Last year, when anti-tax activist Grover Norquist was up for re-election for a seat on the National Rifle Association’s board of directors, Glenn Beck threatened to cancel his lifetime membership in the organization if Norquist retained his position. Insisting that Norquist was a front man for the Muslim Brotherhood, Beck declared that Norquist “is a very bad influence and a very bad man [and] if this is who the NRA decides to put on their board of directors, I don’t think I can be associated with them.”
Following Beck’s threat, NRA president Wayne LaPierre reached out to Beck and promised that the organization would launch an investigation into Norquist that would be fully transparent and the results of which would be posted on the NRA website for all to see in order “to get to the bottom of this once and for all.”
A year passed and the NRA investigation, whose results were never made public, reportedly found that the allegations against Norquist were without merit, which prompted Beck to switch course and throw his support behind a recall effort to remove Norquist from the board via a vote of NRA members.
For the last few months, Beck has used his radio and television shows to continue to make the case against Norquist and urge his audience members to vote to remove him from the NRA because he is a dangerous, deep-cover agent for Islamic radicals.
The deadline for votes to be submitted was May 1 and the results have now been tallied and, according to Paul Bedard of The Washington Examiner, Beck’s crusade has failed:
A left field attempt to paint the nation’s No. 1 tax foe as a closet Muslim radical was tossed in the trash this weekend when National Rifle Association members voted to reject a recall effort of board member Grover Norquist pushed by his foes led by radio ranter Glenn Beck.
“I greatly appreciate the strong support the NRA membership and the entire Second Amendment community provided in defeating the recall effort,” Norquist, founder of Americans for Tax Reform, told Secrets.
Pointing a finger at a champion of the recall effort, he added, “The recall was simply the most recent nonsense from Frank Gaffney—my stalker of the last 17 years. The NRA membership defeated his effort last April and again this year.”
Elected to the board six times, Norquist found support among top NRA officials and key former government officials like former Reagan-era Attorney General Ed Meese and former Bush Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff.
In an email to Secrets, Todd Rathner, an NRA board of director, said, “I was confident the membership of the NRA would see this recall vote for what it was, an attack on the NRA in a year when we must be focused on critical elections. With the Supreme Court hanging in the balance, I am glad this petty distraction is behind us.”
And Alan Gottlieb, executive vice president of the Second Amendment Foundation, said, “Grover Norquist is a great asset to the gun rights movement. It was important to the cause of freedom that he won this unjustified recall effort.”
Confirmation of his victory came just one week before the annual NRA Convention, taking place in Louisville, Ky., beginning Friday.
Given that Beck had warned that the effort to remove Norquist from the NRA was the last chance to stop him and that Beck had also publicly stated that he could not be a part of the NRA if Norquist was allowed to remain on the board, the only option he seems to have now is to stand by his principles and resign from the NRA.
Update: Predictably, Beck is already backing away from his threat to quit the NRA, saying on his radio program today that leaving would only weaken the organization and so he must “hold the line” and continue to “duke it out.”
“What are you going to do, unplug from everything?” he asked. “Do you just unplug? Or do you stay in and pitch? I don’t think we can unplug. I think that is a really bad idea, to unplug.”