SOMETHING ELSE RESPECTABLE CONSERVATIVES NEVER, NEVER SAY | 1999-10-30
One secret that liberals are desperate to keep is just how tiny the actual membership of liberal organizations is. The national press refers to the National Organization for Women as "the women's movement," but its membership is tiny compared to that of conservative women's' groups.
If it were not for respectable conservatives, this secret would be out. Keeping this sort of thing secret is one of the major services professional conservatives do for the liberal cause (See May 8 article, "Armed Switzerland and the Colorado Shootings").
One of the best-kept secrets that respectable conservatives help liberals keep is the sheer size of the National Rifle Association. When liberals talk about the power of the "leadership of the National Rifle Association," respectables sit there trying to find some way to apologize. When liberals say that the only thing blocking gun control is the big money of the NRA, respectable conservatives try to think of something irrelevant to say.
Recently, on CNN, I heard a respectable conservative supporting Bush say, "You don't run against the NRA for the Republican presidential nomination." He embraced the liberal characterization of all opposition to gun control as emanating from a small, well-financed conspiracy called "the NRA."
The fight against gun confiscation is the most solidly grassroots movement in this country. It is supported by the millions in the NRA, and by tens of millions who aren't.
It is typical of the Bush camp to dismiss all opposition to gun control in this inside-the-beltway manner.
In the real world, what makes the NRA so powerful is that it is huge. I have been in politics for many years, and there is simply no other organization with the titanic grassroots membership, the paying and active membership, that the NRA has. This fact would be murder if any conservative, including Pat Buchanan, ever mentioned it.
Back when I last looked, the NRA had three million paying members, and membership is expensive. There is simply no other organization to compare to that, and certainly none on the LEFT. If any of the people we pay to represent us ever did the math, they would realize that that means that there is an average of almost SEVEN HUNDRED NRA members in EACH congressional district!
How much difference can seven hundred active people make in a congressional campaign?
The "pressure" that congressmen are bowing to is grassroots pressure. That is exactly the sort of "pressure" an organization called the House of REPRESENTATIVES is supposed to yield to.
And you only read that here.
Respectable conservatives are our real enemies.