Barack Splits the GOP
I'm not sure how many people also saw this, but there was a very telling silence in the days after the AIG bonus outrage among typically angry conservatives. It was like everyone was looking at each other, reading up on the situation, and trying to figure out what the proper conservative response should be. At the end of the day, the only thing the hard-rights could agree on was that Chris Dodd was a bad man.
This time around, the GOP leadership began yakking out of control almost immediately. As the current lead story on Politico says, "Detroit plan has GOP all over the map."
I get it. Obama shows that he will not just throw taxpayer money at failed companies who refuse to change-- that's being responsible with our money. He's also willing to let Chrysler die if it can't survive-- that's being a smart capitalist. He also is proposing tax credits to help people buy American cars-- every Republican is supposed to like tax credits, right?
Here's some of their flat-footed response:
Sen. John McCain, the Republicans’ 2008 presidential candidate, accused Obama Monday of “unprecedented window dressing” and said his plan didn’t go far enough. But Rep. Thaddeus G. McCotter, chairman of the House Republican Policy Committee, complained that Obama was being tougher on Detroit than he’s been on Wall Street.
California Rep. Darrell Issa praised Obama for having “struck the right chord.” But Tennessee Sen. Lamar Alexander said Obama’s plan was “not the right direction.”
Ohio Sen. George Voinovich, co-chairman of the Senate Auto Caucus, said he was happy that the White House was “insisting that American auto companies receiving taxpayer dollars can stand on their own two feet eventually.” But Tennessee Sen. Bob Corker called Obama’s plan “a major power grab by the White House” that would leave the federal government with almost complete control over General Motors.
With Obama presenting a mixed bag of solutions to a multi-pronged crisis, the GOP just can't figure out how, where, or whether to attack. The best they can do is to cry for Rick Wagoner, who is probably relieved to not have to deal with this mess.
And anyway, who cares about Rick Wagoner? He was obviously very bad at what he did, and quite frankly, I'm fine with a President "firing" an executive whose company bleeds billions in public cash. Wagoner's lucky he lasted this long.