Stay classy, NRA.
Stuff like THIS is sure to endear you to most Americans:
The National Rifle Association released a new television commercial Tuesday night charging President Barack Obama of hypocrisy for being “skeptical” about placing armed guards at schools, while his own two daughters are protected by the U.S. Secret Service.
“Are the president’s kids more important than yours?” a narrator says in the 30 second ad. “Then why is he skeptical about putting armed security in our schools, when his kids are protected by armed guards at their school.”
The commercial is running on the Sportsman Channel, a cable network focused on outdoors programming such as hunting and fishing. It is also posted on a dedicated web site “Stand and Fight.”
On Wednesday, Obama is set to unveil a new set of proposals that would place very tough restrictions on the ownership and sale of firearms.
In the ad, the narrator only mentions Obama by name, but it also features images of Vice President Joe Biden, Sen. Dianne Feinstein, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and NBC anchor David Gregory. Bloomberg is an influential voice in favor of stricter gun laws and has dipped into his personal fortune to help fund a lobby campaign, and Feinstein, a California Democrat, is helping spearhead a congressional effort to enforce tougher gun laws.
Gregory questioned NRA CEO Wayne LaPierre in a December interview about the effectiveness of the organization’s proposal to put armed guards in schools. After the interview, the NRA and conservative media outlets noted that Gregory’s children attended the same school as Obama’s daughters and the school has a security department.
“Mr. Obama demands the wealthy pay their fair share of taxes,” the narrator says. “But he is just another elitist hypocrite when it comes to a fair share of security. Protection for their kids and gun-free zones for ours.”
UPDATE: Josh Marshall of TalkingPointsMemo has an appropriate reaction:
There are so many vile things about this ad. But one thing to note is the ad is really only designed to appeal to people who have a deep – really deep – animosity toward the President. The sort of people who don’t think he and his daughters should be in the White House and wish him the sort of ill citizens should never wish upon a freely elected head of state.
UPDATE II: Here’s the reaction from Paul Waldman of the American Prospect:
What an elitist, that Barack Obama, thinking he’s somehow above ordinary people, like he has some particularly critical job or something, and he and his family might be unique targets for violence requiring special protection! It’s almost like he thinks he’s the president!
This does actually reveal an important aspect of the NRA’s world view. As far as they’re concerned, all of us should act as though we exist in the same security situation as the president of the United States. You may think you’re just the assistant regional manager of a widget company, but in fact, a terrorist commando strike force could be coming to lay siege to your home at any moment. Which is why you need to be prepared not just with a gun, but with enough weaponry to hold your own in the two-hour firefight that’s just inevitable.
I think what this ad shows, beyond the obvious conclusion that the NRA leadership is a bunch of crazy people, is that persuasion isn’t part of their strategy. They know that they’re facing the greatest threat they have in years, and they’ve concluded that the way to win this conflict over whether gun laws will be changed is to rile up their base. They want their most fervent supporters as paranoid and angry as possible, to get them to write letters and call their members of Congress to keep them in line. And it just might work.