In the two days since the nationalization of GM was announced, the callers and e-mailers to my program have been 10 to 1 against the Obamaization of the American car business. The reasons are many and varied. Some simply hate the naked exercise of federal power. Others see the first undeniable instance of socialism understood as the government's ownership of the means of production. Still others cannot believe that the shareholders and bondholders of a once great company have been stripped of their equity while the unions that helped bring the company down, escape nearly unscathed.
Almost everyone grasps immediately the deep unfairness to Ford and even the offshore carmakers that now compete against the massive subsidies of the federal government. How exactly is Ford supposed to bear its 'legacy costs' while GM is relieved of its past mistakes? How will the UAW negotiate fairly with Ford while realizing that every dollar bled from it is a dollar more likely to go to GM, in which the union now holds a huge equity position? How can every federal official interacting with any car company not know and act with the knowledge that the 'home team' - the president's team - is GM.