‘Big Oil’ hurts Republican

Potential trouble for November?

Being linked to “big oil” turned into a big problem for Tennessee Republican freshman Rep. David Davis, who became the first congressman from that state to lose in a primary in more than four decades.
Johnson City Mayor Phil Roe beat Davis by a 500-vote margin Thursday in the solidly Republican 1st District in the northeastern corner of the state. . . .
The race became increasingly acrimonious as the primary election neared. Roe ran a TV ad accusing Davis of selling out to “Big Oil” by accepting money from industry PACs and backing legislation supporting offshore drilling.

If being linked to “Big Oil” can hurt a candidate in a Republican primary (?!) what would be the effect of linking a Republican to “Big Oil” in the general election? Of course, there are plenty of Democrats in Congress who’ve taken money from “Big Oil” — including Exxon’s sweetheart Barack Obama — so Republicans could possibly fight fire with fire.

The bigger problem, in my eyes, is that there appears to be such widespread economic ignorance that demonizing “Big Oil” can gain political traction like this. Does being profitable makes a corporation evil? Does being associated with profitable companies make a politician evil? That such arguments could win in a Republican primary is disturbing.

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