Observing Republicans post election behavior has been an extreme disappointment especially to many of us who are independent Republicans and care deeply about the Republican party and America. What is so disappointing is that collectively Republican leaders are still the leaders whose behavior indicates they dont really care about the middle class and working people. To hear the post-election comments of Republican governors at the recent Republican governors convention and other Republican elected officials talk about what has gone wrong with the Republican party is sickening. To sum up the lessons they believe they have learned from the last two elections involves two general lessons. First, they say the Republican party lost their way from their fundamental ideals like protect free markets, no deficit spending, less government interference, small government, lower taxes, etc. and second the Republican Party needs new ideas to attract more citizens to join their party. From a no nonsense persons perspective the message we are hearing is, first, if Republican leaders were put back into power they would continue to not do right by working people and the middle class with their application in a vacuum of their conservative ideals and second these leaders in being faced with the reality of a lack of popular support are looking for wedge issues to pull people into the Republican party (there is not this fundamental commitment to the middle class and working Americans which is needed) Part of the problem with the present Republican party leaderships current thinking is that they have this extensive list of conservative ideals and they think supporting this list is what it means to be a Republican, they dont consider that the Democrats have legitimate claims to many of these ideals and it is not narrow minded or in a vacuum application of these ideals which is needed. The essence of the Republican Party at least as it has existed post World War II is simply that it starts its analysis on the issues from a business, wealthy American vantage point (as opposed to the working person, middle class vantage point) and it starts its analysis on the issues from the vantage point that small government is the goal (and government should only get involved if there is truly good reason to). What many of these Republican leaders seem to forget is that what is of optimal importance for the party is not these conservative ideals but rather having the right positions on the numerous specific issues facing America. Again, having the right position on the specific issues requires having positions which do right by working people and the middle class in America. The Republican party leadership need not worry though they will be given plenty of experiences from now on where they will be given the opportunity to learn the importance of this value and the importance of living by it and they will likely find that being out of power which they will likely be for a long period of time will cause them to likely never forget it. On the only two major issues facing Washington on behalf of the America people post-election, the Republicans in Congress and the White House have failed miserably, their behavior has been a vintage example on why they are out of power. On the bail out of the U.S. automakers issue, collectively Republicans have been saying things like America needs to stand for free market principles let the marketplace handle the U.S. automaker problem and businesses go bankrupt everyday others rise to take their place (like an automaker is like a restaurant). On a modest stimulus package this year, collectively Republicans are like we have to stop this deficit spending, the governments job isnt to go around rescuing or saving everybody. It is all vintage Republicanism where they stake out positions on specific issues which clearly uphold conservative ideals and ignore the full effects of these positions, it is not good and it offers no successful long-term future for the Republican party or America. Let me explain how a good Republican views these issues. On the U.S. automaker bailout issue, if the government doesnt offer these automakers a good credit line, GM and Chrysler will definitely go into bankruptcy because they are on the brink and if GM and Chrysler goes into bankruptcy the last U.S. automaker, Ford, will almost certainly because they dont have enough cash to ride out this recession to the economy recovers which looks like 2010 and even if the cash flow issue doesnt get them the supplier problem will get them (GM, Chrysler & Ford share suppliers and bankruptcy for any one will likely destabilize the supplier network causing sever obstruction to the operation of all three businesses) plus if one U.S. automaker goes into bankruptcy their will be an unresistable pull for the other two to go into bankruptcy to unload all their burdensome financial problems to remain long-term competitive like their costs for retirees, overly expensive and uncompetitive labor agreements, excessive costly dealership networks, etc. It may be the only viable option for the American people to let the U.S. automakers go into bankruptcy and off load unreasonable burdens and restructure so they can become long-term profitable companies but that option should be a last resort option because that option will result in the long-term loss of a huge number of good middle class jobs that currently esists and potentially exists as U.S. automakers will be permanently resigned to significantly less U.S. automarket market share. This is the case because if the U.S. automakers go into bankruptcy, likely Chrysler will be liquidated because in the competitive automotive marketplace Chrysler doesnt have strong enough brands or models or models in the pipeline ready to go for creditors to prudently take a chance on them succeeding long-term. GM and Ford will likely survive bankruptcy because of their strong brands but they will be forced to shrink excessively in size by their creditors to guarantee their long-term survival and in the process many jobs will be lost and forever U.S. automakers will have lost their historic market share and the middle class jobs that go with it. This garbage that is thrown around that so what if U.S, automakers lose market share because foreign automakers manufacture automobiles in the U.S. creating U.S. jobs belongs in a garbage can where garbage belongs. First foreign automakers dont use as many U.S. made parts in their automobiles as U.S. automakers thus not producing as many U.S. jobs. Secondly, when these foreign automakers experience inevitable business downturns what plants do you think their going to first cut back on plants in their home country or U.S. plants you got it U.S. plants and this is especially true if one focuses on the track record of the home countries of many of these foreign automakers where protecting domestic interests gets top priority. Thirdly, these foreign automakers dont do as well as U.S. automakers with respect to health insurance benefits which is important; the America people can support UAW workers having good health insurance benefits, the problem with the current UAW health insurance benefit package as far as the American people are concerned is that it is a Cadillac package, it is unreasonable their isnt the reasonable mechanisms to hold down costs (continual copays) there isnt a reasonable meaningful sharing of the premium burden. On the U.S. automaker rescue, Republicans should be advocating like the Democrats that the U.S. automakers produce a turn around plan before Washington will throw a life line. Republicans should be calling for not a standoffish, all the burden on the U.S. automakers to produce an acceptable plan, position. Rather, the Republicans should be calling for Washington to assemble a team of experts to draft what a plan should look like in terms of unions modifying their agreements to reasonableness in terms of health benefits and the job bank rule or whatever it is where workers get paid 95% of their salary when they dont work and other anticompetitive labor rules; U.S. automaker management having to forego unreasonably high compensation packages ($17 plus million dollars per year is ridiculous), having a plan in place to extend credit to customers that is not as excessively cautious as your lending arms currently have come up with a private banking sector or government solution, mothballing production to meet demand in a better fashion than which is currently being done, etc. The Republicans should be advocating that Washington fight with the automakers and their unions and their creditors to accept this long-term viable and reasonable plan, doesnt the U.S. government have the power to force some of these items through by enactment of law or taking these businesses into conservatorship. With the present course of things, Congressional leaders might as well turn off the light and heat in the Capitol because there isnt a chance in hell that the automakers will put forth an acceptable plan by December 2 or by January 19th 2009 for that matter. Republicans should not advocate using the $25 billion already authorized for U.S. automakers to build the cars of the future for this credit line, these monies should be kept for this critical purpose, nor should they advocate using the TARP $700 billion monies (when the foreclosure crisis gets under control [because there is no point otherwise because securities cant be accurately valued] the government should use this money for its original purpose of getting the 2 trillion dollars of these assets currently parked on financial institutions booked off their books and replaced with cash so they can lend). One could expound for hours on the ridiculousness of the Federal government arguing over a $25 billion or $50 billlion credit line to save this vital industry with all the hundreds and hundreds of billions of dollars they have loaned out over the past three months and intend to in the near future. In any event if the Federal government wants to be smart they can dramatically lessen the Federal governments liability on this credit line by just providing explicit government backing on Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac securities (require an interest ceiling on these securities close to Treasuries so they arent getting a windfall) this will increase Fannie and Freddies profit margin saving the Government having to loan them easily $25 plus billion over the nest year and it will lower new buyers of homes mortgage interest rates. The Federal government shouldnt be pinching pennies in the amount of this credit line as long as it is under $50 billion because of the critical long-term middle class jobs stakes on the line in this matter and just in mentioning the $300 billion stimulus package it will likely pass next year really makes this $50 billion figure seem paltry in comparison. Again, it may be the best long-term option to let the U.S. automakers go into bankruptcy but there is a huge huge fight that needs to take place in America before we get to that decision.