12.11.2008

THE BAILOUT FACES ITS SPARTANS AT THERMOPYLAE

BY CINCINNATUS

Well, ask and you shall receive. While clearly Senator Voinovich hasn’t gotten the message (this career politician has long since gone stale, time to kick him to the curb Ohio), a politically courageous band of GOP senators is standing up to the auto bailout like latter-day Spartans at Thermopylae (see here and here). Even with the White House applying pressure to GOP lawmakers and the passage last night of the bill in the House 237-170, these conservatives are standing up to be counted among those who said NO to a taxpayer subsidy of the failing auto industry. While there’s still a long way to go for the GOP to gain my support, this is a good first step toward fulfilling Item 3 in my Open Letter. The senators leading the opposition to the bailout and advocating for a structured bankruptcy deserve recognition:

Jim DeMint (R-S, Carolina)
Richard Shelby (R-Alabama)
John Ensign (R-Nevada)
Tom Coburn (R-Oklahoma)
David Vitter (R-Louisiana)
Bob Corker (R-Tennessee)

Their opposition echoes the sentiments of most rational conservatives, particularly that the proposed “car czar” would be a disaster and amount to nothing more than a political puppet of the sitting president. They want to see a structured bankruptcy that allows the renegotiation of labor contracts, which present a large part of the problem for the American auto industry.

Barney Frank made a comment that infuriates me with its ignorance, it is featured in this
Washington Post article: “Frank added: ‘The greatest illogic is to argue that somehow in the bankruptcy courts . . . you have a far greater degree of expertise than either’ Bush or President-elect Barack Obama, with their teams of economists, could muster.” The difference, Mr. Frank, is that a structured bankruptcy will not amount to a $15 billion check signed by the American taxpayer being handed over to the Detroit automakers with few if any real strings attached. I am just constantly stunned by how little regard liberal lawmakers have for where the money they throw away comes from. It’s as if that thought doesn’t even cross their mind.

The Senate could vote on this measure as early as this afternoon, and it is my sincere hope that these 6 Republicans are able to muster enough support to halt the legislation before we embark on one of the biggest wastes of taxpayer money in American history. Furthermore, I will be keeping my eye on the final vote to see if any of them turn tail and change positions when the chips are down. If they do, you’ll see their names up in lights on this blog, exposed for the cowards they are.

If you have a moment today, please email or call these senators to express your support for their position, even if you aren’t part of their constituency.

2 comments:

politicalthirdrail said...

Ben - I would suggest the opposition to the bailout by some of the senators be taken with a grain of salt. Coburn Corker, and Ensign all voted for the Wall Street bailout which was far more egregious than Detroit's. Given that fact, it makes me wonder if theirs was a vote of principle or politics.

Ben Wheat said...

We work with what we've got. If these guys are willing to do the right thing for their own personal motives, I'll take it over the alternative, though the reality saddens me. Either way, the important thing is that they see it as politically profitable (read: good for their re-election chances) to oppose the bailout, which means we may be on the right track.

One day, though, we'll get the Congress we deserve rather than the Congress we have. Until then, we'll apply whatever pressure we can to make the sitting politicians do what we want.