The last time Republicans took control of Congress, they established the K Street Project, which was devoted to pressuring business lobbies to support the Republican agenda down the line, in return for which they could expect tax and regulatory breaks galore. The whole racket culminated in the Jack Abramoff scandal, after which Republicans claimed they learned their lesson and would henceforth be clean and good.
I've been wondering how long Republicans would wait after winning power to revert to their old ways. The answer is negative 1 days:
Republicans have a message for the businesses that worked closely with the Obama administration over the past two years on key controversial issues: We won't forget.
Take the case of Wal-Mart, the behemoth big-box retailer that liberals have long loved to hate. Several years ago, it began to break ranks with industry groups by speaking out in favor of an increase to the minimum wage and health-care reform. And, for the first time in its history, it gave more money to Democrats than the GOP for Tuesday's elections.
The corporation's moves caught the eye of Republican Rep. Dave Camp of Michigan. During a phone call with company lobbyists last year during the fight over the health-care bill, Camp bluntly reminded Wal-Mart of its unpalatable position on the issue, according to sources familiar with the conversation.
Now, Wal-Mart's political team finds itself in an awkward position. Camp is poised to become the next chairman of the powerful House Ways and Means Committee.
Companies that worked with the Democrats over the past two years would face a far less sympathetic audience from Republicans, who are expected to make significant gains in the midterm elections. If they gain control of Congress, party leaders have pledged to revisit the health-care bill and lower taxes for businesses.
"Some businesses joined in on the hang-me-last strategy," said Rep. Peter Roskam (R-Ill.). "I think upon reflection, in moments of candor, they may say they were foolish to do that."
They haven't even won the election yet!
Obviously I don't have a problem with Republicans ignoring the demands of Wal Mart or anybody else. The problem is that this strategy quite obviously implies a strong subservience to the demands of companies that do cooperate with Republicans.