TeeJaw Blog

Is The NRA Trying To Help Maintain An Anti-Gun Democrat Majority?

Posted in election2010, Government and Politics, Gun Rights by TeeJaw on Tuesday, October 5, 2010, 10: 28 AM

Sadly, the answer is yes.

When the NRA endorsed uber-liberal Betsy Markey in Colorado’s 4th District over her pro-gun challenger Cory Gardner, gun owners in Colorado wondered if someone at the NRA had lost their mind. After all, Cory Gardner has a record in the Colorado legislature of supporting gun rights and initiating pro-gun legislation. He is also a solid conservative with Tea Party backing. Liberals such as Markey would like to have voters think she has bona fides on gun issues but she is a fraud who will be given permission by Nancy Pelosi from time to time to vote for some pro-gun measure knowing that the liberal Democrat majority will defeat it. For Markey and the rest of the phony “blue dog” Democrats that the NRA is backing these are not sincere votes for gun rights. They are a clever ruse to avoid losing favor with a part of their base of Democrat voters who really do care about gun rights. But ultimately the Democrat majority the NRA is attempting to preserve is anti-gun and will never allow any truly pro-gun bill to come up for a vote in Congress.

If the endorsement of Betsy Markey were the only such one, it would seem to be an anomaly for the NRA, an indication that something might have gone awry that could be quickly corrected. Apparently, the Markey endorsement is merely a small piece of a larger sickness. There are 52 other such endorsements by the NRA in competitive congressional districts that are crucial to changing control of the U.S. House on November 2nd. The NRA has endorsed the Democrat incumbent in all of them, many against solid pro-gun conservative challengers.

The problem is that a so-called “blue dog” Democrat is still a Democrat and at this time in history that means they are from a district that would not send them to Congress if their true colors were known. They have to lie to their voters about themselves and their opponents in order to win an election. It is also true, at least at this time, that their voters don’t seem to be buying it. The voters are seeing through the pandering and understand that these blue dogs have supported Pelosi every time their vote was important to her, and have only voted against the Democrat leadership when they have had the permission of the dragon lady. Betsy Markey voted against Obamacare the first time in the House, but when Pelosi needed her vote the second time around she was right there, obediently in line with her leader.

When the NRA comes in and endorses a candidate like Markey it lends credibility to her attempts to spin the voters into believing she might support serious gun measures. The truth is she will support the Democrat majority which will prevent such measures from ever coming to a vote at all.

If all 53 Democrats that have now received the endorsement of the NRA were to win re-election, the Democrats will maintain their control of the House, and Pelosi will remain speaker. Is that what the NRA wants? Apparently, it is.

A list of all 53 is posted at Red Meat Conservative:

The damning question for the hacks at the NRA is this. If your endorsements really achieve their desired results and save those red district Democrats from defeat, then how can the GOP take back the House? Do you really think that a Pelosi led congress would be more pro second amendment than the Republican led congress?

So why is the NRA doing this? The inescapable conclusion is that the NRA is more concerned about its clout on Capitol Hill and with who it thinks are the real power brokers, than with preserving gun rights. The NRA wants to protect its precious bi-partisan image by making nice with Democrats even though it is conservative Republicans and a GOP-controlled Congress that are the only salvation for the rights of gun owners in America.

UPDATE WEDNESDAY 10/6: For Example, the NRA is endorsing Democrat incumbent Michael Arcuri in New York’s 24th District. This is a district that was Republican for 60 years until Arcuri captured it in 2006. Self-made businessman Richard Hanna came within 2 points of taking it back in 2008 and looks good for reclaiming it in November. Here is what Professor Jacobson says about incumbent Arcuri:

Arcuri is a standard issue Democrat who has toed the party line on most issues. Arcuri voted in favor of the Stimulus Plan. Arcuri voted against cap-and-trade but only because New York State did not received enough credits, not because of opposition to the concept.

Arcuri, a so-called Blue Dog, has been trying to reposition himself as a moderate. He voted 97% of the time with Democrats in the 110th Congress, but that percentage dropped to 90% in the 111th Congress.

But Arcuri is no moderate, just a savvy political player who has recognized the rising tide.

Arcuri voted in favor of the original and more radical House health care bill, then changed his tune when the House was forced to vote on the Senate version. Arcuri held out committing to a “no” vote until almost the very end, when Pelosi gave permission to a number of Democrats (but not enough to defeat the bill) to vote “no” to cover their rear ends.

Hanna says he is opposed more gun control laws but I doubt he is really very strong on gun rights. But I doubt Arcuri even more. Dozens of Democrats who won election with NRA support in 1994 took the first opportunity to vote for gun control. Hanna has a good chance of winning this seat back for the GOP this year and it would seem smarter to me for the NRA to endorse the one who will likely be in Washington next year, especially since Hanna is probably about as good on gun rights and any other politician in New York and Arcuri’s word on it not worth anything.

Red Meat Conservative makes an important point which probably explains it all:

The NRA knows that electing a Republican majority would be the best way to preserve the second amendment and protect gun rights. But the end game for the NRA is not the protection of gun rights; it is the preservation of the NRA. They have wagered that by playing ball with the Democrats, the NRA will project a more bi-partisan image and thus obtain some clout with the real power brokers. They will be able to obtain such favors as exceptions from the unconstitutional Disclose Act.

This is exactly what is motivating the NRA to endorse incumbent Democrats who sport a marginally pro gun record. They get to brag about a bi-partisan influence, while incentivizing Democrats to cut them deals. What they don’t realize is that these Democrats are part of a radical left majority that despises gun rights. The Democrat leadership will give these blue dogs a hall pass to vote against them on gun issues, but there is a major catch. Leadership will fail to bring up any meaningful gun legislation during their tenure as majority party in congress. Think about it, how many substantive roll call votes have been taken on gun issues during the 111th congress? Three? Four? So now, these blue dogs get to promote their “three gun votes to know where” and the NRA will support them over a Republican who has fought for gun rights in a substantive and proactive way during their entire career.

Gun owners might want to reconsider giving their financial support to the NRA-ILA, the arm of the NRA that is responsible for this fiasco, and instead support such groups as the Second Amendment Foundation which is a solid and reliable supporter of their freedom.

I wonder if the NRA has thought about what will happen to its clout on Capitol Hill if most of these Democrats it has endorsed lose. I bet a lot of those truly pro-gun new legislators will remember that the NRA blew them off when they most needed its support.

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