President Obama says he doesn't want to run auto companies and he doesn't want to run banks.
He probably means that, but it doesn't matter: He's now running both and he can't stop now and he'll have plenty of help from the other end of Pennsylvania Avenue.
That's because once the government pumps billions of taxpayer dollars into private enterprises, there is no way the firms can continue to operate by the rules of business. They now operate by the rules of politics.
That explains the appointment of a new government overseer to make sure that companies receiving federal dollars don't pay executives at levels that might embarrass Washington. And that explains what happened when General Motors decided to close a warehouse in Norton, Massachusetts.
Congressman Barney Frank, who represents the area, got involved on behalf of his constituents. One phone call to the company later, the warehouse was spared.
Congressman Frank — by the way — said Wednesday that when it comes to pay, he and his fellow congressmen will be "less intrusive" toward companies that do not get government money.
What a relief.
Mr. Frank will of course hold a hearing on the issue. Earlier, car dealers slated for elimination by the auto companies had their hearing in Congress, which was sympathetic.
There will be many more such trips to Washington by executives who will soon realize that this is where their real boards of directors now sit.
— Brit Hume is the senior political analyst for FOX News Channel.