So, in a few hours the NRA will walk into a meeting with Joe Biden's "gun violence commission": NRA Accepts Biden's Invitation To Meet
And, as Chris Cillizza writes: Why Joe Biden needs the NRA.
But, the meeting is smart politics by Biden — and the White House more broadly. It’s a recognition that, to pass something on guns through Congress, they need the NRA either on board or not totally in opposition to the proposal. . .And, in a political jump ball, having the NRA signed on to some proposal is almost certainly the difference between a bill becoming a law and it, well, not.Now, inviting the NRA to a meeting is very different than getting (or wanting to get) the NRA to sign on to the final product that the Biden task force produces. (It seems unlikely that if Biden pushes for an assault weapons ban, for instance, that the NRA would be even close to on board.)But Biden is smart to meet with the NRA both to a) see if there is a place of mutual interest where the organization could actually be supportive of the proposal from the task force, but also b) to try to tamp down the white-hot rhetoric on both sides at the moment.While “A” might be the goal, “B” has its merits as a political strategy as well. It’s at least in theory more difficult for the NRA to aggressively hate a bill that they were consulted on — even if it’s not a piece of legislation they can support.Remember in politics it’s always a good idea to keep your friends close and your enemies closer.
The NRA, despite its vaunted reputation, sold out American firearm rights at critical moments in enactment of the 1934 National Firearms Act, the 1968 Gun Control Act, and the 1994 Brady and AWB bills. (The latter because Bob Dole begged them to because he thought it was good politics in his upcoming presidential run -- we all know how well that turned out.)
"Peace in our time." Neville Chamberlain on his way to meet Hitler, 1938.
So the prospect of the NRA meeting with Joe Biden in an atmosphere of panic and hysteria does not fill me with warm and fuzzy thoughts. In fact, the only question I have is if it will be Neville Chamberlain or Vidkun Quisling who steps out of the NRA weeniewagon when it pulls up to the White House entrance.
Vidkun Quisling, whose name became synonymous with traitor, on trial in Norway after the war.
And here is where he was executed by firing squad: