For a party that has traditionally been firmly in the pocket of big business, Republicans have been mighty harsh towards their donation-slinging partners in crime of late.
Take Senator Rick Scott (R-FL), for instance.
The Florida senator drifted into politics after a career in the business world most noted for his tenure as CEO of the hospital conglomerate Columbia/HCA, the single largest for-profit health care company in the country, where he was eventually forced to resign in what was at the time the largest Medicare and Medicaid fraud settlement in U.S. history.
Scott may be a full-fashioned product of the corporate environment, but his words recently are more reminiscent of anti-corporate activists than any establishment Republican of times past.
Jumping on the blue-collar populist bandwagon launched in the GOP by Donald Trump, Senator Scott penned an op-ed for the Fox Business website that bashes “Woke corporate America” and warns them of the coming backlash for their vociferous opposition to racist voter restriction laws being passed by Republican-dominated state legislatures.
Scott begins his op-ed by addressing corporate leaders directly:
“Dear Woke Corporate America,” Scott writes.
“I hope you are all having fun with your virtue signaling. I hope you are enjoying trying to one-up each other and showing how woke you can be, all the while believing that you are more sophisticated and morally superior to the hard-working people of this country.”
“You must have loved the accolades from your elitist, left-wing peers when you took the MLB All-Star Game from Georgia. What a fun day for you on Twitter. Congratulations.”
The hypocrisy of a senator from a party that has worked hand in hand with big business to reduce their tax burdens to zero in many cases — and greedily accepted their campaign contributions and PAC donations — rebuking these same corporations for their political activity is exquisitely brazen.
Senator Scott goes on in his essay to assail these politically aware companies for their supposed “lies” about the racist voter restriction law passed in Georgia, employing his own brand of “cancel culture” in the same breath with which he condemns these corporations for canceling the GOP’s brand of bigotry.
In a use of psychological projection unmatched since Donald Trump’s Twitter heyday, Scott accuses business executives of exactly that which the Republican Party itself is most guilty of.
“Let me give you woke corporate leaders a heads-up: Everybody can see the game you are playing. Everybody can see your lies. You are the naked emperor” the Florida senator rants.
“You are, in fact, morally inferior to the working men and women of this great country, who are not racist people, and who, unlike you, care about truth,” he spills his invective.
The culmination of public reaction to the supposed treachery of these companies that have angered Senator Scott with their disturbing support for democratic principles will be a massive backlash at the polls in 2022 that will cause these newly “woke” corporations to regret their current stance as the Republicans “take back the Senate and the House.”
“Your latest attempts to hurt Georgia’s economy will help us do something that is long overdue – make corporate welfare a thing of the past. There will be no number of well-connected lobbyists you can hire to save you. There will be no amount of donations you can make that will save you. There will be nowhere for you to hide,” Scott ominously threatens.
While Scott almost sounds like he has converted into a Democratic Socialist with his anti-corporate screed, make no mistake.
The Florida senator is no Marxist revolutionary ready to end income inequality and ensure freedom from corporate control of our political dynamic.
Senator Scott is an opportunistic populist, ready to say or do anything to retain power in the face of an expanding electorate ready to put an end to the corporate control of politics through the copious lobby dollars and campaign contributions these companies fork over to GOP politicians.
Anyone taking his op-ed as anything other than incredibly insincere performance art is politically naive, exactly the target audience for Scott’s manipulative pandering.
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Vinnie Longobardo is a 35-year veteran of the TV, mobile & internet industries, specializing in start-ups and the international media business. His passions are politics, music and art.