Skip to comments.Sorry, There's No Evidence Big Business Has Abandoned the Tea Party or GOP
Posted on 10/30/2013 10:53:41 PM PDT by 2ndDivisionVet
The current conventional wisdom floating around the media, seemingly extrapolated largely from quotes to the press from businessmen and their surrogates, is that "Big Business [is] trying to unseat the Tea Party." However, there's no evidence that this is happening.
Remember the first time Tea Party House Republicans held a gun to the U.S. economy, refusing to pay America's debts unless Democrats accepted a wide-ranging set of demands, and as a result, business leaders promised to spend big to defeat hostage-taking radicals?
"We'll get rid of you," said Tom Donohue, president of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce to the Tea Party lawmakers.
That was 2011, during the first debt ceiling stand-off. And the following election year, none of the threats materialized.
In 2012, the Chamber ended up spending millions in undisclosed business funds to help elect Todd Akin, Ann Marie Buerkle, Dean Heller, Connie Mack, Denny Rehberg, and other lawmakers who supported taking the debt ceiling hostage. Political action committees for the largest corporate interests in America, including General Motors, Goldman Sachs, Deloitte, the American Bankers Association, and Honeywell, gave several million in direct donations to Tea Party hostage-takers, helping many survive the election last year and repeat their antics this year.
Now, it seems big business is bluffing again and advancing a false narrative that they are flexing their political muscle against the Tea Party. The storyline, boosted by ThinkProgress, Bloomberg, National Journal, and the Associates Press, among others, is that corporate America has lost influence with the GOP and is helping to defeat lawmakers who threatened to push America into default.
So far, the spin makes the business community appear moderate, though there is nothing backing it up. Despite making statements and sending letters voicing their concern, the Chamber has failed to spend a single penny in advocacy against the Tea Party hostage-takers. They haven't rescinded any of their so-called "Free Enterprise Awards," either. (The award has been given to many Tea Party lawmakers, including repeat hostage-takers like Reps. Steve Scalise (R-LA), Tom Graves (R-GA), and Morgan Griffith (R-VA), who encouraged a debt default by comparing it to a second American Revolution.)
Contrast this with how the Chamber behaved in 2009, when Democrats controlled the House of Representatives. By November of that year, twelve months before the midterms, the Chamber launched an onslaught of attack advertisements against House Democrats who did not vote their way, after months of issue ads in targeted districts.
Then, after helping the Tea Party seize the House and several governors' mansions during the midterms, business groups pumped funds into an effort to gerrymander the Tea Party into permanent rule. CitiGroup and the U.S. Chamber -- both of which now complain about flirting dangerously close to default -- provided huge donations to the RSLC, the political committee devoted to gerrymandering seats to the House GOP and Tea Party caucus' advantage.
Will we see a reversal? Next year, there are a handful of high-profile primary races in which establishment Republicans are challenging incumbents, but none of them are proof that there is a concerted effort by business to drive out the Tea Party. Rep. Justin Amash (R-MI) is being challenged on social issues and for his outspoken views on foreign policy, not on the debt ceiling. Rep. Kerry Bentivolio (R-MI) has been a target for a primary well before his vote to shut down the government, largely because he is seen as a political novice who doesn't know how to raise money. Rep. Walter Jones (R-NC) is facing an establishment challenge, once again, but because he is an outsider within the party for his persistent votes to regulate Wall Street and crack down on political corruption.
Finally, Rep. Scott DesJarlais (R-TN) may lose his seat because of revelations that he pressured a patient with whom he was having an affair to seek an abortion -- not for his vote over the debt ceiling.
In fact, in terms of primary challenges, it looks like well-heeled GOP interest groups will successfully oust Boehner Republicans to make way for additional Tea Party-style politicians. Politico reports that Republican Reps. Mike Simpson (R-ID), Pete Sessions (R-TX), Lamar Smith (R-TX), and Bill Shuster (R-PA) face challenges from the right next year. Challengers in these races are calling for more debt ceiling hostage-taking. The Club for Growth, a pro-government shut down group funded largely by wealthy investors and businessmen, is leading the charge.
Here's the reality: The large political action committee and trade associations that control much of corporate America's campaign spending decisions will help the Tea Party and House GOP win reelection next year.
Big business political operatives lean Republican, and will stick with the party even if Republicans disrupt the economy for political reasons. Over the years, congressional Republicans waged a multifaceted effort to place partisans in their party in charge of the most influential lobby groups within the Beltway.
In the nineties, a mid-career John Boenher helped oust U.S. Chamber president Richard Lesher -- a moderate who sided with Democrats at times -- to pave the way for Tom Donohue, a known GOP loyalist. During the George W. Bush era, Rick Santorum, Tom DeLay, Grover Norquist, Ed Gillespie, and others created the "K Street Project" to install GOP operatives into key business lobbying positions.
Tom Perriello, a former one-term House Democrat from Virginia who was one of the first to be targeted by the U.S. Chamber in attack ads aired a year before his reelection, says business leaders are too cozy with the GOP. Now the leader of the Center for American Progress Action Fund, he tells me that he's "disappointed but not particularly surprised in the business community's failure to force the Republicans to act reasonably on the CR, default or immigration for that matter ... there seems to remain a broad cultural and political aversion [among lobbyists] to do anything that seems to help the Democrats and President Obama in particular."
Still, Perriello thinks a change could be on the horizon. Many traditionally Republican business groups in Virginia have sat out the gubernatorial race, partially out of disgust for Ken Cuccinelli's Tea Party extremism. Even GOP corporate lobbyists like John Feehery have been vocal in calling for the business community to do more to challenge the Tea Party.
But right now, it's too early to say if 2014 will be any different than the last few congressional elections. The evidence suggests in fact that radicals are gaining ground within the GOP while facing little accountability. When it comes to taking on the Tea Party, business leaders have a lot of bark and no bite.
Here’s the pitiful truth about the Tea Party folks.
These are mostly folks over the age of forty, who haven’t bankrupted themselves. These are people who don’t buy cars they can’t afford. These are people who don’t buy houses beyond their capability to pay off. These are people who don’t have $40,000 of credit card debt. These are people who don’t vacation in Aruba or Paris or Rio.
The Tea Party folks gazed around a decade ago at friends, neighbors, church members, and relatives who were risky with their savings, their monthly check, and behaving mostly like a kid in a candy factory. The idea of failing and having to move back in with mom or dad just didn’t appeal to Tea Party folks. Begging off Grandma....was undesirable.
Then the Tea Party folks gazed over at the local city, county and state behavior. Same deal. Reckless spending, no accountability, and spiraling beyond control.
Anyone who hates or dislikes Tea Party folks is free to do so. The imaginary secret power or threat that Tea Party folks have? Well...a single Tea Party member has one simple vote. That’s it. There’s no legal beagles out there to work on massive cases, or planned riots, or massive lobbyist efforts. Just one vote per Tea Party individual.
Big, medium and small business operators all came to realize that Tea Party folks pay their bills on time....don’t make hassles over signed contracts....or accept bankruptcy as the best answer forward. It’s a shock for Democrats to face up to the character of a Tea Party individual...just honest humble folks....who dislike reckless spending habits.
The Nation is a left wing rag. They are not honest. They are no more reliable than Politico.
They see Obama as too right wing.
The Nation’s interest is to show US business in a bad light. In their twisted view, showing that US business support the Tea Party is the most damaging charge they can bring.
If one is looking for truth, accuracy or context, The Nation is not where to look.
Do you really think I post articles from places I’m unfamiliar with?
Fang ? He was married to Phyllis Diller, wasn’t he ?
So you are saying the Nation publishes truthful articles that expose lies?
You believe that? You seem to totally accept what this article states. As if it is the voice of authority and reason.
What the libs don’t realize is that even the mainstream public is catching on to their Alinsky “tell a lie enough times and the people will believe it” tactic. Everywhere I go I am finding people fed up with administrations lies and deception’ many of them Democrats. Soon the real truth about their agenda will cause enough fear in the white and some of the Hispanic segment of the Democrat Party to get them to leave it (talked to several this week that are abandoning ship) and that’s going to sting a little. I know many of you are going to say it eon’t make much of a difference but I think it will, especially since many I have been hearing from are Hispanic citizens.
I hate to pull rank on you, but I will in this instance. I have a long history here and people know me and are familiar with my work, as it were. I don’t have to justify my threads and will not, except occasionally to very senior, well-respected people and the site owner and his people. You are none of those things my friend.
Very well stated and on the money. The leftwing attempt to demonize ordinary Americans who embrace traditional American values would be laughable if it weren’t so dangerous.
The Hispanics in my locality never drank the Kool-Aid as far as I can tell and the blacks in my former residence put away all the Obama gee-gaws and clothing a LONG TIME ago. He’s now something of an inside joke, even to them. BTW, they know he’s a flamer.
You are from what, 2005?
A mere babe for FR. But rank is of no importance necessarily
You are misinterpreting that I am saying you should not post this or that. I’m not sure why you think that.
I addressed the context of this article and why it does not put the lie to anything.
I thought that sort of discussion Was what you wanted.
I think the Hispanic voting bloc is starting to change. I know what the naysayers will day but I’m seeing different in my neck of the woods.
I think the Hispanic voting bloc is starting to change. I know what the naysayers will say but Im seeing different in my neck of the woods.
85% or so of my neighborhood are Hispanic. They are more capitalistic, entrepreneurial, family-oriented and Catholic than many people realize.
LOL That’s right.
2006 and not a babe. If I only posted occasionally, you might have a point, but I have about 20,000 threads and almost 50,000 posts, which, while it is no “world record” is not a small thing. I practically live here as a shut-in. I have received literally hundreds of messages that people like my threads and comments and many say they come here and look especially for my postings. The Nation is proving what I’ve been saying about all the agitprop of “big business/donors and the Tea Party are getting a divorce” that’s been circulating since the shutdown. I know who they are. I’ve been active in politics and government since my teens, worked in the White House and at the higher levels of the Defense Department and was an advance man in two Iowa presidential campaigns and guarded then Vice President Bush on a regular basis when he visited the Des Moines Air Guard base.
You forgot to add: Tea Party, honest, one vote folks, pay their bills on time and therefore RACIST! Just wanna get that out of the way.
I doubt the US Chamber supported Todd Akin...Akin was against Amnesty...against Free Trade (real reason PhonyCons went after him)...and pretty much a solid Economic American (which Chamber hates). The US Chamber would have loved third place finisher Sarah Steelman
I find it highly amusing when a leftist rag like The Nation, which would like to replace whatever free market economics that is still evident in the U.S. with a North Korean/style Marxist system, accuses a group of people who believe in free market economics of economic sabotage. I guess these people laugh themselves sick after publishing their tripe.