From TPM Reader NS …
I read Evan’s report on the declining fortunes of the NRA’s maximalist strategy of absolute refusals with great interest. I think the report is accurate but I would suggest it might be incomplete in the sense that it focuses on Sandy Hook alone.
That is certainly the efficient cause of changed attitudes and the NRA is foolish not to recognize that this was one mass shooting too many. (I am tempted to believe that that alone tells you about hearts being ten sizes too small in the NRA’s leadership, but that is another topic).
However, the 2010 Congress effectively adopted the NRA playbook of total resistance to anything Obama or the left suggested. And that kind of retrograde, never say die, our way or nothing conservatism has pushed a lot of people to say enough is enough. Many citizens have come to realize that on basically every issue, conservatives are an obstacle and not at all interested in the common good, only having a world that flatters their ideological prejudices. And people kind of hate them for it.
So it is Sandy Hook right after Obama’s re-election and the general rejection of the kind of politics still on display by the NRA. If the public is truly done with conservatives’ whatever-it-takes, screw you politics, then to have such a horrible tragedy catapult gun control to the public stage again, in that moment of absolutism fatigue, is very important. The public’s growing intolerance for intolerance only heightens the ghoulish quality of the NRA’s response.
But conservatives seem incapable of understanding that unyielding anger and contempt is not paying dividends anymore.