Senator Shelby of Alabama Puts France and Airbus Ahead of America and Boeing

by Bruce Webb

Would that have been a fair headline for the following story: Richard Shelby Puts Hold On President Obama’s Nomineesl? Because the facts are pretty clear, Shelby placed these holds mainly because of concerns over as Politico delicately puts it “Pentagon’s bidding process for air-to-air refueling tankers”. We can put that a little more starkly. The Pentagon wants to buy a replacement of much of its KC-135 Air Tanker fleet. You can read the background in this Wiki article KC-X but it really comes down to the following question. Are we going to buy these planes from Boeing or from a consortium of AEDS/Lockheed where AEDS is better known to Americans as AirBus? In other words American Boeing 767 or Old Europe Airbus A-330?

Now the actual question is deeper than that. Boeing outsources a lot of its work overseas and the Airbus tankers would be assembled in Alabama, hence Shelby’s interest but my question is this. If in 2007 Senator Barbara Boxer had stepped in and put a hold on every single Bush nominee in the interest of keeping a slice of the profits in the hands of California based Lockheed would Fox News and the Republican noise machine just have let it go? Or would the airways be full of screams and cries about how ‘San Francisco liberal’ Barbara Boxer was simply selling out America in favor of a bunch of Cheese Eating Surrender Monkeys?

Shelby single-handedly decided to hold the Federal Government hostage so that a U.S. military contract would be awarded to a foreign country, worse yet that country is France. But don’t expect that to be the lead at Fox, even the stories in the rest of the MSM seem oddly resistant to putting the words “European” or “Airbus” into their stories. Might make a Republican look bad or something, maybe even unpatriotic. Have the Teabaggers caught wind of this yet?