I didn’t want any of you to miss out on what must be one of the most bizarre chapters in the political career of Bill Hobbs. And yet, frankly, I don’t know what to make of it. Shall we look at the facts?
Fact One: GM employes about 3,500 Tennesseans. Spring Hill and Columbia, Tennessee are what they are because of the Saturn plant.
Fact Two: GM is looking to the government for a huge bailout.
Those are the facts. Should the Feds bail out GM? I don’t know. I know that, when you start to think about all the parts of our economy that are tied into the auto industry, letting them fail seems pretty damn terrifying. You think the economy is bad now; what would happen if even half of the people employed by GM were out of work?
Ugh. Sorry, this was supposed to be a humerous post and all of a sudden I felt like I should call the Man from GM and offer him our couch to live on.
Where were we? Ah, yes, Bill Hobbs.
So, Christian Grantham over at Nashville is Talking makes this post in which he says:
Tennessee Republican Party Spokesman Bill Hobbs speaks out in opposition to a proposed bailout for the employer of 3,500 workers at Spring Hill’s GM plant.
Tennessee GOP Spokesperson Bill Hobbs sent me the following email late yesterday regarding this post.
The statement that I spoke out in opposition to the bailout of the Big Three (or that the TN GOP did) is a lie. A slanderous lie.
I wrote an analysis of the situation, not a statement of opposition to or support of the proposed bailout. Period. You can not find one fraction of that post that is a statement of opposition to it.
I demand a retraction and apology.
I want to laugh, America. I surely do. But I can’t quite get to laughing because I’m stuck wonder whether Bill Hobbs knows what the words “opposition” and “support” mean.
And then, when I get past that, I’m stuck wondering if, when he says “You can not find one fraction of that post that is a statement of opposition to it,” there’s some prize if we do find a fraction. And what kind of prize would I want from Bill Hobbs? Perhaps a hand-drawn cartoon of some religous figure? Hmm.
But let us take this sentence: “The statement that I spoke out in opposition to the bailout of the Big Three (or that the TN GOP did) is a lie.”
Shall we look at the post? (And maybe I wonder this, too. Does Bill Hobbs not know that people can read the things he writes?)
Republicans may not be able to stop this bailout – indeed, not all Republicans oppose the bailout – but Republicans certainly ought to insist that the bailout include helping Ford, GM and Chrysler amend their UAW contracts to be more competitive (otherwise the Big Three will still fail). Republicans also ought to insist that the bailout package include provisions to bar unions from using union dues for political purposes unless union members are allowed to opt out of paying that part of their dues because they don’t support the union’s political agenda.
Republicans also should insist on regulatory reforms so that the Big Three (and all other automakers) may more easily import fuel-efficient automobiles currently sold in other countries.
“Republicans may not be able to stop this bailout.” That is a direct quote. The implication in that is clear that Republicans (at least most Republicans, including the author) are on the side of at least trying to stop the bailout. Don’t believe me? Then go on to the second half of the sentence in which Bill Hobbs outlines what the Republicans should do, since they can’t stop the bailout–change the terms of the bailout.
Bill Hobbs is clearly speaking out in opposition to the bailout of the Big Three, by implication when he says that Republicans may not be able to stop it, and then explicitly when he urges them to change the terms. By definition, once you change the terms of the bailout, it is no longer the bailout as proposed, but a new bailout.
He is indeed opposed to the bailout. He may not be opposed to any bailout. But he’s clearly opposed to this one.
And Christian’s the liar who should apologize?
Bwah ha ha ha ha ha ha.
Okay, now I’m laughing.