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When In Doubt, Rewrite History

Austan Goolsbee was out spinning on Fox News Sunday. (Andy McCarthy does an able take-down on a number of counts.) But Goolsbee’s prevarication on the car bailout (“We are only in this situation because somebody else kicked the can down the road, and that’s really an understatement”) was too much for Dana Perino who responded:

Taking over the White House doesn’t come with a magic pen to rewrite history. If the Obama transition team had not wanted us to provide breathing space for the automakers – with an express condition of future proven viability – they should have said so at the time, and those concerns would have been given considerable weight and may have changed the outcome. It was, in fact, the new administration that decided last week to go whole hog and put taxpayers on the hook for a 60 percent stake in a company that has not proven in concrete terms how it will become viable in the future.

Yes, conservatives may think that the Bush administration was wrong not to end the government gravy train when it had the chance but it takes a special brand of chutzpah for Democrats (who excoriated Sen. Bob Corker for trying to do just that) to claim this wasn’t what they wanted all along. One thing is clear: if this were not a political and economic loser, the Obama team wouldn’t be blaming Bush for it.

And the Obama administration has gotten so smug that it thinks it has impunity to blame Bush — no matter what the facts. But here Perino and Bush economic advisor Keith Hennessey have the goods — the latter providing the tick-tock on the car rescue efforts in the waning days of the Bush administration.

No one much likes the GM nationalization plan, but the effort to shift blame to the Bush team for an awful decision which is politically unpopular and economically unwise is both dishonest and cowardly. It’s the Obama Motors Company — and he should take responsibility for his own decision-making.


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