Monday, December 15, 2008


Yes, I'm rather astonished that Bill Kristol favors the auto bailout and feels the need to chide fellow right-wingers who've bashed the UAW.

But his column is called "Left and Right, Piling On." Really? Does he really believe hostility to the bailout is evenly distributed across the political spectrum? He certainly ties himself in knots to make the case:

What's more, in their disdain for the American auto companies, the left and right wings of the establishment agree. Of course, the particular foci of criticism are different -- the left berates the auto companies' management, the right the United Automobile Workers. But even on the left, while Democratic politicians still try to look out for the interests of the U.A.W., there's not really that much sympathy for the workers. The ascendant environmentalists disdain (to say the least) the internal combustion engine and everyone associated with it. Most of today's limousine liberals are embarrassed by their political alliance with the workers who built those limousines.

Funny, I seem to recall that, less two months ago, liberals -- especially well-to-do liberals -- turned out in huge numbers to vote for a guy who repeatedly said this:

I'll help our auto companies re-tool, so that the fuel-efficient cars of the future are built right here in America.... And I'll invest 150 billion dollars over the next decade in affordable, renewable sources of energy - wind power and solar power and the next generation of biofuels; an investment that will lead to new industries and five million new jobs that pay well and can't ever be outsourced.

Who did upscale Obama voters think was going to instal Obama's solar panels and build his green cars -- ex-bond traders? I think -- correct me if I'm wrong -- that they knew he intended those jobs to be held by people who mostly didn't attend Harvard or Princeton. And they voted for Obama anyway!

The New Republic's Noam Scheiber essentially agrees with Kristol:

Kristol's image of limousine liberals is a cartoon, of course. But you certainly sense that, among Democratic elites, there's much more esteem for the socially liberal Wall Street types who bitterly oppose financial services regulation and insist on their tax loopholes than there is for the middle managers at Ford and GM who are just as parochial about their economic interests but who, unlike their Wall Street cousins, don't reflect the cultural sensibilities of the Amtrak corridor.

To test this theory, let's look at which senators voted no when it came time to try to bring up the auto bailout bill for a vote:

Democrats Yes

Akaka, Hawaii; Bayh, Ind.; Bingaman, N.M.; Boxer, Calif.; Brown, Ohio; Byrd, W.Va.; Cantwell, Wash.; Cardin, Md.; Carper, Del.; Casey, Pa.; Clinton, N.Y.; Conrad, N.D.; Dodd, Conn.; Dorgan, N.D.; Durbin, Ill.; Feingold, Wis.; Feinstein, Calif.; Harkin, Iowa; Inouye, Hawaii; Johnson, S.D.; Klobuchar, Minn.; Kohl, Wis.; Landrieu, La.; Lautenberg, N.J.; Leahy, Vt.; Levin, Mich.; McCaskill, Mo.; Menendez, N.J.; Mikulski, Md.; Murray, Wash.; Nelson, Fla.; Nelson, Neb.; Pryor, Ark.; Reed, R.I.; Rockefeller, W.Va.; Salazar, Colo.; Schumer, N.Y.; Stabenow, Mich.; Webb, Va.; Whitehouse, R.I.

Democrats No

Baucus, Mont.; Lincoln, Ark.; Reid, Nev.; Tester, Mont.

Democrats Not Voting

Biden, Del.; Kennedy, Mass.; Kerry, Mass.; Wyden, Ore.

Republicans Yes

Bond, Mo.; Brownback, Kan.; Collins, Maine; Dole, N.C.; Domenici, N.M.; Lugar, Ind.; Snowe, Maine; Specter, Pa.; Voinovich, Ohio; Warner, Va.

Republicans No

Allard, Colo.; Barrasso, Wyo.; Bennett, Utah; Bunning, Ky.; Burr, N.C.; Chambliss, Ga.; Coburn, Okla.; Cochran, Miss.; Coleman, Minn.; Corker, Tenn.; Crapo, Idaho; DeMint, S.C.; Ensign, Nev.; Enzi, Wyo.; Grassley, Iowa; Gregg, N.H.; Hatch, Utah; Hutchison, Texas; Inhofe, Okla.; Isakson, Ga.; Kyl, Ariz.; Martinez, Fla.; McCain, Ariz.; McConnell, Ky.; Murkowski, Alaska; Roberts, Kan.; Sessions, Ala.; Shelby, Ala.; Thune, S.D.; Vitter, La.; Wicker, Miss.

I'm looking at those names in bold. I don't see a lot of "limousine liberals."

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