... The federal money flowing to Detroit to help struggling automakers was always going to come with strings.

But there’s a fine line between holding General Motors Corp. and Chrysler LLC accountable for a pile of taxpayer cash and inappropriate government efforts to actually run the companies.

President Barack ObamaBarack Hussein ObamaRivals and consumers will rein in Facebook, not regulation Obamas send handwritten note to Parkland students: 'We will be there for you' Water has experienced a decade of bipartisan success MORE’s Auto Task Force may have crossed that line over the weekend, when it asked for GM Chairman Rick Wagoner’s resignation and demanded that Chrysler link up with Fiat in 30 days, or give up on any more government aid.

It’s hard to see how either move is far shy of actually running the businesses. And if that’s the case, if the auto companies’ federal overseers have decided they’ll make managerial as well as financial decisions, this sets an awful precedent, both on general principle and in these particular instances.

... Too many in Washington fundamentally misunderstand the auto industry and its needs. Why on earth, then, should they be trusted to make key decisions about how auto companies run? ...