They're all a bunch of "Toyota Republicans!" [OurFuture]
Irrespective of the merits of the federally guaranteed loans for the Big Three, I think it is valid to point out that the southern states have lavished government money on their foreign-owned automotive operations. In South Carolina, the state bought the land that the BMW plant sits on, built a test track for them to test European-bound roadsters for wind noise, built interchanges for BMW on I-85 and Honda (for an ATV plant) on I-95, as well as numerous other state-funded training and infrastructure projects, plus generous tax breaks and incentives. From what I've read, Alabama and Mississippi have been much more generous than South Carolina towards their foreign automotive manufacturers.
To see these senators who were cheerleaders for their own states' investment in these businesses suddenly develop core values does make one wonder about their motivation. Personally, I was not thrilled about my state tax dollars going for corporate welfare for BMW, but these Republican core values were nowhere in sight when those decisions were made. So, if you think they were opposing the federal loans for the Big Three purely on principle, I have a couple of interchanges I'd like to sell you.