Shelby Stands Tall Against Automakers Bailout
Displaying both passion and courage, GOP Senator Richard Shelby of Alabama has been leading the charge against a taxpayer bailout of the automobile industry. With pressure from both corporate interests and the White House, Senator Shelby is standing firm and leading the opposition to this big-government bailout.
Shelby won his seat in the US Senate in 1986 as a Democrat, defeating Republican incumbent Jeremiah Denton. In his initial Senate campaign, Shelby had maximum support from organized labor, groups now clamoring for attention in the bailout legislation. Shelby’s home state of Alabama is home to major Toyota, Honda, and Mercedes plants. Yet, this Senator has chosen to face the special interests and stand for principle in opposing a giant step toward socialism.
As an Alabamian, this editor was proud to see Senator Shelby display his anger at the seeming unconcern of the Auto Company Executives. Shelby, who switched to the GOP in 1994, is Ranking Republican on the Banking Committee. But just as Shelby fiercely opposed the housing bailout, the brave Alabamian is now working to derail this latest big government boondoggle.
Ever the conservative populist, Senator Shelby grilled Detroit executives, telling the Banking Committee the firms continue to trail their major competitors in almost every category necessary to compete. Shelby’s comments cut to the heart of the issue of an inefficient private concern seeking to suck taxpayer blood to continue that which has been deemed a failure on the free market.
When automobile executives made a display of driving their most fuel-efficient vehicles to Capitol Hill, Shelby made light of that stunt, asking them if they drove or had a driver to deliver them. Obviously, the corporate elite believe that taxpayers should subsidize their luxury and inability to compete on the open market.
In the 2004 election, Senator Shelby won 68% of the vote in his bid for re-election to the US Senate, carrying 59 of 67 counties. With this performance, Shelby may accumulate some enemies, but I predict a landslide re-election in 2010, as the common voters appreciate Senator Shelby representing Alabama values in the halls of Congress.