You'd think conservatives might be a tiny bit pleased that President Obama huddled with the corporate poobahs of the Business Roundtable yesterday. Having a seat at the big table, a sense of not being ignored, a gathering of their own, that sort of thing. But American Values President Gary Bauer is not having it. He fumes:
I know there is an assumption that big business is conservative, but that is not the case. Nearly half of the corporate sponsors to the Human Rights Campaign, the nation’s largest homosexual rights lobbying group, are members of the Business Roundtable. Several also donate to Planned Parenthood.
The Business Roundtable was supportive of Obamacare. In fact, the big pharmaceutical companies were big cheerleaders for Obamacare. Several Business Roundtable CEOs backed the cap and trade bill. And of course the stimulus bill was a major boon to Business Roundtable companies like General Electric, which landed big government contracts.
While President Obama was meeting with presidents of the biggest multinational corporations, Speaker Boehner and other House leaders were sitting down with small business owners, many of whom file their taxes as individuals, not corporations. They are the real job creators who will bear the brunt of income tax increases.
This is a good opportunity for conservatives to remind the American people that while they care strongly about pro-growth economic policies, they are adamantly opposed to crony capitalism. Nobody voted for the Business Roundtable last month. Its leadership should not sellout Main Street entrepreneurs and the taxpayers in order to feather their nests with future favors from big government.
Conservatives seem to be test-driving some brand new jujitsu here: the Democratic president is now a Gilded Age plutocrat who schmoozes with the Montgomery Burnses of the world, while Republicans are the ones comforting small business owners, the "real job creators." And why? Because conservatives are "adamantly opposed to crony capitalism."
Furthermore, they fret that an unelected body of rich folks like the Business Roundtable will fleece hard working middle-class Americans to further their own interests. Apparently, the first casualty of a lost election is irony.