Law professor Richard Painter sees the Republicans as victims of a protection racket that's been going on for years, decades.
For years, protection rackets dominated dangerous urban neighborhoods. Shop owners and residents lived in relative security only by paying off or paying homage to organized criminals or corrupt cops. Anyone who dared to stand up to these “protectors” would not be around for long.
The Republican Party — once a proud bastion of civic and business leaders who battled Southern racism, Northern corruption and the evils of big government — has for the past several decades been itself the victim of political protection rackets. These rackets are orchestrated by fringe groups with extremist views on social issues, which Republican politicians are forced to support even if they are unpopular with intelligent, economically successful and especially female voters. ...NYT
I don't see the Republicans as victims. I see them as collaborators of the greed machine. After all, Republican politicians like the money and the perks they get from the NRA. They don't sit around and mourn their indenture to a gluttonous gun manufacturers and the defense industry. They eat up all the slops along with their staff and their consultants. They take the cruises; they go to the Vegas meetings.
As Painter points out, it's not just about guns.
...The last election showed the costs to Republicans of succumbing to the N.R.A. and to other groups with extremist views on issues like homosexuality and stem cell research. The fringe groups, drenched with money and the “free speech” that comes with it, have stood firm, and become even more radical, as the population as a whole — including many traditional Republican voters — has moved in the opposite direction. ...NYT
Moved in the opposite direction? Painter sees many Republican voters moving away from their party precisely because of the greed and extremism of their representatives. Is that true? Are "decent Republicans" making new choices?
Evidently they are. The latest CBS poll has just shown an 18%-19% increase in calls for more effective gun control. And Republican voters were among the respondents in the poll, though more Democrats are among the "former" supporters of freedom from gun control.
Still, Dave Weigel interviewed Republican members of Congress -- both Houses -- yesterday. He sees a risk that in the end they will duck gun control issues.
When I talked to Republican senators and members of Congress yesterday, they cited "mental health" as an issue to look at long before they cited gun laws -- if they cited gun laws at all. The NRA is pledging to offer "meaningful contributions" to the debate at and after a Friday press conference. This is a safe prediction: Gun rights advocates will work, carefully, to shift the conversation to mental health and media violence, and away from gun laws. Doing so would put Republicans in the position of demanding more mental health funding and stricter laws governing institutionalization, which... well, we'll see where that goes. ...Weigel, Slate
That's Washington and where the slops are delivered regularly to the pigs. Out in the rest of the country, the shift is more evident.
The Washington Post reveals that the disgust with the NRA was already changing our gun culture before Newtown -- at least among Democrats in Congress.
Months before the massacre in Newtown, Conn., put the National Rifle Association on the defensive, the powerful gun rights group faced an unexpected problem. One of its most loyal Democratic friends in Congress was leading a rebellion against an NRA effort to hold Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. in contempt of Congress, a cause viewed by Democrats as a political sideshow that had nothing to do with gun rights.
“This, my friends, is not a position I relish,” Rep. John D. Dingell (Mich.) wrote in an anguished letter urging fellow gun lovers to reject the NRA’s position.
Dingell’s rare show of defiance was seen by his colleagues as part of a growing estrangement between the NRA and its Democratic allies, who have provided vital support in the past and could be important again next year in what appears to be a coming showdown over gun rights. With public pressure building on Congress to act, the NRA will need Democratic votes to block or weaken legislation, particularly in the Senate. ...WaPo
Maybe you're wondering "why Newtown? why Sandy Hook?" Well, Think Progress has found someone with an answer.
If there were fewer women and more “male aggression” in Sandy Hook Elementary School, the massacre there never would have taken place, according to a contribution to a leading conservative magazine.
National Review, whose in-house editorial suggested Newtown was the price of the Second Amendment, published a piece on Wednesday from anti-feminist Charlotte Allen suggesting the reason the shooter was able to kill so many students was because Newtown was a “feminized setting... ...Think Progress