Jim Geraghty presents the other side of the NRA coin on the Holder matter here.
I wanted to be sure to highlight it:
The risk of defeat is high, and the rewards for victory are pretty small. And when you pick your hill to die on, you have to recognize that the consequence of failure is that you die.
Beyond differences on strategy and priorities, Erick's characterization is irksome. Do Wayne LaPierre, John Sigler, Chris Cox, et al., really seem like the kinds of folks who change their minds because Reid and Leahy told them to? Do you really think that "pressure" from those two is all it takes to get the NRA leadership to change their minds? Come on.
Having said that, we also ought to remember that the NRA's mission is to a cause, not a political party. Erick says "play nice with Democrats" with a sneer, but that's not a bad thing to a group that is regularly touts itself as willing to work with anyone of any party who backs their agenda — i.e., protecting Second Amendment rights.
Finally, if the NRA scores based on the Holder vote, why not the vote to confirm Cass Sunstein as OIRA Administrator? After all, Sunstein said that hunting should be banned. Why not score the vote on the confirmation of Arne Duncan to be Secretary of Education?
I would say, though, that the Attorney General is a rather big fish dealing with the second amendment, so a score would be proper for him. The NRA itself has made a big deal out of the Holder appointment a month ago. So why not score?
I wouldn't characterize it as a "hill to die on". In fact, much of the angst from Judiciary Committee members is that Holder is defeatable, but the NRA won't aggressively oppose him. Senators fear their NRA score going down more than they fear a bunch of gun toting Jesus freaks calling their offices.
And not only that, the NRA won't testify against Holder and worked behind the scenes to get the Gun Owners of America uninvited to the hearing.
When Ashcroft limped into the Department of Justice, wounded, due to blistering hearings and a bad roll call vote, the Democrat attack machine clearly served its purpose. A wounded Holder who has to disprove the attacks against his antigun views will be less able to harm the 2nd amendment. A Holder confirmed overwhelmingly because we should expect an antigun nominee will be aggressive in promoting the Brady Agenda.