The media is not shy about the gun lobby; so you surely know that former NY mayor Michael Bloomberg has lately pledged $50 million to a new group that will take on the gun lobby from the family standpoint. The above video is terrifying; I can’t even watch it to the end. It shows what can happen when good children in a nice house play hide and seek and find daddy’s gun.
John Aravosis, a Democratic political consultant, states that the National Rifle Association (NRA) is “vicious” and so “Bloomberg’s intent is to be just as hard-nosed in response.” Aravosis explains his own activism:
I’ve always said that I have two models, mentor-movements really, for my advocacy work: The NRA, and AIPAC.
When I worked on the Hill, both groups knew how to sow fear in the halls of Congress. It’s what other should aspire to. It’s what gay rights advocacy, the ones on the ground, aspire to. And it’s what the anti-gun-violence movement should do as well.
I’m all for the ad campaign, but I’m of course focused on Aravosis’s parallel. The NRA is powerful but at least politicians can run against it. Bloomberg is spending a fortune against it, Obama took the NRA on explicitly. He lost but he didn’t mince his words. I did a cover story for the New York Times Magazine about the NRA years ago. I.e., blue-state liberals bash it all the time.
No one talks about AIPAC that openly, in the mainstream anyway. And even if J Street slays AIPAC, among Democrats, it’s just going to be more aid to Israel. We saw this hard-nosed orthodoxy when Mark Halperin on MSNBC attacked Rand Paul for his alleged anti-Israel positions, saying they are outside the pale of American politics. What has Rand Paul even said to deserve it? (I believe these are his crimes: he doesn’t want to attack Iran, he has said we should reconsider our aid package to Israel.)
Can you imagine an ad anything like Bloomberg’s gun ad involving the Israel lobby– a sensational video highlighting the costs of the special relationship? I can think of stuff they could say.
Read Steve Walt in Haaretz:
“We don’t give France and Britain $3 billion a year, and we don’t have people flying planes into buildings because of them… I think most researchers who have looked carefully at bin Laden’s career and his thoughts would argue that his concern for Palestine was a key motivation for him. Not the only one, but one of them.”
Can you imagine an ad about the special relationship featuring bin Laden’s comments about Palestine?
Thanks to Jordan Michael Smith.