Photo credit: Michal Marcol
Taking on "the man" isn't just for hippies anymore:
Starting next year, the huge Tea Party organizer FreedomWorks will urge supporters to punish huge corporations like General Electric and Johnson & Johnson for backing President Obama's progressive agenda.In an exclusive review for Whispers of their plan, FreedomWorks president Matt Kibbe says: "Tea Party activists are willing to tackle progressive CEOs just as they tackled progressive politicians. Judging by the results of the midterm elections, progressive CEOs should buckle up, because Tea Party activists are going to give them a very bumpy ride."His project partner, Tom Borelli, director of the National Center for Public Policy Research's Free Enterprise Project, added: "Big businesses are now on notice that there is a measurable business risk for actively supporting the Obama, Reid, and Pelosi progressive public policy agenda."
Of course there will be some disagreement about which companies should be punished, and it will be important to watch out for conflicts of interest, but by and large, I think this is a positive development:
The groups released a new Wilson Research Strategies poll to Whispers which shows how companies could suffer when conservatives are told of their support for Obama's agenda. The poll found that when customers are told of a consumer product firm's support for healthcare reform, bailouts, cap-and-trade energy policies or other issues pushed by the administration, their favorability among conservatives plummets.A few examples:-- General Electric. The firm has a 51 percent favorable image, but when poll takers were told of it's support for the Obama economic stimulus plan, only 20 percent had a favorably impression of the consumer giant.-- Johnson and Johnson. Nearly 69 percent had a favorable impression of the health company before Johnson and Johnson's support for health reform legislation was detailed to survey-takers. Afterward, that favorability dropped to 16 percent.
Could a conservative boycott movement work?
The poll also found that 81 percent of conservative voters active in the Tea Party would be "less likely to buy products from companies that actively lobbied to pass Obama's $787 billion stimulus plan," and 61 percent would blog, Facebook, or upload a YouTube video urging backers to boycott their products.
Even lefties are forced to admit that the threat of a Tea Party boycott is likely to induce gnashing of teeth.
Evan McMorris-Santoro frets that a group that has just taken back Washington can "inspire fear" in a boardroom. Digby at Hullabaloo also concedes that the boycott plan is smart:
The clever part of this is that they will frame this as a "clean government" initiative, to root out corrupt alliances between the Democrats and their corporate masters. And Democrats, who are concerned about such things as well will be unlikely to defend these corporations. Indeed, we will be helping to punish them, for all the right reasons.
Surely Saul Alinsky is thrashing around in his grave.
Of course conservatives aren't opposed to profits, free-enterprise, capitalism or corporations. They're opposed to corporate welfare, tax-payer funded bailouts and big-government cronyism.
For these reasons, General Electric is a good company to target. I'd also add WalMart for their support of ObamaCare, and L-3 Communications and OSI Systems for lobbying for Porno Scanners in airports (soon coming to a courthouse, boat or train near you!)
Discussion at Memeorandum