Tennessee and other Southern states have recently come to depend on foreign automakers and their non-union factories. If you're from those parts, what's good for American car companies may no longer be what's good for the country -- because your economy now depends on their foreign competitors instead.
The fiercest opposition to the loan proposal -- and nearly a third of the 35 votes against ending debate on the deal -- came from Southern Republicans, and the ringleaders of the opposition all come from states with a major foreign auto presence. Not coincidentally, nearly all of those states -- except Kentucky -- are also "right-to-work" states, which means no union contracts for most of the employees at the foreign plants. The Detroit bailout fell victim to a nasty confluence of home-state economic interests and anti-union sentiment among Republicans.
Why are they anti-union? Because unions are parasites. We have government, the media, non-profits and unions all advocating for the worker. Because they defend the worker generically, they suspend the ability to reward the good and remove the bad. This makes plants non-competitive.
Most practical people realize that Detroit is moribund until it can tame its greedy unions, or get rid of them. In the meantime, the market has come up with a more practical solution: Volkswagen, Honda, Toyota and others are thriving in the USA, with one significant difference from Detroit -- they are non-union.