Speaking of madness — yesterday Senate Republicans shot down an effort by Democrats to close the so-called SUV loophole, whereby SUVs and light trucks are held to a lower gas mileage standard (21 mpg) than other cars (27.5). I suppose I don’t need to argue here how batshit insane such a loophole is. Instead, I draw attention to the arguments of the measure’s opponents:

Opponents said imposing a higher fuel standard would place further burdens on US automakers that are already suffering financially, endangering thousands of high-paying jobs. They also said the government should not dictate what vehicles consumers buy.

Oh, U.S. automakers are "suffering financially"? Why is that? I give you Carl Pope:

[After the late-70s oil shocks,] Detroit had two choices — one was to reach out to the nation and ask for public support in dealing with its underlying challenges. The other was to try sustaining itself by putting ever larger shells of sheet metal on old truck technology, and marketing the results as a passport to freedom and safety high above the road.

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The industry took the second path.

They chose a profoundly unwise, imprudent, and immoral path, and their cronies in Congress now argue that we must keep them on it, no, encourage them along it, lest they suffer the consequences of their decision. (Oh, and by removing an exception and holding SUVs to the same standards as the rest of our fleet, we are “dictating what vehicles consumers buy.” Eh?)

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One hardly knows what to say.