By on May 26, 2011

If it were up to the candidates for president on the Republican side, we would be driving foreign cars; they would have let the auto industry in America go down the tubes,

These were the words of Democratic National Committee Chair Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.) at a breakfast put on by the Christian Acienec Monitor. But, as TheHill‘s Michael O’Brien reports, Ms Wasserman Shultz owns a 2010 Infiniti FX35 that is built by Nissan in Tochigi, Japan. And, adds O’Brien, “The car appears to be hers, since its license plate includes her initials” (it is, see picture above). The congresswoman’s response (through a spokesperson):

They can try to distract from the issue if they want. But if Republican opposition researchers are snooping around garages, they should know that if Republicans — who said that we should let the U.S. auto industry go bankrupt — had their way, they wouldn’t find a single American made car anywhere.

*Sigh*

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127 Comments on “Quote Of The Day: Busted! Edition...”


  • avatar
    mpresley

    Whether this is indeed the case is a big question. There are grounds for thinking that bankruptcy would have benefited the automakers, and consumers wanting to by American.

    However one thing is clear: in bankruptcy the courts most likely would have deprecated existing UAW obligations, and thus ruined, or at least disfigured the unions. UAW are essentially a money funnel to the Democratic party, and the bail out was a method to continue partisan political influence.

    • 0 avatar
      Tommy Boy

      +1!

      • 0 avatar
        charly

        In 2008? Dream on

      • 0 avatar
        highdesertcat

        I don’t know if that comment rates a +1 because I live in New Mexico, an overwhelmingly Democrat state, and there are plenty of Liberal Democrats here who were against, and still are against, the bail outs of the US auto industry AND the bail outs of Wall Street, the investment banks, Fannie and Freddie, and the whole lot. Many of these guys (and gals) are self-employed people and Uncle Sam would not bail them out if they were to fail. Uncle Sam would let them seek protection under the bankruptcy laws of the US. The US auto industry should have been forced to do the same. I did not like it when Shrub bailed out the US automakers, and I liked it even less when Obama did the same, especially since he stood for Hope and Change. Well, I’m at the point now that we are worse off under Obama than we were under both Shrub and Clinton, so Obama can keep his change because there ain’t no hope for him. Several people I know who drove American have switched to non-UAW assembled vehicles, like Hyundai, Toyota and Subaru. That’s not a coincidence. That is a conscious choice. Maybe Ms Wasserman-Schultz’s choice was unconscious, but she is caught in a compromising position in a foreign car. The picture tells the story.

    • 0 avatar
      probert

      The fact that you use an image from one of my all time favorite bands and spout this nonsense is a double dose of sh*t.

      The fact that there’s a bmw image randomly attached here makes it a trifecta.

    • 0 avatar
      Jimal

      Everyone conveniently forgets that the auto bailout began under W’s watch. Had his term not ended he would have been the one to sign off on the bailout bill, much like he did with the Wall Street bailouts.

      • 0 avatar
        Tommy Boy

        Yes it began under W’s watch (and like his support for amnesty, he was acting against the opinions of the “conservative base”).

        What did not, and would not, have occurred under W’s watch, was the faux pre-packaged bankruptcy which not just insulated, but rewarded the UAW (which was A, if not THE, major reason that GM and Chrysler were on the ropes to begin with).

        An non-political bankruptcy reorganization would have resulted in the termination of the UAW pensions (turning them over to the PBGC) and certainly would not have given the UAW major stockholdings in the post-bankruptcy entities.

        But of course, the UAW and its AFL-CIO umbrella are major bankrollers of Debbie Wasserman Schultz’s, and Barack Obama’s., political party.

        Follow the money — the taxpayers got to keep alive a major source of Democrat funding, in other words, the UAW now serves to launder taxpayer bailout money back into the Democrat Party.

    • 0 avatar
      WheelMcCoy

      Didn’t two of the big three automakers ask for the bailout? It wasn’t forced on them by the government to maintain influence. And Ford went it’s own way, although it did get government funding under a different classification.

    • 0 avatar
      MikeAR

      Cat, for some reason there is a disconnect between who they vote for and the way they live their lives for a lot of Democrats. In the South, these voters used to be called Yellow Dog Democrats because they would vote for a yellow dog if it was on the Democrat ticket. It’s odd that so many people will vote for things that actually are against their interests.

      • 0 avatar
        psarhjinian

        You mean, like how the Tea Party rank and file don’t particularly want to cut anything meaningful, especially if it’s spent on them?

        This is typical. People are people on both sides of the aisle.

      • 0 avatar
        MikeAR

        You may be right Psar, I don’t follow the Tea Party closely enough to know how rank and file supporters feel about spending. I don’t know anyone who is a member so I can’t say. I will say though that the rank and file probably wants a lot more cut from spending than those people who have been elected after running with the Tea Party.

      • 0 avatar

        So Psar, just how many of the Tea Party “rank and file” do you know personally?

        I know it goes against your orthodox narrative, but Gov. Pawlenty’s remarks, in Iowa, about phasing out ethanol subsidies, and his remarks, in Florida, about the need to make Medicare and Social Security solvent, were warmly received by conservatives and libertarians.

      • 0 avatar
        highdesertcat

        MikeAR, I know what you mean, especially here in New Mexico. You see, my wife and I both started as Democrats way back when. My wife and her family still are Democrat but I have migrated away from the Democrat thinking as it lives and breathes in DC. My wife and her family are self-employed, sell real-estate and broker deals. Make good money at it. Pay an awful lot in taxes to support the welfare and socialist policies of the Democrats now in Congress. So, being a Democrat, and what it stands for, has different meanings in different parts of the country. The Democrats I know and associate with believe in putting people to work in America instead of outsourcing, requiring all immigrants to be here legally and be registered tax-paying folks. What Ms Wasserman-Schultz said about the Republicans vis-a-vis the bail outs was just plain wrong because a great many Democrats, nationwide, who are not UAW members or SEIU members feel exactly the same way about not providing bail outs, and hand outs and nationalizing failed companies or investment houses. Another thing is this health care that the Democrats are prescribing for us. It just doesn’t work for us! And when I become Medicare eligible next year the threat of reduced Medicare coverages will hang over us, and since I am retired military, the resulting reduced TriCare coverages will result in us laying out a lot more money than we have if we are to continue our current medical care coverages. So even Democrats in my area are blown away by what awaits them under the new health care law. Ms Wasserman-Schultz has not helped herself with her comments re Republicans. If she reflects the views of her constituents, God helps us all!

      • 0 avatar
        Jellodyne

        > It’s odd that so many people will vote for things that actually
        > are against their interests.

        Oh, I couldn’t agree more. Like how blue collar and middle class people people keep voting in these Republicans who the make their number 1 priority the continually renewal of the tax cuts on the very wealthiest Americans. The wealthiest Americans, I should add, who continue to enjoy the lowest tax burden since 1958. Meanwhile, our governments are in massive debt, and cutting everywhere. The justification for these tax cuts is economic stimulus, yet I’m not sure it’s worked out that way. After many years of economic stimulus I’m not sure we can afford any more.

      • 0 avatar
        psarhjinian

        I know it goes against your orthodox narrative, but Gov. Pawlenty’s remarks, in Iowa, about phasing out ethanol subsidies, and his remarks, in Florida, about the need to make Medicare and Social Security solvent, were warmly received by conservatives and libertarians.

        They were warmly receieved by conservative academics, policy wonks and The Economist. When Mr. Pawlenty is polling better than the ideologues I’ll buy that line of reasoning.

        And while I know it’s fun to play up my nationality as a reason to disregard anything I might have to say, it isn’t really valid and more than a little petty. For one, I have relatives who are Tea Party members in Castro Valley, California (yeah, go figure; very different part of the family to say the least), and two, I can and do read about the rest of the world and am entitled to form an opinion.

        And hey, it’s not like, eg, when Americans form an opinion. For one, I’m not going to invade and affect a regime change based on what I think.

      • 0 avatar

        The wealthiest Americans, I should add, who continue to enjoy the lowest tax burden since 1958.

        And just exactly what moral claim do you have on other people’s money? You act as though the money first belongs to the government and whatever fraction we get to “keep” after taxes, well, we should just be happy with what we get.

        Let’s be honest and call a spade a spade. You’re jealous of rich folks. You envy their wealth and seek to use the government to take it from them and give it to you.

  • avatar
    DC Bruce

    Once again: “Do as we say, not as we do.” Although I personally think the FX 35 is a ridiculous vehicle. It has the fuel consumption, weight and size of an SUV with the carrying capacity of sports car . . . and that ridiculous snorty, moaning exhaust which Nissan apparently thinks sounds cool in all of the vehicles powered by its 3.5/3.7 liter V-6.

    Just do a reality check on how many Democrat legislators and political appointees in metro DC who “support public schools” and oppose vouchers send their kids to private schools, not only in DC but in the DC suburbs (which have much better public schools) as well.

    And don’t talk to me about why the current President’s kids and Chelsea Clinton (who went to Sidwell Friends School, an exclusive private school in DC) shouldn’t be forced to go to public school, because I agree. The president’s and vice president’s kids are a special case; security issues probably preclude their being in a public school.

    I’m talking about Members of Congress, Cabinet and sub-cabinet positions.

    • 0 avatar
      SVX pearlie

      They don’t live in DC. They live in Great Falls, VA or Potomac, MD and the public schools they send their kids to are excellent.

      • 0 avatar
        DC Bruce

        I think I covered that point . . . and some of them do send their kids to private schools even though they do live in Montgomery County, Maryland or Fairfax or Arlington County, Virginia (all of which have excellent schools).

        I know because I sent 3 kids to a pretty spiffy private school here in DC, and I know who my kids’ classmates were.

        On the merits, I admit I’m pretty conflicted about what happened. Since no one else would do it, I think the government should have provided DIP financing, but that’s it. OTOH, as in every instance when the government pokes its nose into private business, inevitably political considerations come into play. That’s a bipartisan phenomenon.

        As for the Chrysler bondholders who got stiffed, you have to take a look at the risks they assumed . . . and the ones they didn’t assume. They assumed the risk that there would be no, or very little money to pay them. But the law sets up a known order of priority as to who gets paid first, and it puts secured creditors (like the bondholders) ahead of unsecured creditors (like the UAW pension fund). The risk they didn’t assume is that the government would bigfoot and re-arrange that priority by fiat. That’s banana-republic behavior.

        After the follies of 2008, Too Big to Fail is a serious problem, not only with the car manufacturers, but also with folks like AIG, certain banks and, of course, your old friends Freddie and Fannie.

        Interestingly, Freddie and Fannie are the flip side of the Chrysler bondholder situation. Freddie and Fannie made boatloads of money by borrowing money at government rates and lending it out at commercial rates — something a 6th grader could do. How’d that happen? Because even though Freddie and Fannie’s securities were technically not backed by the government (and therefore should have commanded higher interest rates, reflecting private debt risk), the market assumed — correctly — that the government would bail out Freddie and Fannie if the shit hit the fan, because the consequences to the home mortgage market (and to the price of homes) would be too awful to think about. Sadly, the the residential real estate market is pretty awful for lots of folks anyway.

    • 0 avatar
      jmo

      and that ridiculous snorty, moaning exhaust which Nissan apparently thinks sounds cool

      It sounds cool because it is.

    • 0 avatar
      Detroit-Iron

      +1

      Do not question your betters. They know what is good for you and are more than happy to tell you.

  • avatar
    tced2

    Debbie Wasserman Schultz has put her (lack of) business knowledge out for the whole world to see. There is a difference between bankruptcy and going out of business. GM and Chrysler went bankrupt and are operating today.

  • avatar
    tparkit

    Chairwoman Shultz is digging her personal credibility gap extra-deep. She recently called the GOP agenda “anti-women” and “a war on women”. “It’s just so hard for me to grasp how they could be so anti-women as they are,” she said at a breakfast roundtable with reporters.

    http://www.usnews.com/news/blogs/washington-whispers/2011/05/26/new-dnc-boss-calls-gop-anti-women

    Shultz leads a fact-free existence about non-leftists:

    “More women than men belong (to the Tea Party) — 55 percent, according to the latest Qunnipiac poll …. If the Tea Party has any legitimate national leadership, it is dominated by women. Of the eight board members of the Tea party Patriots who serve as national coordinators for the movement, six are women. Fifteen of the 25 state coordinators are women.”

    http://www.slate.com/id/2253645/

    As Chair of the DNC, she might also already know that, in the last election, more women voted Republican than voted Democrat:

    http://articles.latimes.com/2010/nov/09/nation/la-na-midterm-women-20101109

    …which could have something to do with her wanting to fabricate a different reality about women’s political orientations.

    Also, one wonders whether her comments on the US auto industry will be welcomed by a White House which is doing all it can to put daylight between itself and the automaker/UAW bailout.

  • avatar

    Romney has–or at least had–all American cars. Probably still does. McCain had a Cadillac.

    On the donkey side, Obama had a Chrysler 300C until he was outed for it, after criticizing the (then) big 3 for building “bigger, faster cars.” He replaced it with an Escape hybrid.
    http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/the-candidates-choice/

    • 0 avatar
      Flipper

      Mitt Romney called the auto rescue plan “tragic” and said it represented something “very sad” for America. Moreover, in 2008 he said “if you write a check, they are going to go out of business.”

  • avatar
    Conslaw

    If your fund owned Chrysler debt, it was managed by idiots. Anyone could see that Chrysler was insolvent. A lot of the whining Chrysler and GM bond-holders bought the bonds for pennies on the dollar (from smart sellers) hoping the government would bail them out at face value. It didn’t happen.

    • 0 avatar
      michaeljeep

      Anyone who purchased GM bonds while they were seriously depressed prior to the bankruptcy would have cleared 100% profit.

      So it did happen. Smart buyers.

  • avatar
    ExPatBrit

    Debbie Wasserman Schultz is clearly an idiot.

    Bankruptcy wasn’t an option in 4Q 2008 due to the lack of DIP financing and the unprecedented economic situation at that time.

    So it was a “going out of business” situation. That plant would have been shipped to India/ China by now.

    Both the outgoing and incoming administrations understood that and acted accordingly.

    Saying otherwise is ignoring history in favor of ideology.

  • avatar
    ajla

    As Florida resident, I am appalled that Congresswoman Wasserman Schultz did not spring for the V8.

  • avatar

    First of all, wouldn’t Ford still be around? Second, is Fiatsler really American anyway?

    John

    • 0 avatar
      Ion

      From what I’ve heard/read the general consensus was that a funnel effect would have taken out Ford as well. How? idk. The ‘big 3′ share parts suppliers who would have taken a big hit with the loss of business from Mopar and GM, but suppliers like Bosch, Denso, Aisin, Dana, etc supply to foreign makes as well. So it seems to me that ANY make who builds in America would’ve been hurt.

      • 0 avatar
        DenverMike

        Ion,

        How would the disappearance of GM & Chrysler effect negatively Ford, Toyota, Honda and Nissan among others, other than increase their sales tremendously, Ford especially? If every U.S. car maker/builder did share the same parts suppliers, wouldn’t production remain almost the same except for different shipping labels?

      • 0 avatar
        Ion

        Say for example Dana makes a certain amount from GM + Mopar, GM + Mopar go under, and now Dana no longer has that profit they made from GM + Mopar. Now in order to stay afloat Dana has to charge Ford + Toyota more than they did in the past.

        I’m really just grasping at straws. A supplier issue seemed to be the only way the loss of GM and Chrysler would’ve hurt Ford, but I’m no economic expert.

  • avatar
    OldandSlow

    Folks, have you ever been to South Florida?

    Import brands rule roost. Show up in a Cadillac or a Lincoln and you look like your from the hood. The FX35 may be butt ugly, but it is comfy up front.

    As for the Congresswoman, she’s a hypocrite – just like most people.

    • 0 avatar
      Jimal

      Is she though? Aren’t we just being a bunch of hypocrites ourselves over this? Imagine the hooting and hollering there would be if she were seen driving a Volt? The last time I looked we were free to choose whatever vehicle we want to drive…

      • 0 avatar
        OldandSlow

        Yep, by trying to have it both ways. You bash some of those evil Pubs for not supporting the domestic auto companies during the financial melt down and then buy a Lexus or Infinity.

        While not a majority by any means, there are some Americans that do buy from the big three to support American jobs. Granted domestic brands may be assembled in Mexico, have a Japanese transmission or what not from all over the planet.

        If she is driving a FX35 and in favor of raising the CAFE levels even higher than they are presently, then you’re really barking up the wrong tree in my book.

      • 0 avatar
        geeber

        Jima: Is she though? Aren’t we just being a bunch of hypocrites ourselves over this? Imagine the hooting and hollering there would be if she were seen driving a Volt?

        If she spent her own money to buy a Volt, I doubt that anyone would be criticizing her for hypocrisy, given her particular statement that started the whole ruckus. She might be criticized for making a not-so-smart choice, but that is an entirely different beast.

        Jimal: The last time I looked we were free to choose whatever vehicle we want to drive…

        Yes, and that is why GM and Chrysler went bankrupt, not because of those evil Republicans. And one of the people exercising that free choice was the good congresswoman herself.

    • 0 avatar
      william442

      Not at the Venice Yacht Club, or the VFW.

  • avatar
    unartisticinc

    It took a second, but I was able to determine that the article refers to the Christian Science Monitor, not the “Christian Acienec Monitor” (if the post is edited, this is historical documentation of the type, I guess…). I just think it’s funny that when I typed “Acienec” into Google, all of the search results (logically) were quotes of the TTAC article from other sites. However, none of the other sites thought to insert a [sic] or just correct the obvious misspelling, instead leaving it to THEIR readers to infer the meaning of their quotation of a misspelling from another site (TTAC).

  • avatar
    gslippy

    “If it were up to the candidates for president on the Republican side, we would be driving foreign cars; they would have let the auto industry in America go down the tubes”

    1. Newsflash: we’ve been driving ‘foreign cars’ for 40+ years.
    2. Here we go again… what is a ‘foreign car’?
    3. The American auto industry let itself go down the tubes.
    4. I didn’t know it was the government’s job to prevent failure.

    “They can try to distract from the issue if they want. But if Republican opposition researchers are snooping around garages, they should know that if Republicans — who said that we should let the U.S. auto industry go bankrupt — had their way, they wouldn’t find a single American made car anywhere.”

    5. What is the ‘snooping around garages’ comment about?
    6. Ditto on someone else’s comment: GM and C did go bankrupt. The gov’t simply arrested the normal bankruptcy process.
    7. Ford didn’t go bankrupt. So even if GM and C went out of business in addition to bankruptcy, you’d still find Fords (and Teslas!).

  • avatar
    ravenchris

    If you desire a better future, do not reelect incumbents.

  • avatar

    There’s something really special about the way American politics have evolved to the point where proving ones opponent wrong magically makes one correct.

    Democrats and Republicans: Just as self-serving as the rest of us!

  • avatar

    If it were up to the candidates for president on the Republican side, we would be driving foreign cars; they would have let the auto industry in America go down the tubes.

    The irony is, that if any of the Republican candidates actually had the balls to state that policy, they’d probably pick up more than a few votes.

    Stupidity borne out of ignorance should be painful; it’s a very effective learning technique. Willful stupidity of the kind exhibited by GM and Chrysler — years and years of incompetent management, inept designers, and endless kowtowing to the UAW — should have been deadly.

    • 0 avatar
      windswords

      I wouldn’t throw Chrysler under the same bus as GM. While GM has been on a steady decline for decades, Chrysler was doing quite well until Daimler took over. Maybe they would have gotten into the same trouble after 1998 as GM did, but it’s a fact that they were not the captain of their own ship from that time on, and they suffered mightily for it. Just maybe instead they would have weathered the storm in even better shape than Ford, but we’ll never know. Oh, and the years that both GM and Chrysler were being “stupid”? Ford was being just as stupid and sometimes more so, unless you think that all these years they never lost any money.

      • 0 avatar

        True, but Ford at least managed to reign in most of its stupidity just ahead of the financial crisis… thanks in no small part to Alan M, and the foresight to borrow while they still could.

        In other words, Ford learned while GM and Chrysler opted to continue playing dumb, and rely on the feds to rescue them. Which is exactly what happened.

  • avatar
    probert

    Ed – I love your taste in cars – particularly the french ones – I totally respect your knowledge in the field – but come on. This is just raw meat to the tin helmet crew and more than a little silly.

    • 0 avatar
      caljn

      Go easy on Ed. He is merely banking some Ailes brownie points yet again, at his readers expense.

      He does have a career to think about afterall.
      Being asked your opinion on Faux is heady stuff.

      • 0 avatar

        Ed’s also been in the New York Times and on PBS Newshour, hardly right wing news organizations.

        FWIW, when I see people use the supposedly clever “Faux News” I know that I can ignore whatever they say without fear of missing something intelligent.

      • 0 avatar
        caljn

        RS: yes, but one does not need to prove their fealty when contributing to the NYT.
        Faux famously “weeds out” non-believers…so I completely understand the tactic.

      • 0 avatar
        Dr Lemming

        Ronnie, Faux News deserves the label. It’s a wholly owned subsidiary of the Republican party that is run by a long-time political operative. To argue that Faux provides objective news coverage is to describe war as peace.

        Now, it’s fine if you like Faux’s bias. But don’t call it news — it’s wall to wall propaganda.

      • 0 avatar
        MikeAR

        Ronnie is right, anyone who lets loose with Faux News is just following a script written by their betters. They are intellectually lazy and incapable of thougth on their own.

      • 0 avatar
        JJ

        @MikeAR,

        Yes, because clearly, anyone who utters the words faux news couldn’t possibly have decided for themselves, after careful consideration, that a lot of what’s being said over there is utter nonsense to a degree that boggles the mind in many a case, right?

        They would just have to be mindless followers, following a script written by their betters, right?

        No point even thinking about the validity of the points they bring up, is there? Since they’re just mindless followers anyway…

        Watch from about min 1 to min 9 if you dare http://www.thedailyshow.com/full-episodes/wed-may-11-2011-albert-brooks

      • 0 avatar
        windswords

        You mean all them democrats who keep popping up on Fox News are really working for the GOP? Who knew?

      • 0 avatar
        psarhjinian

        Faux News deserves the label. It’s a wholly owned subsidiary of the Republican party that is run by a long-time political operative

        No, it’s a wholly owned operation of Rupert Murdoch. Mr. Murdoch is many things—possibly up to and including being the anti-Christ—but he’s not a Republican operative. He’s a businessman who has carved out a niche (pseudo-rightist populism) and knows how to work useful idiots to his enrichment.

        In this way he’s not much different from any other media baron, really**

        I’ll actually agree with Ronnie that the “Faux News” perjorative; it doesn’t raise the level of discourse at all, and it loses you the opportunity to criticize Fox for all it’s truly egregious faults.

        ** Except that he tends to plumb the depths a little more. I blame Murdoch, and to a lesser degree, Turner, for dragging newscasting down the populist rathole.

      • 0 avatar
        MikeAR

        JJ, you get your news from The Daily Show? You do know it’s not a news show don’t you? It’s on Comedy Central which ought to be a tip off for you. Jon Stewart reads lines written for him by other people and mugs for the camera really well. I do watch it some or actually clips on the web because the whole show would be a waste of time. And for your information, I watch that a lot more than I watch Fox News, at least Stewart os sometimes funny. Fox News Isn’t.

        You make my point really well though, you get your news from a biased comedy show and yet you criticize others for watching a real news network. So who looks smarter?

      • 0 avatar
        geeber

        Dr. Lemming: Ronnie, Faux News deserves the label. It’s a wholly owned subsidiary of the Republican party that is run by a long-time political operative. To argue that Faux provides objective news coverage is to describe war as peace.

        Incorrect. A 2008 study by professors at Harvard University, that well-known bastion of conservatism, contained these findings:

        CNN: The CNN programming studied tended to cast a negative light on Republican candidates—by a margin of three-to-one. Four-in-ten stories (41%) were clearly negative while just 14% were positive and 46% were neutral. The network provided negative coverage of all three main candidates with McCain fairing the worst (63% negative) and Romney fairing a little better than the others only because a majority of his coverage was neutral. (emphasis added)

        It’s not that Democrats, other than Obama, fared well on CNN either. Nearly half of the Illinois Senator’s stories were positive (46%), vs. just 8% that were negative. But both Clinton and Edwards ended up with more negative than positive coverage overall. So while coverage for Democrats overall was a bit more positive than negative, that was almost all due to extremely favorable coverage for Obama. (emphasis added)

        Fox News: The programming studied on Fox News offered a somewhat more positive picture of Republicans and more negative one of Democrats compared with other media outlets. Fox News stories about a Republican candidate were most likely to be neutral (47%), with the remainder more positive than negative (32% vs. 21% negative). The bulk of that positive coverage went to Giuliani (44% positive), while McCain still suffered from unflattering coverage (20% positive vs. 35% negative).

        When it came to Democratic candidates, the picture was more negative. Again, neutral stories had a slight edge (39%), followed by 37% negative and 24% positive. And, in marked contrast from the rest of the media, coverage of Obama was twice as negative as positive: 32% negative vs. 16% positive and 52% neutral.

        But any sense here that the news channel was uniformly positive about Republicans or negative about Democrats is not manifest in the data. (emphasis added)

        MSNBC: On MSNBC, a positive tone pervaded coverage of candidates from both parties. Nearly half (47%) of the stories about Democratic candidates were positive, vs. 19% negative and 34% neutral. Coverage of Republican candidates was not quite as rosy but still more stories were positive (38%) than neutral (33%) or negative (30%).

        But here as well, Senator McCain still came up short. Four-in-ten of his stories (39%) were negative in tone compared to only about two-in-ten (22%) that were positive.

        Here is another study, this one conducted in September 2003 by several academics, that shows Fox News is the most centrist of the major networks:

        Our results show a very significant liberal bias. All of the news outlets except Fox News’ Special Report received a score to the left of the average member of Congress. Moreover, by one of our measures all but three of these media outlets (Special Report, the Drudge Report, and ABC’s World News Tonight) were closer to the average Democrat in Congress than to the median member of the House of Representatives. One of our measures found that the Drudge Report is the most centrist of all media outlets in our sample. Our other measure found that Fox News’ Special Report is the most centrist. (emphasis added) These findings refer strictly to the news stories of the outlets. That is, we omitted editorials, book reviews, and letters to the editor from our sample.

        It may comfort the faithful to engage in Fox News bashing instead rational analysis of the particular issue at hand, but there is no proof that Fox News is any more biased than CBS, NBC, ABC, CNN or MSNBC.

        Therefore we have to face two brutal facts with this particular story:

        1. A Democrat is completely clueless on this issue, given that she fails to realize that Ford would not have collapsed without federal funds, and, at any rate, in the 21st century, the “domestic” auto industry includes the North American operations of Honda, Hyundai, Nissan and Toyota. While I realize that many bailout supporters are stuck in 1965, the simple truth is that the definition of what constitutes the domestic auto industry has moved beyond the Big Three, as have many of the buyers.

        2. She is a also clueless for failing to realize that the reason GM and Chrysler were ready to collapse is because many Americans made the same choices she has made – they decided to buy a vehicle from another company. Republicans had nothing to do with this, except, of course, for not imposing tariffs on Americans who chose not to buy the junk that poured out of the domestic factories for far too long.

        So, instead of engaging in Sarah Palin bashing or blaming this all on the imaginary bias of Fox News, it behooves the faithful to ask why one of their own is apparently so clueless on a major issue. I fear, however, that this may cause their heads to explode…

      • 0 avatar
        caljn

        Psarhjinian: Yes, Faux is a cheap perjorative term. But I will not accord the respect implicit in using the actual name to that poisonous organization.

        They have proven to play fast and loose with facts and “create their own reality” when it serves their narrative.
        And this article serves that very same purpose to this more and more right tilting site.

        Btw Ed, while I could care less what she drives and if it subjectively jives with what she says, but do we know this car belongs to Rep Schulz? Perhaps it is her neighbors’ because hers is in the shop…

      • 0 avatar
        MoppyMop

        These findings refer strictly to the news stories of the outlets. That is, we omitted editorials, book reviews, and letters to the editor from our sample.

        Emphasis added. This study really doesn’t say a whole lot, given that the amount of airtime allocated to actual news on all the major cable news networks is pretty low, and using it as evidence that Fox as a whole actually is “fair and balanced” is a bit disingenuous.

      • 0 avatar
        geeber

        If her car were in the shop, she could have simply said so. If it were a GM car, we would be much more likely to believe her. She did take the time to issue a statement in response to the story, and never mentioned that fact.

        MoppyMop: Emphasis added. This study really doesn’t say a whole lot, given that the amount of airtime allocated to actual news on all the major cable news networks is pretty low, and using it as evidence that Fox as a whole actually is “fair and balanced” is a bit disingenuous.

        One, that wasn the only study, and, two, the complaints are that the NEWS on Fox News is biased, so how much time is devoted to actual newscasts is therefore irrelevant.

        Even more importantly, there is proof that the congresswoman was quoted out of context, or that she does not own an Infiniti. Squawking about alleged bias on Fox News is meaningless.

      • 0 avatar
        MikeAR

        caljn, so you admit to having a closed mind. Are you afraid that if you see something that doesn’t fit your narrative that you may be forced to think and maybe have to admit you were wrong about your world view? It’s good to get out and see new things, you’ll learn a lot.

        Psar is completely right about Murdoch, he dosn’t care about ideology just money. In fact I cancelled my subscription to the Wall Street Journal after he bought it because the editorial staff had too many lefties in it and the news coverage of the 2008 election was too fawning of Obama. The WSJ was worse than even the Times or the Post.

      • 0 avatar
        psarhjinian

        As shown above, there is no proof that Fox News is uniquely biased, let alone biased towards Republicans or conservatives.

        Not directly, no, but Fox pitches a distinctly populist bent, and in the US that almost by default means “conservative” and thusly “Republican”. It’s not a 1:1 correlation (because populism by it’s nature requires some progressivism, and pure conservatism can’t exist), but denying it exists, or that Fox pitches to the market, is stretching credibility.

        Or am I misunderstanding what you mean by “uniquely biased”? They’re biased in the sense that just about any news outlet with a for-profit motive is, only they have their particular niche.

      • 0 avatar
        Dr Lemming

        Geeber: One study does not an argument make. For example, note that the Harvard study focuses on news stories rather than total programming.

        So let’s review: The head of Faux News is a long-time Republican operative with extensive training in propaganda. The parent company has donated significant amounts of money to Republican electoral efforts. Faux News has put on its payroll a who’s who of Republican political leaders. When scandals break against Republican office holders Faux News has a fascinating tendency to “accidentally” label the perps as Democrats. Just this week when a Democrat won an upset special election Faux buried the story.

        No other cable network has such deeply embedded partisan biases. To argue otherwise requires you to ignore some pretty basic — and tenacious — facts.

        Psar: Yes, Murdoch’s prime goal is the continued acquisition of money and power. The Republicans happen to be much better aligned in almost all respects with his goals than the Democrats. But on a certain level, so what? The oil industry also tends to align more closely with the Republicans as well. It’s a marriage of convenience.

      • 0 avatar
        panzerfaust

        I always get a chuckle at the bile over Rupert Murdock, as if he’s the first person to do what he’s done; apparently no one has heard of William S. Paley, David Sarnoff or Ted Turner.

      • 0 avatar
        MikeAR

        Lemming, where do you go to propaganda school? Is it just for Republicans or can anyone go? Take your tin-foil hat off and realize that their are liars and opportunists on both sides. Look at everything with an open mind and you will find out that those people who you hate are mostly right.

        By the way, who has more credibility, Fox or Paul Krugman?

      • 0 avatar
        geeber

        Dr. Lemming: Geeber: One study does not an argument make. For example, note that the Harvard study focuses on news stories rather than total programming.

        One study is more than, “Fox News is biased…because I said so.” Which is the core of most arguments, including yours in this case.

        You can’t dismiss dissent from a position you hold based on an alleged lack of research when other subjects are being discussed, and then turn around and dismiss research proving your original contention incorrect on this particular subject.

        Any bias is most troubling in the news. Please note that you are dismissing anything on Fox News, based on the bias that allegedly pervades the actual newscasts. (Most of us expect pundits and commentators to have their own biases, whether they are on Fox News, CNN or MSNBC.)

        You attempted to dismiss this story based on alleged bias by Fox News, based on the fact that…you said so. Looking at this particular story, and using the principles of logical reasoning, along with a knowledge of what constitutes journalism, the cries of “bias” only ring true if we can show that:

        1. Fox News took her quote out of context. Given that the Rep. Wasserman-Schultz has stepped up to defend what she originally said, this obviously did not happen. Fox News correctly reported her original quote.

        2. Fox News omitted key facts that would change the story – for example, the Infiniti was borrowed from a friend or a relative while her vehicle (presumably, one manufactured by GM, Ford or Chrysler) was either in the shop or being used by another member of her household. Or she won the Infiniti in a contest, and is going to sell it soon. Given that she has never denied ownership of the Infiniti in question, and never denied actually buying it, these scenarios obviously did not happen.

        3. Fox News is biased in running the story in the first place. Only problem is that most of us – especially those of us interested in the auto industry – consider anything a member of Congress says about the bailout to be newsworthy.

        Which leads to another question – did other, allegedly less-biased networks feature her quotes? After all, NOT running the story could be a sign of bias.

        And, if these other networks featured the quote, did they take the time to find out what, exactly, she drives? Fox News taking the time to find out what she drives is not bias – it’s called good reporting. It’s good reporting regardless of the fact that a Democrat or a liberal is the one being embarrassed.

        Dr. Lemming: So let’s review: The head of Faux News is a long-time Republican operative with extensive training in propaganda. The parent company has donated significant amounts of money to Republican electoral efforts. Faux News has put on its payroll a who’s who of Republican political leaders. When scandals break against Republican office holders Faux News has a fascinating tendency to “accidentally” label the perps as Democrats. Just this week when a Democrat won an upset special election Faux buried the story.

        That’s all nice, but the only problem is that, based on actual research, there is no proof that what you posted has led to actual bias or misleading facts in the actual newscasts.

        And you are aware that most reporters and executives for ABC, CBS, NBC and CNN are registered Democrats, and that these major news outlets have been caught omitting the party affiliation of officials caught in misdeeds when they happen to be Democrats.

        For that matter, I seem to recall CBS News using an obviously forged memo (which was quickly debunked by a blogger, based on the typeface) in an attempt to discredit George W. Bush during the 2004 election, and The New York Times and The New Republic have been caught running entirely fabricated stories.

        Dr. Lemming: No other cable network has such deeply embedded partisan biases. To argue otherwise requires you to ignore some pretty basic — and tenacious — facts.

        Wrong. CNN was found to be more biased towards one Democrat in particular. (For that matter, you need to read the various statements made by CNN founder Ted Turner over the years. The idea that he is somehow non-partisan could charitably be described as hilarious. You can’t argue that the founder of Fox News has somehow incurably tainted that network while ignoring the example of Mr. Turner.) You also need to learn the difference between conjecture (which is what you posted) and research (what I posted).

    • 0 avatar

      I accept that this is a charged topic, so I understand those who see only partisan motivations for running it. My interest in it is, however, not so much partisan as it is historical… the political need to call the bailout a success is allowing people to go around making these kinds of misleading, at-odds-with-their-personal-experiences statements. If we are to actually learn the lessons of the bailout experience, it’s important that we see things for what they actually are/were… specifically, we need to acknowledge the following truths:

      1) The American auto industry would not have “completely disappeared.” That Wasserman-Schultz’s staff doubled down on this preposterous claim, demonstrates the need for some truth here.

      2)Americans (like Ms Wasserman-Schultz herself)have chosen to buy non-Detroit cars in increasing numbers for decades… if American cars would have “disappeared” it would have been for that reason. Ms Wasserman-Schultz attempts to make the existence of “American cars” an inherent “good,” while failing to take that inherent “goodness” into account when purchasing her own automobile. And then she blames her opponents for the logical flaws in her own position.

      I want to be clear: I am neither trying to re-fight the bailout (what’s done is done) or carry water for a political party… I just want us to take worthwhile lessons away from the experience. I would not be surprised to see another auto industry crisis in my lifetime, and I just hope we will have learned the right lessons from this experience by the time we have to confront the next one.

      • 0 avatar
        caljn

        What lessons should we have learned from this, leaving ideology out of the discussion?
        I think the bailout and where we are today with regard to the Big Three was a resounding success!

        And we do not know the circumstances around Ms. Schulz acquisition of the Infiniti…and it really doesn’t matter. Should she recuse herself because of the car in her driveway?
        Ridiculous.

      • 0 avatar
        geeber

        Representative Wasserman-Schultz needs to refrain from saying that Republicans want the domestic auto industry (by which she obviously means GM, Ford and Chrysler) to disappear when what brought two of those three to bankruptcy was people doing what she did – buying a vehicle manufactured by someone else.

        Like it or not, SHE helped bring about the demise of GM and Chrysler. Given these circumstances, taking her to task for this statement is entirely fair, and it’s entirely appropriate to note what she drives.

        And that doesn’t even get into the fact that GM, Ford and Chrysler no longer wholly constitute the domestic industry, and haven’t for at least the last 10-15 years.

        As a very prominent Democrat once said, if you can’t stand the heat, stay out of the kitchen. Or, in this case, keep your mouth shut, because it becomes very difficult to insert your foot into it, which is exactly what the good congresswoman did in this case. Calling her on it is entirely fair. She looks, at best, really dumb, and, at worst, completely hypocritical. She undermined herself, as her actions speak louder than her words. Reporting these crucial facts is not proof of bias.

        As for the opinion shows on Fox – they are just that, OPINION shows. They are different from the actual newscast. The fact that the opinion shows feature conservatives does not prove that the newscast is biased.

        In any event, the cries of bias are meaningless in this particular case, for the reasons I’ve outlined above. There is no proof that Representative Wasserman-Schultz is the victim of biased or selective reporting, with quotes taken out of context, or key facts omitted from the story.

        Yes, Fox News reported what she said, and then someone did a little investigating as to what she drives. Amazingly enough, that is what happens when you are an elected official serving in the nation’s deliberative body. You need to expect a higher level of scrutiny, particularly when you make a statement about a rather controversial government initiative involving the use of taxpayer dollars. It comes with the job.

        We are talking about a person who is elected to Congress and votes on matters involving the use of tax dollars. We are not talking about your mother’s best-friend’s hair stylist’s sister. If we were, she could make dumb statements like this all day and own enough Infinitis to fill a parking garage, and most people wouldn’t care.

    • 0 avatar
      JJ

      MikeAR,

      If you think making the assumption that I take all my facts from the daily show just because I posted a link to a daily show bit which, by the way, clearly shows the inconsistencies and sheer hypocrisy of one of Faux’ well known hosts using only factual footage from Faux itself makes you look smart, I got to tell you your sadly mistaken.

      I also noticed you left said hypocrisy completely untouched and instead just focussed on attacking my credibility, which is a clear sign of weakness in any debate if you’d ask me.

      Also, the study just considers the real news shows and not the hours of opinion shows around those news shows telling people how they should interpret and think about the news, almost exclusively from a conservative (ie republican) viewpoint. Even Faux itself admits that most of its opinion show hosts are conservatives but they claim that the news and opinion shows work independantly so it’s ok…So in the (scarce) pure news show you get a relatively unbiased (as in, still a little bit pro-republican, but not so much that it becomes glaringly obvious) account of what’s happening in the world, next you get Megyn Kelly in a hybrid news/opinion show starting to get in a couple of conservative thoughts already, prepping you for the final phase; die hard republicans from all over the republican spectrum like Beck, Hannity, Palin, Huckabee, O’Reilly etc etc telling you how you should exactly think and feel about the once ‘unbiased’ news facts of the day.

      Fair and balanced…Nah…But I agree it’s not funny…it’s just a bad joke.

  • avatar
    Beerboy12

    She makes a good point. Just because she exercised her freedom of choice and did not choose to drive American does not detract from the point’s validity. The loss of the American motor industry would be a serious blow to the American people and to the freedom of choice that comes with multiple brands in the market.
    I can’t understand how anyone does not want to see America get it’s automotive pride back?

    • 0 avatar
      MikeAR

      No she did not make a good point. She was going for a cheap partisan advantage and she lied. She is a hypocrite of the worst kind, do as I say not as I do.

  • avatar
    carguy

    Oh Ed – this is disappointing. Yes, this was a stupid act of partisan politics but it is your selection of the story that once more is tainting the impartiality of this website. You could have also run the even bigger story that a group of Republicans have released a “report” that high gas prices are an Obama administration conspiracy, but you went with a random partisan comment from the DNC chair person. I can guarantee that this is the start of the DNC running on the success of the auto-bailout and, while this goes against your political sensibilities and editorial comment of TTAC, that in itself is a much bigger political auto-story than a random partisan comment.

  • avatar
    ihatetrees

    Debbie Wasserman Schultz is what she is.
    Both parties have their idiots, but the rent seekers on the left especially make my skin crawl. That said, I’d gladly give $50 bucks to any congress critter who drives an M3, Cayman, or RX8.

  • avatar
    Dr Lemming

    Funny how TTAC is quick to run a Republican hit piece but never seems to return the favor for a Democrat. Independent journalism my butt.

    • 0 avatar
      John Horner

      But, but, but … all that really matters is page views!

    • 0 avatar
      geeber

      Nonsense. On issues involving the automobile industry, the Democrats are more likely to insert foot into mouth, or say one thing and do the other. As a result, the truth hurts…

      If this were TheTruthAboutSex or the TheTruthAboutAbortion, I imagine that the reverse would be true.

      On the other hand, a website titled TheTruthAboutTaxes or TheTruthAboutGuns would feature plenty of hypocrisy from Democrats.

      There are two lessons to be learned here.

      Lesson one, don’t advocate rules and regulations on various issues – and then demonize anyone who disagrees with the need for those rules and regulations – that you have no intention of obeying yourself.

      (For example, if you are a Democrat advocating higher taxes, don’t dock your yacht in Rhode Island instead of Massachusetts to avoid the latter’s higher boat taxes, as Senator John Kerry did, and don’t forget to pay your federal income taxes, as Secretary of Treasury Timothy Geithner did. If you are a liberal Democrat advocating strict handgun control, don’t shoot a trespasser swimming in your pool, as the late Washington Post columnist Carl Rowan did.)

      Two, don’t make stupid accusations against the other side of the debate, when how the issue plays out in the real world is considerably more complicated, or if you are encouraging the outcome that you decry.

      (For example, don’t say that Republicans would have been happy to have everyone drive a foreign car, and therefore imply that they would have been the cause of GM’s and Chrysler’s collapse, when, in reality, the cause was people exercising their free choice to purchase superior alternatives. As the good congresswoman did when when she bought an Infiniti instead of Cadillac SRX or Buick Enclave. The only thing worse than a hypocrite is a really dumb hypocrite, which is what we apparently have here.)

      • 0 avatar
        psarhjinian

        Last time I checked, there were plenty of domestically made alternatives to Rep. Wasserman Shultz’s Infiniti.

        Interestingly, this is the only point I disagree with you on. There’s absolutely nothing made by any domestic marque that’s anything like the FX50. The closest is the Canadian-built ZDX, which isn’t very close at all for all sorts of reasons.

      • 0 avatar
        jpcavanaugh

        This sort of thing transcends party. Is anyone else old enough to remember Pat Buchannon doing the same thing in the late 80s? He was railing on about “buy american” and how how tarriffs were needed to keep out the foregn competition while he was driving around in a big Benz.

        Hypocracy is hypocracy. Whether the hypocrite is one of yours or one of the other guy’s should not really matter. Go get ‘em, Ed.

    • 0 avatar

      Independent journalism my butt.

      I guess it’s only “independent” when it tilts left, eh? You’re more than welcome to start your own automotive web site with your own independent journalism.

      Not surprising that an avowed lefty goes by “lemming”.

  • avatar
    MrIncognito

    I frankly couldn’t care less about America’s automotive pride, and I’m fairly agnostic in my politics, but the depth of the logical fallacy that forms the basis for this post is stunning. It’s also in incredibly poor taste, and is a completely unnecessary injection of purely political commentary into a site that’s supposed to be about cars. It makes me question my readership of this site, actually.

    Very poorly done.

  • avatar
    nrd515

    I have to agree with you. What is the point of this “aricle”, other than politics?

  • avatar

    Ms Schultz exemplifies the American political class; lifelong politician with liberal arts degree who has never held a real job.

  • avatar
    quasimondo

    This is a textbook ad hominem tactic. Instead of debating the validity of Rep Shultz’ comments and whether or not any of the potential Republican candidates would’ve let Detroit whither, we attack her character and dismiss her comments because of what she was drives.

    Good job, folks!

    • 0 avatar
      MrGreenMan

      This is engaging in what has been done since communism arrived on the political scene: The only sin of the left is hypocrisy.

      Why does the press cover priests abusing little boys? Hypocrisy, since they’re allegedly Christians, they shouldn’t do that.

      Why does the press go find sex scandals for married politicians? Hypocrisy, since they’re married, they shouldn’t do that.

      Why is it OK for her to spend yours and my money to bail out her friends, but not to spend her own money to buy a product that supports them? Hypocrisy.

      The only sin of the postmodern age is hypocrisy. Ms. Schultz engaged in that by beating the drum for domestic industry, then making her personal choice against it. She gets to play protectionist/interventionist with your money then hide behind being a free market/free choice person with her own.

      Under the model of hypocritical analysis: It would have been consistent to support business run its course and GM and Chrysler being dismembered without taxpayer money and driving a foreign car (all free market/free choice positions). It would have been OK to do the same and drive your Corvette or 300. It would also have been OK to go the Dennis Kucinich route and support bailouts, support domestic union labor, and seek out and buy a car built by domestic union labor. But to claim to support domestic union labor manufacturing with the taxpayer’s dollar, while opposing it with your own dollar, that is hypocrisy, and so Ms. Schultz is guilty of the only sin remaining in postmodern discourse.

      Edit: Not that I like that style of analysis; it’s just how things go in all journalism anymore. Everyone’s a hypocrite eventually, so you can either debate what is the right thing to do (and admit it’s an ideal) or give up on having any moral/ethical standards (since they’ll be violated… and supporting domestic industry is a moral viewpoint of wanting to employ your neighbors) and wallow in the mud. And that’s why I love my Malibu made in Kansas City.

      • 0 avatar
        panzerfaust

        Well said. The all Green candidate is found to own an Escalade, the UAW supporting Dem drives an import (no one under 50 says ‘foreign car’ anymore) the family values Republican gets caught with his pants down in a glory hole. The lack of integrity is sickening. It is a reflection of the culture, in which being ‘for’ the right things publicly is more important than doing the right thing privately.

      • 0 avatar
        Ralph ShpoilShport

        Agreed, well said. And agreed with panzerfaust. I remember having a long heated discussion with family members over the word integrity. My point was that if someone threatened you in some way and then carried out their threat, they had integrity. One should, to a certain extent, be able to judge a book by it’s cover. I truly believe that the lack of integrity, and neither left or right leanings are at the core of America’s decline, GM’s decline, and quite possibly, my own.

    • 0 avatar

      Okay, I’ll take the challenge. Rep. Schultz’ comments completely ignore the yeoman’s effort by Sen. Corker to work out a deal in the waning days of 2008. The problem was that Levin and Stabenow and other Democrats didn’t want the UAW to have to take a haircut. The tactic worked. Instead of a haircut, the UAW ended up owning big chunks of GM and Chrysler. I think that Sen. Shelby acted irresponsibly and that he was doing the bidding of Mercedes and other foreign companies with facilities in Alabama, but to say that Republicans as a group wanted GM and Chrysler to be liquidated is absurd. Hell, even Thad McCotter, who voted against TARP, supported some kind of bailout for the auto industry.

  • avatar
    George B

    Independent of Rep. Shultz drives, the sad part of the GM Bankruptcy is that GM may have missed out on their last chance to restructure into a successful car manufacturer that can survive the next downturn. Republicans would probably grudgingly accept government loans following real Chapter 11 bankruptcy restructuring. Instead, taxpayer money was used to save the UAW with GM survival almost an afterthought. Would have preferred to give money directly to GM retirees without passing it through the UAW pension plan. Same deal with current employee pay. Way too much of the cost of benefits appears to flow into a parasitic union while the base salary isn’t that high. That money wasted on the UAW could go into higher salary, parts that last a decade instead of just long enough to avoid warranty claims, and better interior plastic.

    • 0 avatar
      Tommy Boy

      Ditto that. The ideal course (under a series of less-than-desirable alternatives) would have been for the government (at most) to serve as a guarantor of “debtor in possession” financing, which would have enabled GM / Chrysler to undergo a proper Chapter 11 reorganization, and come out “lean and mean.”

      A real reorganization would have resulted in major reductions in UAW pay and benefits and parasitic work rules, and eventually Ford would have sought the same in order to stay competitive.

      So like a guardian angel to the UAW / AFL-CIO Democrat cash-cow, the Obama administration engineered a faux reorganization that actually rewarded the UAW with major stockholdings (can you say communism — “workers owning the means of production”)!

      So now we go into the 2012 election season, with the “Big Three” more competitive than they were (thanks to the taxpayer cash), but still not truly competitive; the taxpayers facing a tens of billions of dollars loss on the deal that’ll never be recouped; and the Obama administration, in cahoots with GM and Chrysler, flat-out lying to a willing-accomplice media that the “loans are being paid back … and in full” and that the bailouts were “successful.”

      Bend over America.

    • 0 avatar
      DenverInfidel

      George is exactly right. GM has been given a ventilator to help breathe. Nothing has been fixed

      As for the rest of you peasants, quit asking questions and get back to work. Countless well-meaning politicians are depending on your tax dollars…

  • avatar
    JJ

    Going to have to agree with the posters above that this piece is poorly thought out and therefore has no place here.

    As TTAC itself has explained in the past, one of the reasons the US auto industry failed over time is because it relied too much on getting by on patriotic sentiments (buy american).

    On a side note, when even guys like Mr. Volkswagen/Porsche himself Ferdinand Piech owns several cars from other manufacturers (several Ferrari and a Sclade), you know this really is a non-issue.

    for anyone interested in Piech’s garage: http://www.auto-motor-und-sport.de/news/auto-patriarch-ferdinand-piech-das-ist-piechs-exklusive-privatgarage-2781943.html

    • 0 avatar
      panzerfaust

      Respectfully there is a difference. Piech can own whatever he wants, so can Wasserman-Schultz. Steve Jobs can own a ThinkPad for all I care. However Wasserman-Schultz is an elected official who has the authority to support the spending of tax revenue to bail out her friends. Piech is not in the same position as Schultz.

      • 0 avatar
        JJ

        I was thinking more along the lines of even if you are (expected to be) a role model/spokes person/representative of a certain brand or movement, just the simple fact that you have one thing or do one thing that seemingly contradicts that role does not mean you’re a complete hypocritical self-serving sell-out. This kind of journalism suggests that it does and contributes nothing to the real debate.

        At the same time I think there’s clear hypocrisy on TTAC’s part (in the shape of Mr Niedermeyer) for first (accurately IMO) debunking the sentiment that the simple fact of not buying a ‘domestic’ car would make one ‘unamerican’, only to now use and validate that very same sentiment it previously attacked to ‘prove’ that Wasserman-Schultz is in fact anti-US auto industry (and therefore would be a hypocrite), simply because she owns a foreign car.

        Chances are Mrs Wasserman-Schultz doesn’t care all that much about cars at all and just got this Infiniti because she thought it looked kinda cool. In itself it probably doesn’t say anything at all about how she feels about the US, Japan or the US car industry and therefore has no bearing on her opinions on the bail-out (a bail-out by the way that I personally don’t necessarilly support, but that’s beside the point).

        So yeah…A bit of poor form IMO and not up to the high standards I expect from THE TRUTH about cars, both journalistically and because it’s not marked as an opinion piece.

      • 0 avatar
        geeber

        If Representative Wasserman-Schultz doesn’t know anything about the car industry, then she needs to refrain talking about it.

        Given that she has been more than happy to ascribe motives and goals to Republican opponents of the bailout, it is fair to see whether SHE is willing to put her money where her mouth is.

        The real beef here seems to be that this story makes a Democrat look bad. No, SHE made herself look really dumb at best, or hypocritical at worst. Don’t stone the messenger for pointing out this salient fact.

      • 0 avatar

        At the same time I think there’s clear hypocrisy on TTAC’s part (in the shape of Mr Niedermeyer) for first (accurately IMO) debunking the sentiment that the simple fact of not buying a ‘domestic’ car would make one ‘unamerican’, only to now use and validate that very same sentiment it previously attacked to ‘prove’ that Wasserman-Schultz is in fact anti-US auto industry (and therefore would be a hypocrite), simply because she owns a foreign car.

        I disagree, but I can understand the confusion. Owning a foreign-made car does not make Rep Wasserman-Schultz “unamerican”… in fact it’s her critique (not mine) that relies on the presumption of some inherent “good” in buying “American” cars. Not only do I think that this assumption is fundamentally wrong, I point out that Rep. Wasserman-Schultz clearly doesn’t believe in it very strongly herself (as evidenced by the Infiniti). But my real problem is that she doubled down on both the “buying ‘American’ cars is inherently good” assumption AND the assumption that buying “American” cars would be impossible without a bailout. Both betrayed a greater interest in furthering a prepared narrative than honestly addressing the issue at hand.

    • 0 avatar
      JJ

      “in fact it’s her critique (not mine) that relies on the presumption of some inherent “good” in buying “American” cars.”

      Not really, at least that is not apparent from this article. She just says that there’s something inherently good about the US holding on to its car industry, but that doesn’t mean it necessarily follows that she thinks there’s something inherently good about buying American much less that she thinks every American therefore should buy an American car.

      I think it’s entirely possible to be pro bail-out and still make a personal choice to drive a vehicle not made by the big 2.xx, or similarly be anti bail-out and rock a Silverado, hence it’s no hypocrisy for Wasserman-Schultz to be pro bail-out yet still drive foreign based on the facts stated in the article.

      The point your making about her premise that with republicans in charge there wouldn’t be any US car industry left is completely false could be completely valid, but the argument you’re using doesn’t add up (IMHO) and is more a character assassination (BUSTED!, tendentious picture) of the person you disagree with rather than a counterpoint substantiated by facts.

      • 0 avatar

        I think you have to unpack her attack a little more thoroughly in order to understand my second critique. I mean, we know that her premise was fundamentally flawed (Hello? Ford?), but shouldn’t she be taken at her word? Don’t you think she made a moral statement when she said “if it were up to the candidates for president on the Republican side, we would be driving foreign cars”? Isn’t that like saying “if John Kerry had been elected, we’d all be wearing Burqas and living under Shari’ah Law” or something? The issue isn’t the misrepresentation per se (that’s obvious enough), but the values it subtly reinforces, i.e. foreign cars and Islam (in the respective examples) are negatives with which to associate political opponents. That’s what elevates this above mere garden-variety hypocrisy.

        And one more thing: having been caught in a flagrant misrepresentation and (shall we say) the appearance of hypocrisy, Rep W-S could have easily mitigated both issues simply by toning down the rhetoric (“hey, we saved some jobs and we all still have a choice about what vehicle we want to buy”). Instead, she went the opposite direction and doubled down (“they wouldn’t find a single American made car anywhere”) on a hypocritical lie… and for what? That, above all else, is what made this story noteworthy for me and what makes Rep W-S worthy of ridicule.

      • 0 avatar
        JJ

        Well ok, I’ll agree she could have toned down her rhetoric. Unfortunately though, that kind of rhetoric is what politics has come to these days and my biggest complaint with this article here is just that, it’s a personal attack coupled to a bit of hype with a hint of selective indignation.

        And cocerning this:

        “I mean, we know that her premise was fundamentally flawed (Hello? Ford?)”

        I might just have to call your attention to these (among others):

        http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2009/03/ford-bailout-free-but-still-begging/

        http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2010/12/blue-ops-the-clandestine-bailout-of-ford/

        http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2009/01/bailout-watch-367-ford-a-bailout-by-any-other-name/

        Not to mention that even aside from whether or not they did (indirectly) enjoy some bailing out, there was a lot of speculation at the time that when GM and Chryslerberus would go down, Ford might be tipped over the edged as well just because a lot of the common suppliers of the big three would fold, essentially taking down Ford with them (I’m sure I read that somewhere on this site as well).

  • avatar
    tekdemon

    Oh my, a political makes a hypocritical statement. Sound the alarms. Seriously though, please don’t let TTAC devolve into a political whine fest.

  • avatar
    VanillaDude

    This congresswoman has repeatedly said the most ridiculous, stupid things in public in order to smear her political opponents. She is a liar, and not only does not believe the things she says, she actually believes that we are stupid enough to believe her.

    She was selected for a spokesperson because everyone knows she is inacapable of saying anything nice about another person who is not as partisan as she. After the monumental losses her party experienced last November, her party decided to just go all out and let a person without any semblance of a conscience be their public image.

    She has about as much credibility with thinking voters as does her former congressional friend, Cynthia McKinney, now a spokesperson for Khaddafi in Libya.

  • avatar
    GS650G

    Wasserman-shultz seems to be doing quite well driving such a nice car, probably better off than many of her subjects laboring every day in south Florida. She’s so wealthy she has two names.

  • avatar
    gator marco

    As a Florida resident, I am embarrassed that we are represented in Washington by Rep Shultz. I just don’t see that what she chooses to drive means anything. Last time I checked, this was a free country and you could drive whatever you could afford.
    Anyone who listens to what a politician has to say about economic matters needs to go back to school. Both parties have run the American dream into the ground.

  • avatar
    Jedchev

    It has always stricken me as strange that Republicans bash the big three and the UAW, but the only cars that really suit conservatives are made by these people. Maybe I’m old school beyond my 30 years or too fundamentalist for the BMW and Lexus country-clubbers, but to me you’re a phony conservative unless you’ve got some 4,500lb+ American iron in your garage. How else can you produce as much “greenhouse gas” as possible, while using as many natural resources as possible? How can you show future generations what our country is supposed to stand for and how much we’ve lost?

    When I’m cruising in my ’69 Lincoln, leaded gasoline in the tank, R-12 in the A/C system (Praise you, Thomas Midgely), made in Wixom, MI by UAW workers, I’m the most conservative person out there. If only I could find the OEM whale oil for my rear differential.

  • avatar
    panzerfaust

    Really the people who should be hacked about this aren’t the Republicans, but the UAW, they’re known for not allowing the kind of cars Rep. Wasserman Schultz drives into the plant parking lots.

    • 0 avatar
      geeber

      Many organizations conveniently look the other way when someone with the right affiliation (depending on what letter the elected official has after his or name to signify party affiliation) engages in behavior that would make said organization go ballistic if a political opponent did it.

      • 0 avatar

        geeber, see feminists who said they’d gladly get on their knees and do a Monica Lewinsky just to keep abortion legal. Just imagine if a Republican head of Ways & Means used his connections to get his girlfriend a cushy job at Fannie & Freddie like Barney Frank did for his boyfriend. But then Dems are pretty good at nepotism. One nice thing about Rick Snyder getting elected governor of Michigan is that Andy Levin (son of US Rep Sander, nephew of US Senator Carl) lost his patronage job as head of the state Dept. of Labor and Econ Dev. – the guy has never worked in the private sector but having a D after the name Levin was all the qualifications he needed. And yes, I’ll concede the Bushes and other Republican political families, but the Dems are worse: Kennedy, Cuomo, Levin, Dingell, Dodd and others.

      • 0 avatar
        SVX pearlie

        Ronnie: Forgot to add Obama to that list.

      • 0 avatar
        geeber

        Ronnie,

        I’ve seen hypocrisy and corruption from both sides during my years on this earth. So I’m not going to get into a discussion over which side is “worse” in that regard.

        This thread, however, is typical in that some people are quick to accuse Republicans of hypocrisy and stupidity based on the slightest evidence, but when a Democrat is shown as both hypocritical and stupid, we are told it doesn’t matter, or this story isn’t really newsworthy, or the bailout worked (debatable), so we need to “move on” and ignore this.

        And that doesn’t even get into the complaining about alleged bias on Fox News, when there is no proof that Representative Wasserman-Schultz is the victim of biased, slanted reporting. Unless “biased, slanted reporting” is now synonomous with “holding politicians accountable for what they say, and making sure that private actions are congruent with public words.”

        (Remember, she is an ELECTED OFFICIAL, not just another upscale soccer mom piloting an expensive crossover.)

        She is the victim of her own ignorance, and her willingness to ascribe the worst motives to Republicans while ignoring her own actions. That isn’t the fault of Fox News or the posters on this site calling her out on it…

      • 0 avatar
        caljn

        Way to stay above the fray Ronnie.

        What do “you people” have against Obama (and Clinton) for that matter? They are two self made men who literally started at a disadvantage and rose to be President…don’t “you people” like pulling up boot straps and stuff?
        Unlike the silver-spooned Bush clan who drove the country into a wall.
        And in case you haven’t noticed, this President is governing right of center.

      • 0 avatar

        What do “you people” have against Obama (and Clinton) for that matter?

        I don’t believe that my comment mentioned Mr. Obama at all. As for what I have against him, well, he’s a fairly hard left Democrat who has almost no real world experience, knows nothing about creating wealth or jobs, and is using the executive branch to stymy business (of non-cronies) at every opportunity. He may turn out to be as incompetent as Jimmy Carter, the oxygen thief. Actually, in some ways I hope he’s incompetent because I think if he’s successful at implementing his ideologies, it will not be good for America and Americans.

        They are two self made men

        My how the concept of a self-made man has changed. It used to mean someone who went through the school of hard knocks, managed to get educated either formally or informally, and then went on to create something of note, often a business or invention.

        Now you use the term to describe two lifelong politicians. Just what have these two self-made men made?

        I’m sorry but I’ve been spending the last six months or so rooting around in Detroit automotive history. Compared to guys like David Buick, Henry Ford, Henry Leland, Charles Kettering and others, I find Obama and Clinton to be lacking in any notable or lasting contributions. Ford was certainly no saint, a power hungry hypocrite to say the least, but you can’t deny the man’s accomplishments. I was recently in Ford’s Piquette Ave. factory where the Model T was developed and first produced. Even in the context of his less savory aspects, like his anti-semitism or other crackpot ideas, you still have to recognize that the guy helped create a huge industry that has generated enormous wealth for a large number of people and on whole has probably improved people’s quality of life.

        What has Obama created other than a cult of personality and two self-serving autobiographies?

        I have some grudging admiration for Mr. Clinton. People I know who have met him tell me that he’s got an almost preternatural talent for seeming empathetic. No wonder he’s got such good game when it comes to women. He’s also a more pragmatic and less ideological person, a better negotiator and compromiser than Pres. Obama.

        I do respect Mr. Obama’s ability to create a stable nuclear family despite his family history of an absentee father, and a mother that seems to have been not particularly interested in raising him.

        who literally started at a disadvantage and rose to be President…

        While Bill Clinton certainly had a humble family background, he was on a track to an elite education by the time he was in high school. Obama, though, had no such humble background. His mother may have been a bohemian, but they weren’t poor. His father had ties to the Kenyan government. His maternal grandmother was a bank executive. There’s not one shred of evidence that Obama had any economic disadvantages.

        don’t “you people” like pulling up boot straps and stuff?
        Unlike the silver-spooned Bush clan who drove the country into a wall.

        I don’t consider lifelong professional politicians to be particularly good role models. BTW, envy is not a particularly attractive character trait. I don’t have anything against rich folks. Why are you so jealous of them?

        And in case you haven’t noticed, this President is governing right of center.

        Try to tell that to business owners now stymied by a myriad of executive branch regulatory efforts.

        In case you haven’t noticed, people on the left tend to lose a sense of perspective. Anyone more conservative than Herbert Marcuse is considered “right of center”.

        So if Obama is governing right of center (apparently this displeases you), is there anyone that you consider left of center? Howard Dean (another trust fund baby)? Bernie Sanders?

        Bottom line is that the money I make is mine, not yours. I want a system that allows the maximum amount of wealth creation, that allows people to be entrepreneurs and enjoy the fruits of their own ideas. I don’t believe that the world is a zero sum game, where if you get wealthy that somehow hurts me, as if you can only cut so many slices from a pie. I think you can bake another pie.

      • 0 avatar
        caljn

        Ronnie: do you write for Faux? You’ve just recounted a full day of their programming.

        But one question, specifically, how is the President
        “using the executive branch to stymy business” and how are business executives “stymied by a myriad of executive branch regulatory efforts”?

        Again, please give provide specific examples.

        (you wouldn’t characterize someone who came from less than ideal circumstances then rising to President self made? How soulless to tie all accomplishment to money.)

      • 0 avatar
        Tommy Boy

        >>”In case you haven’t noticed, people on the left tend to lose a sense of perspective. Anyone more conservative than Herbert Marcuse is considered “right of center”.”

        Excellent point.

        Read the book “Radical in Chief” by Stanley Kurtz; extremely well researched, documented and footnoted. It will disabuse any notion that Obama is anything but a committed collectivist (progressive, Marxist-Communist, socialists and fascists being subsets of collectivism).

        Obama has spent his entire adult life associating with and working with the likes of Jeremiah Wright, BIll Ayers-Bernadine Dohrn, Heather Booth and the Midwest Academy, Andy Stern and SEIU, and Gamaliel.

        Adopting the “non reform reform” tactics of French Communist theorist Andre Gorz, he is executing an incremental “collapse the system” tactic (think Cloward-Piven strategy on a macro-economic basis) to pave the way for the, uh, “fundamental transformation of the United States of America” into something the would be quite recognizable to Karl Marx, and unrecognizable to the Founding Fathers.

  • avatar
    shaker

    I dunno – do you think that a guy like me and a girl like her could…
    Buy domestic?

  • avatar
    caljn

    Tommyh Boy: that is precious. Do you really believe one man can pull off such a plan? Not with people such as yourself on guard.

    I would argue it is the opposing party who wants to crash the system by transferring all the wealth to the top 1% and keeping the masses essentially barefoot and pregnant. Also uneducated, frightened, conspiratorial and blaming of minorities. I would further wager they are succeeding in this regard considering the social scores of the red states with special consideration to Texas and Florida. (if I were seeking an obese, pregnant, high school dropout where would I start. Hmmm…)

    Keep ‘em angry and stupid and the Repubs will stay in charge!

    (I am checking out of this thread)

    • 0 avatar
      Tommy Boy

      caljn,

      >>”Do you really believe one man can pull off such a plan?”

      Obama is but a leader, it takes a village, uh, I mean a cadre of czars (Cass Sunstein) and unaccountable regulation writers (Sebelius) and “independent” allies (George Soros, Center for American Progress). All in place and working under the radar as the Teleprompter in Chief holds photo ops declaring “nearly complete” border fences in front of an adulatory press.

      >>”I would argue it is the opposing party who wants to crash the system by transferring all the wealth to the top 1% and keeping the masses essentially barefoot and pregnant.”

      Funny, it’s the “progressives” who have for years supported the teachers unions, which more than any other force have kept minorities and other children trapped in “public” schools whose results are amongst the worst in the industrialized world (watch the documentary “Waiting for Superman” to see the human catastrophe that is Democrat-progressive fealty to teacher union political support).

      And it is the “progressives” Great Society / War on Poverty that with nearly a half-century and trillions of dollars have arresting the decline in poverty numbers that was occurring before those programs began.

      And the concentration of wealth is a result in part of crony capitalism (this afflicts both parties, witness the Democrats cozy relationships with Goldman Sachs et als., and Obama’s with Google and GE — note that it was the “conservative base” that was opposed to the bank bailouts in spite of those being commenced under W, and then continued under BHO).

      The other element is that a declining (if not extinct) middle-class is a phenomena of collectivist systems (communism / democratic socialism / socialism / fascism / progressivism). Middle classes thrive and are a phenomena of free market capitalism (which has been increasingly diminishing for decades in the U.S. commensurate with the rise of government and its increasing involvement in the economy along with the concurrent “need” by businesses to curry favor with government via “K Street” lobbyists and crony capitalism).

      In China, the USSR, Cuba and Europe you had/ have a declining (if not extinct) middle class, with an upper class elite (crony capitalists and government / political party officials) and then a (relatively poor) working class subsisting on declining standards of living buttressed by just enough government “benefits” to keep them quiescent. Not a new insight by any means — consider the “pigs” in the George Orwell classic “Animal Farm.”

  • avatar
    ihatetrees

    For those who object to the right(ish) slant to this site, it’s my experience that most(about 2 of 3) car enthusiasts are politically right of center or libertarian.

    Therefore, this site is right of center / libertarian.

    TTAC is not as hard right as a gun website may be. Or as soft left as a hypothetical TheTruthAboutVeganLiving may be.

    These common sense observations about human nature seem unfathomable to many on the left. Why?

  • avatar
    capdeblu

    Did anyone see “Too big to Fail” this week on HBO. It is a look at the financial crisis of 2008. Quite good.


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