The NRA's Emperor Has No Clothes

By Alec MacGillis, The New Republic - December 22, 2012

For two decades now, the legend of the National Rifle Association has grown in Washington. They were the most feared lobby of all, as influential and professionally run as the AARP or AIPAC but with the literal firepower behind them to enhance the aura of intimidation. They could get just about everything they wanted. Republican candidates came to their conventions to pay annual tribute: "This fine organization is sometimes called a single-issue group. That’s high praise when the single issue is freedom," said Mitt Romney in his speech to the group in April. Meanwhile, even liberal Democrats tip-toed around the group as if it was the big troll hiding under the bridge. In 2010, House Democrats added an explicit NRA carve-out to their failed legislation requiring disclosure of donors to outside groups buying campaign ads.

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