Advocates of industrial policy have been pointing to ‘smart subsidies’ for green technology as proof that government can function as an effective venture capitalist, directing subsidies effectively toward ‘sunrise’ industries.We will probably be hearing less of those claims now as the public digests the massive excess, failure and fraud that have turned the Obama administration’s green subsidy program into a symbol of good intentions gone awry. It turns out public policy is hard, and not every green minded NGO apparatchik is very good at hard things.Decrying what it calls a “gold rush” mentality that primarily benefited companies like Goldman Sachs and others in need of no special help, a recent article in the New York Times surveyed a range of projects where taxpayer and ratepayer subsidies have taken all risk from the private sector and all but guaranteed large profits “for years to come.” Even some of the companies involved in the porkfest acknowledge that things got a little out of hand; some projects that have been heavily subsidized “would have been built anyway,” they say. The drunken sailor on shore leave style economic stimulus spending gets special attention as wasteful, misguided and lavished on corporate welfare for energy giants.GOP operatives looking for killer attack ads for 2012 will find useful leads in the story; unless they are careful Democrats are going to have Goldman Sachs hanging around their necks in the upcoming election campaign.Hint to green wastrels in the Energy Department and elsewhere: when even the New York Times thinks the green madness has gone too far, it has.Putting green lipstick on a pig doesn’t turn that pig into Ralph Nader. A full generation after the movement kicked off, too many greens are still clueless babes in the woods, regularly taken to the cleaners by cunning and clever corporate interests who know how to say all the right words. Like ethanol, solar and subsidy.There may be a dumber mass movement in the country than the fuzzy minded sentimentalists of the great green herd, but it isn’t easy to figure out which mass movement that would be.