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
By MITT ROMNEY
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.