Politics not only makes strange bedfellows; it also makes strange enemies. Or to put it another way, the far-right small-government GOP in the House is screwing the business community. The Tea Partyers are biting the hand that financed their key to political power.
Isn't it wonderful! Yes, Virginia, there is some justice in life (if not in the Supreme Court).
Business generally has liked the GOP because of the latter's "business friendly" policies. This has taken the form increasingly of, not just more deregulation of the private sector, but lots of private business access to taxpayer money. The business community, a la Halliburton, has been scooping up a bigger and bigger share of public money. Witness the ever-increasing push of business into charter schools and privatization of everything from military support operations to running prisons. And think how much the financial community would earn if Social Security were privatized! All those buy and sell fees!
But suddenly the public trough has been yanked out from under the noses of the business community. And not just the "privatization" stuff. We're talking hard-core ol' timey stuff here, such as road building and federal business loans.
All thanks to the Tea Party members of the House.
Remember them? The ones too dumb to understand that not raising the debt limit had nothing to do with preventing further deficits. Idiots! We ALREADY owed the money at issue! One of them even said he was going to vote to LOWER the debt ceiling! Sure, baby! And then go out and fly by flapping your arms.
This gang of uninformed-but-don't care Tea Party House members has surprised the hell out of business by REALLY meaning what they said in the 2010 campaign: no more government spending. In fact, many of them want no federal government except for the military.
At this very moment these House members are sitting on the funding of two programs dear to the heart of the business sector. One is the transportation bill, whence cometh all that lovely money to build things, money that goes into the pockets of business and American workers. And from which we all benefit.
The second holdup by the Tea Ps is the re-authorization of the Export-Import Bank, which actually earns PROFITS for the federal government. It lends money so companies in other countries can pay for orders of American-made goods. It charges a very low interest but nevertheless earned $3.4 billion in the last five years for the federal treasury. Far more important than these earnings, however, is that it facilitates the sale overseas of American products. It's the oil that helps keep our export engine running. And it doesn't cost us a dime! It earns money for us! Shut it off and American workers are going to lose jobs!
But it's a government program and, as such, is anathema to the Tea Party.
Business lobbyists are swarming all over the recalcitrant TPs, trying to get them to grow up and pass the transportation bill and the export-import measure. Good luck, you lobbyists!
As ye sow, so shall ye reap. You GOP-backing business folks brought these TPers to the dance. Now you are stuck with them. May they continue to step all over your feet. And your wallets.
A big, big war is brewing in the GOP between the small-government idealogues and the business-minded contingent. It's much bigger than the battle the far-right is waging against the "establishment" GOP over the Romney nomination. It has nothing to do with social values or mandates, as does the nomination fight. It has everything to do with MONEY. And that, my dears, is the most important thing of all to the powerful in this country.
The Tea Party threat to the business community may lead to a major political shift sooner or later, with the business contingent working to oust Tea Party incumbents even if that means supporting Democratic challengers. After all, it's far better to have a rational, persuadable opposition than a lunatic, know-nothing ally that is totally opposed to your most cherished objective.
There's no business like show business except for politics, which is even more riveting.
So let the show go on!