The travails of Toyota and Honda are assuming a familiar pattern; the full wrath of the federal government and the UAW/AFL-CIO has been turned on them. Either because of their corporate culture or out of fear of further and more draconian government action, the companies are curling into fetal position and whimpering apologies. That, of course, is precisely the wrong thing to do because it will only encourage the Alinsky disciples who are coordinating this attack.
The semi-rational problem solving approach by the automakers isn’t going to work any more than being nice and bi-partisan has worked for Republicans. The government and the unions don’t want these cars fixed and couldn’t care less whether or not there is anything actually wrong with the cars; the only thing that will “fix” these cars is signing on to the UAW’s pattern agreement and backing the Obama agenda in DC.
The toolkit will soon be expanded to finding some SEIU, AFSCME, or NEA types who own a non-union transplant auto; the “buy American, buy union” thing has never much applied to the service and public employees. They’ll then start a PR campaign of horror stories these poor consumers have endured as the result of foolishly owning a non-union car. They’ll get some of their friends in the media to start doing articles trashing the companies for the poor quality of the cars and for the intolerable working conditions in the plants. Somewhere in there they’ll start using their local unions to start pressuring the dealers in their area with Op-Eds about how “something has to be done” and letters to the editor and postings on local blogs. Along about here is where the lawsuits will start and it will rain damages suits which will all come to trial in rural, high-minority jurisdictions that have proven themselves to be reliable in sticking it to those evil corporations. All of this will be accompanied by a whole new level of attention from the USDOL, the EPA, the IRS and whatever other federal agencies they can sic on them. This will be reinforced by a parallel effort by state and local governments in areas under Democrat control.
In the face of all this attention, the companies might find a spine and begin to fight back but I’m not holding my breath. They know that all they have to do to make it all stop is call their friendly, local UAW agent and sign the piece of paper, so my money’s on that course of action. They could be Republican leaders!