For John, BLUF: Money corrupting politics is the current Meme. Nothing to see here; just move along.
From The New Yorker, we have Mr James Suowiecki talking about the NRA as a political organization—"Taking on the N.R.A.".
Like most folks, I think of the NRA being a well funded organization. However, it turns out that money is not the forte of the NRA.
But money is less crucial than you’d think. The N.R.A.’s annual lobbying budget is around three million dollars, which is about a fifteenth of what, say, the National Association of Realtors spends.It isn't money, it is political mobilization. This is an area where one would think Democrats (who tend to be the Party of gun control) would dominate, but not necessarily so.
The N.R.A.’s biggest asset isn’t cash but the devotion of its members. Adam Winkler, a law professor at U.C.L.A. and the author of the 2011 book “Gunfight,” told me, “N.R.A. members are politically engaged and politically active. They call and write elected officials, they show up to vote, and they vote based on the gun issue.” In one revealing study, people who were in favor of permits for gun owners described themselves as more invested in the issue than gun-rights supporters did. Yet people in the latter group were four times as likely to have donated money and written a politician about the issue.So, does money dominate politics or is it ideas?
Regards — Cliff