How to keep your 'grassroots support' neatly trimmed and mowed
Amazing Politico piece about gun control groups agreeing to fall in line, like good little soldiers, and mindlessly support whatever Obama does:
The White House knew its post-Newtown effort would require bringing key gun-control groups into the fold. So the White House offered a simple arrangement: the groups could have access and involvement, but they’d have to offer silence and support in exchange.
The implied rules, according to conversations with many of those involved: No infighting. No second guessing in the press. Support whatever the president and Vice President Joe Biden propose. And most of all, don’t make waves or get ahead of the White House.
In exchange: a voice in the discussions, a role in whatever final agreement is made and weekly meetings at the White House with Biden’s chief of staff, Bruce Reed — provided they don’t discuss what happens there.
Basically, the gun control groups all knew their pet issue was pretty much dead until Newtown, which provided a rare opportunity to revive it... provided they all marched in lockstep with the White House. One gets the impression these devoted public safety advocates aren't even all that concerned with the rhyme or reason behind whatever gun control measures they can get - as long as something is forbidden to law-abiding citizens somewhere, they'll celebrate it as a victory. But they're growing doubtful that anything of substance will pass, sensing that the Newtown moment has passed. Gun control only makes progress when American voters are good and panicked.
It all comes off as deeply cynical, but the political tactician might also say that patient groups which accept incremental results, and associate themselves with strong political leadership, are most likely to gain ground over time. The biggest problem facing the gun control zealots is that they can't be honest about advocating the one thing that might conceivably fulfill their stated goals - the complete confiscation of firearms from private citizens, coupled with the wholesale economic destruction of gun manufacturers. So they'll settle for a ban on the scary-looking rifles with folding stocks and bayonet lugs, bank that "victory" if they can get it, and start wondering if anyone really has a legitimate need for even seven rounds in a magazine next.