For Republicans, Auto Bailout is a “Hill To Die On”.

I‘m already tired of the Blagojevich scandal (an Illinois governor is corrupt? Well knock me over with a feather), but I remain concerned with this auto bailout and can only hope, with the White House caving in, that the Republicans in the Senate will make one final stand before their minority power is blown away for at least 2 years come January 20th.

Why? Because if this gets passed, I want Democrats to take complete ownership of it. It’s going to be a debacle, and I want it to be their debacle. I don’t want to hear “well the Republicans okayed it and the Democrats simply tried to make their plan work”. Huh uh – I want it passed by a Democratic Congress and a Democratic President if it is to be passed. And I fear it eventually will.

Right now this is all about political CYA. The Dems don’t want to see the unemployment numbers go up as they’re coming into power. Nor does the present administration as they leave office.

The Dems also want a little Republican cover for this. This 15 billion is nothing more than a carryover to let the auto industry stay solvent until the Democrats take power and can put a more extensive and restrictive package together (like requiring that the auto companies be barred “from participating in, pursuing, funding, or supporting in any way, lawsuits (existing or contemplated) challenging State laws concerning greenhouse gas emission standards.”)

If Republicans want to retain any credibility at all as well as denying Democrats the political cover they desire, this is a legislative hill to die on. The Republicans in the Senate must refuse any sort of bailout and require Democrats to shoulder the entire package.

Yes, GM may actually go bankrupt in the meantime – but frankly I don’t see the downside there when compared with the bailout alternative. And yes, there may be a temporary spike in unemployment. But a GM restructured to compete, without a “car czar” breathing down it’s neck and demanding it manufacture vehicles the public doesn’t want, is much more desirable.

To the Senate Republicans – say “no” to this travesty.

[Crossposted at QandO]

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