Yesterday, we deconstructed Michael Bloomberg’s gun control questionnaire; the former New York City mayor’s political purity test for unlocking hizzoner’s $50m campaign war chest. Today, I noticed that newyorkmag.com noticed something about the survey that I hadn’t noticed. “Everytown for Gun Safety says it’s ready to begin surveying federal candidates about their positions on gun issues as the first step in its plan to sway the midterm elections — however, candidates won’t receive a letter grade after completing the questionnaire.” Ha! I told you Bloomberg was playing the NRA’s game, only worse. Here’s the thing . . .
The NRA’s letter grading system makes their support bi-partisan. No really. Lest we forget, Democratic Senate Leader Harry Reid got a B rating for the nation’s oldest gun rights group, who failed to endorse his Republican rival during his last election cycle. And West Virginia’s Senator Joe Manchin sported an A rating before embarking on his quixotic background check charge.
Yes, the NRA is closerthanthis with the Republican party. But when push comes to shove at the ballot box, the NRA tells members – and non-members – who deserves their vote. That’s regardless of party affiliation.
The system also makes the NRA’s support transparent. While NRA lobbyists are masters of the art of the back room deal, it’s no secret who’s on their team and who isn’t. At the risk of playing to the antis’ propaganda (which paints gun owners as cretins) most Americans are low-information voters. You know that old expression “you can’t tell the players without a scorecard”? The NRA scorecard makes being a single-issue pro-gun voter easy.
By ditching the NRA’s letter grading system, Everytown for Gun Safety/Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America are wimping out.
No surprise there. Unlike gun rights, gun control is not a bipartisan position. Sure, some New York Republicans threw gun owners under the bus to enact the so-called SAFE Act. But The Democrat Party is the only party that supports civilian disarmament (it’s in their party platform). If Bloomberg rated Dems on their position on gun control he’d run the risk of losing the only support he could possibly garner for his extreme positions.
A scorecard would also force Bloomberg – and the pols he funds – out of the shadows. His anti-gun group(s) would have to explain why one Democrat wasn’t as reliable on gun control as another. At that point, the anti-gunners would run the risk of having to defend the indefensible: gun control policies that make no sense and offer no practical benefits. In short, they’d have to explain themselves and, gulp, debate the issues.
Besides, Bloomberg fancies himself a fixer. The ego-maniacal, self-appointed gun control “czar” wants to be able to lavish his money – his money, not members’ money – on whomever he pleases, without answering to anybody, ever. Good for him! Once again, this is not a winning strategy. As we saw in Colorado – where Bloomberg money poisoned a political campaign -democracy is still more or less democratic. Without grassroots support, Everytown will eventually become a ghost town.
While you never, ever want to underestimate your enemy, I rate Bloomberg’s no-scorecard strategy an F.