A Time of Reckoning

If anything, the Senate vote Thursday night told us that some our dignitaries are at open war with the working folks of America. Nixing aid to the automotive industry was a “mission accomplished” based on ideology and party, plain and simple. The failure of the Big Three didn’t matter to the Southern Republicans who led the fight against the bailout. In their refutations, what came out repeatedly was a repudiation of the UAW– even to the point of injecting falsehoods concerning the salaries of unionized workers in the MSM.

In that light, it isn’t surprising that the Southern Republicans acted the way that they did. If anyone stopped and looked at where the foreign car companies had their facilities in America, one could see why the outcry against the UAW was vocal and vindictive.

Put it this way: the Senators who lashed out against the bailout were pretty much protecting their own.

Before you think that this is a completely new trend, it isn’t. The late President Ronald Reagan, shuttled to sainthood by his GOP followers, battled unions throughout his two terms. The most celebrated case was the former American leader’s war against air traffic controllers in the early 1980’s. In the midst of campaigning for better working conditions and benefits, nearly 11,500 striking air traffic controllers were let go from their jobs. Consequently, the union representing them (the Professional Air Traffic Controllers Organization) ended in October 1981. Since then, union memberships as a whole decreased in size and importance as America fell under the shadow of conservative rule.

Three decades have passed. Another union struggles against the GOP machine. Once again, the Republicans’ efforts are mean-spirited considering how low the economy has sunken. It is as if the conservative party ignored the dire circumstances of nearly three million people who will lose their jobs if the Big Three isn’t kept running during these hard times.

The good thing is that the actions of the GOP Senators had, in essence, reignited the passion and the anger of citizens who have been put through the ringer of trying to fight to keep from being tossed out into the street. It sure beats the apathetic cynicism that hung like a cloud over the Bush 43 years. These scary times are giving each one of us something to care about. Our livelihoods depend on it.

So, is President Bush’s suggestion of taking the funds out of TARP to help the Big Three a noble gesture? No. However, it is certainly necessary for his legacy, is it not?


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