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Dark Endeavors

Chung, Rather, the NRA, and Phil Graham

the ultimate conversation killer

This is Dark Cloud on Wednesday, May 24, 1995.

While the nation twinges in ennui as the Oklahoma City Federal Building crumbles in dust and the best and brightest jump the White House fence so they can share matching gun shot wounds with the Secret Service, as a whole the country is torn between two far more important stories.

Of course, you knew I meant Connie Chung although, based on her ratings, perhaps you didn’t. Chung was the CBS anchor with the mouth that worked, as opposed to Dan Rather, who seemingly was in perpetual ventriloquist training. Chung gave unctuousness a bad name and her taste in stories and lipstick were similar: garish and smeared. She was better than Rather; but then, who isn’t? She’s been fired, he hasn’t, go figure.

The other event, of course, almost of equal stature, involves the NRA. The National Rifle Association taught me and you how to shoot all through the 1950’s at summer camps and competitions. But today, they have become so off the wall that even George Bush, a political feather if ever one existed, has dropped membership. Appealing clearly to the militia mentality, the NRA has become a biker gang in presentation and outlook. Calling for the death of cops as J. Gordon Liddy did, or eerily equating them with Nazis is a distinction hard to flense apart. Ever since the national police organizations openly espoused gun control, the police and NRA have parted company like an old rug being torn: lots of dust, popping noise, and a bad smell. The NRA has become a tool of people so removed from reality it is not fair to call them reactionary. They’re simply crazy, like the militias.

The best show going now is watching the Republican Presidential candidates try to position themselves with these fetal fascists. Phil Graham, that hard right patriot and draft dodger who tries to force his face over the shoulders of both Christians and their agendas and anyone looking for a bought politico at any photo op, that Phil Graham, has now publicly associated himself with the NRA and it will be his undoing. Only seven percent of those eligible to vote for NRA officers do. The rest are silent, like much of the general electorate. The NRA’s officers have stage a coup, its members remain as centrist as ever. Poor Graham. He offered his soul for the Presidency, and only the NRA had the cash and interest.