President Trump is using the school shooting in Parkland, Florida as an excuse to make another trip to Mar-a-Lago this weekend. The vice mayor of Broward County where the massacre took place, however, is not happy about the President visiting the school as a backdrop for promoting his own agenda before he goes golfing with his cronies.
“Him coming here, to me, is absurd. Him coming here is absolutely absurd, and he’s a hypocrite,” the Democratic vice mayor Mark Bogen said on CNN today.
“How can you come here and talk about how horrible it is, when you support these laws?” Bogen said. “This is a man who supports teenagers and other people [being able to] to purchase assault weapons … and then comes down here and wants to act as though this is horrible and shouldn’t happen, but goes back to Washington and supports it. It’s hypocrisy.”
Bogen pointed out to CNN that Trump signed a bill that rescinded an Obama administration rule designed to make it more difficult for the mentally ill to buy weapons, not the least bit surprising given how far up the lower intestines of the NRA the Republican party has stuck its collective head.
Trump announced his visit on Twitter, of course.
I will be leaving for Florida today to meet with some of the bravest people on earth – but people whose lives have been totally shattered. Am also working with Congress on many fronts.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 16, 2018
Noticeably absent from his tweet is what exactly he is working with Congress on, but it certainly has nothing to do with sensible restrictions on gun ownership or sales, if past practice is any guide.
Trump and other Republicans are painting the issue not as a problem of access to guns, but as a mental health issue. The problem is that their record on mental health is no better than their record on gun control, having spent the last year doing everything in their power to repeal Obamacare and its regulations mandating that mental health care coverage be included in every policy.
The President’s own budget priorities released last week call for a reduction of over half a billion dollars in the funding for the National Institute of Mental Health and also cuts $665 million from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration’s budget.
The President’s calls for treating the shooting as a mental health problem ring hollow when the Republican agenda is so diametrically opposed to delivering the services that could help solve the problem. In their eagerness to avoid blaming guns and their avaricious manufacturers, Republican politicians are hoping that the public won’t notice their hypocrisy on mental health. Sorry, but it just won’t work as long as intelligent people continue to call them out on their true motives.