter, and that a jet landing was not needed.Originally the White House had stated that the carrier was too far off the California coast for a helicopter landing and a jet would be needed to reach it. On the day of the speech, the Lincoln was only 30 miles (48 km) from shore but the administration still decided to go ahead with the jet landing.

White House spokesman Ari Fleischer admitted that Bush "could have helicoptered, but the plan was already in place. Plus, he wanted to see a landing the way aviators see a landing." The Lincoln made a scheduled stop in Pearl Harbor shortly before the speech, docked in San Diego after the speech, and returned to her home port in Everett, Washington on May 6, 2003.