The past year has been marked by failure after failure for the GOP. The most high-profile news items—the ones billed as top priority by Republican leadership—are the ones that have most publicly and embarrassingly fallen flat for the party.
What’s so fun about that is they should be succeeding. Republicans have an overwhelming advantage in Congress right now—a huge lead in the House and a substantial one in the Senate. Yet the policies and bills they’ve put forward, from the multiple attempts to repeal the Affordable Care Act to the delays on their promised tax reforms, have yet to make it into law. This is mostly because even some Republicans have realized that these policies are heartless and useless; that gutting Medicare, Medicaid and Obamacare would jeopardize millions of American lives. Their most recent attempt, the Graham-Cassidy bill, flopped when Maine’s Republican senator Susan Collins rejected it over those exact concerns.
Now, top GOP donors have had enough. Disgusted by the Republican party’s inaction, wealthy business owners have closed their wallets to the party. Politico reports that donations to the party, crucial for campaigns in the upcoming 2018 midterm elections, are down by more than half. Retired oil and gas investor Thomas Wachtell specifically called out Mitch McConnell at a dinner two weeks ago.
To be clear, this protest from GOP donors is not because they are shocked at the rampant immorality in the Republican party. They aren’t against stripping children and the elderly and the poor of healthcare they can’t otherwise afford. No, these people donate to the Republican party so that their companies can receive friendly tax breaks and deregulation. They’re upset because they aren’t being allowed to make even more money than they already have.
The donors think Republican leadership should be catering to them to help them get even richer, instead of squandering their donations on failed campaigns like the one in Alabama. From Politico:
“Last week’s GOP runoff for an Alabama Senate seat only heightened the sense of frustration. A McConnell-aligned super PAC, Senate Leadership Fund, dropped more than $8 million in a failed effort to prop up incumbent Sen. Luther Strange over flame-throwing jurist Roy Moore. The outcome has some party donors questioning the group’s spending decisions.”
To these protesting donors, money spent on a losing campaign is a waste. They see their donations as investments—after all, if politicians aren’t actively bending over backwards to make corporations as much money as possible, what good are they?