Bailout Watch 548: WaPo Carmudgeon's Departing Salvo

Robert Farago
by Robert Farago
bailout watch 548 wapo carmudgeon s departing salvo

Regular readers will know that we’ve taken Washington Post carmudgeon Warren Brown to task for his shameless Motown cheerleading up to and through the federal bailout. You may have also noticed a huge disconnect between Warren’s blind bailout boosterism and his paper’s entirely skeptical stance on federal intervention in the U.S. automotive industry. In an ironic twist of fate, Warren’s decided to take the WaPo’s latest buyout offer—and do so with all of the grace displayed by his bailout boosting pals in The Motor City. He leaves the paper spilling vitriol all over his colleague’s rejection of Uncle Sam’s “investment” in Government Motors.

I’ll begin [my endless swan song] by arguing against the often inane analyses of the challenges facing the domestic automobile industry, sometimes served up on the editorial and opposite-editorial pages of this otherwise fine journal.

Was that really necessary? Anyway, first, Warren regurgitates all his own pro-dole pro-GM arguments.

We owned General Motors in World War II and in the Korean conflict when we needed it to build tanks and other weapons of limited destruction.

We owned it when we needed it to help build what once was the free world’s strongest middle class . . .

And we owned it after the devastating 9/11 attack on our nation, when it was GM that pulled us from the economic brink and got consumers buying again through a savvy marketing campaign.

I know! Let’s set that to the Lemonheads’ version of Mrs. Robinson! Anyway, Warren sets ’em up . . .

In commenting on the new GM’s future, Robinson writes: “In truth, I don’t see much more than a temporary reprieve [from ultimate failure] for General Motors and a somewhat easier landing for GM workers. Obama said he plans to leave management of the company to the professionals. At this point, I have to wonder why.”

And Warren knocks ’em down . . .

The “bad management” that trapped GM and Toyota in their current unhappy states occurred at the federal level, where politicians repeatedly failed to come up with a sensible national energy policy, balanced to require participation, however painful, from automobile manufacturers, politicians and consumers.

The bad management that slowed sales of new domestic and foreign vehicles to a barely sustainable trickle occurred among federal regulators who were supposed to regulate the banking industry, but who apparently failed to regulate anything of any kind.

So GM’s meltdown is the government’s fault? And now the government will save GM? Yeah, that makes sense.

As for placing bets on future longevity: Here’s betting that GM will be around a lot longer than many of the traditional news outlets — print and broadcast — covering GM today.

On this, we agree. Bt first we should come up with a timeline for the death of traditional news outlets. Judging from this piece and Warren’s departure, it’s not going to take long.

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2 of 13 comments
  • AG AG on Jun 08, 2009

    Wow, I had no idea Debbie Stabenow was so huge.

  • Nevets248 Nevets248 on Jun 08, 2009

    yep, when she sits around the house, she sits AROUND the house. Oh,and here from the not-so-great state of Michigan, we refer to her as "stab-and blow"!

  • ToolGuy CXXVIII comments?!?
  • ToolGuy I did truck things with my truck this past week, twenty-odd miles from home (farther than usual). Recall that the interior bed space of my (modified) truck is 98" x 74". On the ride home yesterday the bed carried a 20 foot extension ladder (10 feet long, flagged 14 inches past the rear bumper), two other ladders, a smallish air compressor, a largish shop vac, three large bins, some materials, some scrap, and a slew of tool cases/bags. It was pretty full, is what I'm saying.The range of the Cybertruck would have been just fine. Nothing I carried had any substantial weight to it, in truck terms. The frunk would have been extremely useful (lock the tool cases there, out of the way of the Bed Stuff, away from prying eyes and grasping fingers -- you say I can charge my cordless tools there? bonus). Stainless steel plus no paint is a plus.Apparently the Cybertruck bed will be 78" long (but over 96" with the tailgate folded down) and 60-65" wide. And then Tesla promises "100 cubic feet of exterior, lockable storage — including the under-bed, frunk and sail pillars." Underbed storage requires the bed to be clear of other stuff, but bottom line everything would have fit, especially when we consider the second row of seats (tools and some materials out of the weather).Some days I was hauling mostly air on one leg of the trip. There were several store runs involved, some for 8-foot stock. One day I bummed a ride in a Roush Mustang. Three separate times other drivers tried to run into my truck (stainless steel panels, yes please). The fuel savings would be large enough for me to notice and to care.TL;DR: This truck would work for me, as a truck. Sample size = 1.
  • Art Vandelay Dodge should bring this back. They could sell it as the classic classic classic model
  • Surferjoe Still have a 2013 RDX, naturally aspirated V6, just can't get behind a 4 banger turbo.Also gloriously absent, ESS, lane departure warnings, etc.
  • ToolGuy Is it a genuine Top Hand? Oh, I forgot, I don't care. 🙂