Last week, the influential auto magazine Motor Trend announced that it had named the breakthrough plug-in hybrid Chevrolet Volt as its 2011 car of the year. Conservatives immediately picked up on the story and attacked Motor Trend. The magazine “awarded the Obama-approved, government-subsidized Chevrolet Volt its annual ‘Car of the Year’ appellation,” the Weekly Standard whined. Referring the federal government’s auto bailout — which turned out to be hugely beneficial for GM and the ailing industry — conservative Washington Post columnist George Will complained about the government “spending some of your money” to produce the Volt.
But right-wing radio blow-hard Rush Limbaugh was perhaps the most vocal critic. The Volt has been a Limbaugh nemesis for quite some time. He even launched a campaign last August to undermine the innovative car. And this week, Limbaugh said of the Motor Trend award, “[O]f all the cars in the world, the Chevrolet Volt is the Car of the Year? Motor Trend magazine, that’s the end of them. How in the world do they have any credibility? Not one has been sold [and] the Volt is the Car of the Year.” Last week, one of the magazine’s editors, Todd Lassa, shot back at Limbaugh, noting that GM hasn’t sold any Volts “because it’s not on sale yet“:
So, Mr. Limbaugh; you didn’t enjoy your drive of our 2011 Car of the Year, the Chevrolet Volt? Assuming you’ve been anywhere near the biggest automotive technological breakthrough since … I don’t know, maybe the self-starter, could you even find your way to the front seat? Or are you happy attacking a car that you’ve never even seen in person? [...]
All the shouting from you or from electric car purists on the left can’t distort the fact that the Chevy Volt is, indeed, a technological breakthrough. And it’s more. It’s a technological breakthrough that many American families can use for gas-free daily commutes and well-planned vacation drives. It’s expensive for a Chevy, but many of those families will find the gasoline saved worth it. If you can stop shilling for your favorite political party long enough to go for a drive, you might really enjoy the Chevy Volt. I’m sure GM would be happy to lend you one for the weekend. Just remember: driving and Oxycontin don’t mix.
Lassa also noted that the Volt isn’t some left-wing “tree hugging, Obama-supporting Government Motors” conspiracy, but was in fact conceived of well before Democrats regained control of Congress in 2006 and well before Obama began his campaign for the presidency. Lassa even points out that former GM executive “Bob Lutz, who famously decreed, ‘Global Warming is a crock of shit’ introduced the car two years before Bush gave GM its first bailout from TARP pocket change.”
“Limbaugh’s beef with the Volt isn’t a question of automotive aesthetics or engineering,” MLive.com’s Jeff Wattrick notes. “He just doesn’t like the Volt because it’s one of them librul eel-eck-trick cars that Muslim-Socialist Obama forced on the real ‘Mericans in Detroit.”