Democrats Decry the Business Community After Enjoying Contribution Advantage in 2008


Posted by Chris Prandoni on Monday, November 1st, 2010, 10:37 AM PERMALINK


Looking to discredit potentially huge Republican gains tomorrow, Democrats have manufactured the narrative that Republicans and their supposed Wall Street/corporate puppet masters have united to steal the election and disenfranchise the American people. While decrying amorphous businessmen and non-profit’s independent expenditures makes for good campaign rhetoric, Democrats surely must blush when they look in the mirror.

It was only two years ago, during the 2008 election cycle, that Obama benefited from $65 million in independent expenditures from organizations which, by and large, do not disclose their donors. They also must have forgotten that it was the finance, insurance, and real estate industry which donated $39 million to Obama, $10 million more than the same industry gave to McCain. Or perhaps it was the $19 million Obama received from the healthcare industry—whose product we will be required to purchase by law, mind you— that Democrats forgot to mention during the health care debate (McCain received $7.5 million from the healthcare industry). While busy demonizing the Chamber, Democrats must have accidentally omitted that the business community gave the President $37 million and McCain a measly $16 million.

It would appear that the Democratic Party was the party of Big Business, Big Pharma, Wall Street, and those evil insurance health insurance companies that want nothing more than to cut your coverage when you need it most. The straw men Democrats have erected this cycle were close allies two years ago. It is only since the business community has become disenchanted with the current Administration that Democrats have begun to attack it.

These disingenuous attacks on the Chamber of Commerce make Democrats look like fickle opportunists at best and whiny toddlers at worst. The woe-is-us narrative makes even less sense when one compares Party expenditures in competitive races. David Brooks writes that “in the most competitive House races, Democrats have raised an average of 47 percent more than Republicans, According to the Center for Comparative Politics. Similarly, Democrats have spent 66 percent more, and have about 53 percent more in their war chests. According to the Wesleyan Media Project, between Sept. 1 and Oct. 7, Democrats running for the House and the Senate spent $1.50 on advertising for every $1 spent by Republicans.”

Interest groups, the business community, and individual citizens should be free to donate to and advocate for whomever the like—that’s what the oft cited First Amendment is all about. The persistent, suffused attacks by Democrats in office on those they disagree with is a disconcerting and inappropriate use of power. Americans would do well to reprimand them tomorrow.

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