Conservatives rightly despise Democrat Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada, but to the NRA, Reid’s a standup guy, and the organization likes its powerful “friend” in the Senate. Last year, the NRA wrote its members in Nevada a letter praising the leftist leader in the Senate for his consistent opposition to gun bans while in office.
“Many of you have recently received a letter from the National Rifle Association praising Harry Reid for his support of gun legislation. . . . This letter was sent despite the fact Harry Reid has consistently received an ‘F’ rating from the Gun Owners of America, including the Gun Owners of Nevada.”—Sue Lowden, former chairwoman of the Nevada Republican party.
Not only is Dirty Harry a standup guy with the NRA, so too is Florida governor and senatorial candidate Charlie Crist. Like Reid, the RINO Republican turncoat is the stereotypical politician who puts personal interest above all else, yet he’s a longtime friend and ally to the NRA.
More than likely, the NRA will endorse both men for the Senate this fall because the organization doesn’t care about preserving the Republic or even the Constitution for that matter; it cares only about the Second Amendment. Such tunnel vision keeps the organization narrowly focused and shortsighted.
Blue Dogs are scarce as hen’s teeth in the Democrat Party, i.e., they don’t exist. Only hardcore leftists and useful idiots the likes of Bart Stupak exist in the Democrat Party. Yet the NRA continues to endorse ”Blue Dog” Democrats.
Donations of time and money to the NRA will not only help to elect such despicable politicians the likes of Stupak, Ried, and Crist, but what’s worse, they will also help to keep the leftist Democrats in power and bring about a socialist dictatorship and one-party rule.
The Democrat Party is the enemy of America’s Republican form of government, and blind-to-only-one-issue groups like the NRA are helping that enemy to destroy America’s government.
I am candid … I am straightforward …
The NRA and the Blue Dogs
By Jim Geraghty
America’s foremost gun-rights organization faces some tough decisions this year.
As the National Rifle Association’s annual convention opens Thursday in Charlotte, N.C., the organization finds itself in strong shape — but facing some difficult decisions.
In the eyes of most conservative organizations, the Obama administration has already enacted a cornucopia of bad legislation, but the president and his team have been relatively quiet on gun issues. In February 2009, newly appointed Attorney General Eric Holder indicated he wanted to reinstate the expired assault-weapons ban, and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton called for the same while on a visit to Mexico. But intense opposition in Congress materialized quickly — 65 House Democrats signed a letter saying they would oppose any new ban — and the talk died down.
This is not to say the Obama administration isn’t open to any gun-control legislation; currently generating buzz is the so-called “no-fly, no-buy” bill, which would prohibit those on the no-fly list from purchasing firearms. Back in 2007, then-congressman and current White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel claimed that the bill would create a useful “test vote” to “take into the election,” declaring that those who appear on the list “aren’t part of the American family.”
(While the proposal may seem sensible at first glance, the no-fly list included more than 700,000 names at one point, and a significant number of individuals are on it only because they share a name with an actual bad guy. The most famous “how did his name end up on the list?” story involved Sen. Edward Kennedy, but the list causes headaches daily. Children have been held off planes, as have Marines returning from Iraq. The bill would inevitably restrict the Second Amendment rights of Americans who have done nothing wrong.)
But most politically vulnerable Democrats remain terrified of publicly antagonizing owners of firearms, and the gun-control movement is increasingly reduced to PETA-style antics (witness its latest campaigns — against Starbucks for its concealed-carry policy, and against Lady Gaga and Beyonce for using prop guns in their live performances) and serving as an expensive hobby for New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg.
The NRA is one of the most effective, if not the most effective, activist organizations in the country. One of the ways the NRA has achieved this is by building relationships with elected officials of all political stripes who demonstrate a commitment to protecting Second Amendment rights. The NRA endorsed Howard Dean as governor of Vermont eight times.
In most races, the interests and preferences of the conservative grassroots and the NRA align pretty well, but this year brings at least two potentially glaring exceptions.
Many conservatives disdain Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada, but he’s been a reliable ally of the NRA, and the organization has appreciated having a powerful friend in the Senate. In July, the NRA wrote a letter to its members in Nevada praising Reid, declaring that his “opposition to gun bans has been consistent during his tenure in office.” The then-chairwoman of the Nevada Republican party, Sue Lowden, took exception and distributed a letter to her members: “Many of you have recently received a letter from the National Rifle Association praising Harry Reid for his support of gun legislation. . . . This letter was sent despite the fact Harry Reid has consistently received an ‘F’ rating from the Gun Owners of America, including the Gun Owners of Nevada. . . . Please call the NRA office at 1-800-672-3888 and tell them that Nevadans do not support Harry Reid and his anti-gun positions!” (Gun Owners of America is a rival gun-rights organization that contends that the NRA is too compromising and conciliatory in its approach. The GOA appears to define “gun-related legislation” much more broadly than the NRA does; this year, for example, they have scored the health-care bill and the confirmation votes for Attorney General Eric Holder, State Department legal adviser Harold Koh, and Cass Sunstein, administrator of the White House Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs.)
Lowden didn’t like the NRA letter; the NRA didn’t like Lowden’s letter. The Republican currently favored to oppose Reid this year is . . . Sue Lowden.
Reid has given the NRA one reason to downgrade him for this cycle, with perhaps a second to follow: He voted to confirm Sonia Sotomayor to the Supreme Court, and because the NRA graded the Sotomayor vote, there seems a good possibility it will grade the vote on Elena Kagan if it concludes that her interpretation of the Second Amendment is hostile and/or malleable. (The evidence, so far, is mixed, with a particular focus on her role in gun-control efforts in Clinton’s second term.) The NRA did endorse Lowden in her state legislative campaigns, so it is conceivable that the organization could endorse the Republican challenger or make no endorsement in this race. (If Reid is defeated, the senators most likely to lead the Democrats in the chamber are Chuck Schumer of New York and Dick Durbin of Illinois, two longtime proponents of gun control.)
After Harry Reid, the senatorial candidate that the average conservative activist would most like to see defeated is probably Florida Republican-turned-independent Charlie Crist, another longtime friend and ally of the NRA. Republican Senate candidate Marco Rubio had an “A” rating for much of his state legislative career, but the gun-rights group was underwhelmed by Rubio’s efforts on behalf of a workplace-parking-lot law (which gives employees the right to keep guns in their cars when they park in workplace lots). While Crist has made plenty of compromises and reversals in his time as governor, he has not yet given the NRA much reason to abandon him.
Most coverage of this year’s NRA convention has focused on the event’s role as a cattle call for aspiring Republican presidential nominees, with speakers including Sarah Palin, Mississippi governor Haley Barbour, South Dakota senator John Thune, South Carolina senator Jim DeMint, and Indiana representative Mike Pence. But many of the NRA’s favorite Democrats are Blue Dogs who find themselves facing angry conservative constituents heading into this November’s elections. The organization has some big, tough decisions to make this year.
— Jim Geraghty writes the Campaign Spot on NRO.
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