Does everybody remember how, early last year, President Obama bailed out the American car companies? Now, when Bush the Stupider bailed out the banks, he just handed them sacks of money with no stipulations, trusting that the honor of the bank owners would force them to repay the money. Now, when Barack the Obama went to the rescue of the auto manufacturers, he required a stake in the company be given to the country, in order to put slightly less risk on the taxpayers for the use of their ducats.
In a sane world, this would seem like a reasonable precaution. But, because the United States is filled with people so brain-meltingly ignorant that it's a surprise whenever they fail to crap themselves, this seemed to cause many of these babbling Beck-watchers physical pain, and they immediately set up howls of protests. People who couldn't define socialism (and frequently couldn't even spell it) began shrieking "Socialism!" in annoying, high-pitched voices, almost as if they knew what they were shrieking about.
But what did we hear yesterday? That GM is repaying all $5.8 billion dollars in full, and earlier than they agreed.
Now, customarily, when a supervillain like the Great Obama sees his fiendish plans foiled, he shakes his fist at the sky and shouts something like "Curses! Foiled again!" But nobody even flinched.
Not that our unhinged friends are likely to admit this. Because if they were to admit that they were wrong about one thing, perhaps they might discover that they're wrong about any number of things. And if their faith in their own omniscience is ever shaken, they might suddenly disappear in a cloud of logic and despair.
Update (4/28/10): Well, this is an interesting development (if by "interesting," you mean "spine-tinglingly dishonest and potentially fraudulent"). You know those GM ads where the CEO, Ed Whitacre, tells you how he repaid all this money?
Well, yeah, he kinda did. And he kinda didn't. See, what he actually did was repay his bailout money with funds from a different bailout fund.
Funny how he doesn't mention that in the ad.
Of course, the people who pointed this out? A bipartisan group of Senators. From the government, who, if they were secretly in charge of GM, would be more interested in hiding the fact that the CEO of GM is kind of a lying bastard, right?
So, what have we learned from this? Well, the first thing we've learned would be that Ed Whitacre is, as I said, kind of a lying bastard. But on the other hand, it just verifies that, even though a high-speed conman would seem to be the perfect candidate for public office, GM is still not the automotive arm of the US government.
Dishonest? Yes. Socialist? Not so much.