Bill Kristol surprisingly backed up the UAW and the Democratic Party's plan of trying to offer a bridge loan to the Big 3 and not try to be "union busters." It's not out of any love for unions, but all about politics. As we saw with the AutoGate Memo, the Republican leadership decided to kill the rescue plan/bridge loan to the Big 3 purely for political reasons. Those reasons are to destroy the UAW and try to make them the scapegoats. Kristol -- who as you know is not on my team -- believes that the Southern Strategy of attacking workers is a huge political mistake.
Kristol: I don't think it's very smart for a bunch of Southern Republicans to decide that the future of the Republican party is to beat up working class union members in states like Michigan, Indiana and Ohio. The UAW is in a lot of trouble, they've shrunk by 2/3's in the last years...
An average automobile, 10% of the cost comes from wages and they were going to cut wages by ten or twenty percent, so it's one or two percent of the cost of the automobile. To have a huge fight for that. I think it was a mistake for the Republicans,
He's thinking of this in political terms for Republicans, and actually gets honest when he says that it's not the union workers or their wages at fault here. I was not in favor of a Car Czar because I don't trust Bush to make the choice based on the interests of the working class, but at least they see the problem this could cause our entire economy if the Republicans in Congress bankrupt the auto industry.
On the other hand, if Republicans want to immolate themselves into even further irrelevancy, I'm inclined to let them. The trick is to keep them from taking the whole country down along with them.