The reaction to the auto bailout failure in the Senate demonstrates yet again the irrationality of what passes for analysis amongst much of the left. The Blogometer's 12/12 roundup has the excerpts from the blogosphere. The basic left-wing view is that evil, nasty Republicans don't care about the economy. They just hate the UAW and that's why they opposed the bailout. Seriously, they really believe that. Here's a representative sample:
Jane Hamsher at Firedog Lake: "I think this erases all doubt -- the Republicans quite plainly want the economy to fail"
Digby at Hullabaloo: "At this point, the only route they see power is to make things worse and blame it on the Democrats. What else do they have?"
John Cole at Balloon Juice: "you do have to be crazy to be able to pretend that somehow any principles are at stake other than union busting"
Read pretty much any left-wing site, and the theme is similar. That brings up a few questions. What about the most evil Republicans of all, Bush & Cheney? Oh yeah, they favored the auto-bailout. What about the ten Republicans that voted for it? How do they fit in to the dirty union-busting Republican theme? How about all the Republican senators who voted against both the $700 billion rescue package and the auto bailout? Could it be that maybe they don't think bailouts are a good idea at all? No, of course not; they just want to destroy the economy. What about the four Democrats who opposed the auto bailout? Did they want to crush the union too, or do they get to have principles by virtue of being Democrats? Eight Republicans didn't even vote. They must have missed the memo about busting the union. And if the auto bailout was so crucial to our economy, why did vice-president elect Joe Biden not even bother to vote on it, along with Ted Kennedy, John Kerry, and Wyden of Oregon. Do they not care about the economy? But they're Democrats. I thought only Republicans wanted to send us into a depression.
Here's the roll call on the financial bailout, and the roll call for the auto bailout. Of the 31 GOP senators that voted against the auto bailout, 13 of them also voted against the financial bailout. So even assuming the worst, only 18 Republican senators could be accused of targeting the union and refusing to vote for the bailout, even though they were willing to support a much greater bailout. But that doesn't stop the left from ascribing the worst motivations to Republicans in general. Why? Because they know that Republicans are evil and always act based on bad motives.
How many times have we had to listen to left-wingers whine and snivel about the right questioning their patriotism? Yet they feel free to portray the entire Republican party as an unprincipled organization bent on destroying the economy for political purposes, based on nothing more than policy differences regarding one vote.