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Chamber Plan to Oust Conservatives Will Stir the Base

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is threatening to run primary challenges against incumbent conservative members of the House of Representatives.

The Chamber has had it with conservatives mucking up their agenda on issues like immigration reform, the Export-Import Bank reauthorization, and highway spending, as Politico reported. The group is ready to start picking off troublemakers.

But the move is likely to backfire against corporate America’s voice in Washington, D.C., by inflaming grassroots conservatives. As much as the Republican base loathes big government, it despises big business profiting from the favors of big government almost as much. To many conservatives, that is exactly what the U.S. Chamber of Commerce represents.

The Republican brand will suffer as the bedrock of the party comes under assault from the Washington establishment.

Conservative leaders already are saying they will fight. David Bozell, president of ForAmerica, told the Heritage Foundation’s Daily Signal that “preserving” conservative lawmakers will be a priority for both his organization and the broader conservative community.

“If the Chamber of Commerce wants to pick a fight, the conservative movement is going to have to be ready, and I’m sure we will be,” Bozell said.
“If the Chamber of Commerce wants to pick a fight, then the conservative movement is going to have to be ready, and I’m sure we will be,” he said.

Dan Holler, communications director for Heritage Action, said, “If the Chamber of Commerce wants politicians in Washington that increase spending, shill for corporate welfare and enact sweeping amnesty, they should support Democrats.”

The sight of the Chamber pouring cash into GOP primary races in early 2016 is likely to galvanize conservatives just as they are being urged to the polls to choose a nominee for president.

The Chamber’s entrance into Republican internecine warfare would hurt the candidates viewed as closest to the trade group — most notably, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush.

In December, conservative columnist Michelle Malkin wrote a piece entitled, “Jeb Bush: The U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Waterboy.” Columnist Marc Ambinder of The Atlantic and The Week described Bush as “a Chamber of Commerce conservative.” Last October, he cut political ads for the Chamber in Spanish.

No doubt Bush will be cringing during the primaries as some of the more conservative and populist candidates mercilessly tie him to an organization busy trying to rob the GOP base of representatives in Congress.
No doubt Bush will be cringing during the primaries as some of the more conservative and populist candidates mercilessly tie him to an organization busy trying to rob the GOP base of its representatives in Congress.

Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas, the candidate the Chamber can least stand the sight of, will be perfectly positioned to use the Chamber’s fratricidal push as part of his strategy of running against Washington.

Cruz indirectly derided the Chamber just last Friday during his appearance on the Senate floor, castigating Senate Republicans for listening “to one and only one voice: That is the voice of the Washington cartel, of the lobbyists on K Street, of the big money and big corporations.”

The feeling is mutual. In October 2013, after Cruz helped shut down the government over Obamacare, Chamber of Commerce President Tom Donahue was asked if having Cruz “sit down and shut up” is something he might want to arrange.

“Well, that might be one thing we could work on,” Donohue quipped.

Having the Chamber to kick around might be enticing to other populists in the race, as well as low single-digit candidates who need an issue, or even Donald Trump, who seems willing to fire away at any moving object.

By recklessly declaring war on the GOP’s most motivated voters, the Chamber threatens to demoralize and alienate the one faction of the party that is indispensable for achieving Republican victories in 2016.

This article first appeared on LifeZette.

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19 Responses to Chamber Plan to Oust Conservatives Will Stir the Base

  1. From the Chamber home page:

    “Free speech, due process, and the right to take a risk and be rewarded are the building blocks of our free society and our free enterprise system.

    The Chamber is fighting to ensure that all Americans have the right to petition our government without fear, intimidation, or undue regulation.”

    Looks like they have no problem pushing fear and intimidation for anyone not willing to go along with the cronyism and treasury robbing that they now represent.

    They’ve just reached the level of Hillary Hypocrisy by going after conservatives.

  2. This is RICH:

    Can I get a list of U.S. Chamber of Commerce members?

    “It is the policy of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce not to distribute or make public information about our members. To find out if a specific company is a member, you will have to contact the company directly. You can also view our privacy policy.”

    An organization that on it’s home page says it’s all for free society and free speech but who wants to keep it’s membership list secret!

    BUT, there IS this link:

    It’s a map of the US where you can click on your state and see what local chambers of commerce are aligned with the national U.S. organization. Start spreading to one and all and start asking local chamber officials if they agree with national going after conservatives.

    Donohue is as drunk on his power as Obama is on his. Time to send him a message from the ground up.

    • My Rep Billy Long rode in with the Tea Party wave in 2010 and has already turned his back on us in favor of licking Boehner’s butt. I wasn’t that impressed with him in the beginning but was better than the Dem and talked as a conservative. Now he’s just another crony wanting to stay in power.

      Depressing, VERY depressing.

  3. Just another political distraction…I don’t have the patience for it. The COCUS, where I spent many an hour, is a special interest group and plays hardball. This should be no surprise to these so-called mavericks–although I would hardly call Bush one of those. Supposedly the right is all about free enterprise–that is the chamber, warts and all.

  4. MrK:
    Ah, so you’ve been steppin’ out on us.

    Scary people, those business folks. It’s possible they get their fondest wish and no one but liberals are sent to DC. It’s also possible that when the give all the jobs to illegal aliens or just aliens, that the former middle class will hang up their hard hats, uniforms, close their PCs, and sign up for all those freebies that the New-Americans will be paying for out of their hard-earned wages. .

  5. The Chamber of Illegal Commerce is really going to have its hands full digging up jobs for Obama’s ‘New Americans’.
    Cubans are now rushing our shores in search of the pot of gold…can Puerto Ricans be far behind? And let’s not forget about the record number of Somali refugees flooding our shores.
    Forget about jobs, do we have enough ObamaCare and food stamps to go around?

    ***Wait til the WS fat cats start squawking about the $15 minimum wage that is sweeping the country!

      • Wait’ll the workers start complaining bec they got fired–are you FOR this mandated wage? My daughter works in fast food–and SHE is not for it…

        • Reality of free enterprise/marketplace. Costs go up — something else gets cut or raised to compensate.

          It is not a good deal for lower income workers. And over the long term it will limit their access or ability to rise up that damned ladder if not cost them their jobs in the short term.

        • I’m against it, too. CA just passed a $15/min wage – the illegals are ecstatic! They can now work fewer hours and still collect their bennies and earned income tax credit if they play their cards right.

          My guess is the fast food industry will start hiring more educated ‘whites’ since there will be no more cheap labor. We’ll see.

          I’ve heard that In-and-Out Burger (my fave) has been paying their employees $12/hr for quite some time. Service is fantastic, and illegals need not apply. It’s a throw-back to the 50-60’s.

  6. We will need to coin a term for these so called “Blue Dog Republicans.”

    It’s been said time and time again, but Washington needs fresh minds and thoughts.

    Term limits.

    Same people elected over and over. Same result. Doesn’t matter the party.