Clint Eastwood and Chrysler Ruffle Republican Feathers

by on February 7, 2012 · 40 comments

in Economy, Election, Popular

Legendary actor/filmmaker teams up with auto maker to create arguably the most powerful, memorable, and uplifting commercial of the year.  But its positive message doesn’t sit well with Conservatives.

I guess the truth hurts, don’t it?  I didn’t watch the entire Super Bowl on Sunday (I know, right?  Me?  Not watch the Super Bowl?).  I got home just after halftime began and tuned out Madonna’s program.  Turned the volume back up just in time to see what was probably the single best commercial bar none of the entire broadcast:  Chrysler’s “Halftime in America” commercial:

The ad was an obscenely dramatic and positive message instead of the doom and gloom that we hear from some politicians.  When the economy went in to the dumper in 2008, arguably no city was hit harder than Detroit, home of the U.S. auto industry.  Chrysler was on life support.  GM was hemorrhaging cash so fast that a tourniquet couldn’t stop the bleeding.  Auto workers were being laid off in waves, and there was little hope that their jobs would return.  The entire auto industry in the United States—the country where the auto industry was born—was on the verge of going extinct.  Without serious help both Chrysler and GM were in danger of closing their doors for good, and taking a solvent yet vulnerable Ford down with them.

When Barack Obama took office, he had a choice to make:  Let GM and Chrysler go bankrupt and likely cost the country over a million manufacturing jobs, or work out loans with the companies and come up with a restructuring plan that would turn the companies around for the long term.  Ford got involved because, even though they were in decent (but not great) shape financially, they knew that if GM and Chrysler went down, the suppliers the three companies shared would go down with them, making it nearly impossible for Ford to continue to be competitive in the world auto market.  They simply wouldn’t be able to get the parts that they needed to build their cars.

The loans were an incredibly unpopular idea.  After the government had already bailed out the banksters, the country was not exactly in a mood to reward more incompetence in order to keep badly run companies afloat.  Politicians from both parties—but mainly Republicans—had little taste to rush to the auto industry’s aid.  2008 and current Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney penned an op-ed in the NY Times to insist that we should “Let Detroit go Bankrupt.”  Some in Obama’s own cabinet agreed.  Over 60% of Americans were against the auto industry bailout.

Obama ignored the naysayers.  Losing the auto industry in his estimation would be the death of American manufacturing.  The industry was too important to let die so he authorized the loans to both Chrysler and GM, and a line of credit for Ford should they need it (they ended up not needing it).

The ad itself highlights how Detroit was a city near death, but now it’s clearly on the verge of a comeback.  Jobs are coming back, and the auto industry is beginning to thrive again.  Three years after the loans were first issued Chrysler is as strong as they’ve been in decades and GM is once again the #1 auto maker in the world and turning a profit.  The loans are well on their way to being paid back, GM is once again a publicly traded company, and the Treasury will make a profit on the loans.

The commercial wasn’t intended to be in any way political.  The ad is by a car company reminding us of the hard times they’ve endured and of how far they’ve come.  But it most certainly did strike a political chord.  And because of its message and the contrast with the platform of the Republican Party today—particularly the Republican candidates for President—it plays like a “Barack Obama for President” campaign ad.  That just does not sit well with Republicans.  It’s contains far too much truth for them to handle.  They can’t sell their message with Clint Eastwood telling the single largest television audience in the history of the Super Bowl that, in effect, the policies of this administration are working.  After all, sending a positive message about the economy and American spirit is completely contrary to the Republican narrative that the end is nigh unless we elect their kind.  It was Chrysler’s intent to inspire the fighting spirit of Americans as a people; to remind us of what we are capable of when we all come together for a common cause and work in the spirit of community and for a common goal.  But that hasn’t stopped Republicans from crying foul.

Karl Rove, the brains behind the Bush administration, is absolutely beside himself.  He told Fox News that he was “offended” by Chrysler’s ad.  Republicans everywhere are crying themselves silly that the ad is nothing more than a “rallying call” for the Obama administration.  Why?  Because the truth hurts, that’s why.  Republicans need the economy to be flailing.  They need the unemployment rate to rocket back up.  They’re practically cheering for the economy to fail.  They absolutely hate the fact that, despite their efforts to prevent it, the economy is actually getting better, albeit not quickly enough for most of our liking.  And a message like the one Eastwood delivered just does not suit their needs at all.  It hurts their campaign, and it damages their chances in November.  The loans to the auto makers worked.  And they just.  Don’t.  Like it.  At.  All.

For his part, Eastwood, the former mayor of Carmel, California, says that he and his Super Ad are not in any way affiliated with the Obama campaign or administration.  Eastwood himself is a libertarian Republican and says he has no ties to any of the candidates.  But, he says, “If Obama or any other politician wants to run with the spirit of that ad, go for it.”

But for Republicans, the truth sure does seem to hurt.  And that’s just too bad.

{ 40 comments… read them below or add one }

avatar Jim Guerin February 7, 2012 at 2:49 am

From the day President Obama was elected the republicans lead by rush limbaugh and fox news have called for and worked to make life a difficult as possible for President Obama. limbaugh said the day President Obama took office that his main mission for the next four years was to make sure ” President Obama Fails ” and he has not stopped trying.

It appears that limbaugh and his blind cold hearted ditto heads can’t stand seeing any of President Obama’s programs succeed. How sad it is they would rather have seen the American auto industry go out of business rather then acknowledge that President Obama’s bold actions could save millions of auto industry jobs. If ever a President deserves four more years it is President Obama !

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avatar dbarry82 February 7, 2012 at 3:18 am

Don’t be so sure about the stuff you’re spouting. Much of what you are saying is conjecture.

Ford would have gone down based on your expert opinion?

The bailouts will make the Fed money? Really? No. Look it up. A billion+ loss on the loans.

You forgot to mention all the pensioners who got driveshafted on the deal.

Mention these, and your face looks a lot more realistic and less supportive. Fine ad, sure. But for Chrysler? Never again will I respect Chrysler, GM, or anyone who bailed them out. The workers, sure. Not their fault. It’s the fault of the Right-Left paradigm and the CorpGovBankers who ALWAYS find a way to benefit.

Bailouts and failed companies are not successes. Maybe they are in your short-sighted world but the failure of your and my politicians and your and my countrymen over the past 50+ years are responsible for the failure that IS Detroit and the U.S. auto industry.

Ford was the only company who didn’t need a bailout, and for good reason — they did a good job. Others, not so much. Sorry to say.

And you’re here using your podium to convince everyone that bailouts for 2/3 of an afflicted component of our production should now be status quo and acceptable. Because the next time bailouts are needed, you’ll be saying the same thing. Losers are ok. It’s ok to be a loser. Because the taxpayers will bail out. That’s what you are saying.

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avatar Andy Cohen February 7, 2012 at 9:32 am

The unions made HUGE concessions. They were directly involved in the recovery of GM and Chrysler. Without their cooperation the restructuring would not have been possible. They did what they had to in order to save the companies and save the jobs they represented. See the interview that Ed Schultz did last night with Bob King, the president of the UAW. They seem pretty happy with where they are right now.

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avatar BrendaKilgour February 7, 2012 at 5:50 am

I’m no fan of Karl Rove, but there’s no question that the Chrysler Two-Minute-Chest-Pounding-Halftime-Spectacular-Featuring-Clint-Eastwood conveniently ignored a multitude of facts. Among them that Chrysler sales are still just about half what they were in 1998. That the city of (Imported From) Detroit is on the verge of going into receivership. That none of the ten bestselling cars of 2011 was a Chrysler product. And that Toyota is just starting to regain its stride.

No harm in frothing up the natives with an appeal to hometown vanity. But Sergio and Olivier, the Glimmer Twins of Auburn Hills, might want to wait a few more months before they replace the bust of Walter P. with their own likenesses. Fiat is struggling, Lancia is a joke vanity brand that sucks up resources. Stay tuned, political football fans.

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avatar Debbie February 7, 2012 at 8:02 am

Classy man, classy ad. Just watching it makes me feel good and have some hope that this ad will ruffle feathers of all Americans and make this country a better place no matter what party you favor.

The message has meaning. It’s a good message.

Thanks for the article ….OBRAG!

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avatar JEC February 7, 2012 at 9:01 am

Great piece Andy. Curious – I mean, the ad is par for the course – a corporation giving a positive spin to their products and their future – well done as it is. So I’m curious why a Republican such as Rush would take it personally by being “offended”. After all, according to Rush’s brother, Clint isn’t a true conservative (fascist?) so there’s no reason to feel betrayed. For being so insensitive Rush certainly takes things personally.

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avatar RB February 7, 2012 at 9:14 am

So people still believe ads they see on TV? Do elves bake the Keebler cookies? Are Lucky Charms magically made by leprechauns? Is it half time in Detroit?

“The ad itself highlights how Detroit was a city near death, but now it’s clearly on the verge of a comeback.” “It’s contains far too much truth for them to handle.”

Has Clint ever been to Detroit? The truth is ad was made in New Orleans and L.A. not in the deserted neighborhoods of Detroit. The population in Detroit is still decreasing and the city has a $200 million deficit. I went through Detroit this summer and it looked like Beirut.
http://www.onlocationvacations.com/2012/02/07/chryslers-detroit-super-bowl-ad-was-actually-filmed-in-new-orleans/

It is a myth that these companies would have gone into Chapter 13 bankruptcy without the bailout and it is a myth that they have paid the money back. Companies come out of bankruptcy all the time with Chapter 11 court lead reorganization (see Chrysler and Lee Iacocca as an example). For those who believe GM paid back the bailout, see the record and history of GMAC.
http://www.usatoday.com/money/autos/2010-03-11-gmac11_ST_N.htm

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avatar doug porter February 7, 2012 at 9:20 am

RB, the GOP must have built a pipeline to your lair to keep the kool-aid flowing. Keep up the good work. We need a little humor around here.

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avatar Lois February 7, 2012 at 1:51 pm

And Doug, I always love your sense of humor. You are pretty witty.

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avatar Andy Cohen February 7, 2012 at 9:27 am

You conveniently forget that the capital markets were completely frozen. There was no private capital available for a loan to buy a single measly car, let alone keep an entire auto industry afloat. So yeah, without the federal loans the two companies would have gone out of business.

And what difference does it make where ads were filmed? “Friends” was based in New York, but was shot in Los Angeles. Does that mean the show is a fraud? Is the message of the commercial any less powerful? Besides, it’s not really a car ad, it’s more of a rallying call for America put out by a car company that three years ago was facing extinction. It wasn’t about selling cars at all.

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avatar OB law(yer) February 7, 2012 at 2:48 pm

Wow….MR. RB has not only been to Detroit…but also to Beirut? Quite the world traveler.

And he has honor students in PLHS, and he cleans up the beaches, and he has all this time to post links and opinions that are ALWAYS pro-GOP. on a site that caters to progressives… hmmmmmmm.

RB might be able to hide day-to-day from the casual reader of the Rag…but to those of us who come on a regular basis…we all know him for exactly what he is….

A paid hand for the GOP info management team.

GREAT ARTICLE ANDY! You hit it out of the park. The GOP, the corporations, and even RB ….. would LOVE for the economy to be tanking, the unemployment to be rising and for oil to be pumping from Canada…. So they can get back to the way of life defined by protecting the rich, enslaving the middle-class and proselytizing ‘trickle down’ economics while forever ignoring a National Energy Policy because too many fossil fuel based FAT CAT GOP folks would stand to lose some money on that kind of crazy change!

It’s much cheaper to continue our current way of government of going broke while subsidizing gasoline prices by ‘keeping the peace’ in the middle east while spending trillions on ‘National Defense’ – which is technically not subsidizing energy….somehow. And even though we proved no presence of WMD in Iraq…We still needed to stay there over a decade to ensure that RB and the GOP can still fill up his SUV for cheap. Does Mitt drive an SUV? Doesn’t matter… he could buy Detroit next year after he loses!

See below…. RB is even a stock trader as well….. So versed Mr. RB….. so versed!

Can’t wait to see all of the republicans crying after Obama hands it to them this fall. Maybe even RB will go find some other site to troll around after that. :)

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avatar RB February 7, 2012 at 5:09 pm

You seem to have a very narrow view of who is a Democrat and who is a part of the GOP. You probable missed a few history lessons. Kennedy was a Democrat who knew taxes should be lowered to jump start the economy. Roosevelt was against the public employee unions. Clinton cut spending to control the budget. Truman had the spunk to the end the war with two very big blasts. And I have to wonder what Dick Daley, a Democrat, would due to the Occupy movement. Not all Democrats are like the many socialist who run the party in bankrupt California.

Just a fiscally conservative, blue dog, hybrid driver.

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avatar john February 7, 2012 at 7:17 pm

What do you drive, OB lawyer?

I put more miles on my bicycle in the last five years than I did in my “SUV”- (a wannabe, a lowly Honda Passport/Isuzu Rodeo I got ridiculously cheap from a friend, by choice I’d have a sporty compact) maybe I should start randomly dropping that bomb in discussions here and cash in on its implied street cred?

Accusing someone of being paid by a national political party to oppose your opinion merely because they do so is self discrediting, and along the lines of 9 /11 WTC controlled demolition conspiracy theorists, who tell people who direct them to basic laws of physics they must be paid by the Bush/Cheney evil cabal to suppress the truth only they know, from getting out.

Who knows maybe you’re a “twoofer” too? In any case trying to drive away opposing views from forums will only result in your own level of knowledge plummeting. That is a fact that should be obvious to anyone, regardless of political affiliation. If their views are so out of touch you should enjoy easily embarrassing them.

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avatar OB law(yer) February 7, 2012 at 11:18 pm

If the shoe fits?

I don’t hear MR Blue Dog up there denying it – john.

Just like bullies on a playground….they tend to swarm when someone stands up to their ‘status’.

Blogs are ruled by those who post regularly. And policed by them as well… if you don’t want to be called out as a troll….don’t exhibit troll behavior.

I enjoy calling out obvious political consultants on their taunting and teasing like a bunch of hacks… Rarely making any real points and just trying to evoke anger, fear and confusion from the real issues. RB does it on such a regular basis that he either has no job at all…or he is paid to do so… I’ll let the regulars decide.

I welcome the presence of an opposing view…but its rarely there from the hacks like RB…Scaring people and spreading misinformation is not discourse – Its terrorism…in such a form. Designed to create red herrings and such away from the real points presented for discussion.

No….I don’t believe that 911 was a conspiracy… but I’m on the fence about the tooth fairy. See….speaking to you is making me dumber… Your hangin’ wit the GOP blog mechanics inverse intelligence theory is not proven. And I don’t care what you drive.

Andy’s article hits home and really brought out the ‘regulars’…. Way to go Andy…keep it up!

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avatar john February 8, 2012 at 3:20 am

“Rarely making any real points and just trying to evoke anger, fear and confusion from the real issues. ”

That’s a peculiar point to stand on, since the post above you replied to was nothing BUT salient, relevant talking points he even supported with links.

In fact I have to ask, are you sure you aren’t critically describing your own reply above by mistake?

Taunting, teasing, red herrings, evoking anger, fear and confusion… yep, it’s all there.

You’re free to disagree of course, but I’m just a “regular” “policing” the blog.

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avatar OB law(yer) February 8, 2012 at 6:57 am

Here you go…. my points are clear….since clearly you missed it.

GREAT ARTICLE ANDY! You hit it out of the park. The GOP, the corporations, and even RB ….. would LOVE for the economy to be tanking, the unemployment to be rising and for oil to be pumping from Canada…. So they can get back to the way of life defined by protecting the rich, enslaving the middle-class and proselytizing ‘trickle down’ economics while forever ignoring a National Energy Policy because too many fossil fuel based FAT CAT GOP folks would stand to lose some money on that kind of crazy change!

Posting gibberish on EVERY single comment doesn’t necessarily make you a regular. Take a hike john….I know you – and what you stand for. You are a neighbor and I recognize that. We disagree on numerous issues…that is fine.

RB is a hired gun. ….and a troll. and that’s not fine.

My posting history speaks for itself. Never about fear, confusion or evoking emotion to convince people my point is correct.

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avatar john February 8, 2012 at 4:55 pm

Well maybe I missed those “points” because most of them were silly? I can agree the individuals in the GOP one can label as “fat cats” are greedy and care little for the common man, but they are by numbers hardly anything close to the majority. Many Republicans I know (I’m independent) have other reasons for voting that way that aren’t as naive or evil as the reasons you’d probably think of.
Back to “silly” well what jumped out at me was this idea of our greedy profit hungry fat cats wanting our economy to tank, unemployment to rise, etc… no I’m pretty sure they’re most satisfied with runaway growth and jobs for all, unemployment does require contributions from the companies who lay them off…
As for an energy policy well that is a universal bipartisan refusal that’s related to the reason sunny San Diego has an appalling lack of bike lanes and bicycle infrastructure in general.
Gas pump taxes provide enormous revenue to government entities at all levels- local, state, you name it. They may talk about reducing fossil fuels use, but I doubt they really want to reduce such a significant revenue source.
Finally for you and I, well we may have a lot more common ground than you’d think- remember we’ve only argued about things we disagree with- hope that makes sense.

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avatar OB law(yer) February 9, 2012 at 10:46 am

Agreed….to disagree… I think….

Anyway….what can’t be denied is that RB is long gone from this thread and has never flatly denied my point….which is that he is not neighbor…not of our community and not expanding the discourse by his comments.

I’m not calling for the Rag to reverse its policy on anonymous posting….as clearly I benefit from being anon b/c I may have potential clients on either side of a future issue. Yes…I know…I’m a slimy lawyer for hire…but that is the biz.

But it would be foolish for us to NOT believe that there posters among us only here to incite discontent and to further an agenda. And that agenda involves NOT solving problems sometimes if it benefits their party the most.

As an independent myself, I reserve the right to vote for the candidate who I feel will BEST represent my sentiments in office once elected…however, it is almost too common that the duly elected immediately feel obligated to the ‘party’ once in the position because they want the support for a second term.

I call on us as citizens to continue to support grassroots candidates who chose to avoid money/support from the parties and the PACs or SuperPACs (or MegaPACs)….. because if we chose those persons to represent us…. we will then have a better representation of our government. One that both ultra right and ultra left can somewhat agree. Partison politics of absolutes doesn’t always work. We need other options and people that will represent those options once elected….not just run for the support and money of the party.

See you around da’ hood john.

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avatar RB February 9, 2012 at 11:21 am

Neighbor?…I have no idea were you live. If and when you are following the next ambulance through OB, get in the line at Hodad’s before 11:00am, don’t park on Newport on Wednesday afternoon during the Farmers Market, and get your pitcher of beer at half price at Sunshine or Tony’s during happy hour.

You assume much more than you know.

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avatar OB law(yer) February 9, 2012 at 2:19 pm

oh….you make it tooo easy RB.

Ambu’s don’t come to OB….fire trucks are the first responders…follow them if you must. But not down Ebers sir…unless you want to look like Starsky and Hutch.

Locals don’t eat inside Hodad’s….call ahead son…pick it up if you need a dose of cholesterol. Don’t forget a shake….it is from real ice cream and IMHO better than Lighthouse. And don’t try to pick at that quarter that is glued to the counter…you ain’t getting it up…sucka.

Who drives to the Farmer’s Market????? How far away DO you live??? And actually, if you are dropping by on Wed….parking on Newport turns over pretty quick…it isn’t hard to get a spot there but it is much more likely behind Stephen’s cleaners…and they don’t ticket there — just act like you are sick and visiting the doctor. OR….park over by Adrian’s flower stand and buy your flowers from him…he will make sure you don’t get a ticket.

Do you honestly live so far away you have to drive to Newport? Get a bike. Bernies….. Roger will sell you one…cheap…and then maintenance it almost for free if something breaks. Get a basket…you might want to put some fresh sage in there and kettle corn that you bought at the FM. Don’t forget to swing by the cart by the Strand and say hi to Claudia.

Yes….even John Smalls has to sell beer, but not hard to know that Sunshine has half-price pitchers. They also have them on Thursday evening for the dodgeball folks to drink if you wear your Vavi shirt….get one online and drink up without ever getting pegged in the butt with a red ball.

Hey man….Free Beer Tomorrow…. @ Cheswicks… You should drop by.

Nobody is assuming around here….you ain’t no Local…just a paid mechanic to come around here and drop GOP/Tea Party gibberish around to stink up the place.

Doesn’t the Lincoln Club have a chat room or a myspace page you would be more comfortable on?

RB outta OB!

avatar john February 16, 2012 at 4:46 am

I think it’s possible you are discounting the human tendancy to be argumentive with others. I can’t say what his motivation is but many people love to argue and nobody needs to pay them to do so. I am often guilty of this myself but for the record I supported the bailout of GM and Chrysler, and was merely arguing against partisanship. I think the whole message of the commercial was thus lost on folks on both sides.
Funny I’ve lived around here so long I remember the best burger in town was at Hodad’s… on VOLTAIRE St. Been on the same war zone block now since around ’94, if the OBPB loses their efforts to halt or slim down the Burks project I’m going to be the meat in a McMansion sandwich!

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avatar RB February 9, 2012 at 12:46 pm

OT; John as for bike riding, there is a map of all the SD bike paths (I got a copy during a bike to work day). Also,there are routes (tricks) I use on a bike that help a lot. There is a poorly know but safe street, Backman, that runs from Hotel Circle to Hillcrest. There is a path on the north end of Mission Bay by the fence of the golf course that leads to a Rose Creek path and good travel north. When going through Liberty Station on a bike you can go over the small bridge by the USS Recruit and go under Habor Drive and to the bike paths through the parks on the bay and next to the airport.

IMO, We have plenty of talk about the environment but very few butts in the saddle.

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avatar john February 14, 2012 at 11:31 am

I bet George W. Bush paid you to post this! Didn’t I see him riding a bicycle with Lance Armstrong a few years ago?
LOL, I’m going to look up that map book online. Some years ago I ran afoul of the good folks at the County Child Support Enforcement agency (not a deadbeat dad but the ex took the kid and moved to Washington for open ended AFDC, leaving me with open ended collections on this end while she defrauded welfare living with some guy) and had my driver’s license yanked for a couple of years and I used a bicycle for about 95% of my transportation needs. So many things had to change, one standard became the carry baskets at the market- anything above the edge doesn’t fit in my expandable backpack. Of course I can drive now but for short trips I don’t even consider taking the car. Now if they would only put a “push button to cross” button at the TOP of the hill on each side of W. Pt. Loma Blvd where it crosses Nimitz for after hours when there’s no traffic to trip the lights, so you don’t have to stop at the bottom… we’d be getting somewhere.
(I refuse to run red lights, nothing breeds contempt from drivers like that one)

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avatar JEC February 7, 2012 at 9:43 am

RB – r u a fan of the NFL? I’m not, but consider Detroit’s rather new stadium compared to San Diego’s. Many are unable see a future in only a snapshot of the present. Detroit, like everything, has and will continue to change.

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avatar rick trujillo February 7, 2012 at 10:43 am

Again and again, the OBRag offers the most important component to democratic civil discourse…A unique modern/old version of the soapbox, captured in wonderful photos now on display at the Centro Cultural de la Raza, circa 1912. The new soapbox ( platform ) as well as the physical space in some locals, are also under attack in, pick your fantasy, guise, to, ready for this, defend freedom.
Forget the cynicism, this is real and very serious. I’m talking, key tapping, sending, reading dialogue full of good thoughts and many clean ideas contained in the comments. That not only stimulates the grey matter but enlightens as well. I have learned so much from this.
About Detroit, I’m not sure we need another combustion driven vehicle (personal use) built, starting (imagine the discussion?), let’s say within 3-4 years ( plus conversion time and plan). Why even argue or debate the technology—electric cars?Doesn’t it seem fair to say the life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness has always had a ball and chain attached to justify, here’s just one example, manhood. In this case nothing to do with relevant issues facing society (wasted energy and attendant pollution from factory to roads and beyond)–just super-bowl, beer and gas guzzling, manhood.
Jobs, whether here or there are, at base, a matter of cooperation for the common good throughout the planet—tractors for all the farm-workers and farmers.
A note on Clint and our Italian friends who literally saved american westerns, ubiquitous as cop shows today. Remember Roy & Dale, Tom Mix, and Gene Autry and Hoppalong Cassidy, the lone Ranger and Tonto and of course………..Ponderosa, all the psychological, fake history and cover for Manifest Destiny? Chicano’s (now spelled xican@s) remember, quit well. The Raza land grant fighters of Northern New Mexico will never give up that fight (for their confiscated land cira 1846) along with the new danger to our (all of us who love enchiladas) New Mexico Chili’s, Monsanto. From chili to cars, some institutions need to end, some don’t.

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avatar john February 7, 2012 at 8:15 pm

Interesting commentary on the contradictory nature of political correctness and moral dilemmas.
Perhaps it’s even more troubling to mention without the spread of European culture we’d not have the written word to be able to review these historical events or be discussing them in the first place? Unless one believes a civilization can build upon the achievements and avoid the mistakes of previous generations through cave paintings and campfire stories by old men told to young braves, that is.
There is rarely a solid line between right and wrong. Like those hybrid cars, where do the batteries go when they are spent? The vehicle is far more complex, taking more man hours and factory energy to produce than a simple economy car and as they age become prohibitively costly to maintain and go to a landfill (since an eonomy car is only desirable when it’s economical to drive, not being sporty, luxurious or stylish) while a simple econobox takes junior to college or provides viable personal transport for many years by the oppressed masses in ghettos and barrios.
If you really think things through, like the idea of romanticizing a manufactured historical accounting of people who after 10,000 years had never bothered to utilize the written word to advance, dilemmas abound.
I wasn’t sure what to make of this controversy with some people of Mexican ancestry saying portions of the southwest US were wrongfully taken hundreds of years ago by European settlers and the language that should be spoken in this fantasy nation-state should be Spanish. Perhaps their geography education failed them and placed Spain on another continent?
I believe the sentiment revolves around the belief that if my ancestors had had things better long ago, my own lot in life would have been better out the gate. Is the victim card more valuable than the liability of the color of ones’ skin being a supposed guarantee of success and wealth? (my own mother left me at the hospital in the pre-Rowe v. Wade era, to be raised by the county social services and a succession of adoption, ward of the county and foster homes, puzzled at being told the minority kids I lived with were disadvantaged when it was us white kids who couldn’t run fast enough through the gang infested areas we lived in to avoid getting beat up)
This is why it is better to instead of look at the past and find ways to label and constrain ourselves by damning the perceived wrongs done to our ancestors, we should build a future where those who live in it cannot find similar things to damn us and hinder their own progress.

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avatar RB February 7, 2012 at 12:22 pm

I am a NFL fan. Your are right about looking towards the future and the stadium in Detroit is named Ford Stadium. The average age of cars on the road is over ten years. Interest rates on auto purchases are very low (less than 3%). I see a future for Ford Motors stock 50% higher than the current value.

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avatar Lois February 7, 2012 at 2:02 pm

I have to say I love my Rangers. My first one was stolen before I got the alarm put in. Had it two years, nothing but regular maintenance and a battery replacement. But my present one is a 6-3 2011. Only have had to replace some original parts.

As far as who I am going to vote for President, that scares me.

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avatar Lois February 7, 2012 at 2:05 pm

As far as Limbaugh, he should get in line with the other lemmings and jump off a cliff with them.

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avatar Shane Finneran February 7, 2012 at 11:30 am

Interesting that Obama was able to succeed on saving Detroit, despite the GOP opposition and despite 60% of Americans being against the idea. Because for 3 years now, I’ve heard Democrats make excuses for Obama’s failure to deliver on other causes that the GOP opposed but A MAJORITY OF AMERICANS SUPPORT.

So now I’m wondering why was it possible to save Detroit but impossible to deliver these:
-single-payer health care
-public option in health care
-not extending Bush tax cuts for millionaires
-less Gulf drilling, not more Gulf drilling
-more environmental protections
-strengthening of consumer-protection regulations
-bolstering of programs that protect the sick and/or elderly

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avatar Andy Cohen February 7, 2012 at 11:36 am

C’mon, Shane……..you know it’s not that simple. Authorizing loans to the auto industry did not take an act of Congress. He could simply direct the Treasury to work it out. That was within his power as President. The rest……..well, it DOES take an act of Congress. And we all saw just how cooperative Congress was during the healthcare fight……..INCLUDING some Democrats.

Sometimes you just gotta play the cards you’ve been dealt. And he wasn’t dealt a very strong hand.

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avatar Shane Finneran February 7, 2012 at 2:17 pm

Thank you for pointing out it was Treasury move and not act of Congress – I hadn’t realized that.

Still, I tend to think the reason some of that other stuff was pursued by Obama was because there is big money that doesn’t want it pursued. Whereas there was probably more big money in favor of the auto industry bailouts (just like Wall Street bailouts).

As for Obama not being dealt a strong hand… dude came in with the Democrats with solid majorities in both houses of Congress, with public opinion of the GOP devastated by eight years of Bush. To me, pretty strong…

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avatar Shane Finneran February 7, 2012 at 2:18 pm

*other stuff WASN’T pursued*

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avatar john February 10, 2012 at 2:28 am

If you look at the “top 25 censored news stories of 1977” you’ll see one is “Jimmy Carter’s Trilateral Group White House”, with his National Security Advisor and Trilateral Commission co-founder Zbigniew Brzezninski heading the cabal. When Reagan went to the GOP convention in 1980 he had Gerald Ford in mind for a running mate. While he was overwhelmingly given the nomination, a lesser known man was given the VP slot against Reagan’s wishes, that was George H.W. Bush. After Reagan was sworn in, his cabinet filled with men Reagan had never been seen to have any connection with- who happened to be Trilateral group members.
(if you didn’t know, the Trilateral commission was founded in 1973 to be the public front of David Rockefeller’s Council on Foreign Relations, when the CFR was coming under heavy criticism)
While people allude to Reagan arming the mujahadeen the reality is that was all Brzezninski’s policy, through the CIA and other fronts from $3 to $20 billion in arms were given to Muslim militants.
Now fast forward to 2010: Top 25 censored news stories:
http://www.projectcensored.org/top-stories/articles/22-obamas-trilateral-commission-team/
If anyone held any illusions about hope and change, this should have buried it once and for all. (I voted for him by default, what else, pick McCain-Palin? Yeah right)
Here’s the clincher: Brzezninski was purportedly on Obama’s staff early on in the campaign as a foreign policy advisor!
Every sitting President and CIA head since the ’70s has been a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.

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avatar Lois February 7, 2012 at 2:13 pm

Excellent post. After all, aren’t these all the things Occupy is fighting for?

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avatar john February 7, 2012 at 5:41 pm

I’d like to suggest this article be renamed “partisan toolery, round 1!”
The commercial was not, in my mind, political in nature. Yet apparantly Karl Rove t found something in it to use, and Andy Cohen something in what he said to use, and RB something in what he said to use, and Doug Porter something in what he said to use, and so on, and so on…. and when it’s all over you wonder if Clint and Chrysler could have found a better way to spend the money wasted on an ad whose message was merely encouraging us to all pull together. If you people, from Karl to Doug and everyone in between can’t watch a 2 minute commercial and get right its core message, don’t insult our intelligence telling us what to do in politics.
Partisanship is going to be the downfall of this nation, not “the other side”, which everyone who is engaged in it wants to blame.

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avatar Andy Cohen February 7, 2012 at 6:18 pm

John: The ad was never intended to become political fodder, and it might not have had GOP figures such as Michelle Malkin not immediately taken to the Twitterverse to moan about it, complaining that it was a pro-Obama campaign ad. It might not have become politicized had Karl Rove not rushed over to Fox News to tell the world how “offended” he was that Chrysler had the gall to paint an encouraging picture of the future of America and its auto industry; had GOP politician after GOP pundit not lined up one after another to accuse Eastwood and the car maker of partisanship.

As liberals and Democrats we have a duty to respond. Had the GOP mouthpieces had a different reaction, I would never have had to write this piece. I could have and would have acknowledged the ad for what it is: An excellent, inspirational reminder of what and who this country is. That was the point of the ad. But the GOP made it into something else. And if we don’t respond, then they control the narrative and turn it into something it’s not. If we allow them to control the narrative, then they control public opinion and have greater leverage to push their agenda.

The problem with Democrats too often is that we DON’T push back. Not hard enough. The Republicans have mastered the art of using the media to their advantage while at the same time vilifying it and us. And had we merely sat back and poo-pooed their response as nonsense and admired the ad, it makes our argument look small and weak. Too often when they lie and distort the facts, we don’t fight back. And when we don’t fight back, they win. And when they win, the entire country loses.

We had no choice but to respond to make them look like the petty whiners they are. They are openly hoping for this country to fail so that they can regain power. They are actively undermining this economy. And if we don’t respond, they will succeed.

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avatar john February 7, 2012 at 6:46 pm

Well I acknowledge this by opening that Karl Rove had used it for politics, but portraying the GOP as the people whose platform is intentional failure is just more partisanship:
Does “anybody but Bush” ring a bell? The entire campaign of Kerry/Edwards 2004 revolved around portraying both the Iraq war and the US economy in such a dismal light that Americans would have no choice but to vote for Kerry out of sheer desperation.
In the end I’m commenting on the scope of the discussion I’m seeing before me. Perhaps it would be “equal time” if I were providing such harsh criticism in a column by Rush Limbaugh, or other right wing pundits.
But then why would I be reading such tripe in the first place?

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avatar rick trujillo February 7, 2012 at 9:57 pm

Damn, I love this commentary reply thing, and a whole bunch of folks I know, are really enjoying it too.
Not about the super bowl or Detroit, well, maybe their is a connection depending on who writes the history. Anyway, a bit of a response. We all can find out about a genuine blessing to humanity–she passed far too young–she held the Art History Chair, University of Texas at Austin…her name was Linda Schele, besides debunking, decades of eurothought on Mayans, she is/was the central artist/archeologist/historian/pre-Columbian expert, epigrapher, linguist that organized the team that enables us to now translate about 85% of Mayan Hieroglyphics…..this web sight FAMSI is just fascinating and packed with science. Please at your leisure check it out. One can even find out their or their kids birthday in the written Mayan language and writing system of so long ago. As I recall, a very educated Bishop named Landau organized the theft and burning of thousands of books the “ignorant savages”
created over centuries (remember Alexandria? so much knowledge perished in flames)) —we (the world) have just four remaining Mayan texts, one, each, in Dresden, Paris and Madrid…Richard Feyman ( a physicist who worked on the bomb) was hooked on one of these codicies and eventually figured out how these “primitives” could predict eclipses, follow the Sun and Moon and fool around with “higher” mathematics. One word, corn. Now in the news with other crops the Mayans hybridized (to feed the world) and now under the scrutiny of Monsanto and their ever so literate, scholarly,scientific ….ahhhhhhh…lost for words…….just how would people describe this lot? Follow the Chili, Berstein and Woodard. Follow the Chili. Can’t have a super bowl without chili.

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avatar Ross Aimer February 7, 2012 at 11:02 pm

If the 99% of this great country cannot see the “Con-serve-a-thieve” Republicans for what they really are we are in deep trouble. These bastards hate everything about the working middle class. Even when they succeed to “pull themselves up by their own boot straps!” As Chrysler and its workforce managed to do despite great odds against them.

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