(Article changed on February 19, 2013 at 14:53)
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LaPierre Should Stop Confusing Lying with Speaking
Here's the easy answer to
three questions no one expected a year ago: "NRA CEO Wayne LaPierre."
1) Whose sleazy, million-dollar-a-year gun lobbyist perfectly reflects in tone and message our most predatory consumer industry (whose sales surge after school massacres)?
If raging NRA assaults are the gun makers' notion of good PR -- warding off political intrusion -- they're as loony as the terrified arms collectors they profitably equip. Hiring the NRA as industry lobbyist recalls W. pushing Colin Powell out to sell WMDs, and the backfire forces the impossible only last November: actual gun reform. The fiery recoil to LaPierre's shrillness, from children's safety to the looming (ethnic) apocalypse, fills this huge election void by focusing endless media crosshairs on violent gun surges.
2) What earsplitting shill has achieved a second, incredible threshold: to position garden-variety, rightwing obstructionists (from Boehner-McConnell to Romney-Ryan, plus every GOP Primary clown) on the normal side of derangement?
Few bulldoze the airwaves like LaPierre, slavish to my ex-favorite political hack's war cry: "Don't Retreat . . .Reload." Of course, the literate Sarah Palin spoke in metaphor, not so with the NRA. Beware talk radio goons, Wayne's nightmare vision trumps even your blithering! Sorry, West, Bachmann, and Steve King: your delusions are toast, crumbled by this walking, talking, self-caricature of the loudmouth, rabid gun nut.
3) Finally, whose farrago of fear-mongering undermines the "vast, rightwing conspiracy" meme, putting the lie to projections some reactionary cabal masterfully "runs the show," let alone can save the NRA-Good Old Tea Party from growing irrelevance?
Check out three months of rightwing triumphs. Building on its self-inflicted, credibility-busting election debacle, the goon squad top dogs misfire with crude, cliff-dwelling blackmail. And now, as Karl Rove splices his reactionary millions across party primaries, alienating every Tea Partier worth the tea, LaPierre blasts ahead with his house of horrors, pandering to the same extremism that unnerves Rove's billionaires. And throughout, GOP leaders let the bedlam play on, without restraining NRA rants. Oh my, if this is the party's notion of "rebranding," then "bring it on" as the exiled W. often croaked. What did spineless Democrats ever do to deserve such free blessings?
What, No Assault Ban Against the NRA?
The winter of LaPierre's discontent darkens, for the more operatic his fulminations, the weaker his apparent leverage to protect the gun status quo. The unintended NRA impact on "the gun debate" (undermining this still formidable wedge) mimics what nutcases Akin and Mourdock did to their wedge favorite: they shot the "abortion debate" in the head. Who dreamed the two most divisive, gaseous barrages on America would self-destruct, or the NRA would torpedo old-time GOP religion?
All in all, party-wide fiascos remind us that GOP self-immolation as the "stupid party" continues apace, even accelerates. "Extremism in the defense of stupidity is no virtue," I say, shredding the lobbyist's own outlandish lying. Testing limits of ridicule, Wayne's world proves that "Derangement in the defense of the gun culture is no virtue," as NRA rebel yells echo George Wallace on segregation: "Gunfire now, gunfire tomorrow, gunfire forever." Let us, nonetheless, correct LaPierre's worst deviations from reality.
Four Retorts to NRA Grotesqueries
1) In Wayne's world, weapon-laden "good guys" are the only defense against "bad guys with guns." This battle cry died an instant death, didn't it? First, wouldn't that mean arming every teacher in every classroom -- all the time disregarding that Columbine had armed guards ? Wouldn't that lock out our gentlest teachers, suitable for our youngest munchkins? Second, if unstable serial killers, quick to dramatize outrage by mowing down the most defenseless, upgrade their automatic weapons (to offset fully-armed teachers), imagine the terrifying subsequent bloodshed. Finally, consider the astronomical costs for security, in multiple billions: oh, that's outsourced to private mercenaries, right.
2) WL: "we need to look at the full range of mental health issues, from early detection treatment, to civil commitment laws, to privacy laws that needlessly prevent mental health records from being included from the national list." Sure, this will delight the hate-big-government gang. Let us note: 1) the mentally aren't any more prone to violence than "sane" gun owners; and 2) the right, from W. through defiance of the Affordable Care Act, vetoes mental illness funding, especially proactive "intrusions" on our freedom.