There is an idiom dating back to 600 B.C and used often beginning in 16th Century English that “Moscow” Mitch McConnell likely never heard. “Don’t bite the hand that feeds you” is wise counsel to a person who attacks, harms, shows ingratitude toward, or otherwise turns against someone who is helping them.
The idiom applies to McConnell for his threat against major corporations that help him and Republicans with massive campaign contributions for the sole purpose of influencing politics to benefit themselves. Of course it is flagrant hypocrisy, on McConnell’s part, but it is also stupid for him to issue toothless threats against your major donors warning them to “stay out of politics.”
McConnell is very angry because some large corporations support democracy and oppose the recent neo-Jim Crow legislation blatantly suppressing the votes of primarily people of color. On Monday past McConnell said:
“Our private sector must stop taking cues from the Outrage-Industrial Complex. Americans do not need or want big business to amplify disinformation or react to every manufactured controversy with frantic left-wing signaling. Businesses must not use economic blackmail to spread disinformation and push bad ideas that citizens reject at the ballot box.
From election law to environmentalism to radical social agendas to the Second Amendment, parts of the private sector keep dabbling in behaving like a woke parallel government. Corporations will invite serious consequences if they become a vehicle for far-left mobs to hijack our country from outside the constitutional order.“
Forget that McConnell allowed Trump to operate far outside the constitutional order, and ignore the bafflingly stupid remark that far-left mobs are forcing corporations to do anything; it is one of the stupidest things McConnell’s warning to corporations contained. But McConnell’s hypocrisy is beyond stunning and cannot be ignored. It is, after all, McConnell who has done more than anyone in politics to reward corporations with not just tax cuts, but an open door policy allowing them to influence social agendas and Washington politics. As noted last year in the New Yorker:
“Nobody has done more than [McConnell] has to engineer the current campaign-finance system, in which billionaires and corporations have virtually no spending limits, and self-dealing and influence-peddling are commonplace.
McConnell, like the majority of Republicans, has no problem when corporations exercise their freedom of speech by donating money to enact policies near and dear to Republicans and their nasty voting blocs. But when they speak out against blatant racist and anti-democratic atrocities, their free speech becomes intolerable; so McConnell threatens them with serious consequences for attempting to influence policies that are inherently racist and contrary to fascist Republican policies.
McConnell was a driving force behind the Citizens United case that gave corporations and special interest (religious) groups their outsized voice to influence Republican policies that pander to gun fanatics, religious fanatics’ attacks on women’s rights, and the fossil fuel industrie’s assaults on the environment. According to McConnell, their political influence on behalf of favorite conservative issues is fine and dandy because corporations are people with free speech rights. However, when corporations use their free speech rights to speak out in support of democracy and against racist policies, they get threatened with serious consequences.
It isn’t really clear what kind of serious consequences McConnell was talking about or what kind of power he thinks he wields against the people keeping him and most Republicans in office. But regardless, it was a stupid remark and reeks of biting the hand that feeds you.
Seriously, will McConnell punish corporations and big businesses with a massive corporate tax hike? Or will he support legislation overturning Citizens United and put an end to dark money in politics? Or will he vote for environmental policies the fossil fuel industry hates? He won’t do any of those things and corporations and big business are well aware that he won’t.
McConnell’s threats are as hollow as they are hypocritical and monumentally stupid, but they reveal something that certainly caught the attention of the same corporations he typically loves more than anything else on Earth. Even the corporations that profit handsomely from their investment in Republicans understand that McConnell’s flagrant opposition to democracy defines his un-American embrace of the fascism Trump influenced the Republican movement to adopt as its defining characteristic.
It is most likely that McConnell believed he could bully corporations like he bullies his dirt-stupid constituents by fear mongering about “far left radicals” forcing “bad ideas” like equal voting rights, environmental protections, and sane gun regulations on Americans. But corporations and big businesses are not run by dirt-stupid people who support fascism, destroying the environment, and regular mass killings.
Indeed, they are run by highly educated Americans who understand that the majority of the American people support everything that McConnell and fascist Republicans oppose. Corporations may be greedy, but they are not stupid, and they are not going to be bullied by the likes of McConnell. They are likely not afraid to stop handing out millions to Republicans either because Democrats know big business in necessary for a healthy economy or because they aren’t stupid enough to support policies contrary to the will of the people.
McConnell, on the other hand, demonstrated that he isn’t just a raging hypocrite and an un-American fascist, he just showed the nation and the corporations that support him that he is actually quite stupid and not as intelligent as a dog that knows it is never smart to bite the hand that feeds you.