“Michael R. Bloomberg, making his first major political investment since leaving office, plans to spend $50 million this year building a nationwide grass-roots network to motivate voters who feel strongly about curbing gun violence,” nytimes.com reports, unfamiliar with the expression “I don’t think that word means what you think it means.” Apparently Everytown will be “an organization he hopes can eventually outmuscle the National Rifle Association.” How’s that you ask? “The plans call for a restructuring of the gun control groups he funds, Mayors Against Illegal Guns and Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America. They will be brought under one new umbrella group called Everytown for Gun Safety.” I reckon Mayor Mike’s re-branding exercise spells the rapid diminution of the most effective and dangerous gun control organization in America. By that I mean . . .
Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America (MDA). Who else could ring-up the media and instantly huff what Margaret Thatcher called “the oxygen of publicity”? Not Mayors Against Illegal Guns (thanks in part to its members criminal activities). And not, I’m thinking, Guns for Everyone – I mean Everytown for Gun Safety.
For one thing, who’s gonna be the spokesperson? Mayor Bloomberg? Not to put too fine a point on it, Mayor Bloomberg’s a nasty piece of work. Americans don’t like big city bullies, which is as good a description of Michael Bloomberg as I can muster. But don’t take my word for it . . .
Mr. Bloomberg, the former mayor of New York, said gun control advocates need to learn from the N.R.A. and punish those politicians who fail to support their agenda — even Democrats whose positions otherwise align with his own.
“They say, ‘We don’t care. We’re going to go after you,’ ” he said of the N.R.A. “ ‘If you don’t vote with us we’re going to go after your kids and your grandkids and your great-grandkids. And we’re never going to stop.’ ”
He added: “We’ve got to make them afraid of us.” . . .
Methinks Mr. Bloomberg’s watched too many Godfather movies. Now that Shannon Watts has been subsumed, marginalized and bought off, here’s a list of Mayor Mike’s new capos:
Underscoring his desire to work with both parties, Mr. Bloomberg is bringing on a new advisory board with prominent Republican and Democratic figures. Tom Ridge, the former Pennsylvania governor and Homeland Security secretary under President George W. Bush; Eli Broad, the philanthropist; Warren Buffett, the investor; and Michael G. Mullen, the former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff under both Mr. Bush and President Obama, will all be board members.
What gives this story life: Bloomberg’s money. Specifically, he’s switching his anti-gun financial focus from campaign-related ads to “often-unseen field operations that have been effective for groups like the N.R.A. in driving single-issue, like-minded voters to the polls.” And you thought a boat was a hole in the water into which you dump money. No way is that enough cash to affect change in the political landscape regarding firearms freedom. The Times is less incredulous.
The $50 million could be significant: In recent years, the N.R.A. has spent only $20 million annually on political activities. The political groups affiliated with the billionaire Koch brothers, who are seeking to help Republicans take over the Senate, have spent about $30 million in the last six months
The group will zero in on 15 target states, from places like Colorado and Washington State, where gun control initiatives have advanced recently, to territory that is likely to be more hostile like Texas, Montana and Indiana. They have set a goal of signing up one million new supporters this year on top of the 1.5 million they already have.
Wait, what? Bloomberg’s gun control groups have 1.5 million supporters? I don’t think so – unless you define “supporters” as Facebook Likes and names on a mailing list. Combined. Multiplied by 10. Seriously, why would the Times repeat that obvious lie? For the same reason they end their announcement article with this gem:
Mr. Bloomberg was introspective as he spoke, and seemed both restless and wistful. When he sat down for the interview, it was a few days before his 50th college reunion. His mortality has started dawning on him, at 72. And he admitted he was a bit taken aback by how many of his former classmates had been appearing in the “in memoriam” pages of his school newsletter.
But if he senses that he may not have as much time left as he would like, he has little doubt about what would await him at a Judgment Day. Pointing to his work on gun safety, obesity and smoking cessation, he said with a grin: “I am telling you if there is a God, when I get to heaven I’m not stopping to be interviewed. I am heading straight in. I have earned my place in heaven. It’s not even close.”
That’s as close to a dictionary definition of hubris as you’ll find. No matter how much money you have, pride goeth before a fall. And for that may the Lord make us truly grateful.