Everybody else is unloading on this, so I might as well:
The White House knew its post-Newtown effort would require bringing key gun control groups into the fold. So the White House offered a simple arrangement: the groups could have access and involvement, but they’d have to offer silence and support in exchange.
The implied rules, according to conversations with many of those involved: No infighting. No second-guessing in the press. Support whatever the president and Vice President Joe Biden propose. And most of all, don’t make waves or get ahead of the White House.
…although it’s less of an “unloading,” and more of a genuine question: what do the anti-gun groups plan to do when nothing happens for them on the policy front? – Because nothing’s going to happen in the House. Nothing may even happen in the Senate; I count more than 40 Senators who either have to worry about the 2014 election, or who weren’t going to vote for limiting civil rights anyway. And while the President may be happy to use the bully pulpit in order to be one, there’s scant evidence that Obama’s any good at driving a policy debate where he wants it to go. So what do the anti-gun people get out of this deal, then? An absence of kicks?
Amusingly, that may be enough for them, at this point. Ah, the vicarious joys of lowered expectations. Of others.