When Loan Guarantees Were Cool

Reporting on Politics and Policy.
Sept. 20 2011 9:58 AM

When Loan Guarantees Were Cool

Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images

WASHINGTON - JULY 26: U.S. Sen. David Vitter (R-LA) speaks during a news conference July 26, 2011 on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. A number of Senate and House Republicans held the news conference to introduce the 'Ensuring the Full Faith and Credit of the United States and Protecting America's Soldiers and Seniors Act' legislation. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

Eric Lipton adds to the small but growing literature about Republicans asking for loan guarantees for energy companies -- picking winners and losers, one could say -- before they decided to scorch the administration for the Solyndra guarantee. No one who picked up a newspaper before yesterday should be surprised by "politicians caught out being hypocrites" stories. But there are two main critiques of Solyndra. The first is that the White House took too many risks with this particular company because it either held a zealous belief in the power of "green jobs." The second is that there is something inherently corrupt about using the goverment to build up a company that might fail.

If that's true, then everyone's dirty. A Democrat passes on this batch of letters send by David Vitter and other Republicans in 2009 and 2010.


Rare earth supply! Clean coal! If I'm spinning for Republicans here, I say the very process makes fools and beggars of us all, and that Solyndra has given us religion, as the "bridge to nowhere" (eventually) baptised Republicans on earmarks. I don't quite believe the spin, but it's pretty good, if you want to scale the role of government back to what Patrick Henry wanted.

David Weigel is a Slate political reporter. 



Blacks Don’t Have a Corporal Punishment Problem

Americans do. But when blacks exhibit the same behaviors as others, it becomes part of a greater black pathology. 

I Bought the Huge iPhone. I’m Already Thinking of Returning It.

Scotland Is Just the Beginning. Expect More Political Earthquakes in Europe.

Students Aren’t Going to College Football Games as Much Anymore

And schools are getting worried.

Two Damn Good, Very Different Movies About Soldiers Returning From War

The XX Factor

Lifetime Didn’t Think the Steubenville Rape Case Was Dramatic Enough

So they added a little self-immolation.

Medical Examiner

The Most Terrifying Thing About Ebola 

The disease threatens humanity by preying on humanity.

Why a Sketch of Chelsea Manning Is Stirring Up Controversy

How Worried Should Poland, the Baltic States, and Georgia Be About a Russian Invasion?

  News & Politics
Sept. 20 2014 11:13 AM -30-
Business Insider
Sept. 20 2014 6:30 AM The Man Making Bill Gates Richer
Sept. 20 2014 7:27 AM How Do Plants Grow Aboard the International Space Station?
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 19 2014 4:58 PM Steubenville Gets the Lifetime Treatment (And a Cheerleader Erupts Into Flames)
  Slate Plus
Slate Picks
Sept. 19 2014 12:00 PM What Happened at Slate This Week? The Slatest editor tells us to read well-informed skepticism, media criticism, and more.
Brow Beat
Sept. 20 2014 3:21 PM “The More You Know (About Black People)” Uses Very Funny PSAs to Condemn Black Stereotypes
Future Tense
Sept. 19 2014 6:31 PM The One Big Problem With the Enormous New iPhone
  Health & Science
Bad Astronomy
Sept. 20 2014 7:00 AM The Shaggy Sun
Sports Nut
Sept. 18 2014 11:42 AM Grandmaster Clash One of the most amazing feats in chess history just happened, and no one noticed.