A fine time for a victory lap

A FINE TIME FOR A VICTORY LAP…. General Motors launched a successful IPO this morning, marking not only the end of the government’s role as a majority shareholder, but also one of the great, contemporary corporate success stories, thanks entirely to a well-executed public-private partnership.

It was a partnership that Republicans and leading conservative voices insisted would fail. Newsweek ran an item yesterday, noting the plain fact that the right was wrong.

What could have happened is that today, General Motors would be in the 15th month of its bankruptcy, no end in sight, with consumers shying away from its products and tens of thousands of automobile industry workers either laid off or despairing for their futures.

Instead we have an IPO that is the talk of Wall Street, loans being repaid with stock sale proceeds, an auto company that makes money at the bottom of a cycle and new products that are widely applauded.

So it’s a simple call. The Tea Party … simply got it wrong.

Yes, they did, as did their Republican friends in Congress and in the media, many of whom literally predicted “disaster.”

But what’s especially astounding here is that the right continues to resist reality. Those who were wrong not only won’t admit, they continue to insist they were right, their lying eyes notwithstanding. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) condemned Obama’s rescue of the automotive industry two weeks ago, and Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R) did the same thing this morning.

Why conservatives insist on whining about an American success story is beyond me. Conservative predictions were plainly wrong. Leaner, stronger auto manufacturers are seeing their profits grow, and they’re creating jobs again, all while paying back taxpayers.

Michelle Krebs, senior analyst at Edmunds.com, said this week that opposition to the rescue “sounds great on principle,” but we now know it was necessary. “The failure of GM would have had a domino effect,” Krebs said. “It would have crippled the supplier base and all of the other manufacturers who build here would also have been hurt or shut down.”

And yet, even now, the right thinks the president made the wrong call. It’s a striking reminder of the failure of conservative ideology — even when presented with evidence of a program that constitutes an “unqualified success,” the right can’t admit it worked, because the initiative runs counter to their ideological demands.

It’s almost sad to see an entire school of political thought reach this level of intellectual bankruptcy.

For his part, President Obama noted this morning that GM’s stock offering “marks a major milestone in the turnaround of not just an iconic company but the entire American auto industry…. Supporting the American auto industry required tough decisions and shared sacrifices, but it helped save jobs, rescue an industry at the heart of America’s manufacturing sector, and make it more competitive for the future.”