6 reasons why President Obama will defeat the NRA
Posted in the 2012 Presidential Election Forum
#1 Jan 30, 2013
Money isn't necessarily Power - Remember Mitt Romney spent a lot of money trying to win the election. But the People had the final say so.
6 reasons why President Obama will defeat the NRA and win universal background checks
Following the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Conn. in December 2012, the gun-control debate is in full swing. President Obama and Vice President Joe Biden are pushing for more regulation, including restoring the assault-weapons ban, limiting high-capacity magazines, and implementing mandatory background checks for all gun sales. Gun-rights advocates oppose the initiatives, citing Second Amendment freedoms. The battle lines have been clearly drawn and Americans have seen this face-off before. But this time around, things are different.Something is going to happen this session in the US Congress that hasnt happened in more than a decade: The National Rifle Association (NRA) is going to lose on a top priority issue specifically universal background checks. Further measures on guns are unlikely to make it through Congress, given that the Republicans control the House, but public and political opinion is swaying in favor of background checks. An Obama victory on this issue before the 2014 mid-term elections wont be easy, and hell have to use a lot of political capital to get there.But here are six reasons why President Obama will defeat the NRA on universal background checks.
#2 Jan 30, 2013
1. NRA has alienated key Democrats
The NRA could almost change its name to the National Republican Association. On the NRAs board sit at least 14 Republican politicians or nationally known extreme conservatives, like anti-tax crusader Grover Norquist and guitarist Ted Nugent, whose misogynistic insults toward Hillary Rodhan Clinton have become infamous. The sole remaining Democrat, Rep. Dan Boren of Oklahoma, is no longer in Congress. In the past, the NRA board featured such powerful Democrats as Rep. John Dingell of Michigan. As I pointed out two years ago in this publication, the number of Democrats who enjoy NRA support has been dropping dramatically.
Smart lobbies that want to win long-term victories, such as the pro-Israel lobby, try very hard to avoid becoming one-party shops. The NRA, thanks to pushing from partisan Republicans on its board, took stands that forced Democrats like Mr. Dingell to choose between their party and the NRA. The NRA also refused to help a lifelong hunter and gun-rights supporter, Majority Leader Harry Reid, when he was in the fight of his life in the 2010 elections. Reid is not known around Washington for his forgive-and-forget ways.
OPINION: Sandy Hook massacre: The NRA's gun 'rights' area fabrication of modern times
2. NRA isnt as scary anymore
The narrative of 1994s Republican takeover of both houses of Congress was accompanied by the loud victory crowing of the NRA. Similarly, in 2000, when Al Gore lost his home state of Tennessee, few questioned the NRAs assertion that gun politics had a lot to do with it. But lately? If there are any scalps on the wall of the NRA lately, they are at the state level or lower. In the 2012 Indiana Republican primary, the NRA supported Richard Mourdock in his race against Sen. Richard Lugar, but analysts arent crediting the NRA for Mr. Lugars defeat. And Mr. Mourdock then went on to lose to Democrat Joe Donnelly in the November general election.
What about the tons of money the NRA deploys for lobbying? An independent group, Open Secrets, ranked them 176th in lobbying expenditures among Washington players in 2012. And another analysis by the Sunlight Foundation showed that only .83 percent of all the money the NRA spent on federal campaigns went to winning candidates.
OPINION: Sandy Hook: Mental health, not gun control, is the answer to mass shootings
3. NRA cant deliver swing voters like it once did
Imagine you are a Democratic member of Congress from a swing district. Can the NRA really promise to deliver you pro-gun votes if you desert your president on background checks this summer? American politics is so polarized right now that there just arent as many conflicted voters like the famous union members with guns. Today, gun opinion, like that of abortion, has become polarized. And even then, public opinion isn't matching up with NRA positions as closely as it used to.
OPINION: Why I'm giving up my guns
#3 Jan 30, 2013
4. NRA wont be the only big spender anymore
In the past, the NRA dramatically outspent gun control groups, sometimes by as much as 20-1. Lately, though, that has begun to change. New York's mayor, billionaire Michael Bloomberg, has put his money where his gun-control mouth is, and supported candidates who favor reasonable gun limits. His political action committee, Independence USA, spent more than $8 million to support gun-control candidates last election (closing in on the $17 million the NRA spent). Bloomberg-backed candidates won three of the six races where his superPAC was involved.
Perhaps more important, former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, who was horrifically injured in a mass shooting two years ago, has pledged to raise $20 million for the elections of 2014 to match what the NRA spent last November.
The money game on guns may be even for the first time in modern history.
OPINION: On gun control, Obama picks a fight
5. Democrats will remember Joe Baca
Mayor Bloomberg dropped $3.3 million dollars into a primary race between Democrats in California. Joe Baca, an incumbent US congressman, had supported gun rights for 20-plus years. His opponent was for gun control, and rode Mr. Bloombergs lavish spending to victory. The NRA sat out the race, attributed to the fact Mr. Baca had voted against the gun group on one partisan vote and supported Obamas nomination of Sonia Sotomayor for the Supreme Court. The message to moderate Democrats could not have been clearer: Vote against gun control, and you might lose your seat.
Thats a new message in gun politics. Weve seen how primary challenges in the GOP have radically increased partisan loyalty on that side of the aisle. If gun-control advocates like Bloomberg and Gabrielle Giffords really want to change gun politics, they will throw their weight around in Democratic primaries in 2014, and let wavering Democrats know their intentions now. Bloombergs move against Rep. Baca in California last election already sent a pretty strong message.
OPINION: How I came to accept guns to a point
6. Newtown is different
Some events are different. They puncture through the equilibrium of American politics and alter the political order. The Newtown massacre, unlike the bloodshed at Virginia Tech, Aurora, or Arizona, is still resonating with the public. We still read stories of what exactly the bullets sprayed from an assault rifle did to 20 young children.
And unlike those past mass-shooting tragedies, the full force of the American presidency will be harnessed to keep the memory of the Newtown children alive. With the help of the Obama White House, the families of the fallen will be with us for months, and the NRA will have a tough time opposing their impassioned grief.
#4 Feb 1, 2013
Before it's over ...most of the NRA supporters will have killed them selves off. I say, give them all the guns they want.
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