NewsBusters' Tom Blumer keeps up his conspiracy-mongering about a supposed Obama conspiracy against Toyota to get to fix their unsafe cars with a Feb. 6 post highlighting a AFP article "Is US bullying Toyota on recall?" As one would expect, Blumer continues to ignore the fact that problems with unintended acceleration in Toyota vehicles dates back to 1999, and the number of incidents with Toyotas is more than those that have occurred in vehicles from all other automakers combined.
But Blumer is so invested in the conspiracy that he's not going to let some pesky facts stand in his way:
While it may appear that Uncle Sam's conduct is judicious throughout this process, that appearance won't disperse the cloud of suspicion that hangs over the "negotiations" -- and it shouldn't. If the government hadn't decided to become the controlling owner of two auto companies, the worst suspicion would be that it's picking on a foreign-based competitor of a large U.S. industry. Now the suspicion is that it's trying to hurt the strongest foreign-based competitor of two companies it controls and from which it hopes (someday) to recover tens of billions of dollars it has thrown at them. No amount of outwardly professional behavior will negate the existence of that inherent multibillion-dollar conflict.
Similarly, we shouldn't blandly accept the idea that government's safety people, whose bosses have controlling interests in two competitors who "owe" them tens of billions, aren't going to let those situations affect their judgments as to how hard to push safety issues at a competitor. The fact that a consumer watchdog group that has tended to favor regulation in so many areas thinks that Uncle Sam has overreacted is not a trifling matter (though to be fair, Consumer Reports, having rated Toyotas so highly for so many years, has a bit of an appearance problem of its own).
What? Consumer Reports is in on the conspiracy as well? They're everywhere!