Josh Marshall has a crackpot theory:
Finally, this issue now goes well beyond the fate of the American automakers. Senate Republicans are following this course for three key reasons — first is payback against a major industrial union; second is payback against states like Michigan and Ohio who have been moving away from the GOP; third is the desire to advantage Japanese auto manufacturers who disproportionately do business in their southern states.
You see, Republicans don’t just disagree with Democrats on the merits of a bailout. They are actually out to screw the domestic auto industry, which is based in the Midwest, because the foreign transplants tend to locate in the South, which tends to vote Republican.
This is stupid on so many levels. Let’s start with the assumption — widely held among those who favor a bailout — that bankruptcy for any one of the Detroit three would mean a collapse of the U.S. auto industry, which would cost “millions” of jobs. The Detroit three, of course, only employ around 250,000. To get to the oft-cited figure of three million, you have to assume that all of the nation’s suppliers go bankrupt and that the foreign-owned transplants close their factories in the U.S. as well. So… that benefits the southern states how?
Also, according to this theory, Republican opposition to the auto bailout is “payback” against the unions. Republicans just hate unions and want to punish them, no matter how many innocent people are hurt in the process. Remember, Republicans are never merely wrong — they are always evil.