The hypocrisy of the Republican Party is a remarkably resilient toxin that has infected the American body politic. They have abandoned any sense of reason or rationality. And if they have to contradict even their longest held “principles” (to the extent they exist) in order to sustain whatever outrage they are peddling, they’ll do it in a flash.
The GOP has always had an affinity for big business and the wealthy elitists who reign over it. But now they are experiencing a sea change due to events in Georgia and Texas and some other red states that are drafting and passing legislation aimed at suppressing the votes of Democrats in general, and people of color in particular.
This trend began when Georgia passed a series of suppressive bills that reduced ballot access, made voting by mail more difficult, and even criminalized giving water to voters waiting in line. Subsequently, some companies in Georgia responded to the protests of their customers by renouncing the anti-voting bills. Major League Baseball moved their All-Star Game from Atlanta to Denver. And Delta Airlines, Coca-Cola, and others let the GOP politicians in Georgia know that there would be consequences, including cutting off campaign donations.
This corporate revolt has spread as similar bills spread to other states. And now the corporate world’s best friend, the Republican Party, is shocked and appalled and ready to strike back. They have even threatened to revoke the preferential tax codes that the GOP had previously given them (Oh no, not that!). The GOP Minority Leader in the Senate, Mitch McConnell, has called for corporations to get out of politics. Well, except for their financial support.
On Monday, Lisa Boothe, a Fox News contributor, expressed what has become the new mantra of the GOP with regard to their Big Business ex-allies:
Really? People like Boothe never thought it was scary when corporations shoveled funds into their campaign war chests. They never thought it was scary when those corporations spoke out against fair taxation. They never thought it was scary when corporations campaigned against reproductive rights or civil rights or environmental protection or regulations that protected the safety of food, water, or workplaces. They never thought it was scary when those corporations backed their candidacies for public office. And they certainly never think it’s scary when Fox News, itself a monstrous corporation, gets entwined in politics every minute of every day.
Boothe’s tweet was followed less than an hour later by a similar posting from the GOP Senator from Missouri, and insurrection proponent, Josh Hawley. He repeated the same message about how the corporations he once loved have turned evil:
Not to be outdone, Fox News primetime host, Laura Ingraham, devoted her entire opening segment on Monday night to a monologue demanding that “conservatives have to rethink their relationship with Big Business,” because “Corporate America has gone all-in on helping Democrats secure a permanent majority.” Right, because Democrats have always been Corporate America’s favorite party. Elaborating, Ingraham disgorged the ludicrous theory that corporations are intent on “protecting liberals’ grip on power.” “Democrats,” Ingraham babbled, “know their agenda is gonna crush working class Americans. They hate it when wages go up.” Which is why Democrats are the party fighting for a higher minimum wage and an end wage disparities due to race and gender, while Republicans steadfastly oppose that.
Hawley, Boothe, Ingraham, and the rest of these ultra-rightist hypocrites have apparently forgotten how supportive they were when corporations would “get together to plan how to control legislation” that favored the corporations and the Republican political power base. They must have forgotten about the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), a confederacy of corporate lobbyists and state legislators that work together to draft legislation on behalf of its corporate members.
For the record, what triggered Boothe and Hawley at this time is that a group of “more than 100 top corporate leaders“ got together to discuss how they should respond to the Republican voter suppression movement and the GOP’s threats of reprisals. It’s a voluntary association driven by the reaction of the American people to the red state anti-voter initiatives. And contrary to Hawley’s reference to “oligarchy” it wasn’t started by the corporate titans, but by Prof. Jeffrey Sonnenfeld, a dean of the Yale School of Management.
Corporations will always have their own best interests at heart. But it is decidedly better for the world when they are pursuing those interests due to free market pressure placed on them by their customers, than by the greed that motivates their executives and shareholders. And it’s the fact that these recent events are marketplace-driven that is so objectionable to the Republican Party. They simply can’t stand it when the people decide to rule. They don’t like it when people rule by voting in record numbers. And they don’t like it when people convince corporations to behave like good corporate citizens.
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