Political Hay

Karl Rove and the GOP Socialists

Crossroads, Chamber attack Reaganites.

By 1.2.14

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The major industry — the trough, if you will — in Washington, D.C. is the big, bloated federal government.

And groups like the US Chamber of Commerce wallow in this trough. A few days before Christmas Mark Levin spent some time focusing on this issue, correctly pointing out that the Chamber, the epitome of the GOP Establishment, was “not about capitalism, they’re about cronyism.”

Over at OpenSecrets.org, one learns that the Chamber has been busy funneling its nominally conservative cash to…yes…Democrats. Specifically the Democratic Governors Association and the Democratic State Attorneys General Association. And here in the Los Angeles Times — back in 2010 — was this story headlined:

Republican-leaning U.S. Chamber of Commerce buys ads supporting Democrats

The story went on to say:

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, which has been a powerful ally for Republican candidates in this year’s midterm campaigns, quietly moved across the aisle this week and bought ads touting nearly a dozen Democratic House members.

Mind you, 2010 was the year of the Tea Party rebellion that gave the House GOP its majority and produced Speaker Boehner. And the Chamber of Commerce was out there giving some $1,899,772 for those “nearly a dozen Democratic House members” — all of whom had cast their votes to make Nancy Pelosi Speaker of the House.

This kind of thing is exactly why Mark Levin said the Chamber is “not about capitalism, they’re about cronyism” and continued:

We need to shake up that place like it’s never been shaken before. And the problem with groups like the United States Chamber of Commerce is they’re not conservative, they’re about business. They’re not about capitalism, they’re about cronyism. The reason there is a United States Chamber of Commerce is so they can get Congress to cut deals for them, or the White House to cut deals for them, or the bureaucracy to cut deals for them. That’s what they’re there for.

Mark went on to say of the Chamber:

They’re part of the problem. The idea that big companies are necessarily conservative is absurd. Who do you think funds the left? Who do you think funds the Democrat Party? Or, all their little organizations? Big businesses do. Corporatists do. They’re trying to buy favors. That’s what they do…

Mark is correct.

But it would be considerably wrong to leave the impression this is simply about the Chamber of Commerce and American Crossroads.

The fact of the matter is that Washington is laced with Republican lobbyists who are paid big bucks to lobby the federal government for client A or B. They may even give lip service to the idea of “limited government.” But to seriously limit the government would be to cut off a very handsome way of living for these GOP lobbyists. Which is why when serious conservative Republicans — today’s Tea Party members for example — actually make it to Congress, the GOP Establishment gets the cold sweats.

Which brings us back full circle to the real problem, as seen in this story in the New York Times from the period of the 2013 government shutdown headlined:

Business Groups See Loss of Sway Over House G.O.P.

Reports the Times:

WASHINGTON — As the government shutdown grinds toward a potential debt default, some of the country’s most influential business executives have come to a conclusion all but unthinkable a few years ago: Their voices are carrying little weight with the House majority that their millions of dollars in campaign contributions helped build and sustain.

This kind of reality terrifies the GOP Establishment. Listen to this quote from — shocker — the top lobbyist for the Chamber of Commerce, Bruce Josten. The Times quotes him this way, bold print for emphasis supplied here:

“What we want is a conservative business person, but someone who in many respects will be more realistic, in our opinion,” said Bruce Josten, the top lobbyist at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the single biggest lobbying organization in Washington.

….“The name calling, blame gaming — using slurs like jihadist, terrorist, cowards, that kind of language — it does not get you to a deal,” Mr. Josten said of the advice he is giving to Democrats and Republicans.”

Catch the phrases? The words “more realistic” and “deal”? This isn’t simply Inside-the-Beltway language — this is the coded language of what Reagan once disparaged as the “fraternal order” Republicans. It is exactly what Margaret Thatcher was referring to when she said “too many Conservatives have become socialists already.”

Mr. Josten, Mr. Rove, the groups they are connected to are speaking the language of Republican socialists.

What Mr. Josten is saying in his own fashion is that he has accepted the “socialist ratchet” method of governing. He wants — and the Chamber he represents wants — no part of reversing this Leftist governing assumption. Josten’s job, the Chamber’s role, is simply to be in Washington and make “deals,” to be “realistic.”

The $17 trillion debt? The $90 trillion in unfunded liabilities? Hey, no big deal. Let’s manicure the next budget deal a tad and move on.

And ever further into the hole.

This was exactly the method of government Ronald Reagan — perhaps one of the first modern Tea Party activists before there was a modern Tea Party — saw as the problem. And that problem is now getting worse by the day, setting up Americans for a massive economic free-fall.

Let’s cut to the chase, shall we?

These various stories that popped up in the Wall Street Journal and at Breitbart over the holidays about Karl Rove, American Crossroads, and the Chamber of Commerce are about, to Americanize Thatcher, nothing more-or-less than Republican Socialism.

They are not about changing Washington — they are Washington. They talk a great game about limited government, but as noted, when they had 100% charge of the federal government in the Bush years they set about not limiting government but expanding government.

The real reason these people will be out there trying to defeat Reaganite conservatives/Tea Partier candidates is precisely because these candidates in victory have shown themselves to be a direct threat to the Washington way of doing business. So job one for the GOP Establishment is to deliberately pick Republican socialist candidates — candidates who are perfectly happy to talk the talk but once in Washington will refuse flatly to do what they promised to do.

As the 2014 election year proceeds, we will have many opportunities to spot these Republican Socialist candidates and their backers at work out there, just as our friends at Breitbart put a spotlight on the behind-the-scenes machinations of American Crossroads in the Kentucky Senate race.

The 2014 elections should be a bumper year for the GOP.

But it will quickly turn to disaster if those who are intent on making this year a victory for Republican Socialism get their way — and in turn drive the Reagan conservative base away from the polls.

Suffice to say?

The battle is on.

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About the Author
Jeffrey Lord is a former Reagan White House political director and author. He writes from Pennsylvania at jlpa1@aol.com.