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Going Godwin to defend Bain

Going Godwin to defend Bain

This is getting ridiculous, the contortions people are undergoing to make believe Bain is not a problem for Mitt Romney.

It’s bad enough that they have conflated defending Bain with a defense of capitalism and free markets.  I also noted yesterday how a couple of Romney defenders on Twitter were suggesting that criticisms of Mitt Romney’s financial dealings at Bain were suggestive of anti-Semitic attacks on Jewish financiers.

Now Rich Lowry at National Review has gone there, calling the producer of The King of Bain, who was a former campaign advisor to Romney, the Leni Riefenstahl of the attack documentary:

Barry Bennett is the Leni Riefenstahl of the blistering attack documentary. The political operative’s half-hour anti–Bain Capital film, endorsed by the increasingly unhinged Newt Gingrich and aired by his super PAC, is anti-market agitprop worthy of Michael Moore. If the Academy gave an award for tendentiousness, Bennett would be a sure-fire nominee.

Here is the closing scene from Leni Riefenstahl’s most famous work, Triumph of the Will:

King of Bain had some factual inaccuracies, but not more so than anti-Newt ads run by Romney’s SuperPAC.  To compare it to Triumph of the Will is beyond absurd.

Stop everyone and think.  Do you really need to go Godwin in order to defend Bain?  And if so, what does that say about your defense?


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Of course, Professor, you failed to mention the flyers that Mitt Romney used to scare seniors into believing that Rick Perry was going to end their Social Security benefits and let them all starve.

But, considering the headline of your last post, I fail to be surprised.

    The unwritten law of elections is that what is good for Mitt is good for Mitt. It is forbidden to mention any heresies of Mitt. It is forbidden to mention any concerns over his business experience at Bain. It is forbidden to criticize Mitt, since doing so, would only serve the interests of the Democrats in weakening him before the General Election. Therefore, any criticism of Mitt is explicit support of Obama.

    Of course, the corollary is that what is right for Mitt is not right for any of the other candidates. Because, “for Pete’s sake,” he’s running for President! Didn’t you know? 😉

Usually, when people scream the loudest, it is to deflect you from discovering the truth. A diversionary tactic.

Why are Romney supporter so over the top in their defense of Bain, because underneath it all, there is something rotten.

    I’m waiting for Mitt Romney to come out and simply say, “I did nothing wrong at Bain. You can look at my deals. I did not do anything unethical or immoral.”

    Why won’t Mitt say that?

    Why won’t Mitt’s surrogates and supporters say that? They dance around and around and then come back to the old line that to question Mitt’s Bain experience is to question private enterprise or capitalism itself.

    Who knew that Mitt was the Father of capitalism or free enterprise. It’s as if he invented it.

    But, it doesn’t address the issue of how Mitt made his money at Bain.

      punfundit in reply to JonB. | January 14, 2012 at 11:48 am

      I might be because Romney knows that, even though he is guilt-free, as soon as he does that he puts himself in the Cain seat.


Oh, brother. If I could tweet, I’d tweet:

“What a bunch of Goebbelsdygook.”

If McRomney is so darned proud of his work at Bain, why doesn’t he tout it, brag a little while answering all the questions? He’s got a prime opportunity and he doesn’t take it. He better find a way to deal with the subject now before Team Obama brands him as Gordon Gekko.

According to Rush: “the Romney campaign has to at least plan on this coming from the Democrats at some point down the line. I would think by now you’d be prepared for it. (interruption) Exactly right, the whole Occupy Wall Street movement was created because the Democrats think Romney’s gonna be the nominee. The whole Occupy movement’s an Obama creation, a campaign creation to run against Romney as Mr. Wall Street. (emphasis mine)

    Henry Hawkins in reply to Kitty. | January 13, 2012 at 6:26 pm

    “If McRomney is so darned proud of his work at Bain, why doesn’t he tout it, brag a little while answering all the questions?”

    A very good point, Miss Kitty. Nice saloon, btw.

Agree completely, the Leni Riefenstahl reference was over the top. I think, however, stating “King of Bain” contains some factual inaccuracies understates things a bit. For one thing it is a 28 minute slimefest. Granted, there are inaccuracies in Mitt’s PAC advertising but it is the sort of slime people see in almost every political ad these days. “King of Bain” was shower-worthy, as in you needed one, after watching it.

That said, Mitt has to show he can handle the Bain issue. So far, it doesn’t seem to be hurting but it’s early. I don’t think Mitt is any more vulnerable than any other candidate though in the general. It’s not like being a super strong conservative saved Palin. If they don’t have anything they make it up.

Thanks, Prof, for being vigilant and willing to swim against the tide.

Reductio ad Hitlerum

The only thing all this nattering will accomplish is elect Obama this fall.

The establishment is going to immolate themselves on the altar of Romney.

BannedbytheGuardian | January 13, 2012 at 6:57 pm

Mitt = Adolf?


“I never thought of what I do for a living as job creation,” said Mark B. Walpow, a former managing partner at Bain, who worked closely with Romney for nine years before forming his own firm. “The primary goal of private equity is to create wealth for your investors.”

Dead man walking.

    punfundit in reply to raven. | January 13, 2012 at 6:59 pm

    But creating wealth at any cost is what Republicans stand for!

    janitor in reply to raven. | January 13, 2012 at 10:01 pm

    “The primary goal of private equity is to create wealth for your investors.”

    Not “created”. No product. No service. No value added. Just a perfected technique to transfer wealth without an exchange of equivalent worth.

Suddenly, I don’t want to win anymore …!

“North Korea’s hardline regime is punishing those who did not cry at the death of dictator Kim Jong-il, according to reports.”

Midwest Rhino | January 13, 2012 at 7:01 pm

Hyperbole was the standard for the Romney attack ads … because that is what works, apparently.

But if the Republican elite really want to defend Romney’s Bain, they can’t just claim anyone opposing Romney is racist, birthist, antisemitic, or whatever tactic they seem to have stolen from Obama. Only Obama with his media and union armies can get away with that derision.

They need to get real and account for serious Bain problems like this:

“…. PE firms during the 2003—7 buyout boom often had their companies use increased short-term earnings that came from reducing customer service, raising prices, and starving them of capital—not to reinvest or pay debt, but instead as the basis to borrow more money, which they then gave to their PE owners through dividends. Many of these businesses are now stuck with enormous debt and falling earnings.”

Mitt Romney was a pioneer of this strategy. His private-equity firm, Bain Capital, was the first large PE firm to make a serious portion of its money not from selling its companies or listing them on the stock exchange, but rather by collecting distributions and dividends, which in this context is the exact opposite of reinvesting in a company. Bain Capital is notorious for its failure to plow profits back into its businesses.”

If true, then Romney can be held to account for problems, even after he left. It was his model that was followed.

I can’t stand Romney. But all this Bain-ful handwringing is lost on me. Adieu, and enjoy the election.

Snorkdoodle Whizbang | January 13, 2012 at 7:31 pm

Sure feels like Bain is a landmine waiting to explode. If there is any ‘there’ there… it will be ugly and there will be a lot of republican pols and pundits who are going to come away with more than just egg on their faces.

This just feels like it has the potential to end very, very badly.

“If you don’t run Chris Christie, Romney will be the nominee and we’ll lose,” said Coulter, eliciting cheers from the crowd.

“By the way,” she added, “I warned you about McCain.”

— Ann Coulter

    huskers-for-palin in reply to OCBill. | January 13, 2012 at 10:22 pm

    Wasn’t it Coulter who has now done a complete 180 on Romney? She sipped the Romney Kool Aid and now she’s hooked.

    Ingraham too.

Snorkdoodle Whizbang | January 13, 2012 at 7:39 pm

So I forget… are we supposed to by communists if we criticize Romney’s business practices at Bain or are we Nazis? Perhaps there is some handy guidelines I could download somewhere to keep it all straight?

Either way, I wish they’d make up their minds… its all getting rather confusing.

the way it has morphed it will not be a problem for romney.

until obama uses it in the general. then its anyones guess.

any use in primaries now will do at most equal harm, most likely more to the questioner than to romney.

perfectly engineered…..

What baffles me is why you, Professor, are investing so much in the Newt is the only candidate worthy of support campaign. I get it that you dispise Romney, but for those of us that dislike both Romney and Gingrich, you have yet to make the case for your candidate.

Yes, you have pointed out problems that Romney will encounter; you’ve not made the case that Gingrich’s treasure chest of problems will not be any less exploited – and any less catastrophic (as you argue in regards to Romney).

    Snorkdoodle Whizbang in reply to bains. | January 13, 2012 at 9:43 pm

    bains | January 13, 2012 at 7:56 pm

    “What baffles me is why you, Professor, are investing so much in the Newt is the only candidate worthy of support campaign. I get it that you dispise Romney, but for those of us that dislike both Romney and Gingrich, you have yet to make the case for your candidate.”

    Bains, a quick dive into the archives should answer your questions… the good Professor laid out his views on Gingrich back on November 16th.

      Thanks for the link snork. In re-reading the Professor’s post however, I find mostly an anti-Mitt supposition.

      I am old enough to remember (yet not so old to have forgotten) Newt’s time in Congress. He ushered in some wonderful successes, but also brought about several nasty legacies. Jacobson glosses over these as “[v]ariations on ‘when I was young and irresponsible’…” Jacobson lauds Gingrich, quoting Melanie Phillips as being able to “overwhelm [the] power of the left-wing media and intelligentsia…” yet utterly ignores the fact that Gingrich was resoundingly eviscerated by that very confederacy.

      My biggest problem, and one that if you are worried what Obama may do to Romney regarding past stances and policies should scare the crap out of any thinking Gingrich supporter, is that Gingrich sold his talents to the highest bidder. Newt became a political mercenary. Jacobson does not deal with this with nearly the vim and vigor with which he attacks Romney’s past.

      Again (seems I always have to state this) with Palin and Rubio choosing not to run, I was supporting Bachmann as the candidate I felt would best represent my views. I did not have high hopes, but as such, I have not invested in any of the leading, or likely GOP candidates. I am not here as a Romney supporter or Paulbot, rather as an anti-whomever fanboy.

      I am still waiting for someone to lay out why Gingrich is clearly the better choice without the seemingly obligatory “well Romney did this, and Perry did that, and Santorum believes…” crap. This site has become not a pro-Gingrich site, but an anti-Romney site. And it is not going to win my vote as such.

    punfundit in reply to bains. | January 13, 2012 at 11:56 pm

    Bains, fair point.

    But if Romney supporters are willing to dismiss their candidate’s history and demand the same from everyone else, for the sake of “party unity,” then Gingrich supporters (and Paul supporters, and Perry supporters, and Santorum supporters, and Huntsman supporters, and Bachman supporters, and Cain supporters, etc.) may enjoy the same liberty.

    And since we’re dismissing everyone’s background, presumably on the premise that Obama is such a manifest loser he can’t possibly touch any of our folks, then we’re left with determining who is the most conservative.

    Ron Paul is out because he’s a libertarian and everyone knows Libertarians are infinitely superior to conservatives, just ask them. Cain and Bachman dropped out.

    So among the three remaining contenders, Gingrich, Perry, and Romney (listed in alphabetical order), who is the most conservative?

      punfundit in reply to punfundit. | January 13, 2012 at 11:59 pm

      …among the *four* remaining contenders, Gingrich, Hunstman, Perry, and Romney (listed in alphabetical order), who is the most conservative?

      I keep forgetting Huntsman is running as a Republican.

      bains in reply to punfundit. | January 14, 2012 at 3:14 am

      …among the *four* remaining contenders, Gingrich, Hunstman, Perry, and Romney (listed in alphabetical order), who is the most conservative?

      I keep forgetting Huntsman is running as a Republican.

      Actually, it is five, and all have serious big-government problems. Listing from worst to best (of those options):

      Huntsman – he so wants his belly scratched by the establishment media.

      Gingrich – has shown that he will sell his talents out for the highest bidder.

      Romney – one of the most un-centered Mormons I have ever seen (I’ve lived in western Colorado for the past 30 years – I know, and like, Mormons)

      Perry – probably the best in the field, but with his Texas roots and the GOP’s willingness to throw GWBush and all the dishwater out the door, he doesn’t have a chance.

      Santorum – Pro-gay and Pro-abortion folks (aided by the MSM, but I repeat myself) will have a field day with his nomination.

        punfundit in reply to bains. | January 14, 2012 at 11:43 am

        Crap. I did forget Santorum.

        punfundit in reply to bains. | January 14, 2012 at 11:56 am

        My original question was “who is the most conservative?”

        You didn’t really address that. Maybe a better question on my part (this time including Santorum, ahem *tug at collar*) would be:

        Since we’re dismissing the candidates’ negative history for the sake of “party unity,” which candidate has advanced the cause of conservatism the most?

        (That assumes the party base is interested in advancing conservative and that the GOP is their preferred vehicle for doing so.)

          bains in reply to punfundit. | January 14, 2012 at 3:25 pm

          It has been my argument all along that between Gingrich, Perry, Romney, and Santorum, all have serious non-conservative issues. Palin and Rubio are the closest to a real conservative but neither chose to run. (Yes, I am ignoring Hunstman and Paul because neither have a chance.)

          For those who advocate one over the rest must necessarily discount their candidate’s flaws while accentuating the flaws of the others. I like Perry the best, but I think he would be the most vulnerable in the General election (too many similarities to GWBush).

        punfundit in reply to bains. | January 14, 2012 at 11:58 am

        “…conservative agenda and…”

        I’m just batting a thousand lately.

Well, they didn’t like Palin supporters because they were too shrill and angry. They don’t like Paul supporters because they are too crazy. Now, they don’t like Newt supporters because they are like Michael Moore and Nazis.

Fine way to unite conservatives into a winning coalition. Good luck, NR!

    bains in reply to T D. | January 13, 2012 at 8:13 pm

    They don’t like Paul supporters because they are too crazy.

    No, they dont like Paul because he is an idealistic Big-L Libertarian – dreams of heaven on earth utopianism is a good part of the problem we have now – and many of his supporters willingly drink the Kool-Aide.

      Bains, I’m a Palin supporter, so I did not intend a hit against Paul or Gingrich. Sarah Palin is taking the exact right approach of speaking positively of all the conservative candidates. The way to win elections is to unite the base.

        bains in reply to T D. | January 14, 2012 at 3:29 am

        Bains, I’m a Palin supporter…


        Were Sarah Palin to be in the race, I know I would be as unhinged as our host, the good professor.

          punfundit in reply to bains. | January 14, 2012 at 12:00 pm

          See, this kind of comment is where I’m led to believe you just have something personal against the Professor. I presume that’s not the case, but I’m left wondering.

          If you do, that’s your business, but please don’t bring it to the forum.

          bains in reply to bains. | January 14, 2012 at 5:26 pm

          I have nothing personal against Professor Jacobson. My criticism is in fact based on reflective thought. In 2008 I was fully on board the Romney train. And I hated Huckabee. My passions clouded my judgement and I refused to acknowledge, let alone see, Mitt’s rather large flaws.

          This site sits at the 5 position in my bookmark list behind Glenn Reynolds, Bruce McQuain, Ed Morrissey, and Ann Althouse. I value our host’s opinions and contributions to the conservative cause. I’ve always appreciated that Professor Jacobson has defended conservative people and causes against the never ending onslaught from the media. Once this primary season is over, I know he will be back at it.

          But since the end of November, our host has taken on an advocacy position. His defense of Gingrich is passionate. But for someone not predisposed to support Gingrich, there are some rather large holes. I am just trying to point those out. I will admit that Newt rubs me the wrong way, and as such, I would prefer Mitt, Rick or Rick. But I know that defeating Barry is the most important task and I will gladly support whomever wins the nomination. That is what I am investing in, not which horse leads the team.

Godwin or not, Romney can’t — and won’t — win in November.

Henry Hawkins | January 13, 2012 at 9:32 pm

Romney and Paul both have that Charlie Brown approaching the teed up football thing going.

As someone once said, “I don’t like hysteria (Grinch’s ads), but I despise hysteria about hysteria (NRO,}.”

“King of Bain had some factual inaccuracies,”

And the Titanic only took on a little water. Clinton only kissed a girl. Obama only added a few dollars to the debt.

    punfundit in reply to Zaggs. | January 13, 2012 at 11:46 pm

    Since we’re doing the Nazi schtick these days…

    Mitt Romney was a capitalist businessman who made fortunes for a lot of people. Yeah, and Hitler was nice to his dog.

    (That’s just about as valid as your position.)

huskers-for-palin | January 13, 2012 at 10:18 pm

Nattering: It’s called a primary. It’s also better to get this out NOW before an October surprise later.

TeaPartyPatriot4ever | January 14, 2012 at 1:01 am

Yep, I absolutely agree with you Mr. Jacoobson. I have attacked by Romney-ites, for speaking bthe truth about what Bain really is and means in the Free Market Capitalist enterprise world of business in America.

They actually try to call me a liberal, and make me the Obama facsimile of anti-American capitalism, which is funny, let alone absurd, as their projectionism was evidence of their desperation to stop the truth and facts from being accepted and acknowledged by the public, aka, the conservative and or Republican voters.

But it doesn’t work with me, as I explained it simply, and laid it out, so that anyone of basic intelligence can understand it.. Thus, they spew typical emotional rhetoric, and other assorted rantings of intolerance and hatred at me.. lol..

Let me once again repeat it, and Newt’s unfortunate backing away from his telling of the truth, in his superPAC campaign ads, from political pressure, for politcal appeasement.

When you start apologizing for saying the truth and facts as they are, in reality, because of from political pressure, to politically appease them, then have already lost the battle, as battles are never won on defense alone..  Offense is the best defense, as General George Washington and Ronald Reagan, had proved.
Romney’s political rope-a-dope strategy, always lets him off the hook too many times, in not having to answer the tough, in your face, direct core questions, especially concerning his crony capitalism, and corporate raider greed as the CEO at Bain Capital, which was which was most painfully, at the expense of the employees, their pensions, family livelihoods,  and communities, by Bain’s corporate company acquisition raiding and gutting chop shop policies, of Mitt Romney and Bain.  And just because something it’s legal, does not mean it’s right or good..  Bain destroys companies, healthy or not, produces nothing, and leaves nothing but economic destruction in it’s wake.. and builds some companies up as well, given that credit to them, but why is it Bain and their like, who determines who stays or goes, survives or goes extinct, is the issue..  They are not the corporate capitalist gods, who should determine such life existing business decision as those.

Although I can understand where and why they see the Bain Capital’s of the world, as providing a purely capitalist ingredient into the free market capitalist system, as ” a needed service”, in their explanation..  but it is incorrect to see this kind of vulture capitalist workings, as actually good and necessary..  They equate this type of company chop shop, selling off of assets, to reap massive profits and rewards to their investors, and or stock holders, to the pure capitalist nature theory of only the strongest survive, and the weakest are devoured..  which may be true in a sense, but one in which the capitalist system and forces, of the law of supply and demand dictates, between the consumer customer, and the business provider, as well as normal corporate business transactions like mergers, buying up of one company, to incorporate it within another, consenting or stock hostile takovers, etc, that are part of the corporate Wall Street business world of capitalism, but not from outside entities, like Bain Capital. That is not capitalism as it should be, and is supposed to be.. We create the system and situation and environment of business, thus we can control it, and make it a balanced system, with rules for a fair and equitable competitive economic capitalist environmental playing field.

Of course, Romney will never understand this poignant point..

With that being said, this Nomination fight has only just begun, as we have not even gotten to the conservative primary states as of yet, and just like I watched Ronald Reagan battle for months in 1980 to finally be the victor, so too will Newt, or even Santorum for that matter, be the victor in the end.

Let me see if I’ve got this right:

PE firms use purchased companies as conduits which extract massive loans from banks, and then funnel this money directly to the PE firms via consulting fees and dividends. But it is the purchased company that is on the hook for loan repayment and not the PE firm. Next, labor, R&D, marketing and so on are cut to the bone so that the purchased company can meet its debt obligation in flush economic times; when the inevitable downturn occurs, the purchased company collapses under a mountain of debt, but the PE firm has already reaped its profits, and whether or not it has sold out, has no liability for the debts incurred. This- it sounds like a racket.

Now, conservative critics of this form of business are not proposing any legal changes or any regulations to end these practices, but are merely saying that capitalism requires communities with a strong moral component, and that one key to this is that sharp practices be met with disapproval. All that critics are saying is “don’t expect us to vote for this guy”, but merely saying this- that we would rather withhold our personal endorsement at the ballot box- is in and of itself an assault on the very foundations of capitalism? There are those out there who demand our hosannas for anything that any business entity does at anytime in anyway and anywhere?

What have I missed here?

    punfundit in reply to Norman. | January 14, 2012 at 12:03 pm

    I gather you are not a conservative critic?

      Hope Change in reply to punfundit. | January 14, 2012 at 1:48 pm

      Hi punfundit – I don’t understand your question. based on other comments I’ve seen from you, I would expect you might agree with the two previous comments … ?

      and BTW, thank you for the comments, tea party patriot 4ever and Norman.
      I understand better what Bain (what a name! Bane) was doing.

      It’s like having marauders roaming the landscape, buying up little farms, taking all the goods away, and letting the farms fail or not, as may be. Then they celebrate in the big city with more champagne. It may be good for the makers of champagne, and it may be legal, but I wonder what the newspaper would say about it if the news were written by the farmers?

      The idea of someone who did this sitting in the White House makes me feel sick.

      To have this kind of person following Obama would put the very worst of capitalism on the heels of the very most extreme of Leftism.

      I pray for our country. I pray that the people of South Carolina and the early primary states will be guided to make good choices.

      Newt says often that the basis for the principle of American Exceptionalism is that the individual is endowed by our Creator with unalienable rights. Our rights do not come from the state, the judges, the bureaucrats and cannot be taken away.

      I agree. And I think that it is also true that “God protects children, fools and the United States of America.” (Said by a German general in WWII, according to what I’ve read.)

      I pray that God will protect our country in this perilous time and help us to make good decisions.

All Romney has to do is point to the successes attributable to Bain [jobs, new stores] with PRIVATE CAPITAL against Obama using TAXPAYER MONEY for the failures [Solyndra] and add in that GM cut jobs by forced closing of dealerships.
Don’t forget “Fast and Furious” and “Lightsquared”.

riehlworldview has a great article on Bain’s business model.

A segment is included below:

“People can judge it as they see fit. But that is, in essence, what Buffett is referring to when his says companies like Bain often left businesses unequpped to deal with the future because of the huge profit they took after taking them public.

In extreme cases, it worked almost like a scam. In other cases, they would borrow against the company, then take that money and invest it somewhere else.

That might be fine. But the company was also on the hook to re-pay what was borrowed, meaning their profitability had to remain high, or they couldn’t service the debt.

Hit a rough patch, and you could easily end up without enough of a cushion to survive.”

PS. What about the suckers who invested in the IPO?