retail news in context, analysis with attitude

The Washington Post this morning reports that if Republicans recapture control of the US Congress as a result of today’s mid-term elections, they plan to deliver retribution to companies that have cooperated with the Obama administration.

Specifically mentioned: Walmart.

Here’s how the Post frames the story:

“Several years ago, (Walmart) began to break ranks with industry groups by speaking out in favor of an increase to the minimum wage and health-care reform. And, for the first time in its history, it gave more money to Democrats than the GOP for Tuesday's elections.

“The corporation's moves caught the eye of Republican Rep. Dave Camp of Michigan. During a phone call with company lobbyists last year during the fight over the health-care bill, Camp bluntly reminded Wal-Mart of its unpalatable position on the issue, according to sources familiar with the conversation.

“Now, Wal-Mart's political team finds itself in an awkward position. Camp is poised to become the next chairman of the powerful House Ways and Means Committee.

“Companies that worked with the Democrats over the past two years would face a far less sympathetic audience from Republicans, who are expected to make significant gains in the midterm elections. If they gain control of Congress, party leaders have pledged to revisit the health-care bill and lower taxes for businesses.”

And, the Post adds, “Corporate America often views Washington politics as a bane. But over the past two years, many companies and industry groups felt compelled to get more involved as the Obama administration pushed an aggressive agenda on issues central to their economic well-being. Some said they had few options but to seek a seat at the table.”
KC's View:
If the GOP actually pursues this strategy, then its control of Congress is likely to be short-lived...because this is precisely the crap that Americans will be rejecting by voting against the Democrats, who are perceived as having been arrogant and anti-compromise when they took control.

All this does is add to the incivility and insanity.

Walmart, and a lot of other companies, engaged with the Democrats because a) it would have been irresponsible not to, and b) because it is better to engage and influence than to be so rigid that nothing gets accomplished.

As much as this election cycle may be a repudiation of Democrats, it also is a repudiation of how politics is practiced in general. Politicians who focus on politics - as opposed to governance and the serious business of legislating and compromising - do so at their own peril.