The annual convention of the National Rifle Association this past weekend in Indianapolis was the usual Fellini-esque freak parade of intellectual dwarves, geeks, and cripples. It featured Pasolini-esque wallows in sadism, like dominatrix Sarah Palin, with a small, silver vibrator set on "Ultragasm" running in her snatch, let the world know that no one's got as big a swinging dick as she does, supporting waterboarding and guns in schools, condemning, oh, shit, yeah, right there, "clownish, 'Kumbaya'-humming, fairytale-inhaling" liberals. This is not to mention the Argento-esque hellscape that Wayne LaPierre, the NRA's chief executive, painted with virgin blood, a place where only the nobly beweaponed can survive.
Also the convention featured the debut of a new ad for the NRA titled, "Do you still believe in the good guys?", a question that seems like a dare. The blatant troll bait features three people - let's call the white dude "Bearded Bear," the black dude "Safe Negro," and the white chick "School Secretary." The ad is filled with the boring-ass blather you've come to expect: There's bad people who want to rape your face while burning the Constitution. But here's some good people who want to make everyone into good goodniks with some tough love and guns, motherfuckers, guns. Which side are you on?
And then we get to the line. Safe Negro says, "It takes a special kind of backbone to reject the world that surrounds you." Then Bearded Bear says, "To sign your name where everyone can see it."
That last phrase there made the Rude Pundit sit up and look around the empty room to ask if everyone heard what he just heard. An NRA ad saying that you're a pussy if you don't let people know what you stand for?
So there it is, as plain as the screen you're reading this on. The NRA just told everyone to believe in something that they themselves do not believe at all. Really, Wayne? Really, Bearded Bear? "Sign your name where everyone can see it"?
See, the Rude Pundit seems to remember that, right after the Supreme Court's 2009 democracy-murdering Citizens United decision, part of which allowed political groups keep their donor names secret, Democrats tried to pass the DISCLOSE Act, which would have created at least some minimal disclosure about who is buying elections. One of the biggest opponents was the NRA, which feared all kinds of crazy shit, like that it would have to turn over member lists to the government and, more importantly, "disclose top donors on political advertisements."
But wait, one might think. Shouldn't you "sign your name where everyone can see it"? By its own words, the NRA is an organization that is financed by cowards, people who without backbone to say it's them. It is merely a shill for gun manufacturers. It's a giant con game that exists to enrich a few people while demanding worshipful obeisance from politicians and members. What that line in the ad demands is that you, good, loyal NRA card-carrier, you should go out there and proselytize for the gun cult. You should put your name out there so that, say, the Walton family and Chinese gun factory owners, perhaps, don't have to.
The culture war the NRA says it wants is just a cover for a power-grabbing sham and a means to make sure that Wayne LaPierre gets the best combovers in the business. The fact that the organization can so nakedly lie means, of course, that it knows its members just don't care.