President Joe Biden joined a Democratic Party fad Sunday of mocking “thoughts and prayers” expressed in the wake of national tragedies, saying such sentiments were not enough in the wake of a mass shooting in Texas.
In a statement, Biden also appeared to blame the Republican Party for the shooting: “Too many families have empty chairs at their dinner tables. Republican Members of Congress cannot continue to meet this epidemic with a shrug. Tweeted thoughts and prayers are not enough.”
For the past several years, Democrats have rejected “thoughts and prayers” for the victims of such events, preferring instead fo politicize mass shootings by demanding gun control — even when it is unclear what their proposed laws would have done to prevent the crime.
Their sentiments are echoed in the mainstream media. Whoopi Goldberg, a co-host of The View on ABC who supports gun control, said last year: “I swear to God, if I see another Republican senator talk about their heart being broken, I’m going to go punch somebody. I can’t take it and their thoughts and prayers. If your thoughts and prayers were really with everybody, you would have done something by now.”
Biden has said for years that “thoughts and prayers” were not enough in the wake of mass shootings like that in Sandy Hook, Connecticut in 2012:
I think about how that day eight years ago was the saddest day we had in the White House. Twenty first-graders. Their six educators. And I think about the time we have spent with each other grieving since then. I remain in awe as so many of you turned pain into purpose.
— Joe Biden (@JoeBiden) December 14, 2020
The phrase “thoughts and prayers” is commonly used by the faithful to express sympathy for all kinds of events, and is not a political statement. It was used by some within the black community to express anguish over the death of George Floyd at police hands in 2020, for example.
The phrase does not exclude a policy response to tragedy, though it places empathy before a political agenda.