The A.V. Club: How do you feel about Barack Obama becoming the de facto president of General Motors?
P.J. O’Rourke: I think it’s a really, really bad idea. It’s one of these situations where Dad burns dinner, so you say, “Oh, I know. Let’s have the dog cook!” The only people that could possibly be worse at running a car company than the current crop of car executives—who have proven themselves to be plenty bad—would be a politician. There are lots of levels of fear and complaint about the government getting involved in business. First and foremost, of course, is incompetence. We actually have experiential evidence about this. In England, all the English car companies were beginning to circle the drain in a series of well-deserved failures and bankruptcies, earned by making lousy products with very poor production at high prices. So, the government, back in the ’70s, nationalized all the British car companies. The result was British Leyland, a name that perhaps doesn’t resonate much with you. Many of your friends probably drive Humber Super Snipers, or perhaps not. [Laughs.] That’s certainly one thing that we’re headed for. The other thing is that there’s a very good reason that governments aren’t supposed to compete with private-enterprise companies. Governments have monopolies on certain things, like eminent domain and deadly force. What’s another example of an organization that gets into the same business that you’re in, except that their guys have got guns? That would be the Mob. Ford is like the last honest trash collector in the New York metropolitan area, the last one that’s not mobbed-up. How long is that gonna go on for?
To be honest, I was disappointed that the whole interview didn't keep up that pace. So here are some suggested questions for further talks with Mr. O'Rourke.
1. So, what are your thoughts on the sun being replaced with a Spongebob nightlight?
2. Why do so many people think compasses point North, when they really just point to the nearest bathroom?"
3. What should goldfish do in order to receive the credit they deserve for inventing the Cyrillic alphabet?
4. Big government doesn't want kids playing in abandoned refrigerators. So how are the tykes supposed to get to Narnia?
5. The brain is made of peanut butter and raisins. But when I make a peanut butter and raisin sandwich, it can't think or talk. What am I doing wrong?
I'm here to help.