The daily beast
The money monster Mitch McConnell created has finally turned on him
Samuel Corum / Getty It turns out that Mitch McConnell doesn’t really think that businesses are people or that money is talk if the businesses in question don’t speak his language. Instead, he warned them to “stay out of politics” because they “have serious consequences if they become a vehicle for the far-left crowds.” Mitch, who then tried to walk away from his remarks because “I didn’t say that artfully”, is mad because large employers in Georgia have finally reacted to a voter suppression law that could just as well have been have been written. by Lester Maddox. The companies have come out for the controversial proposal, in GOP circles, that every American should have the right and the opportunity to vote, and that is not what McConnell pledged to as he passed the past three decades of waging war on behalf of the cash flow of unregulated businesses. “Right” to corrupt our democracy. What he meant, as anyone who has watched his incredibly destructive career knows, is that these companies were welcome to give wheelbarrows of money to Republicans, to relieve him of the burden of having to develop new businesses. political ideas to improve the lives of Americans and get around the problem. Christian right-wing mastermind behind United Citizens says it’s good for democracy This money is also helping to redeem Senate Republicans, who happen to be the Republican leader’s electorate. This allowed McConnell to build a career in the Senate that could be seen as a tribute to Seinfeld, in the sense that absolutely nothing was discussed. Except power. As long as companies paid and shared opinions he liked – low taxation, deregulation, free trade – Mitch was more of a “speak up, good CEO” type. The problem was, as our culture started to change, so did companies. Some companies have suddenly been run by executives who believe in such crazy concepts as LGBTQ rights, equal pay and racial equality. Or at least knew how to publicly support these precepts to appeal to their customers. On these matters, as far as McConnell is concerned, you can stay overnight, but just leave your check on the bedside table before you go home. To be fair, McConnell has been principled in this position – that corporate giving is only good to the extent that it’s good for McConnell – for as long as he’s been in politics, as Alec MacGillis details in The Cynic: The Political Education of Mitch McConnell. In 1973, McConnell published an editorial promoting partially public campaign funding and setting spending limits. In 1987, Senator McConnell “sponsored a constitutional amendment bill giving Congress the power to limit independent spending on campaigns. and on the use of personal funds by candidates for their own races. “(McConnell, at the time, was far from wealthy.) In 1990, he was pushing to ban political action committees. It was just at a time when Democrats had exercised absolute control over the US House of Representatives for nearly four decades, so the PACS gave Democrats more than Republicans. It happened to McConnell during his first Senate race in 1984. The incumbent Democrat he ousted, Walter “Dee” Huddleston, was favored by PACS, much to McConnell’s chagrin. But that would change once Mitch mastered the art of shakedown. He came to oppose any reform of campaign financing, challenging the decisions of the FEC and filing amicus briefs contesting any contribution limit that could end up before the Supreme Court. In this way, he has been a driving force behind Citizens United. Still, if you think it was carrying over to his thinking about actual corporate talk, the kind that comes out of the mouth and not the wallet, think again. From an article I wrote in 2004 about the then Senate Whip, McConnell: McConnell also knows how to use threats. When a group of Republican senators signed a campaign finance reform measure in the late 1990s, McConnell, as NRSC chairman, informed them they could not expect any electoral support. from the committee unless they change positions. At least one, Sen. Sam Brownback (R-Kan.) Did so after receiving McConnell’s warning. Then in 1999, when the Committee for Economic Development (CED) – a trade group representing big business – announced its support for the soft money ban, McConnell wrote a furious letter, on letterhead from NRSC, to CEOs of CED-owned companies, denouncing the group’s “all-out campaign to gut private sector participation in politics” and urging them to quit the organization. “I hope you quit CED,” he scribbled at the bottom of one copy. Many recipients of the letter saw an implicit threat that, unless they opt out of the CED and stop supporting reform efforts, their companies would receive unfavorable treatment from Congress, which brings us back to the point. McConnell’s supposed support for money in First Amendment politics. or another similar principle. It’s not that. McConnell has no problem with the guy from MyPillow decrying a coup or the CEO of Goya supporting sedition. But he has a big problem with the corporate players speaking out in favor of the right to vote. Because, as 2020 has shown, McConnell’s party is primarily addressing the Fox News demographic “I have fallen and I cannot stand up”, not those who reject an America of transgender bans, advocate their position and testify to the fetuses. creating things needs an educated workforce, which means increasingly democratic and socially tolerant. And they must attract consumers with disposable income who actually buy products. Needless to say, these folks tend not to reside in what you would call “the Hannity demographic”. So Mitch doesn’t want these companies talking. But as Georgia has proven, they will do it anyway, as the alternative is to alienate their customers, and no amount of crazy GOP tweets suggesting that Major League Baseball is an offshoot of the “Chinese virus” that is forcing its customers. players reading double headers Dr Seuss is going to change that fact, what it all means is that Mitch is finally harvesting the whirlwind of corporate talk he was so keen to unleash on our politics when it benefited to him and his party. our best stories to your inbox every day. Register now! Daily Beast Membership: Beast Inside delves deeper into the stories that matter to you. Learn more.