What If the Hard Right Drives Big Business Into Arms of The Left?
Posted on July 17, 2014
(This is originally appeared in the Wall Street Journal's Think Tank.)
Amid the fight for the soul of the Republican Party, some elements of the GOP coalition have become overtly hostile to Big Business.
- Defeating crony capitalism has become the battle cry of libertarian conservatives.
The Export-Import Bank has become the latest in a long line of targets that include highway funding, terrorism risk insurance and “too big to fail” banks.
Big Business wants immigration reform and higher academic standards for elementary and secondary schools–policy priorities that drive the hard right into conniptions.
The fight has manifested itself in heated primaries from Mississippi to Idaho, on Twitter and in campaign ads, and in pitched battles between reliably pro-business groups such as the Chamber of Commerce and conservative think tanks such as the Heritage Foundation.
What would happen if Big Business decided to change sides? What would happen if the Chamber of Commerce suddenly stopped being a huge fundraising machine for the Republican Party and started financing pro-business Democrats
That is the dream of Sen. Chuck Schumer (D., N.Y.)–and the nightmare scenario for House Speaker John Boehner (R., Ohio).
Could Democrats make a coalition of big business and labor work? How could the Republicans survive as a purely populist/libertarian political party?