The Democratic National Convention continued to celebrate the General Motors’ bankruptcy and auto bailouts last night. Guests at the party included union leaders Bob King, President of the UAW and AFL-CIO President, Richard Trumka, both of whom gave speeches at the event. Union members cheered and waved their UAW signs at the affair as President Obama was repeatedly given credit for “saving” GM and the American auto industry. The fact that GM, along with Chrysler, went bankrupt was not mentioned. The only time the word “bankrupt” was used was to condemn Republican Presidential candidate, Mitt Romney, for wanting to let GM go bankrupt. Democrats seem to be in denial that GM actually did go bankrupt.
In a highly scripted presentation, the convention played upon the theme that the auto bailouts had the goal of saving middle-class jobs. The truth is that the goal was to preserve UAW jobs and benefits; non-union jobs were not deemed as important when Obama’s Auto Task Force insisted that thousands of non-unionized dealerships be shuttered and non-union Delphi retirees lost their pensions as union retirees had theirs protected. The politicized adaptation of the true process continues to be thrust down the throats of taxpayers who funded the travesty.
It should not be too surprising that Democrats continue to proclaim the auto bailouts a huge success, considering that the current administration has little else to brag about. In fact, the convention offered little surprises or spontaneity with the exception of a floor vote that saw God and Jerusalem, who were not invited to the celebration, booed by delegates. After having originally banned the words God and Jerusalem from the convention’s platform, Team Obama must have realized the political risk of alienating many voters as they called for a vote to overturn the original ban. When the floor vote was taken by Mayor Villaraigosa, it appeared that a majority of delegates still did not want God and Jerusalem added to the party’s guest list. God was denied three times before the Mayor crowed and, despite the objections, the original banning of the words was overturned. It would seem that God and Jerusalem were as unwelcome to the party as a GM bondholder would be.
The affirmation of the auto bailouts as a success was less surprising than the denial of God, but it still baffles me that Democrats are pointing to the manipulated bankruptcy process of two major US industrial corporations as the chief accomplishment of the Obama Administration. How is it that bankruptcy has become something to be so proud of? Is bankruptcy the new benchmark for success in Obama’s America?
There was once a day in America when going bankrupt was a sign of failure, not something to brag about. This has changed under Obama’s America as the convention has confirmed that the President has made the auto bailouts (i.e. bankruptcies) the key platform for his reelection campaign. Extolling the manipulated (or as bailout proponent Elizabeth Warren might say, “rigged”) GM bankruptcy as a huge success is an insult to those, like old GM shareholders (who lost everything) and bondholders (who lost almost everything), who had sacrifices forced upon them as the politically-connected UAW was protected. Taxpayers footed the bill to the tune of $50 billion, much of which has not been, and will never be repaid. Is this really something to brag about?
Mark Modica is an NLPC Associate Fellow.