Thursday, February 26, 2009
Carrying The Auto Flag
It sounded like a great idea. The four legislative leaders from Lansing would invade the nation's capitol to help save the battered and bruised domestic car industry and make a strong pitch to save auto suppliers who are on the ropes, too. Who better to carry the flag than House Speaker Andy Dillon, House GOP Leader Kevin Elsenheimer, Senate GOP Leader Mike Bishop and Senate Democratic Leader Mike Prusi? With much fanfare the gang of four met with the Lansing capitol scribes to underscore the urgency of the trip and off they went. Just so he could not be accused of traveling in luxury, Elsenheimer drove to D.C. while the others hopped on a commercial jet…no state planes please. Well as you might expect, Washington did20not come to a stand still for the arrival of the Big Four appearing on behalf of the Big Three soon to become the Big who knows what? They didn't get in to see the prez, nor the top brass in Congress and had to settle for some undersecretary of something or other and the third assistant to the whatever. They did huddle with the Michigan Congressional delegation but that was like preaching to the choir. However, the four leaders get good marks for the effort and Speaker Dillon has been successful in convincing 16 of his counterparts around the country to get on board to save the industry. But there still remains a recalcitrant attitude toward the auto industry in D.C and chatter about bankruptcy remains on the radar screen. Amazingly some believe letting the autos go under is the best long-term policy for this country. Gov. Jennifer Granholm says that option is "illogical." But then when did logic ever rule the day in Washington?