Abbreviated Pundit Round-up: NRA is going down, GOP despair is going up, and tips may be going away
Less than two weeks after the Parkland shooting, both Delta and United have dropped special arrangements with the NRA.
xDelta is reaching out to the NRA to let them know we will be ending their contract for discounted rates through our group travel program. We will be requesting that the NRA remove our information from their website.— Delta (@Delta) February 24, 2018
The airlines turning their back on the NRA follows the cutting of ties by car rental firms Enterprise, Alamo and National. NRA members also no longer get discounts at Best Western or Wyndham Hotels.
But it’s not just travel companies that are breaking away from the NRA. NRA VISA cards, which were issued by the First National Bank of Omaha, will no longer be available. MetLife will no longer issue an insurance discount (which seems like an odd thing to have offered in the first place). Tech companies Symantec and SimpliSafe have cut the NRA loose.
That’s pretty astounding. Not just because the NRA remains a large organization. It doesn’t have anything like the 15 million members it has sometimes claimed, but it does have somewhere close to 4 million — and they’re a famously vindictive lot. After all, NRA membership has been falling for years, and anyone who has stuck with them to this point is a true believer (or the irritated recipient of a gift membership).
At least, that’s the theory. But is it more than a theory? Companies who cross the NRA have to be afraid of … what? What exactly do they have to fear? After all, when is the last time the NRA faced a serious push? It has been decades, at least. In fact, its not clear that the NRA has ever faced a genuine existential crisis— and that’s what this is — in the whole of its 147 year history. Yes, the NRA has fended off past attempts at gun safety regulations, even when they were supported by a large majority of citizens in both parties. But all that took was paying off a few Senators.
Of all the over-inflated hobgoblins in politics, the NRA may be the most puffed up little toad of the bunch. There’s no evidence that kicking them constitutes touching a third rail. It just means not getting a drink from their dirty money pipeline from Russia. Which probably matters to Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio. Not so much to politicians who are capable of raising money without the help of Kalashnikov.
How serious is the threat to the NRA? Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School senior Emma González joined Twitter only two weeks ago. As of Sunday morning, her @Emma4Change account had 655,000 followers — 100,000 more than the NRA account. Dana Loesch can scowl all she wants, but the energy is not on her side. Not this time. There may be 74 million gun owners in the United States, but 70 million of them have chosen not to belong to the NRA. For a reason.
A decade from now, someone might mention the NRA and get nothing but a look of confusion? NRA? What is that? Rowing? Racquetball? And while that person is puzzling it out, someone might mention another unknown name. Like Cruz. Or Rubio. Or any other clown that decides to ride this Hindenburg all the way to the ground.
Come on in. Let’s read pundits.