The United States Chamber of Commerce has released an "open letter" to the President, Congress, and the American people which contains its blueprint for our political future. It lays out the current Republican playbook in stark terms, and it reads like the battle plan for those alien spaceships from Independence Day: Drain the resources, take everything from the population, strip the land to a husk... and then presumably sail away in mile-long spaceships toward the next targeted planet.
What we're seeing is the Politics of Plunder, revealed in all its nakedness. There will be another example of this corporate-driven mindset this week, possibly even today, when all but a handful of Republican Senators vote against a moderate set of curbs on Wall Street excesses. The Democratic Party may disappoint its supporters from time to time, but it seems that Republicans never do -- once you accept the fact that its real "supporters" are the mega-businesses represented by the Chamber of Commerce. Some of the delegates who chanted "drill, baby, drill" at the GOP Convention are staring out their windows at oil-soaked beaches, while others have gone broke in an economy ruined by Wall Street gambling. That won't stop the Politics of Plunder. (Come to think of it, "drill, baby, drill" would have been a perfect motto for those spaceships.)
To be clear, the Chamber of Commerce isn't the political lobbying arm of "business," as it sometimes claims. It specifically serves the interests of massive businesses, which are often at odds with the needs of small and medium enterprises. Any CEO of a smaller company who's pressured by one of the Chamber's sales representatives to join, as I was in my business life, is being asked to subsidize policies that will benefit the Chamber's mega-donors -- often at her or his own expense. The Chamber's letter serves those mega-interests well, and we can expect most Republicans to follow it in lockstep, no doubt with cheering crowds pumped up for the same old chants and a few new ones.
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