Thursday, May 10, 2012

Hey, Mitt: The Olds died in 2004!

WHEN I HEAR MITT ROMNEY, in a campaign stop in Michigan, lament the demise of the Oldsmobile - the OLDSMOBILE, for God's sake! - in the context of criticizing President Obama'a  bailout of the auto industry, I  can ony recall something that  the New Yorker's late film critic Pauline Kael once said of the sniffy tone of her magazine."They were so superior to the subject that they never dealt with it," the esteemed Ms. Kael  wrote.

Romney, who is tossing around muddled ideas like so many Edsels,  often leaves me to wonder whether he is so above the crowd that he lives in a world of abstractions.  In this instance, he  was either unaware or intentionally deceptive in telling us about the Oldsmobile  that GM phased  out in 2004.  If you do the simple math you will quickly discover that  it predates Obama's election by four years, inconveniently for Republicans that a fellow named George Bush was president at the time.

Don't go away.  Mitt also claimed credit for today's auto industry's success with an obscure explanation   that I won't try to repeat.  He once did say, however,  that the Obama folks should have let the industry go bankrupt.

1 comment:

David Hess said...

Alas, both Oldsmobile and Pontiac have shuffled off this mortal coil, victims of the internationalization of the auto industry and mega-maker GM's own inability to manage the corporate leviathon that once dictated the terms of car-marketing in the post-war era. What was left of GM after bankrupcy now seems to be, like Lazarus, risen from the dead, no thanks to Mitt -- schooled in the bloodless culture of Bain Capital --who was prepared to bury the corporate corpse. The Obama administration, fortunately for the managers and workers of GM, breathed new life and capital (which is being paid back) into the patient and spared it the ignominy of failure. Polls continue to show that a vast majority of Republicans still curse the President's interceding in the rescue.