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Not My Party: Coke Too Woke

Now that companies are doing things they don't like, Republicans have turned on the free market.
April 8, 2021
Not My Party Ep 208 | Coke Too Woke

This is a transcript. Watch Not My Party every Thursday on Snapchat.

“Screw you MLB. Screw Delta and screw Coke. In fact, screw all corporations” – Fox News host, Greg Gutfeld

Corporate America has had enough of the GOP trying to make it harder to vote so they’re taking s— into their own hands.

And this is making Republicans big mad. The former fellow faxed in his thoughts from Florida, demanding that Republicans boycott companies that are speaking out. That means you, Major League Baseball, Delta, UPS, Coke. Here he is with Gollum Miller announcing the boycott.

Wait…? What’s that hiding behind the phone there?

Okay, so the boycott is on . . . right after I slam one last Diet Coke.

Now, Mitch McConnell’s taking aim at the Fortune 500: “My warning, if you will, to corporate America is to stay out of politics.”

Hey, Bernie. That you? Nope. That’s the supposedly free-market Mitch McConnell, threatening private companies with retaliation from the government for weighing in on politics.

“I hope Dems raise the corporate tax to 99%. Maybe I’m turning socialist.” – Gutfeld

Why, hello there, my wee Fox News comrade. Raising taxes on corporations to own the Libs. Fascinating.

But this new assault on companies is all the rage in the GOP. I tweeted about this Freaky-Friday free market switcheroo and Republican Sen. Josh Hawley tried to dunk on me with this. “Let me explain this to you. Corporate liberals are woke capitalists. The corporatists love critical race theory and all the other warmed-over Marxist garbage.” What in the f— are you talking about, bro? The Democrats are woke capitalists and Marxist socialists? Do you even Das Kapital?

So what’s this switch all about? Weren’t the Republicans the pro-business, “job creators” party just like two minutes ago? Well, conservatives are right. The corporations are turning against them in the culture war. First, you had the gay pride floats brought to you by Verizon. Then just about every company started backing Black Lives Matter. Then, when Trump sicked a mob on the Capitol to stay in power, well, companies didn’t think domestic terrorism was good for business—and it’s hard to blame them. Businesses are going to look out for their employees and their customers and their own self-interest.

So rather than adapting their pre-market conservatism to the changing culture, Republicans are attacking their old allies, and they’re whining that corporations are getting sopolitical these days.

But corporations have been engaged in politics forever. And until recently, they backed mostly Republican policies.

The family that owns Walmart supports charter school initiatives. Coke fought recycling bottling bills. Oil companies fight climate action and gas tax increases. Basically, every company runs pro-military, ‘support our troops’ promos: “Speedway salutes our troops and their safe journey home.”

Then and now, they do this because they think it helps their bottom line or their image with consumers. Maybe it seems unsavory, but it isn’t new. Republicans are only upset now because they’re on the losing side of it.

A decade ago, the Supreme Court ruled that corporations have political speech rights in the Citizens United case. Back then it was liberals protesting that companies had too big of a role funding political campaigns.

And Republicans were sounding more like friend of the show, Willard Mitt Romney: “Corporations are people, my friend.”

Awkward, but kind of true. Corporations are made up of people who make choices based on our politics. Sometimes companies move to states with lower taxes. Republicans like that. Now, some are moving out of states if they pass bigoted laws like restricting trans-bathroom options or voting rights. If you, the consumer, don’t like the political stance a company takes, then go ahead, drink yourself a gross-ass Pepsi or shotgun a can of Goya beans instead. This is America, b—–s. This is how the free market works.

And that’s something Republicans used to understand.

Tim Miller

Tim Miller is The Bulwark’s writer-at-large and the author of the best-selling book Why We Did It: A Travelogue from the Republican Road to Hell. He was previously political director for Republican Voters Against Trump and communications director for Jeb Bush 2016.