Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Annals of Wingnuttery — A Continuing Saga

Here’s another brilliant idea from the right wing: boycott General Motors.

“In the effort to reverse this lurch beyond the farthest left fringe of previous Democratic statist urges, individual Americans have a role to play. They have to say no to GM products and services until such time as the denationalization occurs,” says Hugh Hewitt. He acknowledges that this is a serious step that could hurt people currently working for GM: “But there isn’t any alternative, every dollar spent with GM is a dollar spent against free enterprise. Every car or truck purchased from Government Motors is one not purchased from a private car company that competes fairly against all other car companies.”

Where Hewitt makes his point as a seemingly reluctant and composed agitator, Rush Limbaugh makes no bones about what he wants in his own praise of the idea. The most amazing thing here is that Limbaugh appears to be openly admitting that the purpose of this is economic and political sabotage — to prevent President Obama from succeeding at something.

Limbaugh reassures any GM workers who might be listening that the boycotters aren’t angry at them. “They don’t want to patronize Obama. They don’t want to do anything to make Obama’s policies work!” he explains. “This is an untold story, by the way. Of course, the government-controlled media is not gonna report anything like this but there are a lot of people who are not going to buy from Chrysler or General Motors as long as it is perceived Barack Obama is running it, because people do not want his policy to work here because this is antithetical to the American economic way of life.”

Even for right-wing wackos, this is amazingly stupid on so many levels that you just have to wonder at their ability to cram so much idiocy into one package; it’s like a piñata of asshattery.

In the first place, boycotting GM and Chrysler would basically undermine efforts to get them back in business so they can pay back the taxpayers for the money that’s been lent to them. The faster they recover, the sooner we get our money back. Second, crippling the car companies would only make the economies of the cities and states where the companies have plants even worse, leading to more layoffs and higher unemployment, not just in the auto industry but every other business in town. You close a car plant, you kill off jobs, which means people can’t buy stuff, which kills off other businesses that have nothing to do with GM or Chrysler. Oh, and it would also kill off the car dealers who haven’t already been terminated. (And thus completing the nefarious scheme by President Obama to close Republican car dealers, too.)

Mr. Hewitt and Mr. Limbaugh make no bones about their motivation. It’s not because of some philosophical difference between free-market capitalism and government assistance; they want this president to fail because they don’t like him. They don’t care if it hurts the economy or the people who work for GM or Chrysler; they have a point to make.

Remember when the conservatives championed the small-town values and blue-collar workers as the “silent majority,” the people they really cared about? This shows you how much they really mean it.