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Good Article on Dana Loesch

From “St. Louis”: “The making of NRA’s Dana Loesch” I would encourage everyone to read it, and maybe read it again. NRA should be very concerned about polling numbers. While I believe there’s an argument to be made that polling increasingly doesn’t work, that’s another post. It concerns me that you can trace movement in public opinion back to the point where Bloomberg really got his act together and started dumping serious money into gun control.You can see the expected spike post-Sandy Hook, but then around 2015 it really starts headed in a direction we don’t want. That also happens to coincide with NRA adopting what I’ve called the Angry Dana Strategy. Anger is only going to get you so far. People eventually tire of anger. I know I’m tired of seeing shit like this.

Look, I get it was a joke that was taken out of context. But what the fuck does diversity or the lack thereof on Tommy the Tank have to do with the Second Amendment, shooting, or gun rights? I’m finding I’m having to ask this question way too often these days. Who thought it was a good idea to do this? What are you smoking? This isn’t just poor judgement on Dana Loesch’s part, it took a team effort to fail this hard. Mockery is a lot more powerful than anger, and I’d cheer NRA shifting away from anger to mockery, but it has to work. You need people who can pull it off. It’s hard to do well. It takes sharp writers and a host that can deliver it.

Unfortunately, I don’t believe any of this is going to change as long as membership holds stable or goes up. Eventually the Angry Dana Strategy won’t hold back the tide of public opinion if Bloomberg can keep it going in his direction, and we’re all going to pay the price for that when the dam eventually breaks. NRA needs to get back to basics and start making grassroots organizing the heart of its strategy. The tools to accomplish that are a lot more powerful today than they were in the 1980s.

We are in the middle of a grand political realignment, and the S.S. Second Amendment is going to get tossed around by the storm along with everything else. When we find a new political equilibrium, I don’t know where the Second Amendment and a host of other cultural issues will be, and neither does anyone else. If Ack-Mac thinks they know, they are kidding themselves. Is NRA being lashed together with sinking ships? I don’t know.

Ack-Mac won’t get NRA through this. What can get them through it is their core membership, sometimes members, and aspirant members. But you have to do something with them. Feeding them a firehose of media isn’t organizing them.

35 Responses to “Good Article on Dana Loesch”

  1. Ryan says:

    Couldn’t agree more. I saw that Thomas the Tank segment and cringed. Who cares if a children’s cartoon adds some diversity? How in the world is that something a second amendment org should care about? I wish the NRA would stop advocating for anything that is or seems Republican/white and focus on gun rights.

    Should add that the NRA has a reputation among minorities as being pro-white and pro-republican which is a massive turnoff to those minorities for gun-rights advocacy in general. This is a problem for those of us who care about gun rights and want to grow support.

  2. Joe says:

    I don’t think it’s necessarily ” Angry Dana” that is part of the problem, but rather how anger and emotions in general are utilized for political messaging. Part of that is being able to tar and feather your enemies by exposing the truth of whom they are.

    Michael Bloomberg and the Silicon Valley/Democrat Party Billionaire Donor Class are Slave-Labor and Sweat-Shop Labor Profiteers, and Bloomberg himself as an example has big time investments in outsourcing firms that profit off of shipping American Jobs overseas to Communist Countries like China, Laos, Vietnam, and Cambodia, emphasizing the Slave-Labor theme of the argument. These are the people whom wanna take away your gun rights!!

    Everytime I hear that phrase “gun lobby”, I retaliate back at leftwing hacks whom I debate with by reminding them of the Silicon Valley Billionaire Donor Class and the Democrat Party Billionaire Donor Class, pretty much to politically smack them around regarding their hypocrisy that of which they are either ignorant of or just malignantly cover up.

    The NRA should be exposing these gun-banners for whom they are with accurate viciousness, but just as the ball-less, spineless, feckless, cowardly Republican Party Bush/Romney Establishment, they are just being too soft.

    Also, why hasn’t the NRA started attacking Dianne Feinstein (and using her to tar and feather the Democrat Party with guilt by association) for playing host to spies from Communist China?!

    That’s who wants to take your gun rights away.

  3. GP1935 says:

    I feel the same way. I’ve become convinced that getting involved in all this culture war stuff and extraneous politics to gain political capital is like getting credit card cash advances to boost your checking account. The bank balance looks good but in reality you are even more broke.

  4. Patrick Henry, the 2nd says:

    I definitely don’t like how the NRA entered the culture war. I definitely think it hurts our message.

    Though I don’t trust that poll you linked. Its a once a year poll, and the most recent one was take two weeks after Parkland. The other monthly polls have all shown the level of support for gun control return to the normal levels.

    • Sebastian says:

      Yeah, I’ve seen better numbers. But Gallup has been tracking that for a long time, and there isn’t much polling over that long a time available.

      I think why polling no longer works is an interesting topic, and probably worth more discussion. But it’s another topic.

      We may end up getting through this fine despite severe lapses in judgement like KKKing up Tommy the Tank. But what will do that for us is stacking the Supreme Court and lower courts with judges who will take the Second Amendment seriously. I think NRA needs to get back to basics, for sure, but we also need another big court win desperately. Take the more extreme stuff off the table, I don’t think you’ll see as much enthusiasm for the bullshit stuff they are pushing just because they have a prayer of winning and using those wins to build momentum for more wins.

      • countertop says:

        Stacking judges isn’t a long term solution because Democrats will win the White House again sometime (maybe sometime soon) and stack the courts with their own nominees. Thomas is getting up there in age, and Alito isnt as young as the others on the court (he’s 68) and both he and Clarence Thomas could presumably be replaced by the next President. If Trump doesn’t win re-election (I’m doubtful Democrats could beat him, but the right candidate certainly could) we would potentially be in a world of hurt.

        The NRA needs to focus on winning over hearts and minds and making long term allies to our cause. We did very well for a long time, but it seems that they’ve struggled recently.

  5. Sigivald says:

    I agree that Loesch is a net drain, for the same sorts of reasons, and that it’s doubly stupid of the NRA to touch Things What Are Not Guns And Gun Rights.

    Equally, I think that with many people, nothing we do has any chance of working, because they’re not capable of rationally thinking about the issue.

    (Ref. comments on Facebook I saw ref. the Thomas thing, where the comments boiled down to “of course they put Thomas in a KKK robe; they think the KKK is good”.

    People who think like that about the NRA are not operating on real-world facts, so it’s very hard to reach them.

    When you’re someone’s Other, it tends to be a permanent condition.)

    • Sebastian says:

      Equally, I think that with many people, nothing we do has any chance of working, because they’re not capable of rationally thinking about the issue.

      Well, that in a nutshell is why I don’t have the enthusiasm for blogging I once did. Well, that and the fact that changes in how Google ranks blogs have dried up a lot of traffic.

    • Sebastian says:

      Google killing the traditional blog is another interesting topic, but since no one knows how their search algorithm works in any detail it’s all just speculation.

  6. mike w. says:

    The NRA really needs to focus on guns, rights, and messaging around those issues and get out all the other BS cultural / social justice issues. It’s a major turn off and a distraction from what matters.

  7. Sebastian says:

    I would also argue that well-educated Gen Xers probably aren’t and maybe shouldn’t be NRA’s target market, which I’m assuming is a decent percentage of my readership. We’re too small a generation to matter to anyone. But I don’t notice Dana Loesch being the talk of the town among boomer gun people. I heard more positive feedback when Cam Edwards was on The Sportman’s Channel (or maybe it was the Outdoor Channel, I can’t remember) than I’ve heard about Dana Videos or her various TV appearances.

    • Ian Argent says:

      “Young people are angry, Dana Loesch is Angry!”

      Uh, it doesn’t work that way.

  8. More Cam and less Dana (and Bongino, Stinchfield, etc). Ginny Simone was OK with her in-depth reports. I just tune out the rest of the new group.

    I think most gun rights groups suck at marketing outside of the old white guys going to gun show segment. I say this as an old white guy who goes to gun shows. I see this with my state gun rights group who doesn’t believe in anything more than mailers and their email list. They haven’t learned how to integrate Facebook, Twitter, other social media, releases to new media sorts, and email to get the message out.

    I did learn something about Dana in that article. She went to Fox High in Arnold, MO which is where my older daughter lives.

  9. Quote says:

    “Ackerman McQueen is the Rulon Jeffs of the Second Amendment. Each twisted a great movement for selfish motives.”

  10. National Observer says:

    Perhaps it’s just me, but I think this series of comments seems to demonstrate a lot more sympathy for “back to basics” and “back to single issue” than existed when almost everyone was making apologies for Donald Trump – the embrace of whom by gun rights activists may prove to be one of the most tactically short-sighted moves in political history.

    I used to criticize Gun Owners of America for seeming inclined to bend any SoCo issue into a gun rights issue, the better to get their SoCo candidates elected, whether their record on gun rights had been established or not. But at least GOA went to the trouble of attempting the bending, even if their logic was sometimes convoluted. What brought the NRA to bypassing the gun issue completely and going straight Culture Wars is a mystery to me, without engaging in heavy-duty conspiracy theories – like that the subversion was intentional.

    • Joe says:

      I hate to break it to you dude, but the NRA and Gun Rights movement in general had to/has to fight the culture wars, whether any of us like it or not.

      Do you see what is going on with Brett Kavanaugh?!…..If the Democrats take back the Senate this year, along side Trump not being able to fill that SCOTUS Vacancy this year and of course next year, than #MeToo will not only have assassinated Due Process and Jury Trial Rights into oblivion, but will have sunk the 2nd Amendment too. The #MeToo attack on Kavanaugh is also seeking to institute the destruction of the 2nd Amendment along side using Misandry to ruin the 5th and 6th Amendments to our Bill of Rights.

      The “Progressives”, aka, the KROA (Khmer Rouge of America), which has control of the Democrat Party from top to bottom now, will have stolen the SCOTUS from us just as soon as we held it when Neil Gorsuch was confirmed.

      Cut it out with the #NeverTrump BS! No other Republican was gonna defeat Queen Cankles in 2016, and if that pig had won, we’d have a 6-3 Democrat SCOTUS and we’d have Australian Style Gun Laws at the Federal Level alongside the 2nd Amendment (Heller, McDonald, and all!) being thrown down the toilet like skid-marked toilet-paper.

      • National Observer says:

        “I hate to break it to you dude, but the NRA and Gun Rights movement in general had to/has to fight the culture wars, whether any of us like it or not.”

        Most of us here have been practically weaned on that crap, and let me be the first (I doubt I am) to say it’s horseshit. Gun owners are being suckered to carry water for other people’s issues, while most of the time our issue sucks hind teat. But what the hell, it’s worked for decades now, so I know not to expect it to change anytime soon.

        I wish I had a dollar for every essay I’ve read with the theme of, “You can’t be pro-gun and not also be pro-life,” or “anti-gay”, or “anti-union”, or “pro-school-prayer” or “believe in intelligent design” or…the list is endless. And, it all fits a consistent pattern; a guy from suburban Pennsylvania can’t be be pro-gun – the alleged “single issue” – without embracing everything believed by guys from rural Alabama. It’s a circuit with a diode in the system; “support” can only flow in one direction, or so the SoCo theory goes.

        Your mention of the Kavanaugh hearings raises an interesting parallel. Something similar was done with Robert Bork. A big difference then was, that the NRA joined in, in “borking” Bork. The reason was, that Bork stated his belief that the Second Amendment was a collective, “militia” right, and not an individual right.

        But the important feature of that history is that other “conservative” organizations then attacked the NRA bitterly for “not being a team player.” Implicit in that position was, that the NRA was supposed to understand that gun rights weren’t a real issue; a team player would have understood that gun rights were only a decoy issue, to help “conservatives” get the things that were really important passed.

        What team does the NRA play for today? I have my doubts that they would still bork Bork.

        Regarding “Never Trump”: Time will tell, and for the sake of our guns I hope your fantasies prove true. But my personal prediction is that before the backlash to all his bullshit is over, you’ll wish all we’d gotten was HRC and a 6 – 3 Democrat SCOTUS.

        There were lots of ways to lose the 2016 election, and no ways to win, at least once the nominations were in. Gun owners chose the worst way to lose it. They didn’t have to vote for Hillary; they could have sat on their hands, demonstrated their power by who they didn’t vote for, and maintained their credibility. But they didn’t.

        • Will says:

          “Gun owners chose the worst way to lose it. They didn’t have to vote for Hillary; they could have sat on their hands, demonstrated their power by who they didn’t vote for, and maintained their credibility. But they didn’t.”

          Bwah hah hah!!!

          You really are pissed that Clinton lost, aren’t you? You actually wanted one of those “Conservative” worthless GOPe’s to get the nomination so they would lose with Dignity and Panache, instead of the Mohamed Ali Brawler that out-danced and out-punched all 16 of those worthless pansies that couldn’t see the writing on the wall regarding the disgust of the American People for the Status Quo, and the obvious slide toward disaster.

          It was quite clear that a non-vote was the same as voting FOR her. Which is what you actually wanted, of course.

  11. Brad says:

    A good article on Dana Loesch? Seriously? I only got as far as where the story quoted Shaun King(!) of all people attacking Dana before I finally gave up.

    It was clear from the opening paragraphs, where they actually make disparaging statements of what Dana as a child(!) was thinking and also insinuate Dana has had cosmetic surgery, that the story would be a hit piece on her character as well as her politics.

  12. Brad says:

    As far as trendlines of public opinion and the malign influence of Bloomberg, I think it’s very notable that the younger generation is more pro-gun than other generations, despite being much more left-wing on all other social policy issues than the other generations. To the pundits, this anomaly mystifies them…

    https://www.npr.org/2018/02/24/588069946/millennials-are-no-more-liberal-on-gun-control-than-elders-polls-show

    But I think the easy answer to the anomaly is the newest generation grew up while living with the internet, where anyone can fact check anyone else with the click of a few buttons. And as the lying Big News Media is the primary mover and shaker of the Gun Control Movement, such a internet savvy generation would obviously be less vulnerable to the big-lies of the GCM.

  13. Brad says:

    Looking at that Gallup Poll historical trend on Guns is very interesting. Today looks pretty bad, but then you go and look at the past, and where was that line back in 1994? Seeming the public was even more anti-gun then than they are now.

    And the Dummy Democrats, taking such superficial information as God’s Truth, jumped right over the cliff with the anti-gun Clinton Crime Bill in 1994, and we all know the political consequences for them then.

    Yet today the Democrats have convinced themselves that this time is different! And that gun-control really is popular this time! 1994 was just an anomaly!

    I remember that the extremist anti-gun stance of Hillary was going to be veeery interesting to watch out for consequences during the 2016 election, as most of the battleground States were also very pro-gun States. I wonder how much that anti-gun lunacy helped break the Democratic Blue Wall and elevate even someone as clownish as Trump into the White House.

  14. HappyWarrior6 says:

    My personal take is that we need pro-gun Dems back and this election would usher them back in if the Dems win big. They can’t win and continue to do so by running AND voting anti-gun in red states (two very different things). The media reporting Dems ahead in Arizona and Tennessee also choose to selectively forget they are not running on anti-gun platforms. If we trust the GOP to be the pro-gun party we will lose. Some are forever lost (both D and R) on our issue, but many are worth educating.

    Also, everything changes in months when it comes to polls dealing with emotion. This is why constitutional rights are not worth polling in order for us to assert.

    I will close by quoting “Patrick Henry” on here- “they won’t like the new rules when they are back in power.”

    • Brad says:

      If you think the Senate candidate in Arizona might be a pro-gun Dem, I’m afraid you will be very disappointed. If anything, she is really a very calculating extremist in the style of Bill Clinton. Very very good at fooling the public into believing she is some sort of “moderate”.

      • HappyWarrior6 says:

        She was one of the Dem house members who did not sign onto AWB legislation. Calculating, perhaps (which one of them isn’t?) but an acknowledgement that going full retard on guns will hurt the Dems. I’m not saying they are perfect, but it is worth noting that blue dogs have been historically useful for gun rights and there is a place for them. This is the most agreement I will ever have for aka “National Observer”.

        All that being said I would not vote for either of them but we need them somewhere in the movement.

        • Brad says:

          I’d rather have an open anti-gunner running for office than a snake like Harry Reid, or Kyrsten Sinema. At least that way you see the knife up front instead of first discovering it in your back.

          • HappyWarrior6 says:

            Like I said I have other problems with these two Dems other than guns, but I do admire the reality they understand in order to be elected and stay that way in pro-gun states. We need supporters from both parties.

  15. Andy B. says:

    I know I’m not saying anything profound but, I can only reflect that the NRA is certainly not the organization I first joined over 55 years ago, or became a Life Member of about 45 years ago.

    Maybe some would say “good!” and certainly some analyses of pros-and-cons is deserved, but the one thing I’ll say with certainty is that the best word to describe the NRA 50 years ago was “staid.” I remember having a vague feeling when I first joined that I really wasn’t worthy, and at some level was pulling a scam and “sneaking” in.

    The American Rifleman used to have a monthly feature, “We regret to report the deaths of the following NRA Life Members.” In December 1963 or January 1964 was listed, alphabetically, “John F. Kennedy, Washington, DC.” The small-d “democratic” nature of that — not acknowledging a “special” status of a Life Member just because he had been POTUS — impressed me as incredibly “classy” and made me proud of my membership.

    I know a lot of changes are driven by technology, and something like a ubiquitous “NRATV” could not have existed at the time. But if something like NRA TV spots or Public Service Announcements had existed 50 years ago, I know they would have been a lot more “classy” than what NRATV is today.

  16. beatboxc says:

    I’ve said this before, The NRA is primarily concerned with feeding the membership grist mill. The Anger pulls in new Tea Party-ish members. That is why they are doing it.

  17. Jamfish says:

    I believe we need to be involved in culture to the extend it involves firearms. But we need to stop short of associating directly w/ specific politicians.

    Hitching up to the Trump Train? Really? How easy has that made it for many of us to persuade those on the other side of the aisle, moderate or otherwise? It hasn’t; in fact, it’s been downright fruitless.

    We’re on the precipice up here in the PNW, and thanks to the NRA, every anti-gun vote is viewed, essentially, as a vote against Trump. I’m spending my money on local pro-gun orgs.

    • Joe says:

      Local Gun Organizations are and have in reality, always been the better investment longterm. There is greater grassroots organizational potential simply because a State Gun Rights Organization can operate more proficiently within it’s State’s Political Climate.

      My wife and I are Lifetime NRA members, as well as being lifetime members of the Buckeyes Firearms Association. That being said, even though the BFA is the NRA’s State Affiliate Group, us BFA members are very much disappointed with the NRA’s lack of involvement here, and the fact that they haven’t been coordinating with us to get Constitutional Carry passed here, as BFA and Ohio Carry have been fighting tooth and nail to get it passed (Should’ve gone through in 2017 or this year already). BFA is pretty much focused on growing it’s State Membership Roles and looking to institute more efficient Grassroots Operations.

      Also and again, stop crying about Trump. Any other Republican who ran in 2016 (minus Ted Cruz) would’ve capitulated after the Parkland School Shooting, and we’d have a Federal AWB right now. Also, no other Republican was gonna beat Queen Cankle-Clinton, and the other side is on the dime and dole of the Democrat Party Billionaire Donor Class that wants to ban Civilian Firearms Ownership entirely. There is no convincing them to come to our side.

      • Jamfish says:

        Same issue with the NRA out here in the PNW; little scratch offered by them until very recently.

        And I couldn’t care less about Trump… what I care about is gun rights orgs not shackling themselves to specific candidates or pols. Publish your ratings (A, B, C, etc), get out information on where candidates stand on gun rights issues, get out the vote, but perhaps avoid carrying water for specific candidates.

        • Joe says:

          See my post response to National Observer regarding the “Culture Wars”, especially right now regarding Brett Kavanugh.

          #MeToo is trying to sink the 2nd Amendment just as much as it is utilizing Collectivist Misandry as the vehicle to aide the Democrat Party in consolidating dictatorial and tyrannical power over this Country by assassinating the 5th and 6th Amendments to the Bill of Rights. We can’t have a 2nd Amendment if our Due Process and Rights to a Trial By Jury are killed off by the misandrist #MeToo movement.

          The Maoist Movement of the Progressive Left has declared war on us whether we like it or not.

  18. Richard says:

    It only takes one side to start a war and that it what the Left is about now. Not just on guns, either, it is everything. So the choice is fight back with whatever means is handy or surrender. The last is not an option for me. Moderation is not an option in the environment the Left has created.

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