Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Are schools ready for the Armies of the Right?

Let me see if I follow this:

Wayne LaPierre, the near-million-dollar a year megaphone for the NRA, first says schools should be armed against crazy gunmen.Then the NRA puts up another million for a task force headed by former Arkansas Republican congressman Asa Hutchinson to recommend ways to  confront the monstrous problem. Then Hutchinson appears at the National Press Club to declare,  "Eureka, we think we've found the answer!"

The envelope, please.  And the winner is...the NRA, which sponsored the study in the first place.  As Hutchinson went on to assert,  every school should have gun toters on the staff - the modern version, I assume,  of the well-regulated militia. But couldn't the NRA have saved its million  instead of purchasing an echo of its original idea?

When Hutchinson turned up on Lawrence O'Donnell's show Tuesday night, he dodged a number of questions embedded in the larger gun issues: less lethal weapons and magazines, mass killings beyond America's classrooms,  background checks et al.

He repeatedly reminded O'Donnell that his mission as the NRA's rising star was limited to school safety.  When O'Donnell asked him how much he was paid to produce an overlay on the NRA's position, Hutchinson snipped: "It's none of your business."

Nor, it's beginning to seem more likely every day, is the business of blood control that a great majority of Americans want.

* * * * *

Speaking of the Armies of the Right, Summit County Republicans will be able to greet two of Ohio's staunch opponents of gun control at  the party's Lincoln (!)  Day dinner on April 27 in Quaker Square: Reps. Jim Renacci and Dave Joyce, neither of whom have yet qualified as rising stars in the increasingly crowded firmament.

Renacci, in particular, has been singled out as a leading recipient of NRA money, and both guys arrive in County Chairman's Alex Arshinkoff's circle with the authorized version of the Party of No:  Whether it be Obamacare, gun control, abortion rights, gay marriage or a lot of other right-wing guff, you can guess the drill.

As for Arshinkoff, the message in the party invitation was customarily over-the-top with his well-recorded hyperbole - even for the political world.  His two honored guests, he promised,  would help lead Obamacare into the "dustbin of history", guarantee that America would again "Stand tall" in the world and join in other fights on Capitol hill, including sending Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid to the shadows of the unemployed. (The "stand tall" thing is worrisome.  Is he referring to a new invasion of Iraq?)

There was a time when Hillary Clinton, not Nancy Pelosi, was the Dragon Lady at these affairs.  Now she is leading all Republicans in the 2016 presidential sweeps.  Does that speak of a revival of Jane Fonda in these GOP klatches. And , by the way, whatever happened to Jane?


Marv Katz said...

At 75, Jane Fonda is still looking good and doing both good and well. Check out her Web site and blog at

Sam Salem said...

Jane was last seen being fired from a canon in Vietnam.

David Hess said...

Former Congressman Asa Hutchinson, paid to unveil the NRA's "objective" plan for turning the nation's schools into the equivalent of the OK Corral, showed up at the unveiling at the National Press Club with a convoy of armed "security" guards, who promptly ordered a group of waiting reporters to disperse from the lobby. Quite apart from the gun lobby's "independently" formulated scheme to make schools safer by arming teachers or hiring pistol-packing sentries, one has to wonder why an NRA emissary must be accompanied by a phalanx of gunslingers at a purported news briefing. As far as anyone could tell, none of the reporters was who, exactly, is the NRA afraid of?

Grumpy Abe said...

In your historical context as the former president of the National Press Club, you might agree that Hutchinson
arrived as the bought-and-paid-for flack for the NRA to report what everyone expected him to say to please his underwriters.