The new Bloomberg Businessweek cover story is "Why Business Doesn't Trust the Tea Party." It frames the Tea Party as "extreme and inflexible," as opposed to "business leaders who prize pragmatism and stability." It all depends on what adjectives one chooses; the Tea Party might also be characterized as "principled" as opposed to business leaders who are "unprincipled" and "stubbornly opposed to change."
The Tea Party's brand of political nitroglycerin, in short, is too unstable for businesses that look to government for predictability, moderation, and the creation of a stable economic environment. "A lot of the agenda is being driven by the extremes," says John Castellani, the former head of the Business Roundtable who left in July to take the helm of the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA). "This kind of extremism makes it much harder to plan from a business perspective." (So far this election cycle, PhRMA's political action committee has sent about three-quarters of its campaign contributions to Democrats, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.)
The article revels in pointing out minor supposed hypocrisy or self-interest on the part of Tea Party supporters, but it says nothing about how ObamaCare is going to pour more government money into the drug companies.
Of Rand Paul, the Republican candidate for Senate in Kentucky, the article reports, "He would have let the U.S. automakers fail last year—a position with ramifications not only for car companies and parts makers but also for agriculture, mining, and other industries dependent on government support." There's a Bloomberg assumption for you: without "government support," we'd have no farms or mines.
Of the Republican candidate in Nevada, Sharron Angle, the article says, "The movement's energy could help boost Republican turnout, but it has also forced the party to spend time and money on primary contests in which inexperienced candidates—Angle, O'Donnell—have jeopardized Republican control of Congress. Despite her call to privatize Social Security, Angle is in a virtual tie with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and has raised an astonishing $14 million in the past three months. If Republicans fail to win the congressional majorities that seemed within reach earlier this year, she and other Tea Party candidates may take the blame."
The latest polls show Ms. Angle leading Senator Reid, an entrenched incumbent who as majority leader has access to a vast campaign warchest and fundraising network. How does Ms. Angle jeopardize Republican control of Congress? The Republicans don't control Congress now. And she may win. Bloomberg Businessweek doesn't explain how it's Ms. Angle's fault if the Republicans fail to win Congress, because it won't be her fault.
More: "One cornerstone of their faith—the notion that large corporations are leeches sucking the blood of the people—is sharply at odds with Republican theology that has held sway for generations."
Again, this is ridiculous. Neither the Tea Party nor Republicanism are a "faith" or a "theology." I've been to a couple of Tea Parties and would characterize myself generally as a Tea Party supporter and would never use this language about bloodsucking leeches because I think it reeks of classical antisemitism. I've never heard it used in Tea Party circles. The people who actually have been throwing around the term bloodsucker, as reported on FutureOfCapitalism, are Jeremy Grantham, an anti-global-warming-activist money manager in Boston whose utterances Bloomberg News usually treats with deferential attention, and Maureen Dowd, not exactly a Tea Partier.