Will Dubya save his party?

It seems really odd to write those words, given how much damage he's done to the Republican brand in the last 8 years, but the news that both President Bush and VP Dick Cheney are ready to tap the TARP to bail out the Big 3 makes me think that they're actually seeing somewhat clearly at this point in time. One small nit to pick with King George the Lesser's statement--Congress didn't fail to act. Your party obstructed the deal, and you're having to save them from themselves, which again, is really odd to type.

Why am I saying that this would be so damaging to Republicans? Here's one reason--a map of every domestic auto manufacturing site (via Hestika). That's not just Michigan--that's the entire midwest, including some states that are both reliably red and mostly red. Republicans are in the minority everywhere but the south right now, and it's no surprise that the Senators leading the charge against the bailout are from the south--Shelby is from Alabama and Corker is from Tennessee--but if they kill the domestic auto industry, they won't win in the Midwest for a generation. Bush, never a great thinker but a pretty good campaigner, must get that. Plus, he already knows his legacy is bad and figures that if the Big 3 go down in his waning days, it'll never be salvaged.

As I've said in the past, I'm pretty utilitarian on this--I'm not all that concerned who gets the credit, as long as the industry is kept afloat, at least until the economy turns around, and if that means giving Bush some credit, then I can swallow my pride and do it.

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