Jack Lessenberry, a Michigan journalist, wrote recently of the grim Michigan economy (click HERE), and had this to say about the auto executives in Washington:
The automakers arrived to beg for a bailout. Pasty and blank-faced, looking alike and lacking a clue, they flew in on their corporate jets. That's something like renting a top hat and tails and showing up at Cass Corridor mission and asking for Thanksgiving dinner.
They looked like jackasses, in short. They tried hard to add to the perception: Alan Mulally, the hired gun Ford brought in from Boeing, said his $21 million a year was about right. (Lee Iacocca asked for a salary of $1 a year when Chrysler was seeking a bailout.) None of them was willing to give up the corporate jets. And Rick Wagoner said changing the leadership of these companies wasn't necessary.
I heard Jack speak some years ago when Jennifer Granholm was elected governor at the end of 2002 - he said something like this: Granholm will inherit an economic mess that is not likely to be solved with any easy solutions.
Jack has always been able to put his finger on the essential nature of an issue, and I remember so clearly the sense that our economic mess, not only for Michigan, but for the nation, was going to take in some mighty dark places.
Jack's words have become painfully true for Michigan, for the United States, and because of us, for much of the world.
The Reagan House of Cards has come tumbling down.