In what has a good chance of going down as the worst strategic decision since the 2003 invasion of Iraq, Republicans last night voted against the Detroit bailout bill over the issue of forcing the UAW to make wage concessions before other stakeholders such as shareholders, bondholders, suppliers, and dealers.
That's right: before.
As the party of management and the wealthy, Republicans have long fought unions. This time, however, their union-busting efforts are about to become economy-busting efforts. On top of being stupid, what makes their move outrageous is that labor for final assembly amounts to about 10% of the price of a vehicle. And what makes their move even more outrageous is that the party of free enterprise is insisting on micromanaging blue-collar worker pay without micromanaging white collar pay (though it must be said Democrats efforts to control executive perks has gone overboard).
And the average water-carrying management tool in the comments at economy-focused blogs thinks that the Democrats are going to take the blame for this. Instead, the Republicans have just conceded every major race in the upper Midwest for a generation.
Update: Bush to the rescue! (I can't believe I said that.)
Looks like the Bush administration is going to authorize a loan using TARP funds - which the Democrats had been pushing for all along.
Update: Never underestimate the kabuki factor.