As Republicans slam corporations for opposing their national efforts to change voting rules, top critics of private sector power by the Democratic Party scoff at the idea that U.S. corporations and the GOP have bothered. in fact dissociated.
Asked Wednesday about the idea of a break between the GOP and big business, Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) let out a small laugh.
“I think the Republicans have finally been called up,” Warren told The Daily Beast. “They think they can pass laws to prevent people from voting and otherwise undermine our democracy, and as long as they cut taxes on American businesses, everything will be sunny and rosy. They are wrong.
The former Wall Street watchdog and progressive 2020 presidential candidate has not really given moral credit to companies for speaking out against GOP voting positions. They had simply reached their limit.
“This is all about democracy,” Warren said. “Businesses are ready to come in and spend their money helping the candidates they are aligned with, but what we are seeing now is that they are not ready to go through with our grassroots democracy. . “
That apparent breaking point was the Georgia Republicans’ bill, passed in March, aimed at restricting multiple avenues to voting after high-level Democratic victories in the state fueled conspiracies over electoral integrity. . Big local companies like Delta Air Lines and Coca-Cola have spoken out strongly against the bill, and Major League Baseball has pulled its scheduled All-Star game from the state under pressure from its players and the public. CEOs of big companies like Pepsi and Paypal recently gathered to discuss the coordinated pushback of bills similar to Georgia’s. And Wednesday, the pages of New York Times and Washington post had an open letter signed by hundreds of companies – including Starbucks, General Motors and Google – condemning “any discriminatory legislation or measure that restricts or prevents any eligible voter from having an equal and fair chance to vote.”
These movements, among others, have prompted the GOP to turn against the corporate titans of America as “awakened” warriors taking the Democrats’ marching orders, which sparked articles and headlines speculating on the schism between the Democrats. C suites and the Republican Party.
Not only do progressives like Warren reject the idea that this divide is real, but they also reject the idea that a broader political realignment is underway, in which Republicans assume the role of main adversary of big business, while Democrats are gradually aligning themselves with corporate interests. .
The party’s de facto left-wing dean, Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT), offered a simple litmus test for Republicans when asked this question. “We’ll see what they think of asking big business and the rich to start paying their fair share,” Sanders told The Daily Beast. “Let’s see what they think about the increase in the minimum wage.”
The subtext of Sanders’ response: Republicans generally don’t support these things. To pay for their $ 2.2 trillion infrastructure project, President Joe Biden and Democrats want to raise corporate taxes to 28%, from the 21% the GOP codified in their 2017 tax bill. Republicans have uniformly hesitated at this idea.
The GOP also opposed an effort by Democrats to raise the federal minimum wage to $ 15 when Democrats pushed to add it to their COVID relief program in February. Only one Republican, Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO), came close to approving the idea, supporting a minimum wage hike only for the largest companies. In general, he was one of the few Republicans willing to back criticism of corporate policy with measures to restrict their power.
Hawley believes the rest of his party is catching up with him, especially on antitrust issues, and he has argued that the Democratic Party is becoming the party of choice for corporate America. “The corporate party right now, more and more today, is the Democratic Party,” Hawley told The Daily Beast. “We are currently in a major realignment.”
The recent demonstrations of antipathy by many Republicans towards American businesses have been fueled largely by the feeling that they are targeting them in one way or another, not just opposition to the ballot bills at the corporate level. States, but through the approval of “culture of cancellation” or censorship of conservatives.
Beyond that, statements from many large companies – such as Amazon, AT&T, Mastercard and Blue Cross Blue Shield – that they would not contribute to the campaigns of Republican lawmakers who opposed the certification of the 2020 election afterwards. January 6 made the party even worse.
When Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) recently issued a surprise endorsement of the will to form a union at an Amazon warehouse in Alabama, he hinted at the mega-corporation’s devastating impact on small businesses . But most of Rubio’s firepower was reserved for Amazon’s so-called “war on working class values” by banning conservative books from their market, and their status as “citizens of the world,” which , he said, made the company an accomplice of the Chinese Communist government.
His 2016 presidential rival, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), also attacked ‘awakened’ companies, but tried to turn those criticisms into a conservative-flavored argument that power, in general, is bad . In a tweet on Tuesday, Cruz said, “Big government is bad. Big business is bad. Big Tech is bad. Big Hollywood is bad. Any massive accumulation of power is bad. “
Hawley, who is campaigning to remove a century-old antitrust exemption for MLB in response to Georgia’s decision, took issue with the idea that the lack of support from Republicans to force companies to pay higher taxes means they don’t really want to hold companies accountable. “I’m not buying that you have to support the Democrats’ political agenda to get serious criticism of American business,” he said.
Progressives are of course deeply skeptical about this. “You can’t just say rhetorically, ‘We are the party of working families,’ said Representative Ro Khanna (D-CA), a leading House progressivist who co-chaired the 2020 presidential campaign. by Sanders. “What are the policies? What is a concrete policy that Republicans have adopted over the past 30 years that is directly in the interest of working families, that has increased the power of workers over the power of corporations?
As for Hawley’s argument that Democrats are more corporate, Khanna bluntly rejected it. “I think we are going the other way,” he said.
For Warren, however, it all comes down to the issue that broadened the daylight between Republicans and business: voting.
“American businesses may still be willing to line up with Republicans who have cut taxes, but not with something that is fundamental to democracy,” Warren said. “So in a way, when you asked me about simple realignment in politics, that’s not what it tells me. For me, he said, there is something bigger than politics, and for American businesses to recognize that they have a responsibility in America, and that that responsibility is to support our democracy.
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