Evidence-free accusations

EVIDENCE-FREE ACCUSATIONS…. At yesterday’s White House event to discuss the future of General Motors, President Obama anticipated the detractors’ likely arguments.

“GM will be run by a private board of directors and management team with a track record in American manufacturing that reflects a commitment to innovation and quality,” he said. “They — and not the government — will call the shots and make the decisions about how to turn this company around. The federal government will refrain from exercising its rights as a shareholder in all but the most fundamental corporate decisions. When a difficult decision has to be made on matters like where to open a new plant or what type of new car to make, the new GM, not the United States government, will make that decision.

Likewise, Steven Rattner, the head of the administration’s autos task force, told the Washington Post the government will have a very limited role: “No plant decisions. No job decisions. No colors-of-car decisions.”

Naturally, some Republicans are arguing the opposite because, well, just because.

Just yesterday, Republican Lamar Alexander of Tennessee … Senator Alexander also expressed concern that the Obama administration would build future GM plants in Democrat-controlled states.

Rep. Pete Hoekstra (R-Mich.), who’s planning a gubernatorial campaign in Michigan next year, told the Wall Street Journal, “For the foreseeable future, these car companies will be run by the Obama administration, and it will not be arm’s length.'”

As evidence to bolster these charges, Alexander and Hoekstra pointed to … nothing in particular. They think the administration will politicize GM, and they’re not going to let a little thing like a lack of proof get in the way.

I suspect there’s a silly little game underway in which GOP lawmakers will tell the administration, “You can prove that there’s no political abuses in overseeing GM by intervening in corporate decisions and putting a manufacturing plant in my state/district.”

Indeed, the same day Lamar Alexander made a baseless claim about the administration favoring “blue” states for GM’s future, he “suggested to the Senate that his home state would make a great home for GM plants.”

Imagine that.