One of the largest airlines in America just found out that political favoritism is a two-way street — and now they’re in the middle of a growing controversy involving both the Second Amendment and lobbying.
Over the weekend, Delta Air Lines joined several other well-known brands to distance itself from the National Rifle Association. As we previously reported, a handful of companies ended their discount programs for NRA members in the face of left-leaning critics who blame law-abiding gun owners for the Florida school shooting.
“Delta is reaching out to the National Rifle Association to let it know we will be ending its contract for discounted rates through our group travel program,” the airline announced, according to Business Insider.
“We will be requesting that the NRA remove our information from its website,” the company continued.
It’s a safe bet that the major airline didn’t anticipate what happened next. On Monday, the lieutenant governor of Georgia — the state where Delta is headquartered — made an announcement of his own: Tax breaks that benefited the company were going to be blocked in direct response to the airline’s anti-NRA stance.
“I will kill any tax legislation that benefits Delta unless the company changes its position and fully reinstates its relationship with NRA,” Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle posted on Twitter.
“Corporations cannot attack conservatives and expect us not to fight back,” he explained.
Cagle is currently running for governor of Georgia, and was referring to a pending tax bill that would give preferential treatment to the Atlanta-based Delta jets.
“The Georgia legislature is considering a broader tax bill that includes a provision to exempt Delta’s purchases of jet fuel from the state’s sales tax, a move that could save the airline about $40 million,” Business Insider reported.
“Cagle’s opposition effectively prevents the tax break from becoming law, as several other Georgia GOP lawmakers have also suggested they will not support it until Delta reverses its decision. The state’s Senate blocked the provision on Monday,” that news outlet continued.
Apparently desperate to placate both anti-gun liberals and pro-gun NRA supporters, Delta Air Lines made a new announcement that tried to take both sides of the issue… but the face-saving move was likely too little, too late.
“Delta’s decision reflects the airline’s neutral status in the current national debate over gun control amid recent school shootings,” Delta claimed. “Out of respect for our customers and employees on both sides, Delta has taken this action to refrain from entering this debate and focus on its business. Delta continues to support the 2nd Amendment.”
Nothing says “support the Second Amendment” quite like tearing up an amicable agreement with the NRA and insulting millions of law-abiding gun owners.
There are two sides to the coin on this issue, and conservatives may find themselves cheering for Cagle’s announcement while also asking some tough questions about the entire situation.
One one hand, it’s incredibly refreshing to see Delta get what they had coming after turning their backs on millions of gun owners. Left-leaning companies tripped over themselves to “virtue signal” in the wake of the Florida tragedy, without stopping to consider that coming out against a right enshrined in the Constitution might not be such a bright idea.
Delta and the other brands seemed to have no problem giving friendly discounts to NRA members last month, yet the moment the mainstream media tried to bizarrely blame the gun ownership and safety organization for an unrelated crime, dozens of companies caved to the false narrative.
To a certain extent, turnabout is fair play, and the airline was not magically entitled to tax breaks. The left seems to adore special deals and political back-scratching when it suits their causes, but is suddenly shocked to discover that the arrangement can go both ways.
On the other hand, there is a strong hint of cronyism to this quid pro quo announcement. The NRA is a private group and Delta Air Lines is not run by the government; why the state house should be involved in a business squabble between the two of them at all is a mystery.
Seeing a company like Delta eat humble pie for turning its back on gun owners might be satisfying, but not if the government’s greasy fingers are in that pie. One-sided tax deals and “you’d better or else” declarations aren’t particularly conservative moves, even if they’re a lot of fun to watch unfold.
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