PoliBlog: A Rough Draft of my Thoughts

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  1. Presumably, these were business decisions. As such, there are probably some general criteria, but I would not be at all surprised if there were also a lot of exceptions. I can understand why Chrysler would be reluctant to reveal a lot of details, simply because they don’t want the hassle of the entire Republican party questioning every decision.

    Comment by Anon — Thursday, May 28, 2009 @ 8:58 pm

  2. Since the government owns Chrysler, shouldn’t the answers be forthcoming? What about sunshine and transparency?

    Comment by Shakes — Friday, May 29, 2009 @ 10:29 am

  3. Given the strong Reoublican bent among car dealers, it’s mostly just a law of averages. And the closings make sense if you understand the modern auto retail business. It come down in many cases to big dealer groups vs. mom and pop.

    Comment by Ted Craig — Friday, May 29, 2009 @ 5:09 pm

  4. “I will agree that it is difficult to fully understand the exact logic of the dealership closings”.

    I’m glad you add that sentence. Because even if the “law of averages” argument pans out there are other problems.

    I struck me that if the percentage of dealerships were reversed and they were much more bent towards Democrats, particularly Obama, that the Administration would have gone out of its way nix these closings. My understanding is that these closings were not Chrysler’s idea.

    I also think there needs to be a look at some of the dealerships that were saved, and in particular “protected” — by “protected” I mean dealerships that were allowed to merge and have competitors cleared out.

    Unlike the “law of averages” analysis, it would be so easy to catch officials in these areas.

    And in the end, it never hurts to let government employees, including the President, know they are being watched regardless of party.

    Comment by Blake — Friday, May 29, 2009 @ 9:32 pm

  5. Correction: Unlike the “law of averages” analysis, it would NOT be so easy to catch officials in these areas.

    Forgot NOT — (Wrong word to leave out)

    Comment by Blake — Friday, May 29, 2009 @ 9:34 pm

  6. I am more than happy for politicians to be aware that they are under scrutiny. Indeed, the more scrutiny, the better.

    However, I continue to maintain that the issue with “dealergate” is an utter lack of understanding by a vast number of people about how one should approach a given set of numbers and then how to analyze them.

    Beyond the almost certain fact that dealers are more likely to be Rep than Dem, there are not doubt any number of other variables that are unknown/being ignored in this discussion.

    Comment by Steven L. Taylor — Friday, May 29, 2009 @ 9:38 pm

  7. Well okay.

    I guess I was proposing that the term “Dealergate” could refer to a broader issue. The overall policy could have been partisan.

    If you have a group that you can snuff out, and it is 88% Republican, you are assured of taking out more Republicans than Democrats, even if you analyze each individual dealership with objective criteria during your purge.

    If 88% of dealerships were Democrat, would this policy be in place at all?

    I suspect not.

    Excessive numbers of dealerships is an issue, but it is hardly the reason Chrysler cannot make a profit. I don’t know of anybody in the industry who understands why these closings are being given a priority and more importantly why it is being done in one fell swoop.

    The notion that it was done for partison reasons should be explored.

    Comment by Blake — Friday, May 29, 2009 @ 10:30 pm

  8. If 88% of dealerships were Democrat, would this policy be in place at all?

    Well, yes, I think it would. The operative issue here is Chrysler’s financial state, not the partisan affiliation of the dealers.

    The thing that seems to be forgotten at times by some is that Chrysler is in lousy financial shape and went the government for help–it isn’t as if the Obama (or Bush) administration went looking for a reason to get involved with Chrysler.

    Comment by Steven L. Taylor — Friday, May 29, 2009 @ 10:49 pm

  9. well, there are some sticky wickets like this one:

    http://directorblue.blogspot.com/2009/05/closing-chryslers-dealerships-readers.html

    four democratic contributors have their 40 dealerships amazingly transformed into 42 dealerships.

    weird! any they happen to be the biggest democratic contributors on the entire dealer list.

    and one of them is already in a bunch of legal and financial hot water.

    wow, it’s strange how that happens!

    Comment by greghughes — Saturday, May 30, 2009 @ 10:22 pm

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