Tea Party movement tames the NRA
By J.J. Jackson
The National Rifle Association has learned a powerful lesson. That lesson is that they are not the all powerful group they thought they were whose members jump at their mere request. Whether or not they will retain this lesson for use in the future however? That will remain to be seen.
In recent months the NRA has made no secret their overt desire to endorse Senator Harry Reid in Nevada's Senate race. Claiming to be a "single issue" group that only cares about the second amendment, they touted Reid's record on gun rights as justification for this potential endorsement. What they were not ready for however was the backlash from their members who had quite a different opinion of Senator Reid.
What the NRA learned is that vast swaths of their membership were not single issue voters. They learned that their members were lovers of the whole Constitution. And as word of the potential endorsement spread the pushback was becoming obvious and even threatened the organization's ability to raise money. The NRA will, of course, deny this. They will say that they were having no problem at all getting funds to flow to their coffers. But the fact of the matter is that long time supporters of the gun right's group who regularly dropped checks in the mail every time the NRA sent a fund raising letter were tossing these requests in the garbage. Members were also calling, writing and emailing the NRA in numbers that I have been told shocked those at the top.
Two weeks ago I wrote an article which was humorously titled, "The NRA, Poop Creek And A Missing Paddle." But the subject matter was no laughing matter as I laid out the current position of the NRA and their plans for a Reid Endorsement. What I learned by writing that article is that what I thought was common knowledge came as a shock to many.
I was accused by some of having a political axe to grind against the NRA, even of being a member of one of several gun rights organizations, and was further accused in many emails of lying about the NRA having had glowing reviews of Mr. Reid. A simple search of the world wide web however debunks any such accusations. The vast majority of responses however were outright surprise. So many people wrote me telling me how they were going to be watching the NRA to see if they would go through with their not so veiled threats to endorse Reid over Angle.
Well, there is good news to report. The NRA has backed off. We Tea Partiers demanded it and they blinked.
The news broke it was a result of phones ringing off the hook and inboxes being filled to the brim with American patriots giving the National Rifle Association a piece of their minds. It was so bad that the NRA-PVF (the National Rifle Association Political Victory Fund) had to issue a specific press release addressing this issue.
The press release however is typical political spin by a group trying to save face with its members. In the press release they write, the NRA-PVF announced today that it will not be endorsing Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid for re-election in the 2010 U.S. Senate race in Nevada."
The reason cited however was his vote to confirm the uber liberal Elena Kagan to the Supreme Court. That is it. That is the only reason given. However Elena Kagan was lifted to the pantheon of liberal elites weeks prior. Are we to believe that it took the NRA three full weeks to realize how anti-American Ms. Kagan was? Because that is precisely what they want us to believe. They want us to honestly believe that they did not know enough about our latest Supreme Court Justice three weeks ago to officially not endorse Mr. Reid after he supported her and that only now has that decision been made.
Chairman Chris Cox thinks they can put one over on the membership of the NRA with this announcement. He is wrong. There is a serious lack of trust between the NRA and the membership at this point in time and the rabble do not for one second believe that it took weeks to decide that Reid's support of Kagan was something that should disqualify him from getting the organization's endorsement. Mr. Cox does not want to tell the real reason why an endorsement has been withheld for fear that it will shatter the aura of power and purity we are to believe that the NRA has.
The real reason for this hasty decision and poorly provided justification for it is because the NRA has felt the sting of what Americans who have had too much are capable of. And anyone who flirts with the destructive ideology of liberalism or supports liberals will be in our line of fire.
J.J. Jackson is a libertarian conservative author from Pittsburgh, PA who has been writing and promoting individual liberty since 1993 and is President of Land of the Free Studios, Inc. He is the Pittsburgh Conservative Examiner for Examiner.com. He is also the owner of The Right Things - Conservative T-shirts & Gifts. His weekly commentary along with exclusives not available anywhere else can be found at http://www.libertyreborn.com.