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Tesla's Fight With Car Dealers Could Help Decide the Next Presidential Election 282

Hugh Pickens DOT Com (2995471) writes "Marcus Wohlsen writes that the most recent ban against Tesla selling cars directly from the company instead of through third-party dealers was enacted in New Jersey with the support of Gov. Chris Christie, a possible contender for the GOP nomination. That prompted Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, a Christie rival, to heartily defend Tesla's direct sales model. 'Customers should be allowed to buy products that fit their need,' says Rubio, 'especially a product that we know is safe and has consumer confidence beneath it.' Perhaps even more surprising is the love shown by Texas Gov. Rick Perry, the once and possibly future presidential hopeful whose oil-rich state bars employees in Tesla's two showrooms from even telling potential customers how much the Model S costs. 'I think it's time for Texans to have an open conversation about this,' says Perry, 'the pros and the cons. I'm gonna think the pros of allowing this to happen outweigh the cons.' The sudden GOP embrace of an electric car company once reviled as a symbol of Northern California enivro-weenies might seem ironic says Wohlsen, but the real irony is that conservative politicians ever opposed Tesla at all.

'The widespread franchise rules giving car dealers virtual monopolies in their territories epitomize the government-controlled marketplace Republicans purportedly despise,' writes Wohlsen adding that possible presidential contenders realize there may be political capital to be gained in supporting Tesla. But the real winner is Tesla. If the company can manage to associate its brand with all the positive qualities Rubio and Perry hope rub off on them, few politicians will want to take the risk to stand against them. Mitt Romney called Tesla Motors a 'loser' company during his 2012 run for president. In 2016 running against Tesla might seem about as smart as running against Apple."
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Tesla's Fight With Car Dealers Could Help Decide the Next Presidential Election

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  • by alen ( 225700 ) on Wednesday March 26, 2014 @04:09PM (#46587161)

    not after the bridgegate fiasco
    then add withholding funds from hoboken because they didn't let a developer run rampant
    hiring friends and family for a state marketing campaign

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 26, 2014 @04:17PM (#46587229)

    I can EVs helping both sides. The left benefits because shifting to solar/wind power as the primary means of a vehicle's propulsion is better for the environment and gives less fossil fuel waste.

    The right benefits by EVs because they offer energy independence (something the Tea Party strongly pushes for), a nod towards Big Coal, and less reliance on oil.

    This happened with solar last year... both the Tea Party and the far left greens have ended up agreeing on the importance on this... which is ironic because Congress didn't lift a finger when China hacked US solar companies, then started selling panels for cheaper than the rare earths it took to make them, thus causing most panels to be imported rather than made domestically.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 26, 2014 @04:29PM (#46587339)

    The tea party isn't for energy indepedence as a real thing that means what it should mean, they are for drill baby drill. Anything that is green is obviously evil.

  • Uh No (Score:5, Interesting)

    by the eric conspiracy ( 20178 ) on Wednesday March 26, 2014 @04:29PM (#46587341)

    Demographics, not electric car business models are going to decide the next Presidential elections.

    Republicans have won the Presidential popular vote only ONCE since 1988 (Bush v, Kerry, and that was an incumbent).

  • by alen ( 225700 ) on Wednesday March 26, 2014 @04:29PM (#46587347)

    those didn't make people spend 3 hours in traffic and cause a few people to die because the ambulance couldn't get there

    people in NJ hate Christie and no President has ever lost his home state

  • Re:To be fair (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Applehu Akbar ( 2968043 ) on Wednesday March 26, 2014 @04:57PM (#46587605)

    Too many of the general public confuse 'conservatives' with 'Republicans.' The Republicrat Party is a matched pair of umbrella organizations set up to protect given sets of special interests, which involve significant overlap, from real-world economics and public accountability. The left-hand half of this party just got through putting together a tax-supported national healthcare system that carefully avoids interfering with the legal armor that allows the pharma business and the hospital business to screw us blind. Rank-and-file leftists never got the healthcare cost controls they craved. Meanwhile, the right-hand segment of the party spouts capitalist rhetoric while being careful not to bring up the idea of subjecting the same set of big donors to the free-market competition that its own base has always wished for.

    We of the dark side have been generally suspicious of electric cars because of the perception that most purchases are made with cushy tax subsidies, rather than inherent merit, in mind. There is also a cultural bias factor ("University hippies buy these, so they must be bad...") which works both ways. I recently had a relative profess shock that, despite my politics, I recycle. I had to explain to her that hating environmental activists doesn't have to mean hating the environment itself. We feel batter about Tesla than about the Leaf and its ilk because it's the first electric vehicle that is being successfully marketed to people who take economics seriously (still early-adopter pricing, but with decent range and performance), and that it comes from Silicon Valley rather than being an afterthought product, withdrawn at the first hint of technical difficulties, marketed to guilt-ridden academics. Tesla intends to make this product a success, and is putting in the infrastructure it will take to make it so.

  • Winning streaks (Score:4, Interesting)

    by sjbe ( 173966 ) on Wednesday March 26, 2014 @05:01PM (#46587645)

    Republicans have won the Presidential popular vote only ONCE since 1988 (Bush v, Kerry, and that was an incumbent).

    And the democrats only won it once between 1968 and 1992. What's your point? Most of the elections were fairly close and the losses had less to do with demographics than the candidates who were running. Bush Sr kind of blew it against Clinton but that election could have gone either way. Clinton loses and I'm not sure the democrats had anyone who would obviously have won in 1996. Bush Jr could easily have lost in 2004 and arguably did lose in 2000. Neither of Obama's wins were blowouts either. The only real blowouts I can remember are Reagan's wins, particularly in 1984 against Mondale. It wouldn't be shocking to see a republican in the white house in 2016. Just depends on who's running and how things play out.

    The biggest problem the republicans have is that they push for policies that tend to repel anyone who isn't older white and usually male. Women, blacks, hispanics, LBGT, and most other minority groups tend to vote democrat. Some very strongly so. The republicans have also tied their mast to conservative religious groups who tie their hands on social issues. They have gotten away from the idea of sensible fiscal policy in order to wage a futile jihad on taxes and have shut the government down twice over the issue.

  • by whistlingtony ( 691548 ) on Wednesday March 26, 2014 @05:02PM (#46587651)

    I keep trying to vote myself more bennies, but I never seem to find it.... I know, I know, you think Democrats give away Money to Poor People. I think our government gives away money to Rich People. As someone who got government help with food and education when I was younger, I think I've more than paid back in taxes from the fancy job that helped me get. Hooray for a Hand Up. Everyone benefited.

    And frankly, you're pissed that people are trying to vote themselves more benefits from the public treasury? Isn't that kind of how it works? Isn't that a democracy in action? What are you complaining about? Would you rather people NOT be able to vote in their own best interests? What do you think is better? The alternative looks a lot like a dicatorship to me.

    I don't think you can actually say that every democracy collapses due to loose fiscal policy, followed by dictatorship. I'd like some examples. Democracy is relatively new. Empire isn't, but democracy is. Where are all these failed democracies that are now dictatorships? I can name many dictatorships in the world. None of them started as democracies. North Korea? Syria?

    I think that's what you WANT to believe, but I don't think you have any examples to back up what you just said.

    I am actually horrified and disgusted by your weird little history lesson on greatest civilizations. What does spiritual faith have to do with it? bondage? They ALL rose up from bondage? courage? What courage? Empires arise from many things. Greed. Lustful economics. Courage rarely has anything to do with it. Liberty? What liberty did the Roman slaves have? What liberty did the United Kingdom bring to the world? What liberty have we? Oh, and THEN we got selfishness, riiiiight. We were all courageous pious people of spiritual faith, but THEN we got all selfish?

    I think you're making all of this up so you can be mad at Democrats (which really, has nothing to do with anything. ) I think you don't have any REAL reasons to be mad at them, so you have to make up this claptrap so you can feel properly outraged. I'm not a Dem. I'm independant. But if you're going to hate someone, at least hate them for REAL reasons....

    Would you like some real reasons to hate Dems? I can give you plenty.

    Also, keep the patriotic spiritual marching bullshit to yourself. It's all fake, and we know it. Rah Rah Rah! We're #1! Don't Look Behind The Curtain!

  • by werepants ( 1912634 ) on Wednesday March 26, 2014 @05:07PM (#46587711)
    Seriously - Tesla and SpaceX have both turned republican ideology on its head.

    Case 1: republicans love the military-industrial complex and always protect their cost-plus pork for defense contractors, while simultaneously claiming to support fiscal responsibility and free-market competition. Once someone shows up actually wanting free market competition in these giant aerospace contracts, the republicans are stuck between a rock and a hard place.

    Case 2: the republican stance is that all regulation is bad. So is environmentalism, and government loans. Rich people are awesome though, and deserve tax cuts and celebration for all the glorious good they do for the economy. Enter Tesla - a product targeted squarely at the upper end of middle class and higher, which is environmentally minded, got started with renewable energy loans, and which is stirring up areas where regulation legitimately is disrupting market efficiency.

    The contortions the republican party has to go through to try to reconcile the inconsistencies highlighted by these companies are hilarious, and representative of the entire redefinition the party is going through. I'm hoping they'll get trounced by the dems another time or two and then emerge as something worthy of sharing a name with the party of Eisenhower, Roosevelt and Lincoln.
  • Re:Odd logic (Score:4, Interesting)

    by blue9steel ( 2758287 ) on Wednesday March 26, 2014 @05:47PM (#46588119)
    Maybe because environmental activists are often the worst offenders in helping to ensure we destroy the environment? They get so worked up on "the perfect solution" that they block vastly improved but imperfect ones. For example anti-nuclear activists are pretty much responsible for global warming, if it wasn't for them killing the whole atomic energy industry after three mile island we'd be using uranium instead of coal. I find that particularly hilarious because radioactive carbon-14 gets spewed into the atmosphere without any form of control while spent fuel rods are pretty much contained safely on site. (and wouldn't exist at all if we had a proper reprocessing infrastructure)

Reactor error - core dumped!