U.S. Chamber of Commerce President Tom Donohue says his organization will participate in GOP primary elections to create a “more governable Republican Party.”
Donohue’s statement underscores the degree to which the Tea Party has unmoored the GOP from big business by reframing the Republican Party’s old pro-business stance into the Tea Party’s pro-free markets posture, which rejects cronyism and corporate welfare.
“This shift will certainly surprise those who naively believed that the grarssroots Tea Party movement was a creation of big business,” said Heritage Foundation Vice President for Strategic Communications Geoffrey Lysaught. “In the real world, however, entrenched corporate elites have always viewed conservatives with some trepidation.”
The Tea Party opposes politicians enriching friends, family members, and contributors using taxpayer-funded crony kickbacks in the form of government contracts and grants. If that means the business lobby is looking to clash with Tea Party members in GOP primaries to preserve their crony alliances, say Tea Party advocates, the result will be a weaker economy.
“This potential bootleggers-and-Baptists alliance could be a powerful combination–one that could render our economy even more sclerotic, weakening innovation, job creation, and living standards,” says Lysaught. “And for what? Anemic long-term GDP growth, predictable earnings targets, and business as usual in Washington.”