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Illustration: Sarah Grillo / Axios

Corporations have to walk the razor-thin line between the demands of the left and the right or fall to their doom. In the latest iteration of the culture wars, they've have been called out on social media to sever ties with the NRA in the wake of the Parkland shooting.

Why it matters: When Delta said it was ending its NRA ties, Georgia politicians threatened to kill a tax bill it supports. But when FedEx chose to stay out of the fight against the NRA, #BoycottFedEx was born on Twitter. Delta and FedEx took opposite approaches to handling the culture wars — and they both lost.

How it happened...

  • Delta joined a slew of companies that cut ties with the NRA, only to hear from Georgia Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle — who has jurisdiction over its hub, Atlanta, where Delta is also the single largest employer.
  • Casey said he'll kill any tax legislation that benefits the airline company unless it reinstates its relationship with the NRA.
  • "Corporations cannot attack conservatives and expect us not to fight back," Cagle tweeted.
  • Yes, but: It's a slippery slope, per lobbyist Bruce Mehlman. "Punishing companies with economic policy is a fast road to making social policy supreme to economic growth," he said "which is not what competitive countries do."

"There are two things that are hitting companies simultaneously," Axios CEO Jim VandeHei said on CBS This Morning.

  1. Social media mobs. "People can instantly put pressure on companies to make big decisions about their products." We saw it yesterday with FedEx and in August, when CEOs fled Trump's business councils after his incendiary comments on the violent clashes in Charlottesville.
  2. "The millennial workforce has a different expectation of us as employers. They expect you to take a stand; they expect you to have opinions; they expect you to stand for something bigger than just profit."

Go deeper with earlier stories on the issue by VandeHei and Mike Allen:

Go deeper

Updated 21 mins ago - Health

Texas to end all coronavirus restrictions

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott speaking at the White House in December 2020. Photo: Al Drago/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Texas will end its coronavirus restrictions next week with an upcoming executive order, Gov. Greg Abbot (R) announced Tuesday during a press conference in Lubbock.

Why it matters: After Abbott signs the new order, which rescinds previous orders, all businesses can open to 100% capacity and the statewide mask mandate will be over, though large parts of the state will remain under mask local ordinances.

Senate confirms Rhode Island Gov. Gina Raimondo as commerce secretary

Rhode Island Gov. Gina Raimondo (D). Photo: David L. Ryan/The Boston Globe via Getty Images

The Senate voted 84-15 on Tuesday to confirm Rhode Island Gov. Gina Raimondo to lead the Commerce Department.

Why it matters: The agency promotes U.S. industry, oversees the Census Bureau, plays a key role in the government's study of climate change through the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and evaluates emerging technology through the National Institute of Standards and Technology.

Updated 47 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Health: CDC director warns "now is not the time" to lift COVID restrictions — Exclusive: Teenagers' mental health claims doubled last spring.
  2. Axios-Ipsos poll: Americans' hopes rise after a year of COVID
  3. Vaccine: J&J CEO "absolutely" confident in vaccine distribution goals — Vaccine hesitancy is shrinking.
  4. World: China and Russia vaccinate the world, for now.
  5. Energy: Global carbon emissions rebound to pre-COVID levels.
  6. Local: Florida gets more good vaccine newsMinnesota's hunger problem grows amid pandemic — Denver's fitness industry eyes a pandemic recovery.