The Chamber of (Republican) Commerce.

Recently, the CEO of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce was interviewed on NPR.  He went to great lengths to convince listeners that the Chamber is bi-partisan. 

That’s a little difficult to believe since the Chamber seems to support every single Republican position.  Indeed, when I once did some work for the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce, the Chamber proudly hosted speeches by each of the Republican candidates for Governor.  It refused to allow the Democratic candidate to speak to its members.  And, of course, the Chamber endorsed a Republican.

The U.S. Chamber is now spending $300,000 a day on network TV commercials to kill health care reform using the scare tactics that are so favored by Republicans and the insurance industry.  That alone is not terribly surprising, or revealing.  What IS revealing is the commercial’s voiceover.  Although I don’t know his name, the voiceover talent is the very same one used in every single attack ad for the Republican National Committee.  You know, the guy who, sounding like the voice of darkness, asks you to call your representatives and tell them “we just can’t afford health care reform” or whatever scary legislation the Democrats have proposed today.  Whenever, wherever Republicans want to verbally attack an idea, they use his voice. 

The choice of the voice talent is no coincidence.  It indicates that the Chamber is working in concert with the Republican Party.  If the Chamber really wanted to keep the appearance (or at least the sound) of bi-partisanship, it should have selected another voice to try to scare us.  

The Chamber claims to represent more than 3 million members (the number is actually 200,000) and small businesses as well as large corporations.   Yet, almost without exception, the positions endorsed by the Chamber benefit large corporations and the Republican Party at the expense of small businesses and entrepreneurs.  The Chamber’s position on health care reform is no different.