Bailout Watch 535: Nader: PTFOA "Unsafe at Any Speed"

Robert Farago
by Robert Farago
bailout watch 535 nader ptfoa unsafe at any speed

According to the Detroit Free Press, opposition to the Presidential-Task-Force-on-Automobiles-administered Motown meltdown mishegos is “growing.” Who’d a thunk it? But wait! “They” are not voters fed up with dozens of bailout billions shoveled down a Chrysler and GM-shaped rathole. Nor are “they” free marketeers objecting to a sitting president telling a CEO to take a hike. Nope, the Freep is referring to Congress critters representing the Chrysler and GM dealers terminated with extreme prejudice. “Dealers were the focal point of a hearing by the House Judiciary Committee on Thursday under Chairman John Conyers, D-Mich., where industry critic Ralph Nader said the rescue plans were ‘a conclusive death star to tens of thousands of jobs.'” When asked by Rep. Lamar Smith, R-Texas, whether Obama’s auto task force was “unsafe at any speed,” Nader, author of a 1960s exposé by the same moniker on the dangers of the Chevy Corvair, replied: “Can we please stick with my metaphor?” No, seriously, he said, “Yes—worse than that.” Which is almost as nonsensical. [NB: Is there such a thing as a non-conclusive Death Star?] Anyway, here’s what makes this particular special interest group so special . . .

The concern reflects the deep political connections of auto dealers. In the 2007-08 cycle, domestic car dealers and their lobbying arm — the National Automobile Dealers Association — accounted for more than $9 million of the $18 million in federal campaign contributions overall from the automotive sector, according to figures compiled on, the Web site run by the Washington-based Center for Responsive Politics.

No question: this is going to get ugly—and stay ugly. For a very long time.

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  • Stephen newberg Stephen newberg on May 24, 2009

    Ralph Nader does not have, and never has had, any redeeming qualities. >What does anyone know about the Corvair? Was Nader wrong about it? A fair amount, and yes, but that is just on par, he has been wrong about just about everything he has done publicly since he showed up. A walking disaster zone. pax, smn

  • RogerB34 RogerB34 on May 24, 2009

    GM was going to crush VW early 60's and Corvair was the direct response. Took some time, but the crushing is done.

  • Ollicat I have a Spyder. The belt will last for many years or 60,000-80,000 miles. Not really a worry.
  • Redapple2 Cadillac and racing. Boy those 2 go together dont they? What a joke. Up there with opening a coffee shop in NYC. EvilGM be clowning. Again.
  • Jbltg Rear bench seat does not match the front buckets. What's up?
  • Theflyersfan The two Louisville truck plants are still operating, but not sure for how much longer. I have a couple of friends who work at a manufacturing company in town that makes cooling systems for the trucks built here. And they are on pins and needles wondering if or when they get the call to not go back to work because there are no trucks being made. That's what drives me up the wall with these strikes. The auto workers still get a minimum amount of pay even while striking, but the massive support staff that builds components, staffs temp workers, runs the logistics, etc, ends up with nothing except the bare hope that the state's crippled unemployment system can help them keep afloat. In a city where shipping (UPS central hub and they almost went on strike on August 1) and heavy manufacturing (GE Appliance Park and the Ford plants) keeps tens of thousands of people employed, plus the support companies, any prolonged shutdown is a total disaster for the city as well. UAW members - you're not getting a 38% raise right away. That just doesn't happen. Start a little lower and end this. And then you can fight the good fight against the corner office staff who make millions for being in meetings all day.
  • Dusterdude The "fire them all" is looking a little less unreasonable the longer the union sticks to the totally ridiculous demands ( or maybe the members should fire theit leadership ! )