Mitch McConnell is putting Big Business on notice: There will be “serious consequences” if corporate America continues acting like “a woke parallel government.”
The broadside from the Senate minority leader, who has aligned himself with the business community for decades, is just the latest sign of a fraying alliance between big companies and the Republican Party. In the wake of the cancellation of the Major League Baseball All-Star Game in Georgia over new election laws there, McConnell (R-Ky.) flashed frustration that companies appear to be taking direction from Democratic complaints about the law.
“Our private sector must stop taking cues from the Outrage-Industrial Complex. Americans do not need or want big business to amplify disinformation or react to every manufactured controversy with frantic left-wing signaling,” McConnell said in a lengthy statement on Monday. “Corporations will invite serious consequences if they become a vehicle for far-left mobs to hijack our country from outside the constitutional order.”
The cozy relationship between Republicans and business is no secret in Washington; the party’s last major legislative achievement was a tax cut bill that focused on shaving down the corporate tax rate. But that relationship has shifted in the early weeks of the presidency of Joe Biden.
Also on Monday, Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) asked MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred if he will scrap his membership at Augusta National Golf Club, the site of the upcoming Masters golf tournament. Rubio predicted Manfred would not because it would “require a personal sacrifice, as opposed to the woke corporate virtue signaling of moving the All-Star Game from Atlanta.”
And in March, McConnell joined several GOP senators in a letter to the business community asking it to come out against efforts to reverse the outcome of an Iowa House race. Some businesses signaled they would pause donations to Republicans that joined former President Donald Trump’s efforts to dispute the 2020 election results, particularly after the pro-Trump riot at the Capitol.
“I remember way back when Democrats and the elite establishment said it was dead-wrong for Washington, D.C., to overturn state-certified election results. No, wait, that was two months ago,” McConnell said two weeks ago.
Since then, MLB pulled the All-Star Game from Georgia under pressure from Biden and other Democrats who have taken to calling the new voting law a form of modern “Jim Crow” restrictions. Passed after Biden and two Democratic Senate candidates prevailed in Georgia, the law expands voter ID requirements and makes changes to early and mail-in voting in the state.
McConnell said “nobody really thinks this current dispute comes anywhere near the horrific racist brutality of segregation.”
“From election law to environmentalism to radical social agendas to the Second Amendment, parts of the private sector keep dabbling in behaving like a woke parallel government,” McConnell said on Monday. “Businesses must not use economic blackmail to spread disinformation and push bad ideas that citizens reject at the ballot box.”