Republicans are in a dire political situation as they are publicly shunned by big business for voter suppression after the rejection of Donald Trump by voters in the 2020 election.
Jonathan Chait reported for New York magazine on efforts by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) to condemn the corporate criticism after decades of promoting corporate speech in politics.
"The phantasmal threat of government intimidating business leaders for exercising their First Amendment rights, which McConnell had once invoked to ward off any limits on their ability to use financial leverage over elections, had suddenly become real. And the source of the threat is McConnell himself. A few days' worth of large corporations condemning voter suppression has left the Republican leader so thoroughly rattled that he's thrown away decades of laborious work reputation-building on the single issue that is the foundation of his worldview," Chait wrote.
"There is more at work here than the latest cynical turn of the wheel. McConnell is acting not only out of calculation but a mix of fear and rage that is enveloping segments of the right that believed they had come through the Trump era unscathed. For a certain class of Establishment Republican, the events surrounding Georgia's voting restrictions have set off a mental crisis more severe than anything they experienced during the previous four years," he explained.
It may be impossible for Republicans to regain the status with big business they once enjoyed.
"To see dozens of corporations denounce voter-suppression laws has therefore come as a shock to the party's elite. Nobody — nobody they cared about, anyway — was denouncing them for passing vote-suppression laws in 2010. They had begrudgingly accepted some level of backlash against Trump. But now Trump was gone, many of them had openly denounced him on his way out, and here they find themselves still on moral probation," Chait wrote. "A sickening realization has settled upon them that many of the uncomfortable changes to the political atmosphere over the last four years may be permanent. The cultural change that alienated the GOP from academia and Hollywood years ago are creeping into corporate America."