Wednesday, November 21, 2012

NRA: Sour Grapes for Sore Losers

It's been two weeks, now, since President Barack Obama's overwhelming defeat of Mitt Romney and launch into his second term, with an astounding 332 electoral votes to Romney's 206, and a comfortable majority of popular vote.  This, in spite of four years of a concerted and purposeful effort by the GOP to block any and all legislative efforts by Obama, anti-Obama fearmongering by conservative groups like the NRA, and even a wide array of crazy Obama conspiracy theories.

The far-right conservatives are still in shock and denial, with disbelief that their polls could have been so wrong.  But what could have been the reason for the loss?  "Gifts" to women and minoritiesHurricane Sandy?  Today, a couple of GOP leaders insisted that the reason the Republicans lost so many races wasn't because of their out-of-touch party platform, but rather that they simply didn't have the right candidates or communicate their stances well enough.

Mmmm hmmm.  You guys just go on thinking that way.  Do phrases like "legitimate rape" and "47 percent" come to mind as pretty good examples of "mis-communicated" stances?

The NRA, too, once again completely misread the people of this nation.  They spent more than $17 million and made scores of misleading and doom-and-gloom ads to try to defeat Obama and other candidates who might possibly want some form of reasonable legislation to keep guns out of the hands of those who would misuse them.  See the image above for some examples (from the Living for 32 Facebook Page).  In all, the NRA only got back less than 1% of their value because of the failure of the candidates they backed, and the NRA-ILA only got back around 10%.  These are pretty good indicators that the NRA is out of touch with the people, and certainly counter to the myth of NRA political power.

Pro-gun extremists are positively fuming over this obvious rebuke of their fringe perceptions.  Consider one Arizona gun dealer, for instance, who is refusing business to anyone who voted for Obama, and posted a sign on his door saying as much.  "If you voted for Barack Obama," his sign says, "your business is NOT WELCOME at Southwest Shooting Authority.  You have proven you are not responsible enough to own a firearm."  Fine by me.  If he wants to lose half his business, all the better.  Of course, there are plenty of gun guys who demonstrate they are not responsible enough to own a firearm, and not because of the way they voted.  And let's not forget pro-gun extremist extraordinaire, NRA board memer Ted Nugent, who lashed out at Obama voters by calling them "Pimps, whores, and welfare brats."  This, from the guy who has made threats against the President, warranting a visit by the Secret Service.

The NRA's sour grapes
Naturally, the NRA is eating sour grapes over this election, too.  I wonder how they justify to their members such a wanton waste of donations.  Chris Cox, the Executive Director of the NRA-ILA, blames it on all the voters who supposedly polled one way but voted differently:
I know a lot of folks are still down about last week’s presidential election. It’s puzzling how so many Americans can tell pollsters that the country is on the wrong track, then vote to keep the same guy driving the train. .... 
As long as dedicated patriots continue to band together and fight as though freedom itself is on the line — because it is — we will defend the Second Amendment in Obama’s second term and save it for generations to come. 
For gun owners, the next four years won’t just be the fight of our lives, it will be a fight for the future of our nation. 

Of course, freedom isn't being threatened, but fearmongering seems to be the only way the NRA thinks it can win.  In that same article, Cox once again brings up the ridiculous conspiracy theory that President Obama is working with the U.N. to ban all guns.  Whatever.  Sane people don't buy into it.

The NRA has said that "This year's election could prove the most disastrous in the history of this country" and mustered every last bit of its vile energy in fighting it, but failed miserably.

Like the GOP, the NRA fails to look inward and blame its own out-of-touch platform for its failure.  Instead, they remain in denial and blame "dim journalists" for pointing it out.

Again, I say let the NRA keep opening its extremist mouth this way and throwing away its money on failed candidates.  Since their goal is to do everything possible to keep guns flowing to those who shouldn't get them, by opposing any and all reasonable regulation of guns, then I savor their continued failures.

Below are some excellent examples of the so-called "dim journalists" who point out the NRA's miniscule return on their investment:

From Timothy Johnson writing for Media Matters: NRA Lashes Out At "Dim Journalists" For Shattering Electoral Powerhouse Myth:
The non-partisan Sunlight Foundation concluded that less than one-percent of the nearly $12 million spent by NRA Political Victory Fund went to races where the NRA-backed candidate won.   
These results do not comport with the widely-accepted media narrative that the NRA is an electoral powerhouse. 
Despite research by American Prospect contributing editor (and former Media Matters staffer) Paul Waldman proving that the impact of both NRA campaign contributions and endorsements is overblown, the fable of NRA influence has persevered. Slate's Brian Palmer encapsulated this narrative in July when he wrote that the NRA "can reliably deliver votes" and "is considered by many the most powerful lobbying group in the country."
From the Brady Campaign's Daniel Gross writing for Huffington PostThe NRA Behind the Curtain:
The NRA went "all in" on the 2012 elections. The NRA and its PAC spent more than $19 million against President Obama and candidates who support sensible gun laws. The NRA told its members that the stakes could not be higher; "Americans will vote either to defend or surrender freedom in the most consequential national decision in U.S. history." 
The NRA's bark was certainly loud, but its bite was toothless. .... 
As it always does, after the returns came in last Tuesday the NRA spin machine claimed that it did far better in the elections than the evidence showed. Like the Wizard who yelled, "Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain" when Toto revealed him, the gun lobby will keep propagating the myth of their electoral might long after it has been exposed as untrue. But one lesson of 2012 is that facts matter, and that the American people across the political spectrum are serious about addressing real solutions to our national problems.

From Mike Lillis writing for The Hill: NRA Shoots Blanks This Election:
The figures challenge the popular political wisdom that the NRA is among Washington's most influential lobbying forces and that candidates who buck their agenda do so at their own peril. 
From Rachel Weiner writing for the Washington PostNational Rifle Association Shut Out on Election Day:
The Sunlight Foundation ran the numbers and found that after spending nearly $11 million in the general election, the National Rifle Association got a less than one percent return on its investment this cycle. That is, less than one percent of the money went toward the desired result. 
From Paul Waldman writing for The American Prospect:  Another Defeat for the NRA:
To all this, the NRA would probably respond, "Well, this was just a bad election for Republicans. That's not our fault." But that's precisely the point. When Republicans do well, the NRA is happy to take credit, but when Republicans do poorly, they say they had nothing to do with it. They're right about that, but the same applies to Republican victories: they had nothing to do with it.

Other example articles can be found HERE, HERE, and HERE.

UPDATE (12/4/12):  HERE is a table which shows a breakdown for each of the candidates the NRA opposed or supported, how much they spent for each, and just how much of a failure their investments were.