“Don’t bet against America. Don’t bet against the American auto industry!” Not something Republicans want to hear. Republicans have been betting against America and the American auto industry for both years of Barack Obama’s presidency. They ran against America in 2010 and they will run against America in 2012.
President Obama is having none of that. He was addressing auto workers in Kokomo, Indiana, an auto-transmission plant that once was struggling and then was saved by the stimulus plan. Yes, the plant has gone back to full production.
Imagine that, after the Republicans bet against and gave up on the American auto industry. Republican voices from 2008:
- Jon Kyl (R-AZ), the guy who doesn’t have time now to ratify the START treaty: “Just giving them $25 billion doesn’t change anything,” said on Fox News Sunday. “It just puts off for six months or so the day of reckoning.”
- Richard Shelby (R-AL), the senior Republican on the Senate banking committee, said the plan was ”a road to nowhere.” He called the “Big Three” — Detroit’s three major automakers — “a dinosaur,” and said on NBC’s Meet the Press that they are “not building the right products. … They don’t innovate.”
- “The Bush administration opposes using part of the $700 billion financial rescue package to help the automakers. The White House has instead proposed freeing up a separate $25 billion in loans that were designed to help carmakers retool factories to build more fuel-efficient vehicles. They were included as part of last year’s energy bill toughening mileage standards.”
- John Boehner said, “Spending billions of additional federal tax dollars with no promises to reform the root causes crippling automakers’ competitiveness around the world is neither fair to taxpayers nor sound fiscal policy,”
They bet against the auto industry, all of them, from the top down (Shelby was betting ON the foreign auto makers who have facilities in his home state – Honda, Toyota and Mercedes-Benz. And guess what? Chrysler is investing another $800 million in the plant. As Obama told the workers, “That’s real money, $800 million.”
And what did Obama say in 2008?
- “For the auto industry to completely collapse would be a disaster in this kind of environment.”
As CNN reports, “Republicans call the stimulus bill a failure because unemployment grew to well over the 8 percent level predicted by the Obama administration.”
Of course, the stimulus wasn’t everything it could have been, thanks to Republican obstructionism. So it’s nice that they admit they were wrong, even in a roundabout way.
But Obama has triumphed as the American auto industry has triumphed. The Republicans wanted American industry to fail and foreign companies to triumph (don’t forget who Lou Ferrigno advertises for – HINT: it ain’t an American car, folks). They still love foreign money, all the while pretending to be “real” American patriots.
But they don’t love America. They love money. And they don’t care where it comes from. It’s as mercenary a political leadership as can be found. Democracy for sale by RepubliCorp.