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Arrogant, boneheaded Big Three need to resign

Wednesday, November 19th 2008, 10:27 PM

Big Three automaker CEOS Richard Wagoner of General Motors, Robert Nardelli of Chrysler and Alan Mulally of Ford testify on Capitol Hill.

The CEOs of the Big Three should utter only two more words:

"We resign."

Anything else they might say lost all value when they flew in private jets to Washington to beg for billions of our money.

Nobody that arrogant and boneheaded can be trusted with a dime of public funds, especially in a business that requires anticipating popular response.

At least now we have a better idea of how General Motors, Ford and Chrysler got into such trouble.

Guys who would panhandle for public money from private planes are guys who would keep building cars people don't want.

They certainly are not guys likely to turn things around.

With them in charge, billions from Congress will only delay bankruptcy.

Anybody who thinks a bailout alone can save the Big Three should stroll sectors of Brooklyn where not so long ago nearly every car was American-made, many of them those big guzzling "Dad-illacs" that teens delighted in borrowing.

On Tuesday night, I walked two blocks in from Shore Road, seeing Toyotas and Hondas and Accuras and Mercedes, but nary a product of the Big Three.

When I finally did come to an American car, it was a hulking Chevrolet Suburban that looked like a relic from an earlier time despite being nearly new.

Further on, I saw another SUV, but it was a BMW. I saw an identical BMW around the corner and another farther down the street.

Not so long ago, owning a foreign car would have been considered un-American in many parts of Brooklyn.

"My father would have killed me if I bought a foreign car," said my friend, retired NYPD Detective Jimmy Nuciforo. "He was just all American."

To buy a German or a Japanese car would have been abetting a too-recent enemy.

"He fought the Germans in World War II," Nuciforo said. "He used to tell me that Mitsubishi made the Japanese Zero [fighter plane]."

Nuciforo now owns two Hondas. He would not even consider buying an American car.

"It's not a reliable product," he said.

Nuciforo would not likely drive an American car even if the Big Three gave him one.

"I'd probably sell it and buy a Japanese car," he said.

But he would even be willing to pay a little more for an American car comparable in quality and fuel efficiency.

"Absolutely!" he said.

That did not seem likely to happen with the Big Three run by guys who behave in a way that would have stunned his all-American father.

"He couldn't even fathom that: Guys getting off their private jets going to beg for billions," Nuciforo said.

He posed a question that applies how the three CEOs got there in the first place and why they must now resign.

"Don't they think?"

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