[I]t’s pretty aggravating to see these Dixie conservatives who obviously have a parochial stake in letting the Michigan-based firms die off popping up all across the media without the coverage even reflecting that fact. Whenever you see Carl Levin or Debbie Stabenow on television or quoted in the papers, it’s made clear that their views aren’t just stuff they thought up one afternoon — they’re trying to represent the interests of their constituents. But people need to understand that Bob Corker and Richard Shelby and Mitch McConnell all have equal and opposite parochial interests pushed in the other direction — if Detroit folds, then that’s way more market share for Japanese-owned, non-union factories in their home states.
I suspect this makes the difference between the bank bailout and the automakers bailout. It also helps us understand why Richard Shelby said "this is your problem, not our problem", he thinks that the Big Three's problem are his good-fortunes. Foolish. If the Big Three go down, the entire national economy suffers.