The Tea Party Versus GE

Reporting on Politics and Policy.
Nov. 23 2010 10:43 AM

The Tea Party Versus GE

Yesterday, Paul Bedard previewed the launch of FreedomWorks' long-discussed campaign against corporations that supported elements of Barack Obama's agenda. Today, we get the Wilson Reasearch Strategies polling of "801 self-identified conservative voters" to show what happens to the favorability of those corporations when their treason is revealed. The numbers for Johnson & Johnson are extraordinary. Before conservatives know it lobbied for Obama bills, its favorables are 60/8. After, they reverse completely, to 8/61.

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The new unpopularity of the companies isn't as meaningful as the implication. If activists and pundits ask conservatives to start boycotting companies -- and Bill O'Reilly's been on a tear about GE for years -- the numbers are there to make that work.

Bedard compared the effort here to the effort by civil rights leaders to boycott (or "shake down," in Ken Timmerman's phrase) companies. I wonder if can be more like the the immolation of brand ID in the black community, like the speedy way in which Cristal was termed a "racist" brand of champagne.

David Weigel is a Slate political reporter. 

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