The last month has seen typical political salvos rise and fall from both sides of the aisle, but the election-season attack that won’t go away originated from the White House. In early October, President Obama lashed out at the United States Chamber of Commerce, intimating shady dealings with foreign donors. Unfortunately for the President, his remarks have become an albatross the Democratic Party will be wearing into today’s elections.
A recently released Fox News poll shows that the Chamber of Commerce has a 48% approval rating amongst registered voters, a slight lead on Barack Obama’s 47%. The Democratic Party as a whole is faring even worse, trailing by 42%. These numbers come just days before an election that is already expected to swing in Republicans’ favor, possibly upsetting the balance of power in both the House and Senate.
The Chamber of Commerce is a massive lobby representing the interests of a large swath of American businesses and associations. This election cycle, the Chamber has spent the vast majority of its campaign contributions furthering the cause of Republican candidates. Obama went for an easy smear, despite receiving over twice as much as McCain in contributions from the business community, as ATR has recently reported: “So groups that receive foreign money are spending huge sums to influence American elections, and they won’t tell you where the money for their ads comes from.” This line of vague accusation has been taken up and echoed by others in the Obama administration and Democrat leaders, despite even the liberal New York Times concluding that “there is little evidence that what the chamber does in collecting overseas dues is improper or even unusual.”
If Obama and his fellow Democrats wish to root out shady campaign contributions from special interests, they needn’t look farther than their own doorstep. The Wall Street Journal recently reported that the largest outside spender for the 2010 elections has been a public sector union, the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees (AFSCME), which spent more than the Chamber of Commerce and American Crossroads/Crossroads GOP, the two biggest Republican spenders. Rounding out the top five spenders this cycle are the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) and the National Education Association (NEA), which combined with AFSCME in spending tens of millions of dollars advancing Democratic candidates. That so much of the Left’s war chest comes from labor unions—many of which force membership upon workers—should be the real scandal going into this election.
Fortunately, the public hasn’t been taken in by the current administration’s hypocrisy. In the same Fox News poll cited above, labor unions scored 38% in public approval: 4% behind Democrats, 6% behind Republicans, and 10% behind Barack Obama’s whipping boy, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. You can fool some of the people all of the time, and all of the people some of the time, but when it comes to the Democrats and their union cronies, their time for fooling around at all is approaching its end.