This morning I watched the Clint Eastwood Obama/Chrysler Bailout infomercial run during last night's Super Bowl. I was horrified. After a lifetime of conservative politics and active participation in Republican policies and elections, Clint is now shilling for President Obama in a campaign year, and using his considerable filmmaking skills and iconic voice to convince America that the current administration deserves another "half" in which to do more "rescuing" like the Chrysler bailout.
It is that bailout message that sickened me. The portrayal of the bailout as some sort of national rally to rescue Detroit from a knockout financial blow was artful deception in devious form. Most of us don't remember it that way. There was no charity drive politely asking us to willingly donate to the Chrysler charity fund. No one came to my door soliciting charitable donations to rescue our suffering "neighbors" in Motown.
No, the Government took our tax money and invested it in two car makers that most of us would not choose to invest in because they were failures. Most of us would not willingly invest in car companies that make inferior products and then, not surprisingly, teeter on bankruptcy because of those inferior products and the financial strangulation of labor unions who make them. Yet we all "rallied together" to save Chrysler? Rallies require willing participants. Taking our tax money and propping up companies that deserve to fail in a competitive market is forced investment, not a touching rescue effort. Clint, you helped make an Obama campaign propaganda ad. How do you sleep at night?
Meanwhile, better-run American car companies, like Ford, that make higher quality products (see www.consumerreports.com) WITHOUT begging for taxpayer bailouts, are at a competitive disadvantage, paying for their own Super Bowl ads and investing their own capital into their product development and labor costs. I watched Clint trying to sell the idea that the bailout was a good thing for Detroit and for me as a taxayer, and I was not buying it. No one should. I was severely disappointed that a Republican would support an Obama infomercial. Not even Clint will ever convince me to buy from any company that needed taxpayer bailouts to avoid collapse and bankruptcy.