Halftime in America

Republicans talk a lot about the Real America.  Well, I’m from Michigan and I can tell you that Michigan is what we thing about when we think about the Real America:  tough, individualistic, but also kind and humble.  And Michigan proved it when Chyrsler and GM took government bailouts and, unlike the financial industry did, lived up to their obligation to taxpayers by paying back their loans ahead of schedule and using the money to save hundreds of thousands of American jobs and create thousands more.

Bailing out the auto industry was unquestionably the right decision.  For every job that was saved or created thanks to the bailout, three more jobs were potentially saved in industries that provide parts or service for cars.  In three years, GM climbed from bankruptcy to become the world’s number one auto company again.  And because, unlike the bankers, the Michigan residents who staff the corporate headquarters of the Big Three were human enough to admit that fair is fair, and that one good turn deserves another, American auto companies have reversed their decades-long policy of shipping jobs overseas and churning out oversized, wasteful vehicules that nobody wants.  Because when it comes down to it, these people are human beings who want to look their neighbors in the eye and to sleep at night.  Living in Michigan does that to you.  And, of course, because sustainability is good for business, not just the environment.

Republicans have been bitching non-stop about this ad for the last 24 hours — they say it’s pro-Obama and pro-union, even though the ad doesn’t mention Obama or unions.  It is about teamwork and pulling together in hard times.  The fact that Republicans associate those things with Obama and unions is just a tacit admission that teamwork and pulling together are the charateristics of their opponents, and that Republicans were talking about market forces when they should have been worrying about thousands of people and the livelihood of an entire region of the country.  The Real America is better off today because the federal government was watching out for it — well, half of it anyway.  The truth of the ad is undeniable, plain to see even through partisan blinders.  This time, reality really does have a liberal bias.

And, finally, I just want to say how classy this ad was on the part of Chrysler.  We all gave them a hand, they came through for us, paid us back, and then they said thank you, and told us that generous people like us are what makes America great, and what will make us strong again.  Aw shucks, Chyrsler, you can have my bailout money any day.

One thought on “Halftime in America

  1. Many Republican representatives from the South are not necessarily supporters of American automakers because foreign automakers are opening up factories in the south where the UAW is absent and the cost of doing business is lower. Being anti-Obama is just a proxy for whatever corporate interests they have backing them.

    I don’t think the Big Three are so saintly, but I agree that they’ve made good decisions since the bailout. Especially in the interests of the American economy. They’re still dragging their feet on fuel efficiency, but they’re making some progress.

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