Consistency in the defense of liberty is no vice
There is a meme developing among Romney supporters in the comments that my focus lately on the dangers Bain presents in a general election is a visceral reaction to Romney’s SuperPAC going negative on Newt in Iowa in December 2011.
Actually, I have been sounding the warning on Romney’s electability and the Bain problem since before the Newt surge, on November 16, 2011:
Romney’s electability versus Obama simply is overstated. As leading Republican candidate after Republican candidate has been put through the media grinder, Romney has not. The mainstream media has been noticeably not going after Romney, saving the proctological examination of his business dealings at Bain for the general election grinder. (This Chicago Sun-Times article is a rare media attack on Romney and a taste of things to come.)
We are in the absurd position that the one candidate who most needs testing because he is the most likely nominee is the one candidate the media ignores as it devours his opponents. Buyer beware, we are being fed a false narrative of Romney electability.
And again on November 17:
Yet none of this Bain history has been examined so far in the primaries. The media has taken to digging up rocks to find dirt on Rick Perry, shaking complainers out of the trees against Herman Cain, and trying to sully Newt with innuendos about his consulting business, but Romney remains unexamined.
It’s not that the media hasn’t done it’s job; it’s doing its job of electing Obama quite well by holding its fire on Romney until it is too late for Republicans. Major Republican and conservative journals that support Romney are equally complicit, as it is in their candidate’s interest to portray everyone but Romney as unelectable.
Unfortunately, I’m not sure that the other Republican candidates have the resources to do it, but you can bet the Obama campaign does and has.
To nominate Mitt Romney without a thorough vetting in the primaries will result in a general election disaster.
And again on November 17 (Will we ever get around to vetting Mitt Romney?) and November 21 (How Obama would attack Romney),
Not long after that, Newt surged, and just a couple of weeks after that the Romney campaign, its supporters, and almost the entire establishment conservative punditry drove a dump truck up to the edge of the roof and dumped a ton of negative bricks on Newt’s head to block his path to the nomination.
I was right in November about the dangers Bain posed to Romney’s electability, and nothing has changed my view.
To the contrary, the secrecy which has accompanied Romney’s campaign on the Bain issue and tax returns has made me even more worried that there are Bain land mines set to explode, we just don’t know where or when.
Some of the rhetoric by Newt and Perry has been unfocused and overly broad, but the core issue of Romney’s business experience being subject to legitimate scrutiny and criticism is correct.
Unfortunately, the collective circling of the wagons around Romney through equating criticism of Bain with criticism of capitalism and free markets has done more damage to the Republican Party than anything AxelPlouffe could have concocted in their mad media lab.
If you have noticed, I have never attacked Romney in the highly personal and demeaning manner that Newt has been attacked. I have not attacked his character or his intentions. But I have been insistent that we not ignore the elephant in the room.
That elephant is Bain. And it is not going to go away even if we close our eyes.
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“That elephant is Bain.”
Why do you hate animals?
Yes, let’s vet them all to the nth degree so our eventual candidate will have the strength, smarts (because we forced this), and courage for the final run.
Its not your fault. Romney supporters are just blind to their hero’s faults more so that other candidates followers, with an exception of maybe Ron Paul. We know Newt’s been a cad, but he’s brilliant and he delivers on conservative goals.
Their bias is on par with Obamabots circa ’08.
If you look at the memes Romney’s supporters are using it’s surprisingly similar to the Obama memes used; electability, able to unify, presidential poise…. Etc.
I keep saying to myself, “my god, are we really going to do this again?” But he SPEAKS so well. Just check the record. Remember Obama ran as a conservative too. He said “I will cut the deficit in half by the end of my first term.”
The next conservative thing Romney/obama does will be eithers first.
Professor Jacobson we are in desperate need of a website or video or SOMETHING that focuses on the debt issue involved in the main examples of what Bain did. The kingofbain.com video really doesn’t hit the issue squarely and thus Rush and the others continue to talk without focusing on the manipulation of the debt, which is where the heart of this problem is. Are you aware of any resources we can spread on Facebook etc to get the word out about the precise problem? The lady who called in at the end of today’s show on Rush was clearly about to stumble around and miss the point again!!!! HELP ! ! !
Maybe one of those Taiwanese anime productions like they did on the Ben Bernanke to explain Quantitative Easing??? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PTUY16CkS-k
Here’s the best explanation of the process I can find so far:
This guy is the expert on this issue. Unfortunately this is the best video I can find: http://youtu.be/wly-b1HnZFs?t=1m40s
Excerpt: “And because the securities laws are designed primarily to protect investors rather than the integrity of the system, private-equity companies are exempt because they do not have shareholders in the usual sense of the term. The companies’ shares do not trade on exchanges…”
I must say, I’ve read many of your comments and you’ve offered a perspective which gives me food for thought-driving up the debt into bankruptcy, taking the spoils and leaving the rest to rot.
If I understand what you are saying is that what Romney did is really no different than what the government is doing?
You are EXACTLY right — it is a DIRECT ANALOGY. But it’s important to start at the beginning and understand the foundation. The intentional accumulation of debt (and pocketing it) which the company can then no longer sustain is the HEART of the immoral action. It’s NOT just a “good faith” failure of a company’s business model. THIS is KEY, and it is what they are trying to obscure!
I hate to keep talking to myself but “syn” you’re the only person who’s listening 🙂 I am an AYN RAND CAPITALIST myself but I am LIVID at the Romney smoke screen and the confusion of people (like Rush) who don’t understand the details. I don’t know if Rick Perry has a clue about what he is saying, but this is a REAL issue. There were no “vulture capitalists” in Atlas Shrugged 🙂 SOMEONE needs to get out there in the media and explain the details.
I just read the article and watched the video; perhaps God’s Truth speaks the Wisdom that without a moral and virtuous compass then human beings are capable of doing very bad things.
And, that law and legalism alone does not stop people from harming one another. What these privaty-equity compainies did was perfectly legal and capitalistic yet the consequences of their actions devasting.
I don’t believe greed is the motivation, rather it is lack of good moral judgement and virtuous character.
However I am certain of this, Government is in no position to fix this since it hasn’t the moral compass to do so.
Perhaps rising more sons and daughters with good moral judgement and virtuous character is the answer?
SYN I agree with you in general but what you said here is not correct: “what these privaty-equity compainies did was ……. capitalistic.”
No reasonable definition of capitalism encompasses running up debt without a reasonable connection to the need to keep the enterprise surviving as a going concern to pay back the debt. When corporate raiders balloon debt knowing that it will not and cannot be paid back, that is NOT capitalism, and it is no different — and no less morally wrong — than when Joe Six-Pack runs up his credit card right before walking away from it.
The idea at the moment is that we don’t really know for sure, but we need to find out before Romney possibly wins the nomination. All manner of opposition rails against even asking questions about it. That’s the pathway to allowing an unvetted ‘known unknown’ issue – Bain – torpedo the GOP candidate.
If any and all aspects of Bain are easily defended, Romney need only easily defend them. If there are aspects to Bain that are not so easily defended, the difficulty describes a problem that needs to be settled now, not next October, nor settled in Obama’s favor.
Of course some of the voices opposing any scrutiny into Bain or its practices could just as well be private partners in these firms and they’re just looking out for their interests. That’s speculation, of course.
They are stealing wealth from the economy by using legal loopholes to create fake wealth. Akin to monetization I think.
Excellent work, Professor.
Newt needs to stay on topic and weather the sh*tstorm from the establishment. He’s dead right, and moreover, he’s on to the breakout theme of this race and the key to crossover voters. Romney is a nearly-comic and veritably defenseless plutocrat who will set back the Republican party 50 years.
Remember what Reagan said:
“In late 1979, during an economic strategy meeting, Ronald Reagan was talking about his upcoming presidential campaign. At one point, somebody expressed concern that John Connally, the former governor of Texas and another presidential candidate, was gaining support among corporate chief executive officers, with all the financial support and credibility that that entailed. Reagan said this didn’t bother him at all. “Let him have the Fortune 500,” he said. “I want our campaign to stand for Main Street, not Wall Street. I want us to stand for the worker, the shopkeeper, the entrepreneur, and the small businessman.”
Reagan was an anti-capitalist economic populist! SMEAR ‘IM!!
Oh wait, the GOP establishment already did.
“Romney’s SuperPAC going negative on Newt in Iowa in December 2011.”
Have to wonder if Romney’s campaign still thinks that plan of attack was such a good idea. Why are they surprised that Newt responded in kind? Seems like karma is coming around to bite them.
“Newt surged, and just a couple of weeks after that the Romney campaign, its supporters, and almost the entire establishment conservative punditry drove a dump truck up to the edge of the roof and dumped a ton of negative bricks on Newt’s head to block his path to the nomination.”
This is a consistant pattern with powers that be, dumping tons of negative on anyone in their way.
I hope Newt keeps up the attack, and Kudos to you, Prof., for raising this issue early on.
Romney is still being protected by others rising to his defense. He needs to articulate his response to the charges himself, if he can.
Newt screwed up in one way. Newt should have said: “Here is the minimum articulation of charges about Romney’s actions at Bain that will be made by Obama and his people. Obama will get very specific, and the press will demand answers from Romney. If Romney gets to the general election he will have to respond regarding each company in which Bain invested, so the Republican voters need to see now what Romney’s position will be, and they need to see that before they are required to vote in primaries. I will keep pressing Romney to present his response to these arguments now, rather than trying to sweep this upcoming liberal charge under the rug during the primary season.”
In other words, Newt could have teed this up just as well without personally taking any position on it.
Where Romney fails..at least so far, is explaining in terms a 4 year old might understand, exactly the similarities to his work at Bain and that of a President. We need a better understanding of how the man reasons in that business enviroment so we voters have some clue how he might make decisions as a President.
What I see…again so far… is a guy not used to being questioned about what he considers …granular issues.
He expects us to take his word for truth around 100,000 jobs created. Well? Show us dont tell us. You made the claim..so show us the detail.
His response yesterday that his work at Bain was similar to the Obama GM deal was a weak response…if he had thought about it..NASA is a better example. Some entities may be better off in a reworked form…that may have been a clearer example.
So sure..he needs vetting but we need to steer clear of “vulture capitalists” and other populist labels. Have that argument with Obama later this year.
Some days when I read…I feel like Romney is alot of sizzle…but as someone far smarter than me said: Wheres the beef?
I think we need to see the results of Newt’s Bain gambit before success/failure is declared.
Yup, this whole “you can’t go after Romney’s Bain ties or we’ll call you dirty names” is just like “you can’t go after Obama’s Jeremiah Wright ties or we’ll call you dirty names.”
They are breathing fire against anyone who will go there, because they know it is devastating. I hope Perry and Newt stick with it, because Romney, like Obama, can’t take the heat if anyone is willing to bring it.
If Romney crashes and burns in SC, he will be a whole lot less “inevitable,” because the folks just don’t like Romney.
Or you can’t criticize Obama’s politics or you’re a racist.
Of course, it is legitimate to scrutinize what Romney did for years at Bain — for Romney’s GOP rivals and for that matter, for Obama, too. Everything in a candidates professional and personal background is legitimate to scrutinize.
However, there is — or ought to be — some difference between the way Obama and the Democrats exploit this issue and the way supposedly conservative Republicans do. For the Left, any association with business or finance is on its face suspect (albeit that is hypocritical) and fodder for charges of plutocracy, exploitation, greed and rape of communities. Look at the “documentary” that propelled Michael Moore to celebrity, “Roger and Me,” in which Moore essentially accused General Motors of responsibility for Michigan’s steep decline, as if the big bad company made money by selling fewer cars, shuttering plants and laying off people.
So far, in my opinion, the attacks on Bain’s record by Republicans have not differed much from this sort of thing. Of upwards of 100 companies in which Bain invested on Romney’s watch, two or three are being spotlighted as failures in which some facilities were shut and people laid off. Perry goes so far as to call Bain’s business “vulture capitalism” based on these examples (drawn second hand from other people’s presentations, in Perry’s case).
So that is it? That’s the whole downside of the Bain story?
I am open to accepting that Bain’s business was irresponsible, unethical, shady, rapacious or even illegal. But no one has made such a case — not so far — not in the fair, cogent way you would expect from Republicans, as opposed to OWS bombthrowing. And folks have reportedly be digging
into this for a decade, so whatever dirt is there has likely been dug already.
You just might learn a few things you didn’t know, like Meg Whitman’s connection to Bain. And who the money man really was.
I maintain that what I currently know of Romney and Bain doesn’t bother me, I welcome reasonable and rational exploration. But some of the candidates have failed the reasonable and rational test and reverted to self-destructive accusations that undermine capitalism and free markets. Ironically, Romney’s defense of his actions may be amount the worst possible examples of that stupidity.
And I realize that Bain may be a big campaign issue to many other people including Obama and his campaign. I have wondered why the MSM had been so easy on Romney and avoided virtually any exploration of the man. I suspect there was method in that approach.
I have no plans to vote for Romney. I have 50 other reasons beside Bain that would never allow me to vote for him. But the other candidates should be free to explore Bain accurately without hyperbole and should be free from attacks by the GOP and other conservatives when they explore this much touted Romney experience.
The problem I see is that all these candidates lack a deep understanding of the private sector and their default convictions are not those of free-market, constitutionalists. They are more interested in their own election for that sake alone rather than for what is good for America. And that bodes ill for America…
WarEagle82 if anyone out there is smart enough to unscramble this and explain it to America, it’s Newt. Problem is, he has no more than a couple of days to do it.
If Newt were that smart he would never gone off the deep end on this topic but would have presented a reasonable, thoughtful exploration of Bain.
His overreaction has probably hurt himself more than anything. It makes him look petty and vindictive and damages free enterprise and the conservative movement…
No one said you can’t ask questions or explore Bain’s activities.
That is NOT what Gingrich has been doing, though. He is using the anti-capitalist sloganeering of the Marxist left and OWS to smear Bain and Romney without the first specific criticism, for the sole evident purpose of poisoning the well against Romney, who he resents because a Romney-backing PAC pointed out Gingrich’s abysmal record which could never survive serious scrutiny.
Perry joined in, and even Romney-haters Limbaugh and Giuliani think the whole thing is outrageous.
Gingrich will never get my vote for ANYTHING except “off the island.” Screw him and the whores he rode in on.
Nevermind that Rush’s bread and butter brand has a name: BAIN.
Clear Channel is owned by Bain.
Guiliani? Hell, the guy couldn’t even take Florida where he pretty much lived for six months.
Guliani has contracts to look after…He’s a putz
Rush owns a majority share of his business. Bain is not his boss.
Here you go — Perry and Gingrich star in a Democratic National Committee ad attacking Romney.
That is, of course, the other issue here: Obama can say whatever he wants and people will discount at least part of it as simply partisanship. Perry and Gingrich are validating this line of attack on Romney, legitimizing it as something Republicans and Democrats agree on.
And if Newt is the nominee, Romney saying Newt is “zany” and all the over-the-top commentary from conservative pundits like Ann Coulter would be featured in Obama ads.
Maybe, but then this is the ad that is already up, and it spotlights leading, well known Republican party figures calling Romney a “vulture” and so on. Not right-wing pundits like Coulter who would have zero legitimacy with swing voters.
Oh boo-hoo. Remember when Perry was the frontrunner, and Romney was using scare-mongering lingo about Social Security? If Perry were to end up the nominee, I’m sure Obama wouldn’t use that, either.
Romney & Romney-supporters = FAIL
Romney sent out these to seniors
If Romney gets the GOP nod it will look like Wall St. is buying the White House.
Obama will go full throttle FDR. He will fold successful states jobs numbers like Texas into his national numbers and claim credit.
So the fact that Texas created over 200,000 jobs in 2010 (Using the Texas conservative governing model) and Texas is the only state to add jobs every month for the last nine months becomes..Obama -“Folks we are turnin’ things around. We added over 200,00 jobs in 2010 and have been adding jobs every month for the last 9 months…I just need more time”
Given that Obama tried to shut down our grid..as a Texan this about makes my head explode.
In this economy Romney has as much chance of beating Obama as Hoover did against FDR.
Sure, and all those horrible, ugly things Hilary Clinton and Joe Biden said about Obama during the 2008 primaries certainly ended Obama’s and their careers.
Tough gazobbies. Romney can dish it out but he can’t take it. Got it. He can say any filthy thing he pleases about Gingrich or Perry cribbed straight from Leftist playbooks but in the name of “unity” they can’t respond? Or their responses must pass some kind of politically-inoffensive standard?
Romney declared war. Now he’s in one.
So how is his Commander-in-Chief audition going so far?
Professor: You’re on target so fire for effect.
Romney, IMAHO, doesn’t have core values that I’m aware of. He seems to go with ever comes around. His prior statements about his views, back when he was running for MA governor, perfectly define his then outlook on issues and my bet is that they still do.
I truly want a candidate who believes in our Constitution, has strong conservative values that are aimed at clearing the way for our economy to rev up and grow. So far, Newt seems to be that guy, Perry has the governing credentials, Santorum could talk a good fight, but Romney doesn’t seem to get it at all.
Plus, Romney has so damned little conviction about anything except winning the nomination, he’s Mr. Bland, mixed in with a big dose of luke-warm tepid.
You’ve said it many times, that Romney is this cycle’s establishment choice and that’s right on the money except we need someone to lead the GOP into the light, and help support an effective counterweight campaign just in case.
We do need to defeat our country’s version of “Dear Leader” or perhaps some might wish to title Obama as the “Great Helmsman,” or if Obama’s wins maybe the msm will start calling him the “Great Architect.”
Romney does have an unbending core conviction, that of the businessman: learn your target market and meet it, wherever and whatever it is.
Would someone please find an alternative to using the word meme? It has worn out its welcome this cycle. So have–demagogue, surrogate, distill, fair share, Alinsky-like tactics, etc.
And “going forward.” I cringe to hear that one.
Prof. Spot on Thanks.You should know by now how the game is played.It’s always someone elses fault. Bain is a valid issue.They should have brought it up at the beginning of the campaign. It would have been settled one way or the other by now.Did they really think obama wouldn’t use this in the gen.election? no, the blame rest on their doorstep,not with you. I saw a clip (I think it was on youtube) of Mike Huckabee during .his ’08 run .He brought up Bain and how Romney ran it.I don’t recall anyone being upset then.Do you?
Keep shouting that warning Professor…my preferred choice would be Rick Perry but I have no problem with voting for Newt. I don’t know if the information in this article is accurate or not but it can only help Romney…
wonder why Rush, Hannity, Beck, are defending Romney.
Bain’s Capital owns Clear Channel stations.
Who says Rush is defending Romney? I’ve heard him describe Romney as a disastrous squish on countless occasions on his show. He criticized Romney just yesterday. Rush’s complaint is the use of left-oriented rhetoric to attack Romney.
I have no idea what Hannity says because I don’t care what Hannity says.
As for Beck, I don’t catch him very often so I’m not up to speed on his Romney position. But last I heard, he actively disliked Romney as a progressive.
I’m pretty sure Beck dislikes everybody as a progressive. I envision a day when he leaves the entertainment business, explaining to his fans that he has discovered that he himself is a progressive.
Anybody care to see selected (by liberals I presume) portions of the <a href=RomneyKennedy debate ?
Anybody care to see selected (by liberals I presume) portions of the Romney/Kennedy debate?
The video MSO cited
Certainly I have been critical of your recent commentary, but I am not a Romney supporter (nor am I a Santorum supporter, nor a Perry supporter, and definitely not a Gingrich supporter). While I acknowledge you have been harping on Bain Capitol and the 1040 issue, it has been since the Iowa onslaught – primarily by the Paul campaign – that your tone has become much more caustic.
What I object to is not the one elephant you see in the room, but the four (five if you count Cain) I have seen since last summer. Your argument that Bain Capitol will prove to be a fatal flaw is not persuasive to me. But not because it isn’t. Rather all our candidates have issues that the left would have attempted to exploit mercilessly and dishonestly, and with a wholly malleable media (many complicit some just willingly ignorant), it is folly to wholeheartedly engage in the gnashing of teeth just because your favored candidate isn’t doing as well in the polls as you would like.
For goodness sake, look only to your own comment section. We are feeding ammo to the left, merely because some think their RINO* candidate is better than the other RINO candidate. (* RINO is inaccurate but shorter than entrenched big government conservative/ruling class Republican.) Vetting candidates is one thing, but this site, and many of its commentors seemingly want to eviscerate. Don’t for a second think that were Gingrich to become our nominee, all those thousands of internal documents that Nancy Pelosi stupidly bragged about wouldn’t miraculously and untraceably find their way into the press. And if Newt were the nominee, I would think you would want former Mitt supporters as allies, not bystanders. (And yes, I will gladly support whomever wins the GOP nomination.)
Romney, Gingrich, Santorum, and Perry all have glaring problems, and all are worlds better than our current White House Occupier. But they are not insurmountable… unless we petulantly take our eyes off the big picture. And while I do think that in the long run, Obama’s win in 2008 was a necessary clarion call, that alarm sounded long enough ago that we ought to be marshaling our forces for the real battles, and not this petty internecine bickering that threatens to consume us.
In other words…
Tone down the rhetoric folks – our problems can only be solved with a super-majority in the Congress, or a solid Congressional majority and the Presidency. And more important to whoever RINO* earns the nomination, Congress has to be re-populated with small government conservatives/classic liberals.
Think strategically; after all our political opponents have been doing so for decades..
Professor, I’ll just add for a bit of clarification. Since 2008 I have been solidly in Sarah Palin’s camp. I am disgusted by so many that yearned to see her destroyed.
Unlike any politician since Reagen, she talked clearly and cogently not what America should be, but what America was designed to be. All of our present candidates seem to forget that. And the left certainly wants to eradicate that.
“Congress has to be re-populated with small government conservatives/classic liberals.
Think strategically; after all our political opponents have been doing so for decades..”
Okay, HERE we are in complete agreement. But we also can’t ignore the presidential election, which means we can’t ignore the primary.
Fortune analyzed Gingrich’s attack “film” and found it a pack of lies. In fact, in at least two of the three cases Romney wasn’t even with the firm at the time. http://tinyurl.com/6uaelwj
So much for spin that it’s honest criticism. It is NOT. It is leftist propaganda, period.
Sure, Professor, YOUR inquiries may be legitimate and reasonable. But that isn’t what Gingrich is presenting, not at all, not a bit. HE is lying through his teeth, even taking quotes completely out of context – statements not even referring to the examples they are associated with – and cutting them down like a propagandist.
Gingrich is a dishonorable, nasty little creep who deserves nothing but scorn.
You are a meanie.
Visceral Alert! Visceral Alert!
IMO, Romney cannot win against the liar because he is not a Christian. The liar’s entire agenda is anti-Christian, as is that of his base. Only a Christian can answer that, defeat that.
I have so little sympathy for Romney and IMO Newt’s attack – fully proved or not – is karma for all the attack ads Romney shills laid on Newt. Perhaps Romney’sSuperPac should have considered the possibility that Newt might fight back?
Boo hoo – politicians lie. Romney supporters need to suck it up and stop being oversensitive crybabies. As I recall that is what Palin supporters were told when she was being attacked.
However I do feel bad for Mitt that he’s still having to fight the “he’s not a Christian” bigotry.
I’m not at all religious so forgive my ignorance if that’s what it is, but wouldn’t Jesus Christ be the only arbiter of who is or is not a Christian?
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