Congressional Republicans would be more willing to stand up to Trump if their major financial backers – big business and Wall Street – had more backbone.
Ever since 1971, when the then future Supreme Court justice Lewis Powell urged corporations to mobilize politically, corporate money has flooded Washington – most of it into Republican coffers.
Today, big corporations and Wall Street essentially own the Republican Party. In the 2016 campaign cycle, they contributed $34 to candidates from both parties for every $1 donated by labor unions and all public interest organizations combined.
They donate far more to Republicans than do extremists like the Koch brothers, and have far more influence over the GOP than does the Tea Party.
Which means the CEOs of America’s largest firms have the power to constrain the most dangerous, divisive, and anti-democratic president ever to occupy the Oval Office.
So why don’t they? What explains their silence?
Consider Jamie Dimon, chairman and CEO of JPMorgan Chase, the largest bank in the United States. Dimon also chairs the Business Roundtable – the most influential confab of major CEOs in America, founded in 1972, just after Powell urged CEOs to mobilize.
Dimon has gone out of his way not to criticize the mad king. While he “strongly disagreed” with Trump’s equating white supremacists to protesters in Charlottesville last summer, he also counseled “not to expect smooth sailing” in the first year of a new administration.
Now well into Trump’s second year, with the sailing more treacherous than ever – Trump has fired most of the adults around him and grown even more erratic and unhinged – Dimon is even more conciliatory.
Asked last week how Trump is doing, Dimon gushed, “Regulatory stuff, good.” The potential summit with North Korea, a “great idea.” He regrets his 2017 prediction that Trump would be a one-term president, telling Fox Business “I wish I hadn’t said it, I was talking probabilistically.”