Eduardo Porter thinks so:
From overhauling immigration laws to increasing spending on the nation’s aging infrastructure, big business leaders have seemed relatively powerless lately as the uncompromising Republicans they helped elect have steadfastly opposed some of their core legislative priorities. The rift is not only unusual in light of the tight historical alignment between the business community and the GOP, but it is also outright incomprehensible after the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision, which allowed companies to spend unlimited amounts from their corporate treasuries on the 2010 and 2012 elections.
Kevin Drum objects:
The business community has three big issues it cares deeply about: low taxes, reduced regulation, and the demise of labor unions. Those things overwhelm every other desire, and the Republican Party is satisfyingly adamantine on all of them. What’s more, the Tea-Party-ized GOP is, if anything, even more rock solid on them.
Chait, also skeptical, points to a chart:
Less government sabotage would mean faster economic growth. But it’s not as if the status quo is terrible for businesses. The status quo, while painful for most people, remains pretty good for owners of capital:
So what we’re looking at is a Republican Party that’s somewhat harmful to the overall business climate but helpful to the issues that most businesses care about. If the chaos gets completely out of hand – if, say, Republicans trigger a debt default crisis – then the calculation may change. In the meantime, the House Republicans are the business lobby’s sole bulwark against the Democratic-controlled government that steamrolled through the laws the business lobby is fighting to repeal or weaken.
Greg Sargent adds:
I also feel compelled to remind folks that business leaders knew what they were getting when they helped bankroll the ascension of Tea Partiers to Congress in 2012. They did exactly the same thing in 2010, spending huge sums to help elect Tea Partyers in that cycle, too, only to be rewarded by a debt ceiling crisis staged by the Congressional GOP that they viewed as reckless, dangerous, and potentially harmful to the bottom line. That didn’t stop them from doing the same in 2012.
In response to critics, Porter points out the differences between companies’ political donations and those by their executives.