Briar Patch?
By: Mark W Adams

There's a theory/rumor/piece of wishful thinking floating 'round Blogtopia (yeah, Skippy, whatever) that faced with the not unlikely thousand point cliff-dive the DOW might take on the news of the collapse of the Detroit auto-makers loan, Bush will tap into the TARP and throw cash at GM, Ford and Dan Quayle, *with no more oversight than AIG got* in order to save Wall Street from imploding, and bringing along both Main Street and what's left of Telegraph Road along with it.

Bank bailout funds could be used for Detroit
Sources: White House warning GOP senators Wall Street bailout funds might be used for automakers now that auto loan package has failed.

As part of their full-court press to urge skeptical Republicans to back it, [Bush officials] made clear that if Congress didn't act, the White House would have to step in to save Detroit from collapse with funds from the $700 billion Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP), according to the sources familiar with the conversations.

"I would only hope that the president, who has worked so well with us for the past several weeks, would now use consider using the TARP money," said Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., after the vote.

One of the sources said the a White House official made clear to a GOP Senator that would be the worst option, because the loan could go to the auto companies with few or no requirements along with it.

Democrats had pressed the White House from the start to help Detroit by using some of the $700 billion for the financial sector, but the White House had refused.
At this stage, I'm not going to get my hopes up that Bush is capable of doing the right thing. It makes me laugh just to write those words. If that petulant little prick can figure out a way to spin this thing, he'll let the American auto industry simply die.

Hell, he's killed more people than will lose their jobs and homes if the big two-and-a-half fail. Why should he care if folks are just broke? I can't believe that he would let his last act be remembered as giving the Democrats and a union exactly what they want. Digby isn't holding her breath either.

If this really was the message that Cheney brought to Capitol Hill, that unless they went along with the program Bush's hand would be forced and he'd have to save Detroit with TARP funds, it backfired in a completely predictable way. It gives the GOP Senators an out.

See, they get to further distance themselves from Bush (always a good thing), and act the pigheaded louts their inbred constituency loves them for -- knowing that the dreaded consequences of their intransience will never occur. They don't get blamed for the manufacturing collapse fortold if they scuttle the bridge loan because they know it will never happen. The rest was just theater, waiting to see if Harry Ried calls their bluff or blinks, further humiliating the workers who've already bent over backwards.

With the TARP in play, the execs get to keep their ridiculous salaries and golden parachutes (if they can do it and still look in the mirror) just like AIG and Citibank, there won't be any car czar, nobody will be forced to retool unless they want to, and they can keep their stupid jets. Meanwhile, BushCo gets to play the reluctant hero, placing the blame for any further trouble the comparative pittance he'll throw Detroit's way doesn't cure squarely on the next administration.