I’m Hearing the Right Things

NRA is commenting on the Ack-Mac terminating NRA as a client:

Andrew Arulanandam, managing director of NRA Public Affairs, added in his own statement that changes are coming to the NRA’s communications strategy. “The NRA is eager to return the focus of its messaging to our core mission, the Second Amendment and our steadfast fight to protect America’s constitutional freedoms,” he said. 

Whatever changes are coming to the NRA, they do not appear to include a retreat from politics. “We have an opportunity to elevate our brand, communicate with a broader community of gun owners, and press the advantage in the upcoming 2020 elections,” Arulanandam said.

They have to do this. Ack-Mac’s messaging threw NRA in wholly with the right. Some were pointing out the Brewer is a big Dem donor. Maybe they are viewing that as a feature and not a bug. At some point the Dems are going to be back in power. Ack-Mac’s messaging has completely alienated moderate and left-of-center gun owners, and pro-gun Democrats are a critically endangered species, nearing total extinction. This absolutely has to be reversed.

It’s increasingly looking to me like the Brewer firm are Ack-Mac’s replacement. I care about results. If I see good results; if NRA does indeed return to it’s core mission and jettisons the Angry Dana strategy, I don’t really care if the CEO of the firm donates to Dems. I don’t vet all my vendors for ideological purity, and I don’t expect NRA to do so either. What matters are results.

36 thoughts on “I’m Hearing the Right Things”

  1. Vetting business partners is what we complain about when the Other Side Does It!

    1. So are we to believe the potential for Hillary donors and large pocketed contributors to the Texas Dems (both of which Brewer is) to come around to the pro-gun cause? If so, Joe!!! will not be too happy about that. To many on here the Dems are just walking hard-ons for gun control and irreconcilable with the causes of GUNS, MURICA, FREEDOM.

      FWIW I’ve always thought that pro-gun Dems do exist and are worth saving. There are other reasons I would not necessarily vote for them, but that does not mean they aren’t worthy of NRA $$$.

      Have at it then I guess.

        1. Not only that, pro gun Dems are the only way to keep the R party honest. Right now they’re screwing us too and all they have to say to keep their jobs is “Hey, we’re not the other guy!” We got completely backstabbed on national reciprocity and Hearing Protection Act because they weren’t afraid of the consequences of failure to actually get it done. Throwing token gestures and buzzwords our way is all they needed to do when they don’t have meaningful competition.

        2. Pro-2A Democrats are so far away from the internal party levers of power that they may as well not even exist.

      1. I have some bad news.

        I’m a former lifelong California Democrat. I pulled the ejection handle half way through Obama’s second term. Their unbridled hatred for gun owners and racial identiarianism is what prompted me to leave.

        In my time in Democratic circles, I never saw any evidence of support for the Second Amendment or pro-gun sentiment. What I did see was plenty of evidence to the contrary. One need only look to a Democratically controlled area to know what they believe regarding firearms. Maybe pro-gun Democrats exist. But then again people claim to have seen Sasquatch as well…

        1. I’ve lived in the SF Bay area for about 25 years (though decamping to North Carolina next spring), and I can kinda confirm what Sprocket is saying: there aren’t a lot of pro-gun Democrats in this neck of the woods.

          I’m just not sanguine about generalizing from this neck of the woods. The unbridled hatred of gun owners and racial identitarianism are definitely real things, but my experience is that they attenuate the further you get from hard-core progressive enclaves. I’ve met people who live out in the Central Valley or up in the Cascades who vote blue out of family tradition, union membership, or ethnic loyalty, but are nonetheless solidly pro-gun.

          I’m not saying there are a ton of these people, but they’re there.

          1. I think the real key is for these blocs of reliably-Democrat voters need to start voting on the issues for specific candidates; that’s the only way that the Democrat party will ever learn to drop the absolute hatred of middle-America, the anti-gun lunacy, and the identitarian bullshit.

            If the Democrats lose these people, they’re going to have real trouble winning elections until they shift away from their present strategy.

        2. I’m not even from California or any left wing stronghold, but have had the opportunity to rub elbows with Dems and leftists in a state that was more moderate politically.

          But my experience with leftists, even in my fairly moderate state is that most leftists have nothing but disdain, pity, or hatred for people who don’t believe as they do.

          Ok, sure, that might just be a biased sample. Well, ok, then go look. Find me a single prominent left-leaning blog, youtube channel, or website that is advocating for dialog and compromise between leftists and conservatives.

          Off the top of my head, you’ve got Slate Star Codex and Tim Poole. Maybe.

  2. The problem with your position is that the Dems have deliberately made themselves the enemy of the Constitution and what makes this nation what it is. With such an extreme political situation, having divided loyalties in important positions is just stupid. The NRA stands for such divided loyalty, since that is their long term position regarding gun control. That is a large factor in the current lack of support the NRA has from the gun community in general. Business-as-usual will no longer be acceptable. The Augean Stable needs to be cleaned out, or they will become a footnote in history.

  3. If I see good results; if NRA does indeed return to it’s core mission and jettisons the Angry Dana strategy, I don’t really care if the CEO of the firm donates to Dems.

    I do. The NRA should absolutely be vetting their vendors for donations like this. Its one thing if they support Dems in words and small donations. Okay whatever. But I’m not giving my money to the NRA for them to turn around and give it to a person who heavily donates to anti-gun Dems.

    Its more than results. That of course matters, but results can be had by choosing good pro-gun GOP lawyers.

    1. You’d have to show me Brewer is anti-gun for me to care. There’s a lot of gun owners out there who aren’t mobilized because they are Dem leaning voters and NRA’s right-wing rhetoric turns them off to the gun rights message. If Brewer is a pro-gun Dem, even if he donates to Dems, we need those kinds of people. Those people will understand the importance of staying on message and knowing how to reach those people.

      1. The real concern I have, given the current political realities of our issue, is that it increases the chances that someone will deliberately leak confidential information in order to do harm to the organization and the movement.

      2. You keep making the claim that there are gun owners who won’t join the NRA because they cater strictly to the right.

        But I fail to see any evidence that you’re right. Sure, there’s a lot of gun-owning Union Democrats, but they’re largely from the Fudd demographic, and will be dead within 20 years.

        There are a lot of supposedly pro-gun-leftists if you check out places like Reddit, but they’re largely a very small, but loudly vocal island in an online culture that is deeply leftist.

        In the meantime, under the current NRA leadership, the organization claims a membership of 5 million dues-paying members. If you were to give a ballpark guess, how many additional members do you think will join if NRA marketing becomes more Dem-friendly?

        I’d bet the number would be under 150,000.

    2. Also, if their marketing firm is heavily leftist, I would expect that any marketing campaign they undertake would be undermined from within, to include lackluster work, leaks of internal memos and emails, and outright sabotage.

  4. The key question for me is do pro-gun Dems support and contribute to anti-gun Dems
    or do they have any way to change the trajectory of the party. From what I can tell the answer to the first is yes and the answer to the second is no. I could be convinced otherwise but I am highly skeptical.

    1. This.

      There are lots of democrat voters who are pro-gun. There are also a fair number of democrat politicians who are personally either pro-gun or at least ambivalent.

      The party machine though, is currently dominated by people that are hardcore anti-gun, and who are willing to use their power to destroy any democrat politicians who refuse to obey their party line on the issue.

      Changing that last one is the critical thing, and I don’t see it happening anytime soon — it’s a war of ideas, and the side currently in power cares significantly more than their likely opponents.

    2. If you can find examples of previously blue-collar/working class union towns swinging away from the Dems and going Republican, that would probably give you a pretty good indicator.

      The local examples where I live do not indicate that such a swing is possible.

  5. Being ONLY results-oriented means that you find out afterward that the person/business was the wrong choice for the job. Competitive bidding with an evaluation process that includes past track record and expertise/experience are pretty much standard in business.

    The NRA is just getting out of a hostage relationship with a PR firm. Let’s not just get into another hostage relationship with a new PR firm.

  6. Pro-gun Democrats aren’t “endangered,” they’re a dead clade walking.

    Remember all those pro-life Democrats? When push came to shove, they weren’t. Same thing with “pro-gun Democrats.”

    Look at how many “moderates” in the Democratic Presidential race have come out with radical anti-gun agendas now that they’re running for national office.

    It’s going to take being locked out of power for an extended period of time (say, the 1981-1992 Reagan-Bush era) before desperation makes them see the error of their ways.

  7. “Ack-Mac’s messaging threw NRA in wholly with the right.”

    And NRA itself took no part in that?

    Just to sort out political semantics a bit, “principled conservatism” has never had anything at all to do with the “hard right.” Yet when a hard right candidate for POTUS came along, NRA threw in with him in a bigger way than with any candidate in history. After that, NRATV’s jackoffs (“the clenched fist…”) were just icing on the cake.

    Maybe some people are buying the “it was those bad kids we don’t play with anymore who made us do it” story, but I think most people will take that with more than a grain of salt. NRA chose its new identity and will have to figure out how to live with it, and that extends beyond simple R/D partisan alignment.

      1. There are two issues being conflated. I want NRA to be single issue but I am perfectly fine with Dana being angry as long as it is about gun issues. Your views are different it seems, as a tactical matter but that is less important than the strategic issue of sticking to the mission.

        1. I use the “Angry Dana Strategy” as a rhetorical tool. I’m fine with Dana Loesch if she can be single issue. But she hasn’t been. I’ve been debating whether she should just be bought in-house, or whether she’s been hopelessly tainted by other right issues.

          1. Your belief that gun rights is somehow its own thing, and hasn’t already been rolled up into a package designed to appeal to the love/hate of one tribe or another is quaintly adorable.

    1. Trump is absolutely not hard right.

      Most of his policy positions are carbon copies of Bill Clinton’s policies.

      The biggest sea change in American politics hasn’t been that conservatives have gotten moreso, but that the Democrats have taken a deeply disconcerting turn to the far left.

  8. One of the disappointing things about this situation is the fairly widespread acceptance by the commenters here, and elsewhere, that business-as-usual for the NRA is okay with them. I’m talking about the major drive of the NRA is simply to enrich the officers, and that actually accomplishing pro-gun activities is a definite afterthought, mostly handwavium in nature. A willingness to continue with past employment practices that scream “conflict of interest” should not be acceptable for a long term position.

  9. The NRA’s recent shift towards embracing “social conservative issues” is a product of the Democrat party going hardline anti-gun — the Dems made their bed on this issue, told the NRA to go suck eggs, and the NRA responded by doing what it thought necessary to shore up support from the only people still willing to talk with them.

    1. I keep seeing claims that the NRA has embraced social conservatism, but, frankly, outside of staking positions of freedom of expression (firmly in favor of), I haven’t seen them stake out claims on things like feminism, abortion, religion, environmentalism (other than to hew to traditional conservationist views), or other social issue hot buttons.

      They’ve addressed some race relation issues, but primarily in a positive direction.

      1. I got into this same debate with people here a while ago, taking the same position you do. It was demonstrated to me that NRA-TV was where this was happening. Since I am a written word guy, I never saw it. Of course, NRA-TV is AckMac so that could be at play in this whole mess.

        1. That is an interesting PR strategy. Older people tend to be readers, but the younger crowd leans heavily toward video, apparently. (The odd thing is they seem to love texting.) So, the Dana output may be aimed at the younger groups. Probably need to get input from them to get an accurate view of the viability of this sort of message. No idea what age group this would be.

  10. Another perspective on pro-gun Democrats.

    I am working through a podcast on CWII that Greg Ellifritz linked to. The producer of the podcast is clearly left-wing or does a damn good job of faking it. He has got the condescension and the memory-holing of inconvenient facts down pat. I am putting up with it because the analysis of how it will go down isn’t bad.

    He maintains that there has been a surge in left-wing gun purchases lately that is driving the large background check numbers. I don’t know how he would know this but he also cites the membership increases in such organizations as the Liberal Gun Club (such a thing exists, I have run into them on line) which he would have a way of knowing.

    This sounds like good news until he says that the reason this is happening is that they are arming up for CWII.

    1. This guy you’re listening to sounds like a left wing Alex Jones. I wonder who these left wing gun owners actually look to, politically, and logically. Their hero Bernie is no friend of guns regardless of who possesses them (unless they’re govt goons).

      My guess is… There IS no logic to their position at all.

      1. You may be right but there is at least one leftist that believes it. He does spend a lot of time bashing Alex Jones. Probably his favorite rightist bogeyman.

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