For the first time in recent history, the lobbying, grassroots and advertising budget of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce has surpassed the spending of BOTH the Republican National Committee and Democratic National Committee.
This is significant. It means that the Great Transition has already begun. In the days following the decision in Citizens United, campaign finance experts predicted that the decision would open the floodgates of money for trade associations like the Chamber of Commerce. The influx of corporate money, according to some, would weaken the power of the political parties and candidates and lead the political parties to become less important. Republican lawyer Ben Ginsberg went so far as to say that the parties would be “threatened by extinction.” And Ginsberg supports the CU decision!
If you accept the premise that Roger Ailes is the effective chairman of the GOP, one could argue that the Republican party, in its traditional form, is already extinct. When you strip away Fox News and AM radio and the Chamber of Commerce, is there any Republican party left?
I also believe that the reason, for better or worse, that Obama (Rahm!) cut so many sweetheart deals for corporations in the HCR bill is that the the companies could and would have killed the bill immediately otherwise.