Essential

Auto Bailout Has a Flat

Congressional Democrats have been clamoring for a $25 billion bailout for the auto industry since they increased their majorities last week, but it seems unlikely that they'll be able to get it done before January, when the new Congress convenes. "I'd want to be careful about bringing up a proposition that might fail," said Sen. Chris Dodd. Majority Leader Harry Reid has indicated he intends to move the plan forward next week. The problem, as David Brooks writes in The New York Times, is "a bailout will not solve anything—just postpone things." Brooks says "no one who believes the companies are viable without radical change." Obama has promised to address this fact by appointing an auto czar to oversee reform, but Brooks asks, "Are we really to believe there exists a czar omniscient, omnipotent, and beneficent enough to know how to fix the Big Three?"