It was nearly twelve years ago to the month. Barack Obama was in the first weeks of his new administration. Some of the biggest names in finance were summoned to the White House to discuss the terms of the bank bailout known as the “Troubled Asset Relief Program” (TARP). Politico published a detailed insider account of the meeting. The charismatic new president who’d just won an historic election with a message of unity sounded a distinctly different tone behind closed doors with the titans of American banks.
As the CEOs attempted to defend their large compensation packages in the midst of the taxpayer funded bailout of their collapsing institutions, one quote from President Obama stood out. “Be careful how you make those statements, gentlemen. The public isn’t buying that. My administration is the only thing between you and the pitchforks.”
Obama’s presidency ushered in a new way of doing business between Democrats and corporate America. Donations weren’t enough. Oversight and congressional hearings weren’t enough. This time the big guy would personally inject himself into every transaction and just like any classic movie mobster, President Obama reminded them once government was on the inside there would be no autonomy. They would play by his rules, or else.
Is it any surprise then, to see corporate America jumping through hoops to do Democrats’ political bidding today? It shouldn’t be. We’re reliving the beginning of the same movie we first watched twelve years ago. The same guy with the same ideology is in charge again. The only difference is this time we’re all supposed to pretend it’s the feeble old senator from Delaware running the meetings.
Corporate America knows better.
Amazon’s Jeff Bezos has been nothing but a loyal Democrat. He speaks for the party. He gives big to the party. He even bought the Washington Post to help cheerlead the party under the guise of journalism. But when one of Amazon’s facilities in Alabama held a vote to unionize recently, Bezos’ loyalty was tested.
Ultimately, the unionization effort failed by a huge margin as Alabama Amazon employees understood it wasn’t in their best interests. Democrats and their media goons pounced on Bezos for daring to fight against the union effort. It’s not enough he already leads by example paying a $15 dollar minimum wage, benefits, college tuition, etc. Democrats don’t really care about those things, you see. Democrats want his Amazon army for their forced dues and foot soldier duties. They want Bezos’ company from the inside.
Prior to Republicans being kicked off and censored on social media, it was Democrats who dragged “big tech” to Washington to hold hearings over their concerns Republicans were getting too effective at using their platforms. “You have a real nice website there, Mr. Zuckerberg. Be a shame if anything happened to it,” Democrats’ effectively messaged.
Since then Google, Facebook, Twitter, etc. have done their level best to placate Democrats by silencing and censoring conservative voices, but they know Democrats will always want more. Board appointments, big donations, and new creative activism on their behalves will be critical for big tech if they’re to keep Democrats’ from kneecapping them next.
Mark Zuckerberg and his wife have donated hundreds of millions of dollars in the last election cycle alone to a Democrat election scheme called “Center for Tech and Civic Life.” This sham nonprofit meant to serve as nothing more than a deep pocketed Democrat election machine went to work in the midst of COVID to fund creative, new unconstitutional trickery like “satellite election centers” and drop boxes scattered throughout deep blue population centers in states like Pennsylvania and Arizona.
The efforts paid off. Hundreds of thousands of ballots per state, millions nationwide were bundled and processed with all the sanctity and security of a bulk-mailed Jiffy Lube flier you’d find in your junkmail. States like Arizona were so disgusted with the outsized role Zuckerberg’s shadow money played in ballot harvesting in their state they moved to outlaw outside grant money from organizations like “CTCL” in future elections.
Recent election reforms passed and debated in Republican controlled states like Texas, Arizona, Iowa, and Georgia are of particular concern to Democrats. Hoping for a COVID panic extension into 2022, Democrats need to be able to play the game the same way they played it in 2020. Some Republican states have grown wise to it and are trying to head it off. Enter corporate America once more.
They’re referred to today as “woke” for objecting to election integrity reforms, but that’s not it. They’re not woke - which is really just a trendy, polite word for fascism. Yes, they’re Democrat voters but more than that they’re terrified. They’ll do what they must to stay on Democrats’ good side just to protect their operations from within.
Democrats are prepared to pack the Supreme Court to get their way because they can’t win elections. You think Democrats mind bringing airlines, sports leagues, and soda companies to their knees if necessary? Corporate America knows like any good hit man knows, they’d better finish the job or else.
That TARP meeting between Obama and the big banks in 2009 featured another pull quote from an attendee that day. Describing a lone glass of room temperature water for each guest, no ice, no refills, and no ceremonial picture at the conclusion of the meeting the anonymous corporate attendee observed, “The only way they could have sent a more Spartan message is if they had served bread along with the water. The signal from Obama’s body language and demeanor was, ‘I’m the president, and you’re not.’”
If that doesn’t sound familiar today, you’re not paying attention.
Chris Stigall is the morning host on Philadelphia’s AM 990 the Answer, mid-mornings on Kansas City’s KCMO Talk Radio, and “The Chris Stigall Podcast” available on iTunes or wherever you download podcasts.
Reach him on Twitter, Parler, Instagram, Facebook and more @ChrisStigall or linked at chrisstigall.com