It seems to me there are really two distinct issues around bailing out the automakers.
1. Should we save the employees?
2. Should we save the companies?
My answer to #1 is Yes and my answer to #2 is No.
It's important to recognize the distinction. Saving failing companies is bad for everybody (in the long run) and only delays the inevitable. If we're going to give away billions (in the short term), let's give it away in the form of unemployment and secondary education for displaced workers.
We simply cannot continue to invest in or lend money to companies that lack vision, innovation and results.