Corporations that publicly question the party’s preferred policy, or withhold donations in protest, will be subject to discriminatory policy. If they enjoy favorable regulatory or tax treatment, they can continue to do so on the condition that they stay in the GOP’s political good graces.
This is one way rulers like Orban and Putin hold power. It is a method that, until quite recently, would have been considered unthinkable in the United States. That bright line has been obliterated. Trump and DeSantis have now made it almost unremarkable.
What if such a president were backed in this project by congressional leadership? Josh Chafetz, a Georgetown law professor who studies Congress, says you could see legislation targeted at offending companies, and even if it didn’t survive the courts, it could still function in a punitive way.
Those companies would sink large sums of money into litigating against such measures, even as Congress relied on taxpayer-funded lawyers on their side, Chafetz told me, meaning “the onus of the expense would fall on the companies, which would have a chilling effect.”
"In the days after the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol building, the two top Republicans in Congress, Representative Kevin McCarthy and Senator Mitch McConnell, told associates they believed President Trump was responsible for inciting the deadly riot and vowed to drive him from politics," The New York Times reported. "Mr. McCarthy went so far as to say he would push Mr. Trump to resign immediately: “I’ve had it with this guy,” he told a group of Republican leaders, according to an audio recording of the conversation obtained by The New York Times."
McCarthy denied the report.
"In a statement on Twitter, Mr. McCarthy called the reporting 'totally false and wrong.' His spokesman, Mark Bednar, denied that the Republican leader told colleagues he would urge Mr. Trump to leave office. “McCarthy never said he’d call Trump to say he should resign,” Mr. Bednar said," the newspaper reported.
Following McCarthy's denial, reporters Alexander Burns and Jonathan Martin of The Times provided the tape to Maddow.
The host played it on air, "so that you can know that when Kevin McCarthy denied that this happened, he is not telling the truth.
The call was with Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY), who on Thursday was announced as a 2022 Profile in Courage award recipient. The Kennedy family and John F. Kennedy Library Foundation have been giving out the award since 1989.
"I don't mean to be pollyanna about this at all, or naïve," Maddow said. "But it seems to me that I expect a sort of level — from politicians, in particular — of saying one thing in public and saying it another way in private. Certainly speaking more harshly, less diplomatic terms in private."
"What I don't expect is — for even public officials, even politicians — to flat out lie about what they have said, when it is on the record, when they have reason to believe it might have even been recorded, and they just lie and deny it happened," she explained.
"I think this creates a real problem for Mr. McCarthy, I think he must at least apologize, I would not be surprised if there are calls for his resignation, for him lying and denying that he did this when in fact he did it," she said.