Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Have The Tea Party's Killers Hit the Gunnies, Too?

Last August, I wrote a piece on how the Tea Party was killed off.  In brief, they were killed off by professional fund raisers and political activists: the very thing the Tea Party got started to kill off.
Republicans inside the Beltway reacted to the burgeoning Tea Party with glee but uncertainty about how to channel the grass-roots energy usually reserved for the left. A small group of supposedly conservative lawyers and consultants saw something different: dollar signs. The PACs found anger at the Republican Party sells very well. The campaigns they ran would be headlined “Boot John Boehner," or “Drop a Truth Bomb on Kevin McCarthy.” And after Boehner was in fact booted and McCarthy bombed in his bid to succeed him, it was naturally time to “Fire Paul Ryan." The selling is always urgent: “Stop what you’re doing” “This can’t wait.” One active solicitor is the Tea Party Leadership Fund, which received $6.7 million from 2013 to mid-2015, overwhelmingly from small donors. A typical solicitation from the TPLF read: “Your immediate contribution could be the most important financial investment you will make to help return America to greatness.” But, according to an investigation by POLITICO, 87 percent of that “investment” went to overhead; only $910,000 of the $6.7 million raised was used to support political candidates.
Miguel at Gun Free Zone posted a piece today about the National Association for Gun Rights, NAGR, and I find the parallels striking. Miguel, in turn, links to an old article on the Blaze, that's sill relevant.
As it turns out, NAGR is just one of a pack of ankle-biter groups, all of which trace back to Mike Rothfeld. Among this web of Rothfeld groups are Campaign for Liberty, Foundation for Applied Conservative Leadership, and Council for Freedom and Enterprise.  Nice names. What they all share is the Rothfeld secret sauce — best described by the wizard himself:
“I am a professional junk mailer. I am a professional telemarketer. I’m a professional spammer — like, a hundred million pieces of emails a month. And I’m a professional negative campaigner. And I’m damn proud of all four.”
While most of us abhor negative campaigning, we can at least understand it as an effort to induce people to choose Option A over Option B. But that isn’t the game Rothfeld and Dudley Brown are playing.
I've mentioned before that I've been a member of NAGR before and became displeased with them for a couple of reasons.  The biggest is the never ending stream of emails like the previously mentioned "stop what you're doing!", urgent response required type.  The legend of the "boy who cried wolf" that we learn while we're growing up is a good one to keep in mind.  Perhaps a better idea to keep in mind is that when someone is urgently demanding your money now, now, now, experience says the chances are good you're being hustled.  They want you to donate the money now and not think about it.  As the author of that original Blaze piece put it
Riddell’s article recounted one instance in which an NAGR Mississippi e-mail blast solicited funds to help them fight against an ammunition registration bill. The only problem was that the bill had died in committee a month before the e-mail was sent.

NAGR has branded itself as the conservative alternative to the NRA, one not beholden to Washington insiders. But some Second Amendment advocates think the group’s main claim to fame is stoking the fears of the less-informed for-profit.
Similarly, I recall a NAGR mailing from "Dudley Brown" railing against a piece of legislation in the Florida Senate that wasn't there anymore.  Rothfeld may be "damn proud" of being a spammer and telemarketer, but apparently complete truthfulness isn't one of the things the organizations are "damn proud" of.
NAGR Affiliates. 

NAGR bills itself as the "No-Compromise Gun Rights Group" and attacks the NRA.  But compromise itself isn't a bad thing.  The bad thing is continually backing up in compromise and saying, "this is as far as we go" only to contradict yourself in a year or two.  Compromise on the attack is what the other side has been doing for a century and I don't think anyone would say it hasn't worked for them.  Every few years they push and push and get as far as they can.  Once they've moved the bar, (or the Overton Window if you prefer) they start from farther along "next time".  If the R2KBA side went in to this legislative session with the argument "nullify the 1934 NFA" and in September we found the best we could do was the compromise, "OK, we agree the prohibition on short barreled rifles and shotguns is silly so we'll remove that, and we'll make silencers a $5 tax, but we will not deregulate full auto weapons and we're keeping the AOW class", who wouldn't take that compromise?  Would you turn that down because it's not perfect, total victory? 

Look, it's your money; give it to whom you want.  I think it's a waste to give to these Rothfeld organizations like NAGR because I see the parallels to the destruction of the Tea Party movement.  If Rothfeld's groups suck up all the funding and spends it all on themselves, like all those groups that killed off the Tea Party, could they kill off the Pro-2A side? 


  1. I had much in common with the tea party and even the current "alt right" but I learned long ago (pre Bob Dole candidacy) to NEVER send money to the RNC or any political organization except GOA. Find a way to send money directly to the candidates you support. I even supported a couple of candidates out of was running against Paul Ryan. I sent a few bucks to Trump and only a few days ago I got a call to fund the RNC again. Nope, not a nickel. indyjonesouthere

    1. I agree. I gave some money to the RNC once - back in '04, I think. By the time the election came I was convinced they spent everything I gave them asking for more. Not at all good stewards of the money.

      If there's a candidate I care enough about, I'll donate to them. Never another penny to the national party.

  2. I've lost track of many times I've hit the "unsubscribe" button on the spam these jackals send me.

  3. Tea party gate is a bigger deal than Watergate ever was but for some strange reason the MSM never took an interest in it. The extent of it would imply that the coverup went much deeper than the Watergate coverup did as well. It was a civil rights violation as well. But for some mysterious reason evoked little interest. I think at this point we are covering up the coverup.

  4. A con man named L. Ron Hubbard famously told Robert Heinlein " The quickest way to make a million bucks is to start your own religion". The Second quickest is to start a PAC and send out "urgent action" flyers. As Both religion and politics make people stupid. Both need people to send large amounts of money to an unknown person based solely on blind faith and unproven hope, based on the flimsiest of promises. With no hope of return while alive.----Ray

  5. Funny now none of those political begging emails say 'Don't send anybody money. Instead, disobey gun laws like gun registration in Connecticut in 2013.'

  6. It will be interesting to see, Anonymous at 10:31 AM, just how good an AG Sessions will be. Prosecution for that does fall under the purview of the Department of "Justice"...

  7. Ray @10:48,

    you have it backwards. Hubbard was complaining to Heinlein about the taxes on his business of teaching people how to empower themselves. RAH advised him to label it a religion for tax purposes. It worked. So, you can blame S'tology on the excessive tax rates of the IRS.

    Hopefully, Trump will follow through on his intent to slash various rates.