A howl is arising among conservatives, and David Brooks throws back his head this morning — the Big three auto makers must be allowed to die.
Not so long ago, corporate giants with names like PanAm, ITT and Montgomery Ward roamed the earth. They faded and were replaced by new companies with names like Microsoft, Southwest Airlines and Target. The U.S. became famous for this pattern of decay and new growth.
PanAm, union airline. Southwest, non-union. We get it.
It’s amazing that even now Brooks cannot name the pig he is tasked with lipsticking, he must speak in conservative code. He never says the UAW needs to be broken, instead we’re treated to "politically powerful crony capitalists who use their influence to create a stagnant corporate welfare state."
At least the Wall Street Journal is more forthright:
Detroit’s demands are meanwhile pressing in a postelection environment where Big Labor and greens are presenting their own bills for political services rendered.
There were no labor union folks on Obama’s transition council of economic advisors. Wanting people to keep their jobs and the healthcare protection they earned from a lifetime of work, and not foot the bill for poor corporate management, is not exactly a demand for "payola."
Here’s more Republican honesty:
“The financial straits that the Big Three find themselves is not the product of our current economic downturn, but instead is the legacy of the uncompetitive structure of its manufacturing and labor force,” said U.S. Senator Richard Shelby (R-Ala.).
As Marcy notes, Shelby’s anti-union carping may have more to do with the fact that his state is home to the non-union auto factories of Honda, Toyota, Hyundai, and Mercedes that crank out SUVs and giant pickups.
McConnell supported easing access to the $25 billion loan to the auto industry that Congress made earlier this year, largely because the loan was made to encourage fuel economy and environmental standards. But yesterday, Chris Dodd said it probably wouldn’t happen because they can’t get any Republican cooperation (though Reid and Levin, it should be noted, quickly yanked his chain).
I guess the GOP is now fighting about who they’d like to screw over more in the waning days of the Bush administration — the environmentalists or the unions.
Well, at least we know where David Brooks comes down.