Were the administration to get started on the great gold dump, however, we’d come to a different judgment day very quickly. When the massively inflated price of that metal collapsed, it would probably take with it a hefty chunk of the portfolios of tea-party types, survivalists, Birchers, dittoheads, Objectivists and almost every imaginable species of secular end-timer.

Achieving such an effect might not even require selling the gold, either: The government could conceivably collapse the price merely by implying that it intended to sell the stuff.

Of course, it is an article of my corny liberal faith that government should never craft policy merely in order to damage its partisan opponents. But if you believe that government should be run like a business, then this, too, becomes thinkable. It was the supremely market-minded men of Republican Washington, after all, who made “Defund the Left” into one of their movement’s guiding principles. It was they who dreamed up the “K Street Project” and the other schemes that were designed to reward GOP loyalists and redirect the revenue streams of the Democratic Party.