Where the cheering ends: If you’ve watched MSNBC the past two nights, you’ve seen a lot of cheerleading about President Obama’s triumphant speech to the UAW on Tuesday. Last night, Chris and Joan were gushing pretty hard:
WALSH (2/29/12): I would say the winner yesterday was whoever scheduled that speech for President Obama on the day of the Michigan primary.We were sobbing before they were done! But on MSNBC these days, the cheerleading is general. Obama’s speech was lustily praised, despite itsoccasional misstatements. The auto bailout has also been praised over the past week or so.
MATTHEWS: It was a good speech.
WALSH: And it was a beautiful speech. It was a wonderful speech. His heart was in it.
MATTHEWS: Well, let’s—
WALSH: He talked about caring about people.
Regarding the auto bailout, we think a point deserves to be remembered. This is Robert Reich, spreading the wet blanket on last week’s Last Word. He discussed the possibility of bringing manufacturing jobs back to this country:
REICH (2/20/12): There has been a little bit of a boomlet in manufacturing back in the United States. But we’re still way down. I mean, we’re five million jobs short, manufacturing jobs short of where we were in—ten years ago, in the year 2000.GM is doing great! Those new workers, not so much.
And the nostalgia, I think, Lawrence, comes from the fact that these—manufacturing used to be the place where we had really good, high-wage jobs for Americans who did not have a four-year college degree. And that’s still the case, to the extent that there are manufacturing jobs out there. The problem is that there’s a misconception. And the reason that those good manufacturing jobs existed was not because of manufacturing per se, it was because we had strong unions in manufacturing and in the manufacturing sector.
And those strong unions were able to negotiate from a position of power and get very good wages for workers in manufacturing. Those days, unfortunately, have waned. I mean, look at GM. And GM has huge profits, but the UAW, the United Auto Workers, you know, managed to negotiate a new agreement that provides new workers with only $14 an hour, starting salary. That’s half of what all new workers were getting.
O’DONNELL: Robert Reich, thank you very much for joining me tonight. Everybody should read your piece, "Manufacturing Illusions." Thank you very much.
On MSNBC, the cheerleading is general, pretty much as it is on Fox. On MSNBC, that includes a lot of cheerleading for the auto bailout.
We liberals are cheering because Romney was so wrong in his prediction about the effects of the bailout. For our money, that highlighted statement by Reich is also worth recalling, big picture-wise.
Romney keeps saying the unions made out like bandits. Unfortunately, it seems he's wrong there too.