The NRA is supposed to be a non-partisan group. But in the second night of its annual meeting and exhibition, the catalog of speakers–including Sarah Palin, Bobby Jindal, Scott Walker, Ted Cruz and John Bolton–and the rhetoric espoused by them, does not point to non-partisanship. Instead, it points to a deeper and more aggressive embrace of the far right.
The NRA survives by using both sides of the aisle. The NRA need Democrats as much as Democrats need the NRA, especially in states with vibrant gun cultures. It’s why, perhaps, five Democrats voted against universal background checks
. And it’s why red state Democrats court the NRA’s approval so heavily.
But what happens if the NRA completely abandons non-partisanship? What happens if they continue to align themselves with and embrace the hard right? Will there be political consequences? Is it possible that the NRA could begin to lose support from moderates and Democrats? And from the 4.5 million gun owners
it claims to represent?