Saturday, December 13, 2008

When Bob Reich Agrees With The Loonies

TPM Cafe yesterday:
A new Civil War is breaking out when it comes to automaking in America, and it was evident in the lineup yesterday of senators for and against bailing out Detroit. Japanese, Korean, and German automakers are now building 18 auto assembly plants in the United States, none of which is unionized. Kentucky (home to Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell) already has Toyota's biggest auto assembly plant outside Japan. Tennessee (home to Senate Rep. Bob Corker, who came up with the "chapter 11" bailout amendment which was the basis for an attempted compromise yesterday) houses Nissan's North American headquarters. Alabama (Senate Rep. Richard Shelby) hosts a range of foreign automakers.

There's no reason to suppose the good citizens of Kentucky, Tennessee, or Alabama are particularly excited at the prospect of handing over their taxpayer money to competing firms and their workforces, especially since almost every one of these states already gave foreign firms big tax-payer supported inducements to come and create jobs there.

Besides, southern Republican are not particularly enamored with the UAW, which has steadfastly bankrolled Democrats who have taken on Republicans. (The new Congress will have at least six new Democrats from formerly Republican districts, all of whom received at least $40K from the UAW.)

Corker's compromise -- which he'll push again in the new Congress -- would force the UAW to match the wages of foreign, mostly non-unionized autoworkers in the South. This would essentially make the UAW irrelevant. Why have a union if you can get the same deal without one?
It's nice to be validated, but the real shame here is that our little tiny blog was pointing this out days ago; and as respected (or infamous) as Reich is, his piece is being published not in The Times, but on the blogs, whom still don't play to much more than single digits of the electorate-at-large.

I do have one little disagreement though:
But Republicans also know that the Big Three and their suppliers are spread out over the battle-ground states of Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Indiana, and Minnesota. Republicans don't dare give up these states or alienate their citizens. So here's where political compromise comes in.
What about this campaign of political violence has suggested this?? The GOP in this fight has done nothing but denigrate unions and union membership for the past 4 weeks of the auto bailout drama. Any unionized worker in these rust belt states that votes for a Republican in the future should be ashamed of themselves.


iamcoyote said...

Here's an angle I hadn't thought of.

The GOP's auto-bailout bungle smells to me like GOP kabuki theater. It probably didn't start out that way, but it sure looks like it ended up that way. Here's the big tipoff from a story released Thursday night, after the bailout got shot down in the Senate:

Bush officials warned wavering GOP senators that if they didn't support the legislation, the White House will likely be forced to tap the Wall Street bailout to lend them money, two Republican congressional officials told CNN earlier.
In this context, "warned" likely translates into "giving them cover to vote how they wanted".

Still seems like a dick move, considering people are really hurting out there.

Seven of Six said...

That's why the Employee Free Choice Act is so important. Then we can scoop these southern plants up and tell these fucks to eat shit and die!!

We still have to get past the republi-cons who had weeks to hammer home their meme AGAINST Unions. For some reason they are always beating the Dino Dems to the punch on spin!! And we end up playing catch up. Continually refuting all the bullshit, like Kyl's 73 dollars an hour crap.

Seven of Six said...

Have you guys seen the "Action Alert - Auto Bailout" memo, circulated among Senate Republi-cons!

Fucking conspiracy, damn-it, talk about not acting in good faith on behalf of the working people of America!!

Jackpot said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anjha said...

Ya, the bastards had absolutely no intention of negotiating anything.

It was all political theatre.

I half wonder if they threw Corker out there to the wolves. I wonder if Corker actually thought that he was negotiating and then found out later that there was never going to be "deal".


We absolutely must change the talking points, we must get the truth out there.

The Dems suck at political theatre. They suck because the honestly believe in govt and the process.

The Republicans do not believe in them, everything that they are doing is organized fucking crime. I still think that we should go after them with the RICO act...these bastards are nothing but mobsters.