The Michigan Republican presidential primary will soon be a thing of the past. Whew!
Between Democratic tomfoolery and Republican divisiveness, robo calls and advertising saturation, the whole truth, the technical truth and nothing but untruths, the primary season in Michigan can exhaust even the most casual observer.
Beyond the usual drama exhibited by its queens and kings, Michigan residents have had to chew on some very real questions. Like why a candidate born and raised here, who’s father was the innovative head of a car company headquartered here, ultimately a very popular three-term governor here, and whose son a month ago was a veritable lock to win here is today struggling for his political life.
The taxpayer funded auto industry rescue plan originally cost $80 billion, (all but $26 billion of which has now been repaid with more to come).
The taxpayer funded rescue of the financial industry originally cost taxpayers $700 billion (of which only a small portion has been repayed), and the financial drain is as of yet incomplete.
This condition speaks volumes, at least among those with open ears, about the priorities of this nation’s Republican candidates for President.
Shortly after the Bush administration decided that it would be idiotic to allow the auto industry – its manufacturers, suppliers and dealers, and all the ancillary jobs they support – to fail, Arizona Senator John McCain smugly stated that any and everyone who knows anything realizes that throwing money at Chrysler amounted to spending good after bad.
Chrysler is thriving, and the good senator’s political career has declined accordingly. He clearly doesn’t see the importance of a thriving economy’s ability to make something real, durable, with ones hands (as opposed to say a hedge fund).
Nor, it seems, does Mitt.
In an infamous November 2008 New York Times opinion piece titled “Let Detroit Go Bankrupt”; Romney predicted that “If General Motors, Ford and Chrysler get the bailout that their chief executives asked for yesterday, you can kiss the American automotive industry goodbye.
More recently, Romney took a shot at the lead adviser for the Obama administration’s auto task force, Steven Rattner, who he accused of being “a politically connected, ethically challenged Obama campaign contributor.”
Rattner, in a New York Times opinion piece published Friday fired back by calling Romney’s opinion that a traditional bankruptcy would have been better for Detroit than one involving government intervention “dead wrong”, and his assertion that private capital would have funded it “utter fantasy.”
For those in Michigan who still have the energy, the polls close at 8pm, and the results that start pouring in could be interesting.
Regardless of the outcome of today’s primary, given the dearth of viable alternatives, Michigan will choose Obama in November.