Remember when the Republican candidate for President of the United States declared that “corporations are people, my friend” That was the ultra-capitalist, Mitt Romney, standing up for the constitutional rights of business enterprises and the wealthy upper-crusters who ran them. It was an extension of the “Corporate Personhood“ doctrine and the precedents established by the right-wing majority of the Supreme Court in the Citizens United case.
These legal mutations gave corporations human attributes that entitled them to protections under the Constitution for anything from religious practice to political sponsorship. The Republican Party hailed these developments as beneficial to democracy, despite the fact that the only beneficiaries were the wealthy executive class and the Republicans they supported. It allowed virtually unlimited donations to political candidates without disclosing the source of the funds.
People like the Republican leader in the Senate, Mitch McConnell, were the biggest cheerleaders for these brazenly unfair rules that disadvantaged average Americans and the organizations that worked on their behalf. It opened the door for corporations to run roughshod over the interests of the people. and that’s precisely the way McConnell et al liked it.
Until now. The recent efforts by states like Georgia and Texas to pass legislation aimed at suppressing the votes of Democrats in general, and people of color in particular, has resulted in a backlash from companies that recognize the risk they face if they support such discriminatory practices. Many companies (nearly 200) took public positions opposing the bills in Georgia. Delta Airlines and Coca-Cola were among the most vocal. Major League Baseball pulled their All-Star Game from Atlanta. This triggered the King of Cancel Culture, Donald Trump, to lash out at them and propose several other companies that he ordered his cult followers to boycott.
Obediently chasing after Trump, McConnell is now joining the anti-corporation confederacy that he used to bow down before. In a statement issued Monday, McConnell complained that…
“We are witnessing a coordinated campaign by powerful and wealthy people to mislead and bully the American people.”
Funny, that never bothered him before. McConnell continued with what he is now calling the “Big Lie.” And it isn’t Trump’s flagrant and dangerous falsehood about Joe Biden stealing the election. Nope. In McConnell’s world it’s…
“The President has claimed repeatedly that state-level debates over voting procedures are worse than Jim Crow or ‘Jim Crow on steroids.’ Nobody actually believes this.”
Actually, President Biden has never claimed that even once. He never said that “debates” are worse than Jim Crow. He said the GOP views and legislation are. And millions of American believe that. But McConnell wasn’t through. His statement continued to claim that…
“Our private sector must stop taking cues from the Outrage-Industrial Complex. Americans do not need or want big business to amplify disinformation or react to every manufactured controversy with frantic left-wing signaling.”
If one didn’t know better, one might presume that McConnell’s “Outrage-Industrial Complex” was a reference to Fox News. Of course, it’s absurd to suggest that he’d ever think such a thing. More to the point, McConnell is right that Americans don’t want big business amplifying disinformation. Which is exactly what they’ve been doing for years while financially backing Republicans. However, that isn’t what they’re doing now.
The companies speaking out in opposition to the anti-voting bills in Georgia and elsewhere are responding like any free-market enterprise would when their customers have informed them that supporting those bills would produce a consumer revolt. This isn’t a corporate-driven political action. It is customer-driven, and the corporations are exercising their rights to respond to marketplace conditions.
Republicans used to be in favor of that. But not, apparently, when it contradicts the goals of the Wingnut Contingent that they represent. In that event, McConnell and the GOP are now threatening their former Big Business allies, saying that…
“Corporations will invite serious consequences if they become a vehicle for far-left mobs to hijack our country from outside the constitutional order. Businesses must not use economic blackmail to spread disinformation and push bad ideas that citizens reject at the ballot box.”
You have to wonder what “consequences” McConnell has in mind to punish the companies that are responding to the market forces that make them profitable. It’s also curious what “constitutional order” he thinks they have strayed from. But worst of all, it’s McConnell who is resorting to “economic blackmail” in these very threats. He wants to force those companies to conform to his will. But given the choice between millions of their customers and the losers of the most recent election, his impotent yelping is unlikely to yield the obedience he craves.
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How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.