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Hullabaloo


Thursday, April 25, 2019

 
The moneybags are getting worried

by digby




This made me chuckle. If there has been a more malevolent big money group than the Chamber of Commerce in recent yeears, I don't know who it might be. Maybe the Kohs. But what's the difference, really?

Anyway, they seem to be getting a little bit nervous:

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, navigating dramatic cultural change that’s transforming the worlds of politics and business, plans to become less aligned with the Republican Party than it has been for decades.

The largest and most powerful corporate lobbying group in Washington is changing the way it evaluates lawmakers for the first time in 40 years, launching a $250 million capital campaign to remodel its headquarters and even rethinking its approach to regulation.

Several dues-paying companies have balked as the Chamber endorsed fewer and fewer Democrats over the past several election cycles. The GOP’s drift toward protectionism, nativism and isolationism since Donald Trump took over the party in 2016 is also at odds with the Chamber’s longtime support for expanding free trade, growing legal immigration and investing in infrastructure.

The Chamber’s major strategic shift, outlined here for the first time based on a series of exclusive interviews with its leaders, grew out of more than two years of intensive conversations. The deliberations began in earnest shortly after Trump became president but long before the Democratic takeover of the House in the midterms ushered in divided government.

Tom Donohue, the Chamber’s longtime president and chief executive, compares it to making substitutions during a basketball game. “It's very unfortunate that the far right has gone very far right, and the far left has gone very far left. If you think about this, there is a hole in the middle,” he said. “So what we’re doing – and this is critical – is adjusting and responding to the new politics. We're adjusting and responding to the new Congress and the way the administration operates. The people that win in sports and in politics and in business are the people that are not so focused on one approach but are ready to adjust.”

The Democratic establishment soured on the Chamber as the group came to more reliably support GOP candidates. Democrat Evan Bayh even worked for the Chamber for five years after leaving the Senate, for example, but the group spent $1.4 million on television ads against him when he ran unsuccessfully to get his old seat back in 2016.

“It's not just about telling a different story. We have to fundamentally act differently, too,” said Tom Wilson, the chairman of the Chamber’s board of directors and the CEO of Allstate Corp. “We cannot just single-source our politics through one party. We need to be more accessible and more bipartisan than we were. You can decide how much we were, and everyone’s got their own views on that, but we just need to reach across the aisle to more Democrats.”

The story is the story and their behavior has been odious for decades. I'm sure there will be Democrats who want to buy into their very pro-business agenda, but there are way fewer than there once were.

It shows just how short-sighted many of these wealthy business lobbies have been. They overlooked the increasingly nihilistic and irrational behavior of the GOP because they believed the party elites could keep them in line. They were stupid, as rich elites often are, in thinking that, and now they're worried they have participated in destroying their golden egg. If they had been even slightly practical (much less moral and ethical) and tried to ensure that all the wealth didn't flow to the very top, they wouldn't be in this position today. They were greedy and wanted to control everything and own everything and people will eventually catch on and they will seek to reverse that.


Now they have a simple-minded criminal in charge and he's scaring them a little bit, not because he's against their policies, but because he's so corrupt and stupid that he may just take down the whole thing. They should have thought of that before.



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