The defeat of the Auto Bailout revealed what the GOP has now become: a vindictive, marginalized, regional club of Southern Senators who would collapse the U.S. economy in retribution for The Democratic victory last month. The object of their wrath is the much reviled unions, whose overwhelming support for the Democrats helped usher the GOP into the political wasteland.
They know they are headed into oblivion for the foreseeable future so why not drag what's left of the economy down with them? Their economic theory of laissez faire, trickle down, supply side bullshit is a smoking ruin. Their fat cat supporters (the reality-based side of the Republican coalition) is in revolt because of the massive losses suffered in their portfolios. The religious right has missed its chance to turn the supreme court for the next quarter century and recognizes its opportunity of a lifetime has been squandered by the incompetence of the Bush Administration.
So in the dying days of the 110th congress, they said "fuck you" not just to the American worker, but to their own lame duck leaders. They retreated into the cover of the increasingly absurd Senate rules, regional protectionism for the foreign car companies operating in their states, and their visceral hatred of organized labor.
So much the better. Bush will toss a lifeline to GM and Chrysler from the TARP because even he can't stand the thought of tanking the automotive industry as the last accomplishment of the worst administration in history. And the Democrats should make sure that no manufacturing worker ever forgets what the GOP really stands for. It's time to bury the Republican Party so deep they will forget what sunlight even looks like.