Tesla shows off model S to the legislature; legislators respond by being really old

Tesla, in an effort to remind everybody how badass it is, has launched a PR campaign to counter the dealership protection bill (previously discussed here and here) which passed the Senate prior to crossover. The bill, which was bought by the dealership lobby, is a case study in crony capitalism and Big Government at its worst – car dealers effectively buying legislation that squeezes out their potential competition.

Tesla specifically is the impetus for such legislation, since it has no interest in working with dealership middle-men, and only sells vehicles directly. If SB 327 becomes law, Tesla will be unable to sell cars here.

Tesla wants to show North Carolinians just what these jokers are blocking, so they parked a car right outside the legislature building in Raleigh – and invited the jerks therein for a test ride. Responses were depressingly predictable:

Rep. Mitchell Setzer, R-Catawba, passed by as the boys were gushing over the car. He said the Model S looks impressive, but he’s not sure he can handle it.

“It’s a beautiful car, but I have enough trouble with the iPad. It’s like something out of ‘The Jetsons.’ Y’all don’t know ‘The Jetsons,'” he said, addressing the pages about the 1960s futuristic cartoon show. “I’m dating myself here.”

Translated as (envision Jon Stewart’s Dick Cheney impression): “wah, get off my lawn, wah!” Great work electing luddites to govern a state whose economy lives or dies based on high tech industries, you guys.

Even better, Sen. Ellie Kinnaird, an apologist for the protectionist legislation who voted yes in the Senate (who happens to be a Democrat, so you Democrats out there can stop patting yourselves on the shoulders right now) tells it like it is:

“Dealerships are one of those basic industries that are the roots of a small town,” she said. “The model convinced me that, while this is visionary, the reality is it has to evolve to a local presence.”

So, now it’s Big Government arbitrarily picking economic winners and losers based on “tradition.” At least as a Democrat she’s honest about this agenda – the GOP can’t even be bothered to come up with any kind of rationale to make this fit its “pro-free market” rhetoric.

There’s a lively discussion over at /r/triangle, complete with a photo shoot.

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