How did corporate America lose control of the Republican Party?

From overhauling immigration laws to increasing spending on the nation’s aging infrastructure, big business leaders have seemed relatively powerless lately as the uncompromising Republicans they helped elect have steadfastly opposed some of their core legislative priorities.

The rift is not only unusual in light of the tight historical alignment between the business community and the G.O.P., but it is also outright incomprehensible after the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision, which allowed companies to spend unlimited amounts from their corporate treasuries on the 2010 and 2012 elections.

Scholars have proposed many reasons for the rise of the anti-government activists that are pulling the G.O.P. to the right, leaving it at odds with a business community used to compromising and seeking favors from government.


3 thoughts on “Business Interests are losing clout in the GOP as Tea Party takes control

  1. I am confused. Doesn’t the recent Supreme Court decision wherein corporate personhood was legalized support the notion that business interests reign supreme within the GOP?


    • The precedent of corporate personhood was erroneously established by a court clerk (not the court justices) in the 1886 Supreme Court case of Santa Clara County v. Southern Pacific Railroad.

      The 2010 Citizens United case overturned portions of the McCain-Feingold campaign finance reform law, and unleashed unlimited and secret donations to political advocacy organizations (i.e. superpacs), by equating money with free speech.

      This article correctly points out that corporate funds are going towards political lobbying activities, while big-donor CEO’s (like Sheldon Aldeson) are putting their personal money into superpacs.

      These two financial sources are just opposite sides of the same coin. Most are aligned with the Republican Party establishment, but a few support the Democratic Party establishment.

      The wildcard in the GOP, which is the focus of this article, is of course the Tea Party. They don’t like the corruption of money in politics almost as much as progressives, and they are currently battling the Republican establishment for control of the GOP. Since the Tea Party gained power in the 2010 midterms, many of its members stopped playing the traditional quid-pro-quo game that has been so advantageous to business interests. That money, and more (see Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell), is still being spent on politics. It’s just not being spent on direct campaign contributions like it once was. The game now is superpacs, lobbying, and the illegal transactions that have always occurred.


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