I think we’ll look back on Obama’s remarks today in 10, 20, maybe 50 years as a truly historic moment. I can’t add much to what’s already been said here on PD and in the comments, but I must highlight a few points that were said with such coolness and disconnection that even those us who saw this coming are awestruck:

In this context, my administration will offer General Motors adequate working capital over the next 60 days. During this time, my team will be working closely with GM to produce a better business plan.

He makes this sound like the WH is some Venture Capital Firm. Does he understand these are our dollars? ‘His team’ will develop a business plan?

They must ask themselves: have they consolidated enough unprofitable brands? Have they cleaned up their balance sheets or are they still saddled with so much debt that they can’t make future investments? And above all, have they created a credible model for how to not only survive, but succeed in this competitive global market?

Let me be clear: the United States government has no interest or intention of running GM. What we are interested in is giving GM an opportunity to finally make those much-needed changes that will let them emerge from this crisis a stronger and more competitive company.

Really? No interest in running them? Then why not let them enter Chapter 11 and restructure in bankruptcy court? It’s one of the most tried, tested, and trusted arms of the judicial system.

The situation at Chrysler is more challenging. It is with deep reluctance but also a clear-eyed recognition of the facts that we have determined, after a careful review, that Chrysler needs a partner to remain viable.

We have determined that Chrysler needs a partner? Once again the language is so stunningly plain and presumptuous. It’s as if Team Obama believes they can apply their unparalleled campaign success unilaterally to any other enterprise.

I was going to comment on the rest of his remarks, but I became so disheartened and depressed I gave up. Suffice it to say that the speed and degree to which this administration is nationalizing the auto industry is something historians will teach and debate for decades to come. Whether you agree with this monumental takeover or not, you have to acknowledge history is being made around us and America’s defining industry will never be the same.

Somewhere Henry Ford is rolling over in his grave and digging himself deeper in the ground to escape the insanity.

Pull your favorite quote from his remarks and comment.

Comments

  • Whodat

    I would have indignation over Obama taking over GM, but I don’t think he and the gov can do any worse than the arrogant empty suits who have already run it into the ground. It is a dead body, the exact undertaker makes little difference…

    The chapter I want to see is a liberal democrat president handle direct labor negotiations with that awful union (part, certainly not all, of the GM problem). What a show that will be. What a nice harbinger of things to come in 2012.

    Maybe I will go with a leather recliner and 47 inch flat screen for the upcoming battle…

    Whodat loves a good show…

    • Sartho

      I completely agree. I just wish that by Obama taking over didn’t mean we’re actually taking over since it’s our tax money, or I guess our grandchildren’s tax money at this point, paying for it.

  • Brian H

    I am not sure what else needs to be said about this guy. The train wreck has arrived, now we just sit back and enjoy the ride.

    • Gary Russell

      Only problem is, we are unwilling passengers on his train!

  • East of Eden

    Hmmmm, strangely absent in remarks from the Big O, any mention of changing the union relationships in all of this mess. My DH and I were talking about this over PB&Js today at lunch, if the government takes over GM, we can’t buy GMs anymore and that made us very sad — because we love our gas guzzeling (although very fuel effecient) Chevy.

  • Gary Russell

    Bye, Bye Miss American Pie;
    Drove my Chevy to the levee but the funding was dry;
    And them good Obama boys were eating arugula and brie, singing
    “This’ll be the day that capitalism dies”.

  • http://www.sotr.us Cordeiro

    Jason, you should’ve cut yourself off from the outside world. Actually, I’m surprised you mangaged to get online in WV. I was unaware sattelite phones could provide web access.

    From your reaction to Barry’s latest pronouncements, I expect the sequel to Christmas Jars to be titled Christmas Dixie Cups.

    • http://www.politicalderby.com/ Jason Wright, Editor

      Nice one! Not bad for a guy named after a French-inspired chicken dish.

      I’m bidding farewell now. Back in a few days. Keep in clean at the racetrack! ;)

      • http://www.sotr.us Cordeiro

        Ha! You silly Ahmerican writehrrr! I throw phonetic french spelling in your general direction! Return to your laptop or I will taunt you a second time!

  • http://scottslant.blogspot.com/ Scott A. Robinson

    Maybe Henry Ford is happier about his legacy than you give him credit for since, Ford is in the best position of all the American automakers. By refusing the federal money, Ford does not have the greedy federal strings attached quite like GM and Chrysler.

    As for Chapter 11, that would almost without doubt lower the wages of the union employees. It is obvious that Obama is doing everything he can to protect these wages. My only assumption as to why is that the union employees generally vote for Obama and his party.

    • David Kaiser, Editor

      Scott, I’ll agree that Chapter 11 should have been used here, my point in your post below was mostly that Wagoner had go to.

      • http://scottslant.blogspot.com/ Scott A. Robinson

        And I do agree with you that Wagoner should be out. I simply disagree with the government being the vehicle.

  • http://www.politicalderby.com/ Jason Wright, Editor

    Yeah yeah, I just got to the cabin in WV where I like to escape a couple times a year. I fired up the lappy to get started and made the mistake of hitting PD and Drudge first.

    But I’m disappearing now to get cracking. The sequel to Christmas Jars is due in two weeks and I have about 20,000 words to write. (Shhhh, don’t tell my editor or agent.)

    • David Kaiser, Editor

      You were the guy doing the 15 page term paper in college the night before it was due, weren’t you?

      • http://www.politicalderby.com/ Jason Wright, Editor

        No comment.

    • Sartho

      I’ve sworn that I would never buy a Ford because of their lack of quality. But I think I would totally reconsider if they were to break ties with the union workers and blaze their own trail in the US auto industry. There are enough talented unemployed folks out there who would be greatful just to have a job that I wonder if they could do it.

      I highly doubt it would ever happen, but it’s interesting to think about.

  • David Kaiser, Editor

    He can’t help himself sometimes.

    I think he needs to see a specialist ;)

  • Gil Rice

    Have no fear, these cars will still be warranted and you will still be able to have your car serviced at your local dealer. If I pull in and see Barney Frank handling the grease gun, I’m leaving as fast as I can. We have been lubed enough by these new heads of state and I’m afraid it is not over!

  • http://scottslant.blogspot.com/ Scott A. Robinson

    JW,

    I thought you were holed up somewhere to do some important writing!

  • Chris

    Question for you, I am no economist

    What is more favourable, that the companies in the motor industry become bankrupt or is the industry too important to the US that it needs to be bailed out in order to ensure its survival (much in the same way as banks)?

    I don’t have an opinion either way, other that it should not be rescured for sentimental reasons, only economic ones

  • Sartho

    Bankruptcy is better in this situation. Think of it this way. GM and Chrysler had a heart attack so something needs to be done.

    Bankruptcy is like going to the hospital, having some serious surgery done to clean up your ticker, and staying there while you heal. Eventually you get out and can move on with your life in much better shape than when you went in.

    Getting bailed out is more like being given a pair of crutches and a box of band aids – they’ll help you limp along but don’t really do much to fix the problem.

    The main problem in my opinion is the unions. They’re killing the US’s ability to compete and Obama is catering to them rather than the rest of the American people.