So, because Mitch McConnell and his Republican buddies wanted UAW workers to accept wages equal to what Toyota workers get, forgetting that those "wages" include retiree benefits that Toyota workers don’t have to pay for, no deal on an auto bridge loan and the US can suck up a Depression, because screwing union workers is more important than saving the economy for everyone.
Let’s assume that the Republicans are serious about this, because lord knows, the last 8 years have proved that ideology trumps common sense. Where do we go from here? I see three possibilities.
1) Obama starts bending arms. A lot of those Republicans are going to be in the Senate with him. Budgets are done under reconciliation, which means you can’t filibuster them. There’s no reason why any Republican has to get anything through in the budget he or she wants, and no reason why Obama and Dems can’t just put everything but the kitchen sink they want into the budget. Explain to them kindly that what comes around, goes around. If they threaten to filibuster judicial appointments, in further retaliation, remind them of the so-called nuclear option.
2) As Stirling Newberry has suggested, have the Treasury secretary presumptive (Geithner) pay a visit to the major money center banks. Let them know that if 15 billion dollars in loans make it to the big 2 1/2, the Treasury under Obama will make it good if anything goes bad.
3) Have a nice chat with Bernanke. Strictly speaking the Fed is independent, but as a practical matter if Obama asks Bernanke to step down publicly, he’ll pretty much have to. Suggest to Bernanke that he makes sure the auto companies get the money they need to get through the next few months. If he doesn’t do that, well, Obama will lose confidence in his ability to manage the economy, since he was willing to let 3 million jobs go away during an economic crisis, and will seek to have him replaced immediately upon assuming office.
There are still options. They are, however, now all up to Obama. There are ways he can make sure Republican union hatred doesn’t turn this recession into a depression, he just has to choose one of them.