by Max Brantley
Is it a winner to cheer for American engineering and honest labor to fail? (A Republican shill on Secretary of State Mark Martin's staff insisted to me that this was a correct position if a company such as GM had received government help. As if all corporate America isn't lavished with government help from the tax code and more.) Is cheering American setbacks Romney-style God Bless America patriotism? Not in my book. Others agree.
“As for the Volt, it is emblematic of a larger problem the GOP has: the sense that they are rooting for America to fail,” Paul Begala, Democratic strategist and adviser to President Obama’s super PAC told TPM. “When a good jobs report comes out, Mitt Romney looks sad. When Clint Eastwood makes an unapologetic, patriotic Super Bowl ad for Chrysler, Karl Rove says it makes him sick. They booed a gay soldier at a GOP debate, and didn’t even want to give the President his due for ordering the mission that killed bin Laden. One wonders if they will be rooting for communist China during the summer Olympics.”
That’s the larger narrative to Democrats. But what about the Volt specifically? The car is an international award-winner and a rolling embodiment of the resurgence of the American auto industry. That’s the good news. It’s also a poster child for the problem environmental activists have pushing green vehicles into the mainstream. Sales of the car have been slower than expected, so GM shut down the line temporarily. As IdeaLab’s Carl Franzen noted, the news of the temporary shutdown was greeted with gloating from parts of the right.
There's plenty to criticize about the Volt and the Obama administration oversold it as part of a greener vehicle strategy. But really? Should even Republicans want the vehicle to fail?
.. those blue-collar Reagan Democrat types whose jobs are on the line should the Volt go belly-up will be less than inclined to cross over to the GOP if the party’s candidate hoped the source of their livelihood would tank.