Possible Must Read? Wired.com: How Tesla's Fight With Car Dealers Could Help Decide the Next President
But the real irony is that conservative politicians and states ever opposed Tesla at all. The widespread franchise rules giving car dealers virtual monopolies in their territories epitomize the government-controlled marketplace Republicans purportedly despise. The rules themselves date back to the early 20th century when General Motors and Ford were monoliths and dealers were actually powerless. Today the bans on Tesla stores are such a naked example of stifling innovative competition to protect an incumbent industry's business model that they look positively French. Few capitalists today embody the Ayn Randian entrepreneur-as-hero persona quite as convincingly as Tesla CEO Elon Musk, who also runs Space-X and Solar City. Yet until this week, at least, the GOP was happy to make him an enemy.