Robert Stein 1924-2014

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Friday, December 12, 2008

The Confederate Senators From Japan

In killing the Detroit bailout yesterday, Republican Leader Mitch McConnell of Toyota joined his colleagues Dick Shelby of Honda and Bob Corker of Nissan in upholding a basic American principle: Blame all economic woes on greedy unions.

After shoveling billions out the door for Wall Street bastions of free enterprise, McConnell expressed the worry that “a government big enough to give us everything we want is a government big enough to take everything we have.”

There is enough fault in the failing auto industry to go around--management, labor, shareholders and consumers--but taking cheap shots at the health and pension benefits of organized workers as the root of it all is a perfect example of what the great journalist Murray Kempton described half a century ago:

“There is a certain kind of politician who stays safely in the hills during a battle and then comes down and shoots the wounded.”

McConnell and his coterie of Southern senators, including Louisiana's David Vitter and South Carolina's Jim DeMint, all represent states with foreign-owned, non-union plants that would benefit from the disappearance of the American auto industry, no matter how much havoc it would wreak on the country as a whole.

Now these patriotic stalwarts are turning away from the Bush Administration they supported all through a disastrous foreign war to show their independence in the last days of the lame-duck hunting season by playing to the prejudices of constituents who barely reelected some of them last month.

The rest of the politicians in Congress and the White House will no doubt find a way to throw General Motors and Chrysler a temporary life-preserver, but certainly without the help of the union-busting senators from Japan.


Stimpson said...

Working-class Americans simply must stop voting against their interests. These anti-union Repubs and the Dems who think like them would be soundly defeated if only working people woke up and realized that certain politicians are entirely on the side of business and hold contempt for workers who try to stand up for their rights.

Anonymous said...

Neo-Confederate ideology is the ideology of inequality.

The above is the link to "Neo-Confederacy: A Critical Introduction" Univ. of Texas Press.