More suicidal GOP gaffes as McConnell scolds corporations: Forget fair elections but keep paying off

What if refusing to challenge the most onerous election obstacles hurts corporate bottom lines, the ultimate wickedness?


What a joke: the billionaire party attacks big business for getting “involved in politics”

Trumpist stupidity is washing over the party, transforming alleged wizard Mitch McConnell into a world-class bumbler – contrary to his shrewd Machiavellian image. The void of irony is as conspicuous as is the predictable, boomerang outcome. Since when do paid, upstart lackeys tell the bosses who’s in charge and how to run things? What’s next up in the rightwing playbook to alienate its most reliable, fat cat donors? After all, huge corporations are desperately seeking an exit strategy after being cornered by highly-discredited, Georgia election abuses?

So, this Rethug leader piles on unforced errors to what now defines the Republican brand: searing Trump racism and his endless parade of Big Lies, white supremacy, election violations, violent anti-democratic insurrections, and scorn for minorities, immigrants and women. And that’s on top of a good, old-fashioned, Trump-style scandal by a creepy sugar daddy taking minors across state lines for illicit sex. Or a juicy, illegal Trump fundraising scam that exposes the family’s unspeakable, self-serving pandering. What this world really needs is non-stop state indictments that frame exactly who Trump and Trumpism have been all along. Beyond the party of stupid, the pliant, fear-ridden Trump base must relish getting whipped right and left – as so many of them still accept their chosen victim role.

For four years, the majority looked with horror at Trump’s unerring ability to estrange centrists, needlessly shredding voters he needed for re-election. Whenever Trump had the chance to feed his insatiable base and broadcast how belligerently deplorable he was, he blundered ahead, maximizing his negatives. Five year olds lie better – and know better when the game is up. What moron knowingly loses thousands at roulette, then irrationally squeals, “the game is rigged and I was robbed.” People who can’t abide losing should stop lying about horrendous losses.

So, this past week the top Republican clown attacks embattled corporations to “Stay out of high-profile political fights.” Really, the party of big business is scolding American Airlines and Coke, Delta and Major League baseball to ignore the wholesale bashing of GA minority voters. Not just that: McConnell’s initial warning had all the idiocy of a Trumpian rant, declaring that companies would face “serious consequences” if they become vehicles “for far-left mobs to hijack our country.”

Contradictions galore

Here’s another Hypocrite-in-chief who refused to convict (on impeachment) only to promptly urge prosecutors to investigate Trump for inciting insurrection. With contradictions exploding, this leader of the big business party now has the gall (and bad judgment) to tell smarter executives not to resist getting tarred with links to racism and voter suppression. What cosmic McConnell distortions: there IS a true, ongoing, mob-like hijacking of “our country” but not from the “far-left.”

Since November Republican voters are fleeing the party, with numbers lower than in years. No doubt they’re fed up with Trump lawlessness, incompetence and nonsense – plus his utterly failed “Stop the Steal” propaganda. Biden the tactical moderate is winning political battles – and Republicans apparently think just offending centrists is not enough. No, instead, let’s assault the corporate base on which the party depends. If big business stops its donations, then only white supremacists, slavish evangelicals, and whackos suffering D.D.S. (Democratic Derangement Syndrome) back Republicans. That’s a sure path to oblivion.

Though he backed off two days later, McConnell’s harangues displayed how unhinged and tin-ear he’s become, presumably echoing his caucus. McConnell warned that:

Businesses must not use economic blackmail to spread disinformation and push bad ideas that citizens reject at the ballot box. I found it completely discouraging to find a bunch of corporate CEOs getting in the middle of politics. My advice to the corporate CEOs of America is to stay out of politics. Don’t pick sides in these big fights.

Then he doubled down on his nasty scold“it’s quite stupid” for major companies “to jump in the middle of a highly controversial issue. Republicans drink Coca-Cola too, and we fly, and we like baseball, adding that criticism of the new Georgia election law is “irritating one hell of a lot of Republican fans.” 

Eventually, he conceded his first gambits were clumsy blunders, conceding (arrogantly and ungraciously) that corporations are “certainly entitled to be involved in politics. They are. My principal complaint is they didn’t read the darn bill.” Right, now only he can read but not fancy corporate lawyers or media experts who dish out advice for big bucks? How would Moscow Mitch know who read what?

He continued:

I’m talking about taking a position on a highly incendiary issue like this and punishing a community or a state because you don’t like a particular law that passed. I just think it’s stupid. And what did it cost them? Looks like it cost them the All-Star Game, and Major League Baseball made the same mistake. They didn’t read the bill.

His finale was flush with hypocrisy, “I’m not talking about political contributions. Most of them contribute to both sides. They have political action committees. That’s fine. It’s legal. It’s appropriate. I support that.”

How condescending to admit outside reality into his tiresome tirades. I don’t see how he didn’t further wound Republicans by more lying: 1) all objecting corporations failed to read the bill, ignobly guilty of jumping the gun; and 2) fat cats should leave politics to all-knowing professionals. But what if the business execs answer to an audience much larger than the rightwing base, of late a model of party disaster? Business execs didn’t squander the White House, the Senate and the House since Trump took over, and some made money hand over fist, even during a pandemic.

Stupidity on parade

Mitch blithely trusts there’s no quantity of rightwing stupidity that will drive away the world’s monoliths from the Republican brand. Trump’s four years didn’t. True, the wannabe rich never saw a tax cut they didn’t love, nor refused deregulations that let them run wild over climate change, environmental protections and public health. Or a federal subsidy on energy or mining or ranching that didn’t earn them a new vacation home. I get it that self-declared genius billionaires know so much better than dumb government experts how to spend their hard-won treasures – along with all the taxpayer revenues. Is there for them a difference?

But what if refusing to challenge the most onerous election obstacles hurts corporate bottom lines, the ultimate wickedness? Business geniuses hate anything that interferes with profits, and McConnell is only spotlighting bad publicity – leaving the impression the 1% who own “the land of the free and the home of the brave” are risking too much by opposing the vicious, calculated, rightwing war on democracy.

Aside from offending the gods of irony, telling corporations that they don’t count in political battles undermines the ultimate capitalistic benefit to enjoy all the rights and privileges awarded everyone else. Even more than everyone else. After all, the dirtiest polluters depend on taxpayers to afterward pick up the costs for environmental “externalities” (air, water and soil pollution) that enriched them. Further, who more than international resource exploiters depend on the swath of opportunity made possible by decades of imperial militarism – without which they couldn’t drill for oil, harvest forests or mine minerals and metals overseas?

Someone more savvy should talk turkey to McConnell, suggesting he should have retired when the getting was good. Since November, he’s had one flop after another – but none until now that offended the god of corporatism. Consequences, intended and not, loom.


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For over a decade, Robert S. Becker's independent, rebel-rousing essays on politics and culture analyze overall trends, history, implications, messaging and frameworks. He has been published widely, aside from Nation of Change and RSN, with extensive credits from OpEdNews (as senior editor), Alternet, Salon, Truthdig, Smirking Chimp, Dandelion Salad, Beyond Chron, and the SF Chronicle. Educated at Rutgers College, N.J. (B.A. English) and U.C. Berkeley (Ph.D. English), Becker left university teaching (Northwestern, then U. Chicago) for business, founding SOTA Industries, a top American high end audio company he ran from '80 to '92. From '92-02, he was an anti-gravel mining activist while doing marketing, business and writing consulting. Since then, he seeks out insight, even wit in the shadows, without ideology or righteousness across the current mayhem of American politics.