Friday, December 12, 2008

GOP's Last Stand?

The Senate Republicans, in their theological zeal to avoid developing a national automobile industry policy of any kind, have voted to scatter our automobile industry to the winds, and the workers be damned. Make no mistake that under bankruptcy it will be the salaried workers who get the shaft. Pensions, health insurance, stock options and everything else they have will be on the judge's block. It is Republican opinion that bankruptcy is the best way to get at the union, which is obviously the source of all the problems, representing as unions do today some five percent of American workers, and espousing such radical notions as that workers worldwide should not be forced to accept wages reflecting the labor market in, say, Bangladesh.

What is striking is that the Senate GOP makes this stand in the teeth of dire warnings from all quarters: Bush, Obama, Wall Street, Senate Democrats and everyone else within shouting distance have warned of the consequences of abandoning hundreds of thousands of workers and an industrial plant stretching across the Great Lakes. It's almost a ritual flaming out of the Republicans, a kind of noble hari-kari on the ruins of Reaganismo. Because it is now the old guard of the "movement" conservative Republicans in the Senate who will now possibly be remembered as, if not the party that shot down the American auto industry, at least the party responsible for the distribution of suffering when the bills came due: the politically culpable party.

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