Conservatives Go to War Against National Rifle Association

Friends don't let friends cut deals with Democrats

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Conservatives are balking at a deal cut between the National Rifle Association and Congressional Democrats, who crafted an exception for the NRA in planned campaign-finance reform legislation. The deal was meant to recruit the NRA into gathering Republicans into supporting the legislation. But conservative pundits are fuming that the NRA, one of the most powerful interest groups on the right, would get into bed with Democrats. Here's what they're saying.

  • NRA Board Member: This Was a Terrible Idea  Cleta Mitchell writes in the Washington Post, "For its part, the NRA -- on whose board of directors I serve -- rather than holding steadfastly to its historic principles of defending the Constitution and continuing its noble fight against government regulation of political speech instead opted for a political deal borne of self-interest in exchange for 'neutrality' from the legislation's requirements. In doing so, the NRA has, sadly, affirmed the notion ... that First Amendment protections are subject to negotiation. The Second Amendment surely cannot be far behind."
  • 'Unprincipled' NRA is 'Arrogant and Elitist'  The Wall Street Journal scoffs, "Look who's arrogant and elitist now. ... So much for defending the little guy against the fat cats." This deal "reveals an NRA that is unprincipled and will be weaker for it in the long run."
  • NRA Sells Out Own Members  National Review's Hans A. von Spakovsky sighs, "the NRA has apparently sold out." Von Spakovsky writes, "the NRA may end up providing the lobbying grease that allows this noxious and partisan piece of legislation to slide through the House, something that I seriously doubt most of the individual members of the NRA (who are strong believers in the First Amendment as well as the Second) would agree with."
  • NRA Betrays America  The American Thinker's Mark Fitzgibbons sheds crocodile tears. "Disappointment does not come from opponents; it comes from friends," he writes. "The NRA's friends told it that it was on the wrong side of this issue and on the wrong side of this American moment. The NRA, however, spurned its friends, its members, and ultimately, freedom."
  • NRA Puts Itself First, Free Speech Second  Erick Erickson fumes that the NRA was willing to support the campaign finance bill at all. He asks, "how then does it help the second amendment to have every other political organization bound by this new anti-free speech legislation except the NRA? The answer is that it does not help the second amendment. It helps the NRA. And the NRA is perfectly happy to use Democrats to acquire for itself monopoly status. The NRA wants to make itself the indispensable man on the second amendment."
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.