This article tilts left.
WASHINGTON -- When Democrats acted last month to give the District of Columbia long-denied voting rights in Congress, the powerful gun lobby saw a target too good not to take a shot at.
Paints a picture of coercion.
Left mostly unsaid, but well understood by all 535 members of the House and Senate, was that failure to do so would unleash a barrage of political pain on resisters.
Depicts liberals as courageous underdogs.
The bill hasn't resurfaced because Democrats cannot figure out how to keep it from splitting their ranks. Moderates and conservatives don't want to buck the NRA. Liberals are reluctant to be blackmailed into loosening gun laws.
Journalistic code for "rednecks."
The 138-year-old group derives its influence from a large and motivated base of members, particularly in rural areas and the South.
More implications of coercion.
Their lobbyists tell lawmakers that they will be "scoring" specific bills -- the equivalent of saying, "We're watching you, and if you vote the wrong way, there will be consequences."
Shocking... until you consider the HUNDREDS of millions spent on the "O" campaign in the last year.
The group's political action committee spent $15.6 million on campaign donations during the past two years, according to disclosures filed with the Federal Election Commission.
This is how you make political contributions sound selfish. The "many other organizations" aren't exactly spreading their cash out of generosity.
The NRA generally avoids contributing to lawmakers who don't vote with it. Many other organizations cultivate relationships with Congress by spreading their campaign cash around even to leaders and committee heads who don't always back their causes.
Interesting. Kinda flies in the face of this:
In the case of the voting rights bill, for example, the NRA quietly put out the word that it would score a procedural measure to set ground rules for the debate -- and determine whether the anti-gun control proposal could or could not be offered. That meant a vote to advance the bill without reversing the district's gun laws could cost a lawmaker the NRA's political support. It was enough to halt the measure in its tracks.
Finally SOMEone gets it.
Helmke said NRA's recent efforts to demonstrate its clout are partly "a sign of desperation. They realize this is probably their last gasp in terms of trying to be the force that they used to be."
"Democrats want to stay in the majority, and one of the ways to keep us in the majority is not to tilt toward gun control," Boren said.