What a nifty illustration of Ted Cruz’s point today about the GOP caucus being captured by K Street and corporate interests.
The influential and well-heeled business group is already eyeing several races, but the plans are still in their infancy and the targets have not yet been decided upon, according to more than a half dozen Republican sources on K Street and Capitol Hill.
The group’s apparent new willingness to engage in hand-to-hand political combat to take out sitting Republicans would represent a major shift for the business community, which has largely shied away from targeting sitting lawmakers…
“Last year, we were very aggressive in primaries and the general, and we intend to be again,” Holmes said. “It’s not a change in policy as much as it is a recommitment to last cycle’s successful approach.” She added that the candidate it backed won in 14 of the 15 races the Chamber got involved in last year…
“The fact that there are still members of the Republican House that are obstructionist, isolationists that would be willing to shut down the government only reinforces that the Chamber and the business community, for that matter, will double down on this winning formula,” Caldeira said.
This strategy isn’t entirely new. They started talking about targeting tea partiers in primaries in late 2013 and followed through in last year’s midterms, as noted in the excerpt. The difference last year was that they stuck to open seats rather than going after incumbents. Evidently they’ve decided now that “progress” towards the dream of renewing the Ex-Im bank and passing a gigantic amnesty ensuring all the cheap legal labor they could possibly want isn’t happening fast enough. It’s simply not sufficient to fill vacancies in the House with corporatist business-class Republicans. To move their agenda, they need to start replacing some of the people whose seats are currently occupied.
I’m trying to imagine the effect on conservative morale next spring if we end up with a double whammy of Jeb Bush cruising towards the nomination while the Chamber of Commerce sets about zapping House conservatives like Jim Jordan, Raul Labrador, and Tim Huelskamp. If you thought Jebmania turnout on the right was looking ferocious before, wait until the last stumbling blocks to comprehensive immigration reform have been primaried into oblivion by country-clubbers. In fact, this is easy red meat for Donald Trump if he’s inclined to take on the business class he’s a part of. Nothing would build his conservative cred faster than rising to the defense of the people in Congress who are most opposed to open borders and who are now evidently on the electoral menu for corporate America. You can write the script yourself: “Take it from a guy who’s worth $10 billion, a secure border is more important than better margins on labor.” He might not believe it, but it’d make for a great populist speech.
If you didn’t get enough Cruz from the earlier clip of him on the Senate floor today, here he is following up with Rush Limbaugh on cronyism run rampant a few hours ago.