Bailout Watch 56: Barack Obama and John McCain Offer "Low Contrast" Debate

Edward Niedermeyer
by Edward Niedermeyer

Once upon a time, Barack Obama and John McCain actually disagreed about the proposed automaker bailout. Obama took his cues from the UAW and backed the proposal. McCain remained principled– until he realized he had to win Michigan. Now, not only is McCain camping-out in Obama’s rhetorical territory, promising that “change is coming,” he’s also pushing to be seen as Detroit booster-ier than thou. His new ad literally opens on the corporate logos of the Detroit three, while a honey-voiced narrator coos that “Michigan families depend on the auto industry.” But can McCain really win by following his opponent into populist positions? A post over at Wired indicates that not only is he pandering after already-committed voters, but he’s also helping to fuel protectionism, corporate welfare, and jingoistic anti-innovation. Because there is less daylight between the McCain and Obama positions, McCain is coming under increasingly narrow and divisive attacks, the latest based on his opposition to “buy American” stipulations for (get this) secret service motorcycle purchasing. McCain’s opinion that mandating the purchase of Harley-Davidsons is “unnecessary and counter-productive” has caused the Obama campaign to start a “hybrids and Harleys” initiative. At a recent rally in Grand Rapids MI, Hybrids and Harleys for Obama banned all foreign-built hybrids from the parade of vehicles. Er, all non-D3 hybrids, anyway. Canadian Silverado hybrids were welcome, as were Mexican-made hybrid Vues. Holding Americans and their presidential candidates to an impossible standard of driving American-made, eco-friendly hybrids is the result of a lack of substantive debate. When neither side refuses to take a principled stand on an issue, contrast is derived only through pandering and empty symbolism. For two candidates who claim to be agents of change, this is a lot of the same-old tired politics as usual.

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  • Mekira Mekira on Sep 20, 2008

    "Hybrids & Harleys for Obama" allowing only D3 hybrids to ride in their little "parade" childish! Don't they realize that Obama is all about (at least when compared to who's been in the White House for the past 8 years) building closer ties with the rest of the world. Knock knock--that goes hand in hand with not sounding too anti-trade & "foreign products suck" with our fellow world citizens. This thinking has got to stop (mainly in Michigan)...that just because a car is built by a foreign-based company it has no right to be thought about or mentioned at all. Globalization gives us choices!

  • Redbarchetta Redbarchetta on Sep 21, 2008

    “hybrids and Harleys” initiative Hmm that is rather odd and sort of counter-intuitive since hybrids are fuel efficient for cars and Harley's are most definately NOT fuel efficient for motorcycles. I could maybe let the whole American cars only thing slide because they have things in each class even if they are not the best in class. But Harley's are just cruisers, that's it. And if you try and squeeze Buell in there you get a little more selection but hardly American made for those models. Globalization gives us choices! Not if your running for president, or really any high level office, or your branded as unamerican and unpatriotic if your not about protectionism. Funny how outside of Michigan that doesn't seem to matter.

  • Nrd515 Usually for me it's been Arby's for pretty much forever, except when the one near my house dosed me with food poisoning twice in about a year. Both times were horrible, but the second time was just so terrible it's up near the top of my medical horror stories, and I have a few of those. Obviously, I never went to that one again. I'm still pissed at Arby's for dropping Potato Cakes, and Culver's is truly better anyway. It will be Arby's fish for my "cheat day", when I eat what I want. No tartar sauce and no lettuce on mine, please. And if I get a fish and a French Dip & Swiss? Keep the Swiss, and the dip, too salty. Just the meat and the bread for me, thanks. The odds are about 25% that they will screw one or both of them up and I will have to drive through again to get replacement sandwiches. Culver's seems to get my order right many times in a row, but if I hurry and don't check my order, that's when it's screwed up and garbage to me. My best friend lives on Starbucks coffee. I don't understand coffee's appeal at all. Both my sister and I hate anything it's in. It's like green peppers, they ruin everything they touch. About the only things I hate more than coffee are most condiments, ranked from most hated to..who cares..[list=1][*]Tartar sauce. Just thinking about it makes me smell it in my head. A nod to Ranch here too. Disgusting. [/*][*]Mayo. JEEEEZUS! WTF?[/*][*]Ketchup. Sweet puke tasting sludge. On my fries? Salt. [/*][*]Mustard. Yikes. Brown, yellow, whatever, it's just awful.[/*][*]Pickles. Just ruin it from the pickle juice. No. [/*][*]Horsey, Secret, whatever sauce. Gross. [/*][*]American Cheese. American Sleeze. Any cheese, I don't want it.[/*][*]Shredded lettuce. I don't hate it, but it's warm and what's the point?[/*][*]Raw onion. Totally OK, but not something I really want. Grilled onions is a whole nother thing, I WANT those on a burger.[/*][*]Any of that "juice" that Subway and other sandwich places want to put on. NO, HELL NO! Actually, move this up to #5. [/*][/list=1]
  • SPPPP It seems like a really nice car that's just still trying to find its customer.
  • MRF 95 T-Bird I owned an 87 Thunderbird aka the second generation aero bird. It was a fine driving comfortable and very reliable car. Quite underrated compared to the GM G-body mid sized coupes since unlike them they had rack and pinion steering and struts on all four wheels plus fuel injection which GM was a bit late to the game on their mid and full sized cars. When I sold it I considered a Mark VII LSC which like many had its trouble prone air suspension deleted and replaced with coils and struts. Instead I went for a MN-12 Thunderbird.
  • SCE to AUX Somebody got the bill of material mixed up and never caught it.Maybe the stud was for a different version (like the 4xe) which might use a different fuel tank.
  • Inside Looking Out Scandinavian design costs only $600? I mean the furniture.