Mitch McConnell: Did I Do That?
On second thought, Mitch McConnell has decided that corporations are good, actually, and the Senate minority leader dearly hopes that they will continue making contributions to Republicans, in Jesus's name, AMEN.
It all started Monday, when McConnell took to the microphone to excoriate corporations for mildly tut-tutting about the wave of voter suppression laws being shoved through by Republican legislatures to make sure they can continue to get elected despite the will of their own electorates.
"My advice to the corporate CEOs of America is to stay out of politics. Don't pick sides in these big fights," he said, like a man who hasn't courted big business his entire career.
"Corporations will invite serious consequences if they become a vehicle for far-Left mobs to hijack our country from outside the constitutional order," he added.
Not for nothing, but when Republicans howl about corporations doing cancel cultures to their First Amendment rights, they are extremely full of shit — the First Amendment only applies to government restraint on speech. But this shit right here, this explicit threat to use congressional power to sanction American corporations for expressing their disapproval of legislation, is literally totally illegal.
EXACTLY right. And @SenMikeLee & I will be working hard to END MLB’s antitrust immunity. #GowokeGobroke https://t.co/NuERnvF8FT— Ted Cruz (@Ted Cruz)1617406313.0
And while Republicans have never been known for ideological consistency, antipathy to corporate speech is an odd position for a guy who was literally the named plaintiff suing to overturn the McCain Feingold campaign finance limits on the grounds that corporate political contributions constitute speech under the First Amendment. And just seven years later, his team managed to enshrine that particular abomination in federal law, unleashing a tsunami of money into politics. And McConnell himself has been only too happy to ride that wave of cash into power, even as his party gets millions fewer votes than Democrats.
Which is probably why McConnell remembered himself yesterday and tried to take a mulligan.
Mitch McConnell wants corporations to "stay out of politics," unless, of course, they want to give money. Watch: https://t.co/1h1aPq737t— Mother Jones (@Mother Jones)1617738793.0
"I'm not talking about political contributions," he clarified. "I'm talking about taking a position on a highly incendiary issue like this. And punishing a community or a state because you don't like a particular law they passed."
So, to be clear: Money is speech, and corporations should be able to pour unlimited amounts of it into political campaigns. But speech is not speech, and those same corporations should shut the hell up.
And now McConnell would like to revise his statements one more time. (At least.)
McConnell walks back telling businesses to "stay out of politics" yesterday: "I didn't say that very artfully yeste… https://t.co/V5JrWFbjLo— Andrew Solender (@Andrew Solender)1617816952.0
Yeah. Let me — I didn't say that very artfully yesterday. They're certainly entitled to be involved in politics, they are. My principal complaint is they didn't read the darn bill. The president of the United States called the bill a Jim Crow exercise to suppress voter turnout presumably based on race, because that's what the Jim Crow allegation is. That bastion of conservatism the Washington Post gave the president Four Pinocchios for lying about it.
LOL, okay buddy. So the current version of the story is that the bill isn't remotely racist, and corporations are just confused because the president said the polls close at 5, when sometimes it might be 7. The entire rationale for Georgia's legislation is prevention of non-existent voter fraud by making it a lot harder to cast ballots in populous urban areas where Black people live — and indeed every single one of these proposed voting laws would make it more difficult to vote ... except for the provisions that let you vote your ballot, but then make sure only Republicans count them.
But corporations are simply laboring under a misunderstanding because Joe Biden made a minor misstatement about the Georgia law. And now that Mitch McConnell has cleared it up, he hopes we can all go back to the status quo ante where corporations cut checks to evil Republicans and Americans say, "Whatever, here's all my money, thanks for taking away my vote."
NOT BLOODY LIKELY, ASSHOLE.
Tune in tomorrow when Mitch McConnell shouts "Squirrel!" before stealing the Senate gavel and locking himself in the cloak room. Probably!
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Liz Dye lives in Baltimore with her wonderful husband and a houseful of teenagers. When she isn't being mad about a thing on the internet, she's hiding in plain sight in the carpool line. She's the one wearing yoga pants glaring at her phone.