By Mr. Curmudgeon:
It was slick, stylish, appealed to Hollywood’s elite and was considered essential to building a sustainable American economy. I’m not talking about President Obama. I’m talking about Fisker Automotive –manufacturer of trendy electric cars. 75 percent of its workforce, boxed belongings in hand, streamed out of the company’s Anaheim, California, offices after layoffs were announced last Friday. Spokesmen for the company had no comment … they were laid off as well. Next to the bankrupt solar-panel maker Solyndra, Fisker is the most expensive, high-profile Obama green-initiative letdown – a 529 million dollar taxpayer letdown. This should come as no surprise.
The Government Accounting Office (GAO) was less than pleased with the Department of Energy’s due diligence in its handling of “advanced technology” green loans. “Principles of good governance,” said the GAO report, “call for performance measures tied to goals as a means of assessing the extent to which goals have been achieved.” The goals were simple: 1.) Increase the fuel efficiency of American passenger vehicles; 2.) Funding should re-equip or establish new facilities in the U.S. for manufacturing said fuel-efficient passenger vehicles.
Meeting requirement three, mandated by law, proved problematic for Obama’s Energy Department: “Protect taxpayers’ financial interests” by insuring loans were made to “financially viable borrowers.” It was a nice thought. And that’s the point. The law is never an obstacle to the ambitions of a few over the many. Al Capone ignored the Volstead Act, which prohibited the sale of alcoholic beverages in the United States. But to Al’s credit, he provided his customers a product they wanted … at a reasonable price. Fitzer Automotive provided the public sporty, $97,000 electric cars that only a few (Leonardo DiCaprio and Justin Bieber) could afford – at the expense of the many … the abused American taxpayer.
What, then, explains the Obama Administration’s haste in granting Fisker Automotive a half-billion dollar loan? Money and influence. According to the Hoover Institution’s Peter Schweizer, “The grant and guaranteed-loan recipients were early backers of Obama … people who continued to give to his campaigns and exclusively to the Democratic Party … Their political largesse is probably the best investment they ever made in alternative energy. It brought them returns many times over.”
Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, a Silicon Valley venture-capital firm, of which John Doerr is a senior partner, was a major and early investor in Fisker. According to the Center for Responsible Politics, the year 2011 saw Doerr invest $30,800 in the Democratic National Committee, $30,800 in the Democratic Senatorial Campaign and made the maximum personal contribution to a presidential candidate allowed by law – $2,500 to re-elect President Barack Obama. He also served on Obama’s Council on Jobs and Competitiveness.
John Doerr is a Republican.
Back in 1996, Doerr co-founded the California Technology Alliance, which raises “$2 million a year to spend on candidates, key ballot measures and to lobby on issues as a ‘permanent political entity on behalf of the [high-tech] industry,’” the San Francisco Chronicle reported. Oh, before I forget, former Vice President Al Gore is also a senior partner at Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers.
While we’re on the subject of vice presidents, the affable dunce Joe Biden was downright giddy when in October of 2009 he announced the opening of Fisker’s Wilmington, Delaware, automotive plant. “While some wanted to write off America’s auto industry, we said no. We knew that we needed to do something different – in Delaware and all across the nation,” said Biden, “We understood a new chapter had to be written, a new chapter in which we strengthen American manufacturing by investing in innovation. Thanks to the real commitment by this Administration, loans from the Department of Energy, the creativity of U.S. companies and the tenacity of great state partners like Delaware – we’re on our way to helping America’s auto industry reclaim its top position in the global market.”
Biden and Fisker Automotive had plenty of “state partners” in Delaware. “Senator Debbie Stabenow, a Michigan Democrat who helped create the vehicle loan program, and … Delaware Republican Representative Mike Castle wrote letters in 2009 to the Energy Department to support Fisker’s loan application,” reported Bloomberg Businessweek. You may recall that Mike Castle was defeated the following year in Delaware’s Republican Senate primary by Tea Party candidate Christine O’Donnell.
“Mr. Castle, a moderate who served two terms as [Delaware’s] governor and had been reliably winning elections for the last four decades, became the latest establishment Republican casualty,” said the New York Times in 2010, “Republican leaders, who had actively opposed Ms. O’Donnell, said the outcome complicated the party’s chances of winning control of the Senate.”
“If those same people who fought against me work just as hard for me, we will win,” said O’Donnell in her victory speech. They, establishment Republicans, did not … and she lost.
And now, the moral of this twisted tale …
For far too long, the Tea Party has focused much of its ire on the person of Barack Hussein Obama. Whether it’s the debt ceiling, high taxes, expanding federal power or sweetheart deals showered on crony capitalists, establishment Republicans have been Obama’s ever loyal and constant companions. These same Republicans were furious when Mike Castle lost to Christine O’Donnell in 2010, denying them a possible majority in the Senate.
Castle’s good friend and Fox News political analyst Karl Rove had kittens the night of O’Donnell’s victory. “I’ve met her,” said Rove to Fox host Sean Hannity, “I wasn’t frankly impressed by her abilities as a candidate. One thing that O’Donnell is now going to have to answer in the general election that she didn’t in the primary is her own checkered background.”
By all means, let’s examine the issue of checkered backgrounds. Republicans had majorities in both houses of Congress from 1994 through 2006. Did they use that majority to stop the explosive growth of government? No. Was the strength of their majority employed to stop the Government-Sponsored Enterprises Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae from infecting the global financial system with tainted mortgage-backed securities? No. Did they at any time attempt to reign in the Federal Reserve’s dangerous credit expansion that fueled America’s unsustainable housing bubble? No. The reason? Republicans like Mike Castle.
Castle happily wrote letters to Obama’s spendthrift Department of Energy to bring Delaware some green-energy bacon. He didn’t care that the underlying purpose of the enterprise was to reward Obama’s fundraisers at the taxpayer’s expense.
As the battle lines begin to form heading into the 2014 midterm elections, I want you to think of establishment Republicans as used electric car salesmen. They’ll smile, take you for a test drive, tell you to kick the tires and then ask you to sign on the dotted line. Don’t. It’s long past time we threw out the establishment bums. All of them.
Their continued success is Obama’s continued success. If you want to defeat President Obama’s agenda, you need to pull the plug on the political careers of the GOP’s worthless establishment lemons.
The thought of an establishment Republican shellacking at the hands of the Tea Party is, well, electrifying.