Governor Kristi Noem’s spin machine is eagerly portraying GOP primary challenger Representative Steven Haugaard as opposing business. (Steve, quick: tweet back that you’re not against business; you’re against Noem’s monkey business!)
But when Haugaard says Noem has “bowed to Big Business,” he’s just aping the new line coming from arch-conservatives who have lost their faith in capitalists to continue supporting Haugaardian radical right-wing theocracy:
“Massive corporations are pursuing a common and mutually agreed upon agenda to destroy American freedom,” attorney Ashley Keller told a gathering of the most powerful legal organization in America last Saturday.
…“Defenders of freedom must face reality,” Keller insisted, before adding the nation’s top advocacy group for big business to his list of enemies. “The Chamber of Commerce is not our friend. The C-suite grandees who finance it are not our friends either. They were erstwhile allies of convenience — and they are now the enemies of a freedom-loving people.”
…Keller is a Harvard graduate who clerked on the Supreme Court of the United States, and his audience was the Federalist Society, an organization whose members dominate the federal judiciary and especially the nation’s highest court [Ian Millhiser, “The Federalist Society’s Newest Enemy: Corporate America,” Vox, 2021.11.18].
For conservatives like Haugaard, letting corporations do whatever they want is a deeply cherished political principle, as long as they do what conservatives want. But when corporations start responding to market signals by bending toward Obama/King justice, conservatives abandon that principle and back big government.
Yet, rather than waiting for the hand of the market to deliver an invisible spanking to “woke” corporations, speaker after speaker at the Federalist Society’s convention called for a central planner to intervene. As it turns out, the society’s commitment to something as foundational as free market capitalism may be secondary to its desire to own the libs [Millhiser, 2021.11.18].
In this regard, Haugaard is no different from Noem. Both Noem and Haugaard will support big business as long as big business supports their personal priorities. When big business turns against their priorities (be they poll numbers, campaign donations, or maybe even the occasional lingering firmly held belief), both Noem and Haugaard will talk like trust-busting progressives.