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Ezra Klein has a thought experiment regarding the exemption that House Dems have carved out of the DISCLOSE Act for the NRA. To recap, the legislation would bring a measure of transparency to political advertising in the wake of Citizens United by requiring that corporations and organizations with significant funding from corporations would have to identify where the money is coming from in political ads. The NRA got an exemption for organizations that "have more than 1 million members, have been in existence for more than 10 years, have members in all 50 states and raise 15 percent or less of their funds from corporations," of which the NRA is pretty much the only example.
So Ezra asks:
If Democrats wrote this bill and created an exemption that only applied to the AFL-CIO, how would that play in the media? And why would it be substantively any different?
Ok, stop laughing at the idea that Dems would actually be united in doing anything for the sole benefit of the AFL-CIO. Ezra's right. Any other group getting this very particular exemption from any law would cause an uproar. But when the NRA talks.... Hello? Guns in wildlife refuges? (I think we might have to redefine the term "refuge.") A pre-emptively written gun protection clause in health insurance reform? Jon Tester trying to force the NRA's will on the D.C. City Council, not to mention the residents of the District?
It's the NRA's government, we just all have to live under it. And that apparently is accepted fact for everyone, including the traditional media.
Originally posted to Daily Kos on Tue Jun 15, 2010 at 11:00 AM PDT.