by Chris Haire
A little bit of agitporn is making its way around the interwaves, highlighting the fact that the U.S. Chamber of Commerce failed to honor that new bastion of conservativism Sen. Jim DeMint with one of its Spirit of Enterprise Awards.
This is a travesty of course, since "Sen. Jim DeMint, R-S.C., had the most conservative voting record in 2008 according to the American Conservative Union (ACU), and was a 'taxpayer hero' according to the National Taxpayer’s Union (NTU), but the U.S. Chamber of Commerce says his 2008 record was less pro-business than Barack Obama, Joe Biden, and Hillary Clinton," according to Timothy P. Carney at the Washington Examiner.
Jim was joined in snub by Rep. Ron Paul, Sen. Jon Kyl, Sen. Jeff Sessions, and Sen. James Inhofe.
These men all earned negative marks for failing to vote on several key pieces of legislation favored by the Chamber of Commerce. (The bills in question ranged from Bush's Feb. 2008 stimulus package to Obama's 2009 bailout.)
Which strikes Carney as odd; after all, "These are among the most fiscally conservative, pro-limited government members of the upper chamber—which is precisely their error, in the eyes of the Chamber. The heroes of the small government cause are the goats of the big business cause."
And to further prove that the Chamber is a bastion of liberalism and that big business favors the policies of the Democrats over those of the GOP, the Examiner notes that not only did that exemplar of conservatism DeMint fail to receive SoE Award, he fared worse on the Chamber's rankings than did President Barack Obama, Vice President Joe Biden, Sen. John Kerry, and Sen. Hillary Clinton. And it's all true. Go here to see the rankings.
In 2008, Obama voted in favor of the Chamber's pet projects 67 percent of the time, Biden 71, Clinton 67, and Kerry 63. On the flip side, DeMint came in at 57. Yikes. (Ron Paul received a dismal 47.)
In conclusion, Carney states, "Advocates of bigger government like to assail their opponents as pawns of big business. The Chamber’s shunning of DeMint and Paul will hopefully help put that lie to rest."
If only that was the case. See, 2008 is one thing, an entire career is something else entirely.
Over the course of his career, DeMint has voted with the Chamber 85 percent of the time, a figure not dissimilar from those of other South Carolinian officials in D.C. Sen. Lindsey Graham voted with the CoC 84 percent of the time, while Reps. Henry Brown, Joe Wilson, Gresham Barrett, and Bob Inglis voted with the Chamber 96, 78, 88, and 85 percent of the time respectively.
The Palmetto State's two Democratic officials, Reps. John Spratt and Jim Clyburn rarely vote along with the Coc. Clyburn did so only 42 percent of the time, Spratt 48.
In fact, if you take 2008 out of the equation, all of those nasty liberals who are now seemingly influencing the U.S. Chamber of Commerce voted against CoC-endorsed legislation more often than not.
Over their careers, Obama voted with the Chamber only 32 percent of the time, Kerry 38, Hillary 46, and Biden 36.
Hmm. I don't know about you, but those figures don't exactly put the lie that the GOP is in the pockets of big business to rest.