I’m utterly fascinated by two aspects of the debate over the bailout. First, why it is that reporters repeatedly cite Richard Shelby–the biggest opponent of the bailout–without noting that if GM goes under, the foreign manufacturers making big inefficient SUVs and trucks in his state will get a huge competitive advantage? Carl Levin is presented as representing Detroit, why isn’t Shelby described as representing Detroit’s foreign-owned competition?

I’m also fascinated by the role of Mitch McConnell–with McCain’s electoral embarrassment and John Boehner’s imminent ouster, the leader of the Republican party. McConnell, of course, represents an auto state–a pretty fascinating auto state, in fact, one that has a bunch of union manufacture of American products, as well as non-union manufacture of efficient Japanese cars. So does Mitch lead the opposition to the bailout–and oppose the interests of thousands of his constituents? Or does he support it, presenting an awkward defection for the Republican campaign to break the unions?

Apparently, if you’re Mitch McConnell, you chose option "C," none of the above. Instead, if this article from McConnell’s state is any indication, you hide.

The article cites,

  • William Parsons Jr., who organizes the annual Global Automotive Conference in Kentucky
  • Ken Troske, director of the University of Kentucky’s Center for Business and Economic Research
  • Toyota spokesman Mike Goss
  • Laurie Harbour-Felax, an industry observer and president of the Harbour-Felax Group
  • Kristin Dziczek, a researcher at the Center for Automotive Research in Ann Arbor, Mich

And of course,

  • Sen. Richard Shelby, R-Ala

But no mention of the hometown Senator and the most powerful Republican in the country, Mitch McConnell.

I’ve got unconfirmed sightings of Mitch in a spider-hole in Iraq, but I’m still working to confirm that report.



Marcy Wheeler aka Emptywheel is an American journalist whose reporting specializes in security and civil liberties.