It can’t be easy for the National Rifle Association right now. They have, to a very real extent, simply won the larger debate. It’s over — no one is working on gun control legislation. President Obama, considered by the NRA to be a terrible threat, has actually expanded gun rights. Even after the Tucson massacre in January, there was some sporadic talk about new measures, but they quickly faded away.

The NRA can’t admit any of this, since it would be bad for fundraising. After all, no one feels the urgency to grab their checkbook to support an activist organization that just doesn’t have much to do.

It leaves Wayne LaPierre, one of the NRA’s highest-profile leaders, rallying his supporters with rhetoric that seems like a parody.

“[The Obama campaign] will say gun owners — they’ll say they left them alone,” LaPierre told an audience at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) Friday. “In public, he’ll remind us that he’s put off calls from his party to renew the Clinton [assault weapons] ban, he hasn’t pushed for new gun control laws… The president will offer the 2nd Amendment lip service and hit the campaign trail saying he’s actually been good for the 2nd Amendment.”

“But it’s a big fat stinking lie!” the NRA leader exclaimed. “It’s all part of a massive Obama conspiracy to deceive voters and destroy the 2nd Amendment in our country.”

“Obama himself is no fool. So when he got elected, they concocted a scheme to stay away from the gun issue, lull gun owners to sleep and play us for fools in 2012. Well, gun owners are not fools and we are not fooled,” La Pierre declared.

“… President Obama and his cohorts, yeah, they’re going to deny their conspiracy to fool gun owners. Some in the liberal media, they are already probably blogging about it. But we don’t care because the lying, conniving Obama crowd can kiss our Constitution!”

If I were trying to come up with over-the-top rhetoric, intended to make LaPierre look like a fool, I’m not sure I could have come up with anything quite this silly.

And yet, the NRA leader actually said all of this, in public. He seriously wants people to believe President Obama’s complete disinterest in gun-control laws is part of “massive Obama conspiracy” to get new gun-control laws.

I’m sure some NRA members fall for this — the group still has a massive amount of money — but once the pitch gets this weak, it’s hard not to chuckle at what’s become of the organization.

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Steve Benen

Follow Steve on Twitter @stevebenen. Steve Benen is a producer at MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show. He was the principal contributor to the Washington Monthly's Political Animal blog from August 2008 until January 2012.