Wednesday, May 21, 2014


As you may already know, the Republican Establishment curb-stomped the tea party yesterday:
Tuesday night was great for incumbents [and] the GOP establishment...

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell defeated his GOP challenger in Kentucky by 25 percentage points.... In Georgia, a Senate Republican primary headed to a runoff with the two candidates favored by GOP establishment leaders. And in Oregon, pediatric neurosurgeon Monica Wehby fended off a more conservative challenger in her Republican primary....

After a year of threats from conservative outside groups, no GOP incumbents lost Tuesday. Idaho Rep. Mike Simpson beat back a tea partier supported by groups such as Club for Growth, with help from the business lobby and Mitt Romney. National Republican Congressional Committee Chairman Greg Walden, targeted in Oregon by a national campaign called Primary My Congressman, received triple the support of his opponent with more than half the votes in. And House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman Bill Shuster prevailed over his challenger in Pennsylvania by 18 points....
I know, I know -- in order to survive, Establishment Republicans had to become more teabaggy. But the tea party's threat to the business community -- particularly the eagerness to put the U.S. government into default -- was the line in the sand for the plutocrats.

Here's a corporatist tactic I wasn't aware of until now:
Businesses Turn Out Workers' Votes to Stomp Tea Party

Ben Tarbutton ... [is] part of a national effort by the business community to block the nominations of Tea Party-aligned contenders in Republican primaries.

Tarbutton, vice president at a railroad company in Sandersville, Georgia, is encouraging his company's 30 workers to cast ballots, and informing them that he supports U.S. Representative Jack Kingston, one of seven Republican candidates competing in today's U.S. Senate primary....

Tarbutton's get-out-the-vote push in Georgia is being mirrored inside companies in Kentucky, Idaho, Pennsylvania, Arkansas and Oregon, all states with congressional primaries....

From Kentucky construction companies helping employees take on volunteer campaign jobs to company-branded websites in Idaho that allow workers to look at side-by-side comparisons of candidates on issues important to their employers, businesses are introducing a variety of political programs to engage their workers in typically low-turnout primary races....
Eyes on the telescreens, workers.

(These efforts are "heavily regulated," according to a VP from the National Association of Manufacturers who's quoted in the story -- though I'm sure the Roberts court would be happy to look into changing that.)


As I was reading about all this, I was thinking about this guy:
... [In his] new book "Unstoppable: The Emerging Left-Right Alliance to Dismantle the Corporate State" ... longtime political activist and five-time presidential candidate Ralph Nader ... contends that ... a left-right alliance is not just the stuff of imagination but is actually emerging....

Nader expects there is going to be a growth of left-right alliances in Congress, pointing to ... bank regulatory efforts as [an area] of possibl[e] confluence....

But Nader qualified that the success of his envisioned left-right alliance is dependent on strong leaders. He said Sen. Rand Paul, son of Ron Paul, has the potential to be a leader for the alliance....
This is breathtakingly wrongheaded, in multiple ways I won't bother to enumerate. But yesterday's results reveal that both the Republican Party's backers and its rank-and-file voters are willing to jettison precisely the part of the tea party agenda that threatens business. That was the main reason fat-cat donors became alienated with the 'baggers, while voters don't seem to mind as long as folks like McConnell make 'baggy noises otherwise.

Of course, Nader's delusions notwithstanding, the tea party was never anti-business with progressive aims in mind -- tea partiers wanted a government default in order to start shrinking government and squeezing social programs. But imagine the fat-cat response if the 'baggers had really pursued a termination of Too Big to Fail or the end of corporate welfare. And what evidence is there that these are priorities for rank-and-file 'baggers?

On the one hand, as Elizabeth Warren says, the game is rigged by the rich -- even against the tea party. On the other hand, Republican voters don't care. Why wouldn't they be willing to cede control to the corporatists? The voters themselves are pro-corporatist.

So if you want change, Ralph, look elsewhere.


Victor said...

Uhm, Ralph, take a huge glug of STFU!
And then chase it with Draino.

Our rich people got a tremendous ROI on their Tea Party investment.

After the '08 election, at a time the Republican Party might have thought of moderating its conservative behavior, the Teabaggers dragged the party even further to the loony right.

Of course, the country is far worse off for it.

But, after all, it pisses-off the Liberals.
And that's the ROI that came cheapest.

The New York Crank said...

I stopped paying attention to Ralph Nader after the 2000 election. Had he not stolen just enough votes from Gore, we'd never have heard of hanging chads, or of the Supreme Court choosing the president, so called weapons of mass destruction. No,r for that matter, would Dick Cheney be identifiable to any but a few esoteric specialists in 20th Century history.

Sure, Ralph is delusional. But delusions can be lethal. Nader's delusions cost a lot of lives in Iraq.

Yours very crankily,
The New York Crank