Sunday, December 14, 2008

Bad PR Day for Chris Dodd

This was not a good weekend for publicity for Chris Dodd. After failing (thankfully) to stuff his next bailout down the throats of Americans who don't want it (despite having the Republican votes to pass it, by the way), Kevin Rennie had an editorial in the Hartford Courant.
If the auto companies needed only three months to figure out how to make cars consumers want to buy, my guess is they would have dazzled us with it by now. Especially interesting for consumers would be the section on how to reach the resale values of comparably priced Hondas and Toyotas. The bailout collapsed on Thursday night when the UAW refused to reach wage parity with foreign automakers' U.S. workers before 2011. Twelve senators didn't show up to vote, so maybe this isn't an emergency.
There was also an article in The Day and a letter to the editor in the Stamford Advocate. These articles made it to the big leagues of the blogosphere at Instapundit here and here. Glenn Reynolds also linked to an open letter to the Senator, which included this:

Speaking of expensive clothes, I'm noticed that you were in such a hurry to give $700 billion to the Wall Street guys that you didn't ask any of them to step down.

But really, no one would expect you to make that demand of your friends. I mean, you are a "Friend of Angelo," which means you got low-interest, no-points loans for a $500,000 refinancing on your Washington, D.C., townhouse and a $250,000 refinancing on your Connecticut home.

The cheap loans came from Countrywide, and some sticklers think that was a violation of federal law. But you said you got the good deals because you were a good client and not because you are chairman of the Senate Banking Committee.

And this:

In all fairness, though, I think you might want to hold yourself to the same standard that you apply to Wagoner. Seeing as how the federal deficit is at an all-time high and that has happened on your watch.

After all, you are the longest-serving Connecticut senator in history. I realize that's kind of like being the winningest Detroit Lions football coach, but still, it's something to hang your hat on. (Although I don't know why you would wear a hat and cover up that great haircut.)

Back to my point. It seems to me that our income taxes are really a form of loan so that the government can continue to spend more money than it takes in. If Wagoner has to step down before you will loan money to the American auto industry, shouldn't you step down before Americans have to give the federal government another loan that will never be paid back?

The letter is a little petty in places, and I don't really care who Senator Dodd dated. But it is interesting to note that Dodd gave away $700 billion to his friends, the bosses at the mortgage companies, without requiring any heads to roll. Now he wants to give away a fraction of that, and he is going to decide who stays and goes.

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