Several weeks ago, a Republican strategy memo urged the party to publicly posture against corporate America, and use its opposition to the party’s voter-suppression agenda to drive individual donations. Ted Cruz, who always takes the party’s messaging to the most extreme possible level, has an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal angrily telling his corporate buddies that they can’t buy him off any longer.
Cruz singles out the pro-voting-access stance of his (apparently former) allies as an irreparable breach. What’s interesting is Cruz’s own confession that, right up to this very moment, he was a servile lackey to his corporate masters, doing their bidding for money:
This is the point in the drama when Republicans usually shrug their shoulders, call these companies “job creators,” and start to cut their taxes. Not this time.
This time, we won’t look the other way on Coca-Cola’s $12 billion in back taxes owed. This time, when Major League Baseball lobbies to preserve its multibillion-dollar antitrust exception, we’ll say no thank you. This time, when Boeing asks for billions in corporate welfare, we’ll simply let the Export-Import Bank expire.
Yes, you read that right. The Republican posture toward corporations that betray the public trust, Cruz admits, is usually to shrug it off and praise them as job creators. Even corporations that, by Cruz’s account, cheat on their taxes and get unjustified handouts from Congress!
This was Cruz’s own policy. Indeed, he was doing it as recently as yesterday:
Now he is a changed man.
This next passage is even more incredible. Cruz confesses that he accepted millions of dollars of cash from firms, in return for allowing them to attack American values and destroy American jobs:
In my nine years in the Senate, I’ve received $2.6 million in contributions from corporate political-action committees. Starting today, I no longer accept money from any corporate PAC. I urge my GOP colleagues at all levels to do the same.
For too long, Republicans have allowed the left and their big-business allies to attack our values with no response. We’ve allowed them to ship jobs overseas, attack gun rights, and destroy our energy companies.
I am not exactly a fan of the modern Republican Party, and even I think it’s a little unfair and reductive to accuse them of allowing firms to destroy American jobs simply so they can vacuum up campaign donations. But Cruz is confessing to this. Not on a secretly recorded conversation. In public!
If Cruz’s tone of forced, macho indignation seems a little familiar, you may recognize it from his famous response to Donald Trump’s campaign claims that his father killed JFK and his wife is ugly. He pointed manfully at the camera and called Trump a “sniveling coward.”
A few months later, Cruz was back to being Trump’s loyal supplicant and excusing all his crimes. So, if the corporations aren’t taking Cruz’s threats seriously, you probably can’t blame them.