Moms Demand Action to ‘Crash’ Joni Ernst Event? So What!

Per David Codrea at, Moms Demand Action is paying non-Iowans to attend the Iowa State Fair today and to protest against Republican senate candidate, Joni Ernst:

“We have just received word that the anti-gun Bloomberg organization Moms Demand Action is planning on crashing Joni Ernst’s appearance at the Iowa State Fair tomorrow, August 8!” an email alert sent this evening by Barry B. Snell, Communications Director of Iowa Firearms Coalition advises. “Joni Ernst, a senator in the state legislature and lieutenant colonel in the Iowa National Guard, is the pro-gun candidate running against anti-gun Bruce Braley for Tom Harkin’s Senate seat. Because of that, MDA is sending e-mails and making phone calls as I type, recruiting their anti-gun, billionaire backed, Astroturf activists to come to our fair and bushwhack Ernst when she’s scheduled to speak at the Soap Box Friday morning at 10:30 a.m.”

My question: So what? I’m never quite sure why this upsets people so much. As a general matter, I’m happy for Moms Demand Action. If they want to protest, fine. If they want to bring in people from outside to annoy a candidate for whom they cannot even vote, fantastic. If they want to use their time and resources intervening in a fight that they can’t possibly influence, so be it. If anything, this shows just how weak their position is. Think about it this way: If a political advocacy group can’t find enough people in Iowa willing to turn up at an Iowa event to complain about an Iowa politician, they’re not going to do especially well in Iowa are they? On the contrary: The moves tend to be counterproductive. Judging by what I have seen during the Colorado recalls and elsewhere, not only does bringing in people from other parts of the country fail to change anything on the ground, but it more often than not irritates the residents of the host state and opens up the invading group to potent charges of “outside interference” and “big money.”

This behavior is par for the course for Bloomberg’s various outfits:

That’s hardly surprising for those who monitor the way the outsider group inserts itself into states and throws money around. For a recent example, this column reported three days ago how “Nevadans for Background Checks” is really a Bloomberg front group with New York City direction. Whether that means the caller is actually a current California resident or if she kept her number and moved is unknown, but one significant difference in the way the groups operate is undeniable: Unlike the bankrolled Bloombergians, Iowa Firearms Coalition, which is attempting to react quickly, isn’t offering to reimburse their supporters for parking, admission and food.

Again: This is a sign of weakness. The NRA does not need to recruit passionate advocates from other states in order to push up its numbers. Why? Because it has 5 million members and a whole lot of support besides. The NRA is extremely effective because it is popular in general, because Americans are not particularly interested in gun-control (even when they agree with it), because the outfit is defending a provision that sits within the Constitution, and because advocates of the right to keep and bear arms have a powerful network of genuinely engaged residents in all fifty states. So MDA is going to Iowa to talk nonsense and indulge itself? Relax. 

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