Auto bailouts: Bush did it before, he’d do it again

It turns out I wasn’t hallucinating. My memory on the auto industry bailout wasn’t as bad as I thought:

Las Vegas— Former President George W. Bush defended his decision to bailout General Motors Corp. and Chrysler Group LLC in the waning days of his administration.

“I’d do it again,” Bush told thousands of the nation’s auto dealers, explaining why he approved a $700 billion bailout fund that was used to rescue banks, insurers and automakers. “I didn’t want there to be 21 percent unemployment.”

Yes, that was the whole point. If the auto industry failed, that’s where the unemployment rate would be. Not at 9 percent, not at 10 percent. If the car companies collapsed, the folks supplying the car companies would have collapsed. The manufacturing industry would have collapsed. Combine that with the financial industry collapse and the real-estate meltdown, and you have a country in full blown depression.

President George W. Bush stands with Mrs. Laur...

And this happened during Turd Blossom‘s reign as George the Dumber’s brain. (And make no mistake about it. The financial collapse was the fault of Bush and the GOP. They ran the country for nearly two full presidential terms. So that hissy fit Karl Rove threw after the Clint Eastwood Super Bowl Chrysler commercial was a scam by an immoral and venal liar.

Here’s more:

Bush wrote that in a Nov. 10, 2008, meeting, their first after the election, he told President-elect Barack Obama he would not let the auto industry collapse. Bush’s advisers learned of his decision later that week.

That was about a week before the CEOs of Detroit’s Big Three and United Auto Workers President Ron Gettelfinger appeared before two congressional panels.

So if the folks on the right, who have a bad case of strategic amnesia, tell you a certain Kenyan Nazi Commie Socialist terrorist usurper threw money at failing auto companies, and Republicans had nothing to do with it, here’s what you need to know: They’re either liars, or they’re stupid. In most cases, though, they’re both.

And here’s what you do: Slap some sense into their heads. For being liars or for being stupid. Or, in most cases, for being both.


Halftime in America, plus four days

It’s been four days since the Super Bowl, so by now you must have seen the Clint Eastwood “Halftime in America” Chrysler commercial, right?

If not, here it is:

I watched it and thought, “OK, so Dirty Harry is saying, ‘Go ahead, make my day and buy these cars.’ Or, ‘You want to buy these cars. Well, don’t ya, punk?'” And that was cool. It was also kind of Ronald Reagan “Morning in America” without the smiling faces, as others have pointed out, but that was OK, too. You do a commercial about America and you show faces of Americans. Big deal.

So, I watched Clint and Detroit and the Chrysler logo and didn’t think much about it afterward.

And then, the folks on the right had an aneurysm:

Karl Rove, the “brain” of President George Bush, the Dumber, said:

The leadership of auto companies feel they need to do something to repay their political patronage. It is a sign of what happens when you have Chicago-style politics, and the president of the United States and his political minions using our tax dollars to buy corporate advertising.

And the only thing that comes to mind is, “What the hell? Where is this coming from?” Karl Rove is attacking Clint Eastwood (You know, Dirty Harry, the guy in the Reagan era who made being a reactionary conservative cool), as a Hollywood liberal and a tool of Obama’s Chicago mob?

All the ad was saying was Detroit was in trouble and now, things are getting better. The car companies didn’t die. People are working.

Helping Detroit was a good thing, right? After all, Turd Blossom’s boss supported helping out the car companies, or do I remember this wrong? And the Socialist, Nazi, Commie, Kenyan usurper — whom the tea baggers love to hate — arranged a bailout deal, because … why? … It was part of the George Soros plot to perpetuate a liberal Muppet agenda where children would hate rich people …?

Oh, there it is. Rich people.

The high profile rich person in political America today is Mitt Romney. Let’s check the files. Yep, here it is:

Karl Rove has already begun his independent, well-funded campaign to return a Republican to the White House. Any Republican will do, honestly, but he would strongly prefer a somewhat competent and “electable” one, thank you very much. So he’s attacking all the non-Mitt Romney candidates, not because he is under the impression that voters care what Karl Rove thinks, but because he knows that the GOP professionals with a vested interest in winning elections care what Karl Rove thinks.

And what does Mitt Romney have to do with the auto industry. Back to the files:

Let Detroit Go Bankrupt
Published: November 18, 2008
The New York Times

IF General Motors, Ford and Chrysler get the bailout that their chief executives asked for yesterday, you can kiss the American automotive industry goodbye. It won’t go overnight, but its demise will be virtually guaranteed.

Without that bailout, Detroit will need to drastically restructure itself. With it, the automakers will stay the course — the suicidal course of declining market shares, insurmountable labor and retiree burdens, technology atrophy, product inferiority and never-ending job losses. Detroit needs a turnaround, not a check. …

A managed bankruptcy may be the only path to the fundamental restructuring the industry needs. It would permit the companies to shed excess labor, pension and real estate costs. The federal government should provide guarantees for post-bankruptcy financing and assure car buyers that their warranties are not at risk.

In a managed bankruptcy, the federal government would propel newly competitive and viable automakers, rather than seal their fate with a bailout check.

Now, it seems that the first thought is that Romney was saying, let them go bankrupt. But I see he called for a managed bankruptcy, which essentially was the deal President Obama came up with. I know because one day, I had GM stock, and the next day, it was worthless.

And the Obama plan for Detroit did involve a bailout loan with a managed bankruptcy, which seems to be close to what Romney was writing about. It worked. (Oh, while we’re at it, Obamacare is Romneycare — just to make Rove miserable).

But the right wanted Detroit to fail because that would mean Obama failed. And now they can’t say Obama was right about Detroit because that means the right was wrong about dealing with car companies. (Which paid back the bailout loans, with interest.)

And now, while the primaries are going on, Romney can’t say he backs what Obama did, even though that’s what he wrote, because to do that equates him with Obama, and the GOP core will destroy him for it. Of course, if he ever gets the nomination, he’ll say Obama followed his lead, but he keeps getting tripped up on that inevitable path to the GOP goal line by a serial adulterer and a Man on Dog.

Some of us are kind of slow, and it takes us a few days to figure these things out.

Photo finish: Obama vs. Perry

Let’s say the 2012 will boil down to Barack Obama vs. Rick Perry. Here’s what you can expect (of course you’ll have to work your way through the implied message and the lies):

The creator of this little gem is Rush Limbaugh’s brother, and you can see what’s going on here.

1) The Republicans are going to paint the Texas governor as a war hero, even though he never saw a day of combat. The closest he got to a war zone was flying a cargo plane in the U.S., Europe and the Middle East, when in 1972, the real war was winding down thousands of miles away in Southeast Asia. They’re going to paint Obama as a radical or pimped out black guy, safely in the states. They won’t mention that Perry’s 22 comes near the end of the Vietnam War, while Obama’s 22 takes place during the Reagan administration, which gave us “The Raid-a in Grenada.” And don’t forget that the last time a real war hero got the presidential nomination, it was John Kerry, who the Republicans completely denigrated as a false hero even though he was wounded in combat, in Vietnam.

2) Note the prominence of the names: James Richard “Rick” Perry vs. Barack Hussein Obama II. A wholesome American name against a radical African Muslim name. Of course, at 22, Obama was going by “Barry.” Maybe I’m not paying attention, but I don’t see Barry anywhere on the photo.

3) Boy vs. boy. Read into it what you will, but the message here is that Perry isn’t a boy, he’s a man in uniform, while Obama is a “boy” in every racially denigrating way you can interpret.

4) The best part of this lie: Obama isn’t 22 in the photo. That photo was taken in 1980, when he was 19. He was a freshman in college. Perry’s photo is taken when he was 22, in 1972. He’s already graduated. (Obama was 11 in 1972.) Here’s what Perry looked like when he was 19 or 20:

Troy Donahue, meet General Patton. What a dork.

So there you have another set of lies from the right. The eras were completely different. The historical context is distorted beyond belief. The racial stereotype triggers have all been set. And the age comparison is nothing more than a lie.

Some idiot with Fox News will say a picture is worth a thousand words. But for this little piece of propaganda, I can think of two. One begins with a B. The other begins with an S.