We thought we had fallen out of our beds and hit our heads, because we woke up in a parallel universe in which the party of free markets, that saw nothing wrong with corporate influence in U.S. politics through unlimited cash flowing into elections now is rallying against – of all things – corporate meddling in politics?
You might remember Rick Scott, the former “jobs, jobs, jobs” Florida governor who toured the state touting its friendly low-tax corporate environment – so friendly that he engineered an unemployment system that made accessing benefits very difficult and treated every applicant as a fraudster so taxes paid by businesses remained low.
Corporate friend no more.
Well, at least to a Fox News audience looking for blood after corporate America became “woke” with its rebuke of the crackdown on voter access Georgia just passed and Florida is considering.
Meanwhile, Scott continues to jet across the country raising money from corporate America for the GOP’s efforts to retake the Senate.
Because picking fights with “woke corporations” – a couple of months ago that would have sounded like an oxymoron – is the new thing if you are a Republican with presidential aspirations in the party of Donald Trump, Scott wrote an open letter to corporate America posted on Fox Business that threatens the “backlash is coming.”
“You must have loved the accolades from your elitist, left-wing peers when you took the MLB All-Star Game from Georgia. What a fun day for you on Twitter. Congratulations,” Scott wrote.
“Your latest attempts to hurt Georgia’s economy will help us do something that is long overdue – make corporate welfare a thing of the past,” he continued. “There will be no number of well-connected lobbyists you can hire to save you.
There will be no amount of donations you can make that will save you. There will be nowhere for you to hide.”
Of course, what’s woke and leftist to one person could very well be common, civic decency to another, rooted in the belief that a curated group of citizens should not have their right to vote suppressed in this country.
The Georgia law, based on the false premise the 2020 elections were a fraud, drastically cuts down on the number of ballot drop boxes in Atlanta’s core – with its concentration of Black voters – among other things.
Still, we’re thrilled to hear a Republican talk about making “corporate welfare a thing of the past.” Scott, Bernie Sanders and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez should join forces on this noble cause.
Scott can start by pushing Congress to repeal or reform the 2017 federal tax cut package that slashed taxes for big companies and increased the number of companies that paid no taxes in its first year.
He can make good on his promise to neutralize lobbyists by ending the federal price-support program that helps the sugar industry, one of Florida’s most powerful special interests. He can then fight for election campaign reform to reduce the influence of corporations.
But we know real change isn’t the intent of Scott’s letter – if, in fact, he, and not a millennial staffer, really wrote the stridently in-your-face piece.
This is about creating an illusion that corporate America, Black Lives Matter – and anyone else who questions this country’s racist legacy – are at war with American values.
What happened to the Republicans’ mantra of free market, of allowing private businesses to act according to what’s in their best interest without interference from elected officials?
And when are they going to wake up?
– The Miami Herald Editorial Board