I doubt that in 1945 anyone said, “In 1944, the Nazis wanted to kill all the Jews, but this year actually takes us into new territory because they want to kill all the Jews this year.” You see, it’s pretty much the same thing; it is just a slightly different business plan: kill all the Jews in the next couple of years or kill all the Jews this year. Thus, I am having a difficult time with all the recent hysteria about the business community suddenly being unhappy with the Republican Party. Is it really true, as Greg Sargent said this morning, “The crusade to shut down the government to defund Obamacare actually takes us into new territory“? (Emphasis, mine, of course.)
Who would believe such a thing? After all, it is only two years since the Republicans forced a debt ceiling crisis for less concrete, but no less ridiculous reasons. Now I understand: the business community should care. The 2011 debt ceiling crisis led to the Sequester and that has led to slow economic growth that is very bad for the American business community. But they didn’t care then; why would they care now? As Matt Yglesias just pointed out:
But Yglesias is an iconoclast who almost defines the #SlatePitch: “What’s the giraffe’s most distinctive feature? Hint: It’s not the neck!” Regardless, he stands out here. Everyone else seems to think that the business community is very upset with the GOP. Two Huffington Post reporters similarly wrote, Lawmakers Backed By Chamber Of Commerce Spending Stall Business Lobby’s Legislative Priorities. They claimed, “Nonetheless, the question remains whether chamber-supported candidates have yielded an ample return on investment. Despite a few successes, the chamber has enjoyed few major legislative victories from its lobbying and campaign muscle in the Obama era. If anything, the lobbying group has incurred major setbacks in its mission to boost business by electing lawmakers who have been counterproductive to that cause.”
This is just silly. For one thing, what the Chamber of Commerce cares most about is stopping change. The Republicans have been damned good at that. But if you look at what it really cares about, it is not minor changes to immigration law. Again, Matt Yglesias laid it out:
What I think is going on with these liberalish reporters is the usual happy horseshit. They really want to believe that finally the business community is doing what the mainstream press won’t: calling out the Republican Party for its nonsense. But this is not happening. And it won’t happen. Since Clinton at least (and really as far back as Carter), the Democratic Party has been totally in the pocket of the business community. The Democrats are, I believe, more pro-business than the Republicans when it comes to results. (For example, Obamacare will, in the end, be great for business, even if the community now doesn’t think so.) So if the Chamber of Commerce hasn’t noticed this yet, they never will. And no number of reporters hoping will make it so.