Friday, December 12, 2008

TPM Watch: Josh Marshall is half right

Josh Marshall of Talking Points Memo writes that Democrats may use their majority to do away with the filibuster in the Senate. I agree with Marshall that they should not do that, that having a minority with some power to act is good for the republic.

But then, there is this:

Finally, this issue now goes well beyond the fate of the American automakers. Senate Republicans are following this course for three key reasons -- first is payback against a major industrial union; second is payback against states like Michigan and Ohio who have been moving away from the GOP; third is the desire to advantage Japanese auto manufacturers who disproportionately do business in their southern states.

What even the White House can see at this point is that having one or more of these companies go under right now will rapidly accelerate the economic crisis, and in unpredictable ways.

I don't think Josh understands Republicans at all, or perhaps prefers his narratives to be untarnished with the stain of reality. There is no "payback" involved, either against a labor union or especially against the voters of any State. That's just stupid. Payback?

This is about Republican Senators standing up for capitalism and against socialism. If you want to be cynical, they're establishing their conservative cred -- pandering to the base, you would say.

And the last paragraph is a repeat of the false dilemma: the choice is bailout versus Chapter 11 restructuring, not going under.


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1 comment:

KnightErrant said...

Call it "pay back" or call it as you do. In 19th century terminology siding with capital against labor was called "class warfare."

Since neither capital (the auto execs) nor labor (the UAW) want what the Republicans in the Senate demand it seems to me that Republican senators are advocating a kind of anarchy - nothing is better than anything.

In this instance, bankruptcy is a poor alternate, it would be anything but orderly.

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