It is hard to imagine that the Republican Party was against bailing out the American automotive industry; after all, we can take pride that the automobile is the result of American ingenuity and the creation of what is an indispensable way of transportation all over the world. Ronald Reagan, who by now is almost a demigod for the Republican Party, among the many slogans that were created under his administration, promoted to “Buy American” in an effort to save the American industries… But we all know that the GOP picks and chooses what they wish to remember, and this particular slogan they chose to forget. Back in 2008 before Bush left the oval office the Democratic leaders in congress requested for $25 billion to be given to the automotive industry in an effort to save it from succumbing to the economic disaster that was imminent. Many Republican Senators were vehemently against it, some, like Republican Senator Shelby dared calling it a “dinosaur” not worth saving, particularly, not worth using the money to bailout Wall Street to bailout the American car industry. They didn’t object helping those responsible for creating the worst economic crisis in decades, but saving the American car industry? In their eyes it was not worth saving. Others, like Republican Senator Kyl, went further saying, “This bailout would only extend the inevitable demise of the industry.” Mitt Romney who is always claiming to be a corporate expert said, "If General Motors, Ford and Chrysler get the bailout that their chief executives asked for yesterday, you can kiss the American automotive industry goodbye. It won't go overnight, but its demise will be virtually guaranteed." All this was back in November 2008.
Then, Barack Obama became our 44th President and he had another vision, he wanted to save that which up to not long ago was our pride and joy all over the world. He wanted to restore the glory of the automotive industry, which as of lately, and due to foreign competition, had fallen behind in quality as well as revenue. The American automotive industry was doomed to disappear, but not without a fight and not before Obama would try to save it against all odds. Republicans at that time raised the same outcry that has been their ‘signature’ for anything and everything that Obama has tried to accomplish a rotund and solid NO. We must not forget that many of the most adamant Senators had other reasons for criticizing and opposing the automotive bailout: foreign car industries were blooming in their States, and these companies would benefit tremendously if their American competition was to disappear. These Senators didn’t care at all about preserving our industry, our name, or our legacy. All they cared about was the money these foreign companies were bringing to their own States and perhaps their own pockets. They couldn’t care less that it was our American car industry who, without fanfare, aided the States hit worse by Katrina, making donations up to half a million dollars even when their finances where hurting… that didn’t matter for these Senators, all Republicans and all from the States hit by Katrina, who benefited from these donations.
Actor Clint Eastwood – Republican – was too against this bailout, which makes the Chrysler commercial aired during the Super Bowl XLVI halftime the more valuable. Hearing from Mr. Eastwood’s own lips the importance of coming together at a time of crisis – something that has been said since day one by Obama and his supporters – makes this ad a treasure.
I must say for those that don’t know it, that all the American automotive industries that received bailout money have paid back their debt to the American citizens. Our automotive industry still has a long way to go, I am sure, but we are bearing witness to its rebirth against all odds and against the Republican opposition.
This is undoubtedly a great victory for Obama but most importantly, it is a great victory for America!