Thursday, December 11, 2008

Is The GOP Now A Suicide Cult?

As Republican legislators make a final push to deny the U.S. auto industry a loan package that the industry claims as essential to its survival, you've got to wonder: has the GOP thought this one through? Are they aware that they may be setting themselves up to be known from here on out as the party that killed GM and by extension Cadillac, Chevrolet and such an iconic symbol of America as the Corvette? Because General Motors will surely be the first to fall. And if the interconnectedness of the U.S. auto industry and parts manufacturers is as extensive and symbiotic a relationship as we've been led to believe, and the failure of GM also brings down Ford, are the Republicans prepared to accept the taint that comes with being known as the reason you can't buy a new Mustang any more? When NASCAR features vehicles wearing Toyota, Honda and Nissan badges spinning around an oval track surrounded by mostly empty seats, does the GOP really want to be known as the party that brought us to that point?

There has been a great deal of talk about the GOP's social conservatism turning it into a purely Southern political party, one that caters to the Bible belt (think: real America) at the expense of the rest of the nation, and in so doing sacrifices the Presidency and any hope governing the nation as a whole. But if the GOP manages to kill the U.S. auto sector (which is mostly established in the North) and in so doing benefits foreign manufacturers that have largely set up shop in the business friendly right-to-work states of the South, Northern skeptics will also see an economic regionalism at play and further cement the idea that the GOP has completely disowned Lincoln and become the party of Jefferson Davis.

The GOP has always done a very effective job of presenting itself as the more-patriotic-than-thou guardian of the nation's greatness and unique character. Are they really prepared to take credit for turning the U.S.A. into little more than a maquiladora for Japanese corporate giants?

The GOP is playing with fire, here. I'm not sure if the party realizes just how badly it can burn itself as a result.

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