‘Twas moronic, retrograde unions that killed the delicious beast.

Hostess, the makers of Twinkies, Ding Dongs and Wonder Bread, is going out of business after striking workers failed to heed a Thursday deadline to return to work, the company said.

“We deeply regret the necessity of today’s decision, but we do not have the financial resources to weather an extended nationwide strike,” Hostess CEO Gregory F. Rayburn said in announcing that the firm had filed a motion with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court to shutter its business. “Hostess Brands will move promptly to lay off most of its 18,500-member workforce and focus on selling its assets to the highest bidders.”

To review what happened: Hostess is struggling in the anemic economy and needed to cut its costs to survive. It cut worker pay and benefits, but its workers were unionized, and members of its second-largest union went on strike. Go ahead and strike, Hostess warned, but if you’re not back to making Twinkies by 5 p.m. Thursday then you won’t have a job to come back to because the company will die. The union workers, members of the Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers International Union, stayed out on strike. Well, some of them did. Some of them crossed the picket lines, only to have the union leadership threaten to fine them. It’s hard to fine people who don’t have any money, but whatever. Today, Hostess says it’s kaput. The Twinkie is, at least temporarily, dead.

But I’m sure liberals out there will say that the company’s CEO is just doing it wrong. There’s no such thing as an economy so weak and at the same time so hostile to companies working on tight margins that all costs of doing business can’t just be absorbed or passed on to the customer — who, by the way, is less and less likely to have a job allowing them to afford to buy Twinkies and Ding Dongs.

It is possible that Wonder Bread, the Twinkie and the Ding Dong may not be dead after all. The quote above hints that the recipes and brand names, as well as the companies’ bakeries and other physical assets, could live on after Hostess sells them. Maybe Little Debbie will ride to the rescue.

Other casualties of the death of Hostess include Dolly Madison, Drake’s, and Nature’s Pride.