I really want to focus your attention on what seems like the implosion of the National Rifle Association. To be clear, I don’t mean that pro-gun activism is going anywhere or even that the NRA is. But as you’ve seen in our reports in recent days, the leadership of the group is engaged in what seems like a professional life or death battle, with each side accusing the other of corruption, self-dealing and double-dipping into the organizations funds. And this all seems to be amidst and to a significant degree triggered by the organization’s financial woes, which have prompted all the bigwigs to try to out each other’s grifts.
I’m watching Tim Mak’s Twitter feed. Tim’s at the convention. North is apparently not there, even as he’s demanded long time organization head Wayne LaPierre to step down over financial mismanagement and corruption. LaPierre meanwhile accuses North of extortion, threatening to air the organization’s confidential dirty laundry if he doesn’t resign. Tim says that a letter from North has just been read to the convention declaring the organization is “in a clear crisis” and he will not stand for reelection. As Mak’s puts it: “Massive room packed with NRA members. Incredibly silent as Oliver North who has been a decades long board member essentially resigns and steps away from the National Rifle Association.”
Just now as I was searching through TPM’s NRA archives for some recent articles I was looking over the years of coverage. Nutso claims about Obama from 2013 and 2014, all the NRA’s increasingly hyperbolic race-war-tinged messaging. It helped me put this all in perspective. The current fight is really their turning their own messaging weapons on each other.