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April 24, 2014

Has the NRA Become Too Partisan?

First Read: "Tomorrow, the National Rifle Association's annual gathering takes place in Indianapolis, and the confirmed speakers include Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, Sens. Marco Rubio and Dan Coats, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, Indiana Gov. Mike Pence, and 2012 presidential candidate Rick Santorum. What do these folks all have in common? They're all Republicans. That fact might not be surprising given the recent politics of gun control. But it is striking when you consider the NRA's past bipartisan support (there was a time, after all, when the NRA handed out A-ratings to Democrats)."

"But there is a downside to being viewed as a partisan (and not bipartisan) organization: Political power comes and goes, and when an organization has fewer and fewer friends in one political party, there's usually payback when that party has sole control over the government. Just ask organized labor. For years, labor made an effort to endorse Republicans, seek Republican support for their own initiatives and for a time it paid off. Labor had real substantial long term power. Now? After going more all in with Democrats than ever before, they are viewed as an influential with a smaller ad smaller constituency inside one party."


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