Empathy and Obscurantism [Dan Collins; UPDATE x4]
To those who read this blog regularly, the connection between the nomination of Sonia Sotomayor and the lefty defense of Chrysler’s dealership closings will be readily apparent, so I apologize if I’m boring you. In a post below, I state that American citizens have the right to know on what basis Chrysler decided to maintain or cut a dealership. We have the right to know because our elected representatives have decided to “invest” in Chrysler on our behalf. It’s even more essential to understand who’s making what decisions based on what criteria, since GM is going to be going through a “government guided” Chapter 11 reorganization.
Here are some of the reactions to my stipulation that we are entitled to this information:
Comment by meya on 5/28 @ 6:34 am # |Edit This
â€œThe disturbing thing, for me, is that Chrysler seems unable or unwilling to disclose the formula that they used to determine which dealerships would close, and which would stay open with expanded territoriesâ€“assuming there was a formula at all.â€
Yeah, disturbing that Chrysler doesnâ€™t want to disclose statistics on the competitive strength of its remaining dealerships and the business process they used to assess them. What possible reason could they have for that?
Comment by meya on 5/28 @ 6:48 am # |Edit This
â€œMeya, your evasions are torporous. Whose money is that?â€
Dan, please. Just think for a minute. Me and you are not treasury, even if it is our money there. Your argument is akin to telling a cop you pay his salary. But if you want to be a chrysler shareholder and get this information by fiduciary duties, Iâ€™m sure its real cheap to do so. Good luck.
Comment by jon on 5/28 @ 6:56 am # |Edit This
Dan, I have no problem with the idea of them releasing the formula they used. My guess is that it was less math-oriented and much more a result of a bunch of people looking at a map of all the dealerships and making geographic arbitrary decisions rather than political or even economic arbitrary decisions. But yes, I really have no problem with anyone asking why.
I do have serious problems with those who analyze things they pretty much admit to knowing little or nothing about. Itâ€™s quite possible thereâ€™s a stronger link to the letter E than politics, but until the formula is known, I welcome various people wasting their time trying to prove things with limited data. It allows for some fun popcorn time as I watch wild accusations fly, see competing conspiracies fly this way and that, and generally make wingnut bloggers look smarter and smarter as the days pass. And the end result: nothing is solidified other than the conspiracy-theoristsâ€™ sense of self-importance. I hope the Chrysler Truthers live long and prosper in their own fun way. I guess trying to melt a girder in a backyard fireplace still looks crazier than a bunch of statisticians with incomplete formulas trying to prove a conspiracy, but please keep trying.
So, you see, trying to get all of the available information, including whatever formula Chrysler is supposed to have used to make their determinations, is an attempt to prove a conspiracy theory. Meanwhile, it’s necessary to suggest that the decisions made were arbitrary. Chrysler is reorganizing with taxpayer monies by making arbitrary decisions? Ah, but that’s a feature, you see–not a bug.
How is this like Sotomayor? She has stated that one’s perspective is shaped by one’s experience, and there’s no denying that. The disturbing part is that she seems to believe that the way that her unique experience has shaped her is of benefit in her consideration of the law. That is to say, she does not register her “subject position” as something that needs to be neutralized in order to reach the most objective conclusion possible (insert Spock Obama quote here), but something that ought to be brought to bear in the act of interpretation. Another way of stating this is, she has determined that her special circumstances entitle her to a “fudge factor” of arbitrariness in her judgments.
If there is no objectivity, however hindered that may be by our humanity, neither is there such thing as arbitrariness. Any bias that pleases the person on the bench may be justified as being arbitrary rather than proceeding from differential weighting of claims and evidence. You see, arbitrary is a good thing, when it’s for the greater good.
I am interested in this question, in part, because I would like to know what leftists regard as sufficient evidence of bias to make a claim actionable.
More: I’m waiting for a call back from the Office of the Inspector General of TARP at Treasury. Prediction: Will cite pending litigation.
UPDATE: Got my call back from TARP, and they say that it was an internal decision by Chrysler management, which says to me . . . a) that’s some oversight you guys are doing, and b) it appears to contradict what was said in Jim Press’s deposition.
Follow-up question: Can we get a breakdown of the minority dealerships mentioned by Carin, between black and other minority? Is this a valid information request? If not, why not?
REUPDATE: Despite the news, via Sarah, that
A reader notes something about â€œcar czarâ€ Steven Rattner: â€œRattner is married to Maureen White, the former National Finance Chair for the Democratic Party.â€ The comment: â€œSo one of the guys advising SecTreas on this thing is married to someone who used to be one of the people in charge of fundraising for the Democratic Party. This explains so much itâ€™s scary.â€ Well, it bears a close look.
REREUPDATE: These are not the droids you’re looking for.
REREREUPDATE: Steve Benen looks at the numbers and concludes . . . oh, wait . . . he doesn’t look at the numbers.