Notes on the Atrocities
Like a 100-watt radio station, broadcasting to the dozens...

Friday, September 19, 2003  

Karl Rove, mortal?

Eighteen months later, key administration officials have concluded that Bush's [steel tariffs] order has turned into a debacle. Some economists say the tariffs may have cost more jobs than they saved, by driving up costs for automakers and other steel users. Politically, the strategy failed to produce union endorsements and appears to have hurt Bush with workers in Michigan and Tennessee -- also states at the heart of his 2004 strategy....

But in this case, the facts may be less important than the perception in key states where the tariffs have been debilitating. The tariffs failed to give Bush the allegiance of the United Steelworkers of America, the industry's largest union and one the White House had hoped to win over. In August, the union endorsed Rep. Richard A. Gephardt (Mo.) for president and issued a statement saying any of the Democratic candidates would offer better than "the reactionary policies of the current administration."

Perhaps worse for Bush, the tariffs alienated thousands of small businessmen who run steel-consuming companies. "He didn't win the steelworkers over, and he sure as hell didn't win the users over, and there are a hell of lot more of us," said Jim Zawacki, chief executive of G.R. Spring & Stamping, Inc., a small manufacturer in Grand Rapids, Mich. "A lot of people feel burned," said Mike Lynch, vice president of government affairs at Illinois Tool Works, a large machine tool company outside Chicago.


posted by Jeff | 11:13 AM |
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