Those of us of a certain age will remember former Vice President Spiro Agnew. He was President Nixon’s running mate in 1968 and 1972. Prior to that he had been the Governor of Maryland and the Executive of Baltimore County. His service in those prior positions would come back to bite him but more on that later.
Agnew’s primary role as Vice President always seemed to me was to serve as Richard Nixon’s attack dog. Whether it was with the press or with other administration opponents, Agnew was ready at a moment’s notice to go on the attack. His way with words was excellent due in no small measure to having William Safire as his speechwriter. Perhaps the most famous phrase written by Safire for Agnew was “nattering nabobs of negativism” in reference to the administration’s critics.
It seems to me, and this is my opinion only, that someone somewhere in the NRA’s hierarchy has deemed that this should now be the role for 2nd VP Willes Lee. If you have been following his posts on Facebook such as the one below, you will understand what I mean.
I didn’t realize until just now that as I was reading through Willes’ Facebook timeline that I am now officially “a hater”. I was a guest on Eye on the Target Radio with Amanda Suffecool and Rob Campbell in which I discussed the Ack-Mac lawsuits, the leaks, and other stuff related to the NRA’s current problems. I concluded by saying we need the NRA and that it is up to us to make the changes needed. I knew there was another guest that would follow me but didn’t realize that it was Willes.
For people who want to know what’s going on. Interesting format, challenging questions. BFF to all Amanda Suffecool Rob Campbell hosted first half hater, second half me. Never enuf time to hit all the juicy gossip but we got a lot. With the pot stirred today, you’ll want to listen.
The funny thing about being called “a hater” is that in 2017 when Willes Lee was just another guy running for the Board of Directors and I endorsed him, he couldn’t thank me enough. Even in 2019 when I bullet voted for Adam Kraut, I said Willes was worthy of your vote. I might be considered “a hater” or a “nattering nabob of negativism” in Agnew’s terms but like Pete Townshend of The Who wrote, “I won’t be fooled again.”
If those of us who have been calling for changes in the NRA and for it to clean up its house didn’t give a damn and didn’t care if we had a strong, effective advocate for the Second Amendment, we wouldn’t be writing or talking about it. I have been a Life Member and then an Endowment Life Member of the NRA since 2010 and an Annual Member on and off since I was 17 years old. Hell, when I first became a member you had to have either a Life Member or a public official sign your membership application. I had my neighbor Rep. Charlie Phillips of the NC House sign my application. One wonders how long people like Willes have been members of the NRA and if it is just another step in their career path.
As Paul Harvey often said, now for the rest of the story. Spiro Agnew resigned in disgrace from the Vice Presidency. On October 10, 1973, Agnew, in a plea bargain, pleaded no contest to a felony charge of tax evasion and was sentenced to three years probation. He resigned the Vice Presidency that same day. Agnew had been taking kickbacks from contractors doing business with Baltimore County and then the State of Maryland. The cash payments even continued after he became Vice President.
UPDATE: The episode of Eye on the Target Radio where I gave my views on the NRA issues for which Willes has deemed me “a hater” has just been posted. You can find it here.