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Swimming with Bain

Swimming with Bain

When even Rush Limbaugh buys into the “criticising Bain is criticizing capitalism” meme, we have lost as a party.  There is a huge difference between using government powers to impose value judgments (a la Obama) and making value judgments in evaluating a candidate’s background.

It’s over.

We’ve discovered a way to lose the general election — tie Bain Capital to our legs and go swimming.

Update:  Good column from Bill Kristol, From Bain to Main.  We are so screwed, we have allowed the Romney campaign and its supporters — and some well-meaning but misguided others — to turn us into the party of Bain.

My related posts, I’m not going to sit here while critics of Bain badmouth the United States of America and Selling out capitalism in the defense of Romney and Bain.

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Comments

Rush is missing the difference between capitalism and crony capitalism; a level playing field, we all rise and fall on our capabilities and not who we know back in D.C.

    JEBurke in reply to obpopulus. | January 10, 2012 at 8:58 pm

    In what possible sense is it “crony capitalism” for Bain to have raised some $38 billion in private capital and used it to make equity investments directly in about 250 companies across all industries, many of them entrepreneurial startups?

    PolitiJim in reply to obpopulus. | January 11, 2012 at 3:15 am

    Limbaugh has lost it. He is arguing to the LEFT of de Tocqueville Not Newt, Rick & Rick | PolitiJim’s Rants for Reasonable People | http://bit.ly/xlYZ5Z

    And it struck me that Newt is adopting PALIN’s basic language with which she won Alaska. Don’t be surprised if Sarah jumps in aggressively for Newt before South Carolina to stop Romney and slap down Nikki Haley who was bought off by RomneyPAC 2 weeks before her announcement.

DINORightMarie | January 10, 2012 at 2:17 pm

I’ve been listening to Rush’s whole show today, and I am sick. Rush is spending the whole show on Newt and this anti-capitalist meme.

*sigh*

Just yesterday Rush said Obama will make Bain Capital the Halliburton of 2012.

From what I can tell, the big attacks on Bain are KB, which was purchased a year after Romney left, and the steel mill “bailout”, which wasn’t a bailout at all, but an insurance payment from a GSE that is funded by premium payments, not taxpayer dollars. Those don’t seem all that strong to me.

    retire05 in reply to Awing1. | January 10, 2012 at 3:40 pm

    What do you not understand about the term “unfunded pension funds” that are guaranteed by the Federal government when a hostile takeover company drains all the funds from the right side of the ledger sheet?

    Then you and I pick up the tab. And Romney seemingly had no problem with that process.

      Awing1 in reply to retire05. | January 10, 2012 at 3:57 pm

      retire05, haven’t you gotten sick of being schooled by me yet?

      Please tell me, how exactly did Bain raid a pension that was protected under ERISA and get away with it? How is either of us is on the hook for payments by the PBGC, when no tax dollars have gone to it (unlike say, Freddie Mac)?

      Awing1 in reply to retire05. | January 10, 2012 at 4:08 pm

      Sorry, pressed submit too soon.

      The answers are of course, they didn’t and we aren’t. GS Technologies’ pension had to be properly funded under federal law (http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/html/uscode29/usc_sup_01_29_10_18_20_I_30_B_40_3.html), so your claim that it was an “unfunded pension fund” is patently false. The PBGC is a GSE, but that doesn’t mean it receives public funds, it all comes from premium payments, investment income, asset inheritance from troubled pensions and recoveries in bankruptcy proceedings (http://www.pbgc.gov/about/how-pbgc-operates.html).

      So, do you have anything to back up your assertions?

        retire05 in reply to Awing1. | January 10, 2012 at 4:41 pm

        From your second link: pbgc.gov:

        “an estimate of the benefits that PBGC can pay under the insurance program, may be less that you were receiving from your plan

        “Less than a decade later (the years Bain was responsible for GS Technologies) the mill was padlocked and 750 people lost their jobs. Workers were denied the severance pay and health insurance they’d been promised, and their pension benefits were cut as much as $400 a month.”

        The PBGC is another Ponzi scheme just as Social Security is. Perhaps you would like to explain where the money will come fron when PBGC starts paying out more in reduced benefits than they are taking in in premiums?

        It also says that PBGC takes no money from the “general” revenue funds. I suggest you research that money quote just a bit.

Any wonder why Democratic attacks on Romney have been virtually non-existent ?
I believe it’s called “battlefield preparation”

    Hope Change in reply to Neo. | January 10, 2012 at 10:55 pm

    of course. and the msm are with the democrats. same thing they did with mccain, darling of the media until his opponent is a democrat.

    this routine is so obvious now. no more.

    this is a game the american people never win.

    I’m not playing any more. the rules are changing because of the internet and sites like this.

    I hope others see in Newt what I see and support him. We can restore our country, that we love.

As they say, Professor, people of good conscience can disagree. I simply don’t see it your way.

But even if you’re right, you ought to consider that if this many ordinarily bright, articulate, conservative people are having trouble drawing the same distinction you are, that perhaps large swaths of the Republican electorate will too.

They say in politics that if you’re explaining, you’re losing. How many blog posts on this topic now?

    William A. Jacobson in reply to Ryan. | January 10, 2012 at 2:33 pm

    As many blog posts as necessary, that’s my m.o.

      It’s possible the point of the rhetorical question escaped you, but I doubt it.

      Thank you, Professor Jacobson. As many posts as it takes. Yes.

      This is the beginning of the race and the Establishment and the Romneyphiles want everyone to think it’s the end, the fait accompli. Nonsense!

      Reagan was behind Carter up until a month before the election in 1980.

      “Never give up! Never surrender!” – Captain Peter Quincy Taggart, “GALAXY QUEST”

    Andy in reply to Ryan. | January 10, 2012 at 2:40 pm

    ditto…see request for clarifications below.

    Can we send Bain into GM?

    raven in reply to Ryan. | January 10, 2012 at 3:17 pm

    No, the fact that so many “ordinarily bright, articulate, conservative people are having trouble drawing the same distinction” is only confirmation to me of total elitist dysfuntion and occlusion and desperation. They are reacting to the trauma of Obama’s Leftist assault with blanket-hugging and thumb-sucking regression. Romney is the classicly perfect anachronism — comfort food.

    Unable to marshal an equally audacious conservative response to Obama, they are reverting to some bygone ideal and figure — one who is in fact a total simulacrum and husk of a man and candidate. In a display of perfect self-loathing perversity, they have selected the one candidate who cannot — in any sense of the word — “beat” Obama, even factoring in Obama’s horrible numbers.

    The professor is correct in one way when he says “it’s over.” Our elite is lost and will likely take us down with them. The bitter grip they hold on the illusion of Romney says it all. They see the end, and grip more tightly as a result. It’s only a matter of time for them. The tea party isn’t going away.

    However I am still hopeful of some shock to the system in 2012. There is simply no way that Romney being rammed down our throats will not provoke huge disruption in the force. I think many among us will be surprised to discover how little resistance the elite puts up in the final moments of a brokered convention, in the face of a true insurrection. These are fundamentally weak people. Scared and angry right now, but weak.

      gabilange in reply to raven. | January 10, 2012 at 3:46 pm

      Very good, Raven. To refer to another commenter, on another post, why can’t “vulture capitalism” be called out? I’ve read a lot of theological exegesis and how many angels can stand on a pinhead from commenters today, but where is the compass on this “vulture” issue? I agree with the Professor, above.

      I’m beginning to think the Republican so-called “party” is just an antiquated term, because the divisions are now highly transparent. We will never vote for Willard Romney. Now I’m thinking that R candidates should be told to ask Willard for money, since he so lavishly gave to Nikki Haley and others for their endorsements.

      JEBurke in reply to raven. | January 10, 2012 at 9:07 pm

      What a lot of…what to say…oh, pious baloney!

      Romney is not being “forced down your throat.” He is winning elections.

Ahhhh…. Come on Dr. Everyone knew this would come…. Let ’em get it out of their system so we can move on to critizing the current admin…..

I hate being proved right when there is bad stuff on the horizon, but we are seeing the fruition of my intuition.

Romney as nominee means a second term for Obama.

But we don’t have anyone better in the offing. I say that since too many of the others are either hammering him from the left on Bain or hammering him from the left on “I love to fire people” statement taken out of context.

There are a truckload of real reasons why Romney shouldn’t be the candidate and the also-rans pick THESE topics to open fire with? Now you know why the others will remain as also-rans in a losing race.

    Windy City Commentary in reply to Kerrvillian. | January 10, 2012 at 3:10 pm

    There are some good debate highlights of Newt from this very campaign which you may find inspiring.

    “There are a truckload of real reasons why Romney shouldn’t be the candidate and the also-rans pick THESE topics to open fire with? Now you know why the others will remain as also-rans in a losing race.”

    Agreed. What a bunch of mutts. I thought Gingrich would be the exception, and he’s had his moments. But his lack of a total plan, his inability to anticipate Romney and go for the throat, belies eveything I thought I knew about him as a streetwise political warrior. The rest of the pack? Just the worst of my lifetime. Not one has demonstrated the skills and focus and fierceness of a conservative in a time of clear threat (does the threat get any clearer than Obama?) to the very heart and essence of America. Amazing, total failure of a party at its moment of truth.

    As for Palin — what another disappointment. I heard her the other night (I barely listen anymore to her bizarrely cheery outbursts) talking about the “strong field.” Give us a break, please.

      BannedbytheGuardian in reply to raven. | January 10, 2012 at 4:58 pm

      Maybe she is enjoying it. Seems to me she threw the challenge out to vet everything & everybody & every notion yourselves. She was not going to be a Jehanne d’Arc.

      You somehow blame her for this meltdown.

      Who could not have seen this coming.?

Using creative financing through bank cronies to buy and then rip apart ongoing companies in order to line personal pockets with homes, jewelry, collectibles, jets, yachts, and lavish lifestyles, after putting the rest into more of the same or offshore investments, hedge funds, mortgage derivatives and the like is not benefiting the U.S. economy via “capitalism”.

    punfundit in reply to janitor. | January 10, 2012 at 2:35 pm

    And yet we’re being told that is precisely what capitalism is, and to criticize that is to be anti-capitalist.

      Hope Change in reply to punfundit. | January 10, 2012 at 11:14 pm

      This is exactly why Rush missed the boat on this. I was heartsick and embarrassed by Rush’s commentary today.

      If Bain did that to even one company, there is something wrong with their moral compass.

      One of the basic foundations of America is the sense of fair play.

      Newt is not saying the government should police this. Newt is saying that each of us must have a moral question in our heart whether we are doing the best we can for ourselves and our fellows — the other guy. It’s not a win if you destroyed some guy’s life and you could have saved it. Ruthlessness is not the same as competence.

      To hear Rush talk as if rampaging through other companies is just a perfectly fine example of “capitalism” was tragic. I mostly didn’t listen. I don’t know when I’ve been more disappointed in Rush.

      Newt is right on with this. This is why I support Newt. Newt gets it. It’s win-win.

      Creative destruction is a necessary part of any living system. Maybe Bain was doing something necessary; maybe they were tearing apart companies that were otherwise viable and looting them; maybe they did both. But in any case, I don’t want The Destructor in the White House.

    SDGLawyer in reply to janitor. | January 10, 2012 at 3:18 pm

    Janitor,

    First, Romney didn’t use “bank cronies,” he used banks.

    Second, he didn’t buy the companies in order to “rip apart ongoing companies in order to line personal pockets with homes, jewelry, collectibles, jets, yachts, and lavish lifestyles[.]” He bought failing companies (or inefficient ones) and then made them profitable (as in now the company is making something people want). Also, he may have done it for personal profit, but who cares? Personal profit is a good thing; it is a signal to individuals that induces them to do productive things. Moreover, Romney was actually saving jobs many times. But for the leveraged buyouts, many of these companies would have gone out of business or filed bankruptcy petitions. Bankrupt businesses and businesses that have closed employ how many people? Zero.

    This is one of the dumbest criticisms of Romney. There are many reasons to oppose him as the nominee; this is not one. His time at Baine is one of his few selling points.

      janitor in reply to SDGLawyer. | January 10, 2012 at 3:38 pm

      I must be overly cynical from my years as a lawyer for corporate raiders before I became a janitor. Please forgive.

        Awing1 in reply to janitor. | January 10, 2012 at 4:16 pm

        A lawyer for corporate raiders huh? Then you know that those “banker cronies” are among those who would have lost out in a deal like KB Toys (which started 22 months after Romney left, but I digress) right? After all, they’re the ones who would have bought this debt, apparently without very good covenants for such a highly leveraged deal, and lost out big in bankruptcy court, no? Sounds like they were more of a patsy than a crony.

Maybe I need a tutorial (or a balance sheet) on Bain and this steel mill because I don’t get it…so if I don’t get it, then be damn sure john q public doesn’t get it and it will be up for a PR spin for the uninformed. From the facts it looks like this was an unhealthy company for which it was better to just to shut it down…then say re-create the damn airline industry or the auto industry where unhealthy companies live forever.

1- Steel mills go under and almost as frequently as restaraunts, its a tough industry. Having seen revolving lay off doors at every company I’ve ever worked at—what makes this one special?

2- Was anything illegal in the deal? I understand the pension fund was short in the end, but not completely gone (like an enron deal) … which states that pensions are moronic in the first place, because by design they CAN be gutted.

3- Did Romney use goverment strings—like Obama does every nine seconds to ignore the rules and gain an unlevel playing field?

What exactly was wrong here? Is it just leftwing PR spin that life is tough and the free market is named the “free” market and not the “fairness” market?

—note that my comment history indicates I’m not a Romney troll. It’s just that my bullshit detector readings are high on this one.

    Milhouse in reply to Andy. | January 10, 2012 at 3:25 pm

    Yes, it is just left-wing spin, and Gingrich and Perry should be ashamed of themselves for propagating it. Bain tried to turn the company around. They invested millions into it. At first it looked like they would succeed, and the company paid out a dividend. But then, in an environment of falling prices, the workers staged a violent strike for which they ought to have been fired and imprisoned, and extorted a ridiculous pension and benefit package which ultimately bankrupted the company. There were not enough assets left to pay the inflated pensions, let alone to give the shareholders anything.

    The main spin, as I see it, is in the statement that Bain took $12M out of the company. People have been implying or claiming outright that Bain somehow got $12M out of the ruins of the company when it went under. A moment’s thought should be enough to show that this is ridiculous. If there wasn’t enough to pay the company’s obligations, then how could a shareholder get anything, let alone $12M? If you read the original report you will see that this $12M was that portion of the dividend the company paid out soon after Bain took it over, minus the amount that Bain plowed back into the company afterward. In other words, they got this $12M about ten years before it went bankrupt. Does anyone seriously think that they should have given this money back to the company so it could pay the pensions?!

      retire05 in reply to Milhouse. | January 10, 2012 at 3:49 pm

      Really? Frankly, I wish Perry and Gingrich would hit Romney even harder. Take it to the mattress, so to speak.

      Where were you when Romney (King of Dirty Politics and Smear Merchant in Chief) created a website entirely devoted to smearing Rick Perry? Where were you when the Fox talking head were calling Perry “mean” for pointing out Romney’s continued use of a law service HE KNEW was using illegal laborers? Where were you when Romney recently created another website devoted to nothing but bashing Newt Gingrich?

      Call it what you want; vulture capitalism, corporate raiders, Bain fit that description. It is the dirty side of free market capitalism, but now, because it was Mitt Romney putting those tactics into practice, we are to just ignore that and say “Hey, defend capitalism, no matter the cost?”

      I don’t think so.

      Good for Newt. Good for Rick Perry. Romney is just a liberal slug and if he is elected, there will be “NO CHANGE” as our new national motto.

      There is no system that is total perfection, but to refuse to point out the bad parts in order to defend the good parts reminds me of other societies that did the same.

        What is REALLY REALLY REALLY disturbing to me is that attitude that somehow the “workers” rights are more important than the owners rights… owners being both the shareholders and the lenders who have skin in the game.

        Labor are those people who don’t have their own business, have no skin in the game and therefore exchange hours of their day in return for cash.

        When did we stop being an ownership society?

          Henry Hawkins in reply to Andy. | January 10, 2012 at 7:05 pm

          “Labor are those people who don’t have their own business, have no skin in the game and therefore exchange hours of their day in return for cash.”

          As a small businessman who employs many, let me state this opinion does NOT reflect mine, nor the beliefs of any businessmen I’ve ever known. It is a caricature of the liberal view of employers towards their employees.

          Andy, with you. (I don’t buy Henry’s claims. At all.) Your observations reflect my observations of the situation over many years.

The ‘Bain’ of Capitalism becomes the ‘Swiftboating’ of the Right?

Obama’s “Winning The Future” campaign had been aimed at demonizing “greedy capitalists” and economic liberty from the get go. Even without Romney and Bain, liberty and free markets were going to have their heads on the chopping block.

So no, it cuts both ways. Bain Capital as a model works. Only failing companies were purchased – some were too sick to recover, others have since thrived. Never once purchased a healthy, growing company and plundered it. Romney can position any number of Bain successes against Solyndra and the Volt – and show how one model uses private capital to grow the economy and the other public money to tank it.

Yeah, so let’s go swimming, professor.

    punfundit in reply to Ran. | January 10, 2012 at 2:45 pm

    Okay, fine. For the sake of argument let’s say Romney manages to weather the Obama onslaught against free enterprise and his Bain history. Fine.

    We’re still left with Romney’s political history.

[…] Bagel Insurrection: Swimming with Bain When even Rush Limbaugh buys into the “criticising Bain is criticizing capitalism” meme, we […]

Let us not forget Romney’s refusal to release his tax returns.

Romney supported TARP yet supports capitalism?

ARam: I’ll criticize Romney’s refusal to release tax returns when I see Mr. Obama release all his academic and medical records, which he has not done to date.

TARP was a mess. I don’t blame people on either side for that one. When a financial crisis unfolds one does the best one can. The key is fixing the system to avoid the next crisis. I haven’t seen Obama do that. Perhaps Romney won’t, either, but TARP is over.

I agree with Ran up above: Obama, et al, HATE capitalism. They want to END it. Look at the fellow-travellers surrounding him, look at what he’s done so far, look at what they want to do next. They want to END the present American political system and build a new, socialist (or at least euro-socialist) republic with themselves in charge and people like you and me shunted permanently to the sideline (or worse). Who’s in favor of that? Anyone? Bueller?

So Mr. Romney is the most-capitalist capitalist in this primary? Good, he’s got my vote, because I do NOT want to see the end of our economy, way of life and political system. Go get ’em, Mittens. Thank you for convincing me to vote for the man.

I’m surprised y’all don’t get it: for Newt to attack Bain is for him to accept, however implicitly, that he AGREES with Obama, or at the very least would travel down the same road for a while. That right there disqualifies him.

I don’t have a problem with PE. I don’t have a problem with creative destruction in our economy. I don’t have a problem with capitalism. I have a problem with Obama.

    retire05 in reply to stevewhitemd. | January 10, 2012 at 3:54 pm

    Saying that you support the Republican doing what we criticize the Democrats for doing is pretty lame reasoning.

    I thought the reason for changing parties in the Oval Office is because Republicans DON’T DO what the Democrats do? I guess not for Romney supporters.

Professor Jacobson: Hopefully your demoralization will be only momentary. There is no perfect candidate because there are no perfect people. We cannot be fractured as a party. That is the only sure recipe for loss in November 2012

    Snorkdoodle Whizbang in reply to Margaret. | January 10, 2012 at 3:15 pm

    “We cannot be fractured as a party.”

    But Margaret… we already are. That has been evident since the pushback of the GOP elites against the Tea Party rank and file.

    Allow me do say dittos to your comment Margaret….I fear that, not just the professor, but others here have missed the point that this is exactly what Rush was saying.

    raven in reply to Margaret. | January 10, 2012 at 6:04 pm

    Too late. Total collapse has been in the cards for a long time — since before Bush. The GOP elite will NEVER tolerate anything like the tea party or a threat to its modus vivendi with ruling class liberalism. And we won’t tolerate their intolerance. There you go. It needs to be burned down– brought to ashes. It’s the only way. But Romney will do it for us. He is the agent of their ruin. Irony is great.

    Now wait for the sequel — it was the grassroots’ fault Romney didn’t win. But it’s also too late for that. It’s over for the GOP. They’re writing their own final act and don’t even realize it.

Scrutinizing how a potential CEO ran his previous company is now anti-capitalist. I’m glad that has been cleared up.

Snorkdoodle Whizbang | January 10, 2012 at 3:13 pm

I never thought I’d see the day where a criticism of a business practice is derided and condemned as an assault on an economic concept.

Many have said that criticism of Romney’s business practice is a ‘Left Wing’ style attack. I’d say that the manner of hubris driven defense of Romney against such criticism is more in keeping with the Leftist rhetorical style.

Romney supports the issue of the moment and agress with whoever he is talking to at that time. His flip-flops are famous and subject to caricature. There is nothing he can run against obama with. Romneycare=obamacare.
Ma jobs lost=obama national jobs lost. Both one term politicians with no real record of doing much of anything but destruction. Romney appointed dim judges in Ma=obama appointed dim judges to SC. Now Bain raises its head and gives the obama machine all the ammunition they need to bring Romney and the GOP down. Corporate raider steals food from the mouths of widows and orphans. Probably not true but this is the left. Whatever lie works is what they use. The fact that he is a Mormon will be an issue with the evangelicals. This is wrong, I know, because religion is not supposed to be considered when running for public office. He doesnot act well under pressure. About all he has going for him is he looks like an actor playing a presidential role. One thing in his favor is that hopefully, he doesn’t hate his country. Its really sad that we have allowed the media to once again bring down our candidates, one by one and leave us with their choice as nominiee. McCain reduxx? If Romney wins the nomination, I fervently hope the base doesn’t just stay home and allow us lose the House and to not attain majority in the seanate. Plus lose all ground in the state offices. This is obama’s whole object. His OWS movement is the basis of running against Romney. His administration has been planning this caampaign against Romney for the last three years. This is why he has not called for their disbandment. This is a crisis he can use. One thing I know for sure is that with the left infiltrationg all known organizations and turning them topsy-turvey, what makes anyone think they did not infiltrate the GOP. They probably did that first.

Windy City Commentary | January 10, 2012 at 3:20 pm

I wish Rush was able to come up with what I’ve been thinking the past few days. And that is that MSM and Mitt fans are trying to paint Mitt and the inevitable nominee, and if he has a good day in New Hampshire, it’s all over.

The thing is, these same people are the ones who say that politicians like Sarah Palin, Michelle Bachman, and Rick Santorum are too extreme and don’t appeal to the precious independents. The GOP consultants tell candidates not to attack Obama because independents like him personally. We are told how terrible it would be for the GOP if they were to shut down the govt., and that the independents would flock back to Obama. Yet, Mitt’s Bain Capital past is going to be overlooked by the independents? I don’t think so. Sort of takes away the inevitability thing don’t it?

I think New can pivot back to positive real quick, as long as he can survive Rush Limbaugh being on his case.

Professor, I’ve been faithfully reading You. Watching where you’ve been connecting all the dots, following up on all the printed slivers of information, piecing all the bits together.

And I believe sir, that you are 100% correct in your guesstimation. I get the feeling that the GOP is leading the lamb to the slaughter. David Axelrod already told us the winning strategy by using McCain as a useful idiot, the cat is out of the bag. What is so hard to see here.

THEY DON’T WANT NEWT, THEY WANT ROMNEY. And he will become the poster boy for the Occupy riots this summer. It’s so simple, I feel like crying already.

    gabilange in reply to Ma Kettle. | January 10, 2012 at 3:57 pm

    Yes, Ma, and Romney will be a blender mush at the end of July. Mincemeat by May, and totally ovah by the end of September. I feel like I don’t count, and have been told to put Ken Doll on my shelf and like the present Auntie Establishment knew was good for this anklebiting moron hick clings to guns.

    Red4Liberty in reply to Ma Kettle. | January 10, 2012 at 7:50 pm

    I agree Ma Kettle and gabilange……Obama does want Romney. They want all 1%, Wallstreet, Romneycare, flip-floppin’ all of him. He’s the easiest one to beat because he’s just like them. He just won’t be as ruthless and will therefore lose. Kiss the country goodbye folks.

    Hope Change in reply to Ma Kettle. | January 10, 2012 at 11:22 pm

    Ma Kettle, what did Axelrod tell us about Mccain being the useful idiot? I know they were using him, but did Axelrod admit it?

    stevewhitemd in reply to Ma Kettle. | January 10, 2012 at 11:51 pm

    Oh for goodness sakes: MAN UP, people!

    If I wrung my hands this much I’d need lotion.

    Romney is NOT McCain. He’s not a cranky, tired, curmudgeon whose time was 2000.

    Romney is energetic enough to take the fit to Obama, and intelligent enough to see what Obama did last time. Romney has some smart people in his campaign (so far as I know, I’m not connected to them), and one would think they’ve been keeping tabs on what what Axelrod, Plouffe and Jarrett have been doing.

    Romney will also have (I predict) some super PACs on his side to ensure (independently, of course, with no hint of collaboration whatsoever, nope, none) that Obama doesn’t outspend him (remember McCain was outspent at least 3:1).

    Mr. Axelrod: be careful what you wish for.

    May I also remind people that in 2008 Romney was the ‘conservative alternative’ to McCain? Now I’m supposed to believe that he’s not conservative enough. I read blogs and comments like this and wonder if I’m watching Goldilocks decide on a candidate.

    A final reminder: work like hell to get good Tea Party people elected to the House and President Romney won’t be able to stray too far. Work to get the Pubs effective control of the Senate and Romney will repay by appointing decent to excellent Supreme Court justices and cabinet secretaries. You really want Obama filling the next three SC slots?

    None of the current candidates is perfect, certainly not Romney. Do I prefer Romney to Obama? Do I ever. But then, I prefer Ace o’ Spades syphilitic camel to Obama.

    MerryCarol in reply to Ma Kettle. | January 11, 2012 at 1:01 am

    “THEY DON’T WANT NEWT, THEY WANT ROMNEY. And he will become the poster boy for the Occupy riots this summer. It’s so simple, I feel like crying already.”

    Dry your tears, Ma.

    If Romney is the nominee, the Bain issue will be an opportunity to watch Obama squirm as he becomes hopelessly entangled in the Occupiers’ cop-car-crapping culture. The sooner the Occupiers come out of their winter hibernation, the better. And as Rudy Guiliani predicted, OWS will be the millstone around Obama’s neck that will take his presidency down.

    The way I see it, Bain will be the bane of Obama’s existence.

Hey Professor — great blog. First comment, so please forgive any breaches of etiquette. Just wondering whether a Bain debate isn’t actually something conservatives should welcome (at least in the general). On the one hand, Bain. Sure, people lost their jobs, but those were failing companies to begin with. On the other hand…Solyndra, et al., where the taxpayers lost over half a billion (minimum), Obama’s politically-connected cronies lost little to nothing and, oh by the way, people also lost their jobs. They want to open that door? Fine with me.

All the media, including Rush, are supporting Romney and attacking Newt regarding the Bain issue. In the general, all the media, except maybe Rush, will be supporting Obama and attacking Romney regarding Bain. If Romney cannot make this a cakewalk in the Republican primary, when he has media support, he will get creamed in the general when the media is supporting Obama and attacking him.

Just the appearance that you have something to hide will be used by the lib media. It doesn’t matter to me if one doesn’t wish to release tax returns – but this will be used to distract in the general from Obama’s great failures. Why would Romney create this problem for himself, as well as not admitting to the mistake of Romneycare.

obpopulus is right.Capitalism/crony capitalism. Everyone needs to step back. let this one go. Does anyone really believe that Newt or Perry are anti-capitalists? C’mom. Jeez We got everything to lose here and if you keep this up we will.

I sure hope there’s no really bad skeletons in Bain’s closet now that we’re the party of Bain.

Slogan for Dems in upcoming election: Your pain, Bain’s gain.

I don’t think there’s anything wrong with going after Bain, and I woulnd’t normally equate it with an attack on capitalism. The problem is the WAY Newt is doing it: he’s gone full Marxist in his approach. It’s coming across as though all venture captialists are “raiders.” The message could be coming from OWS.

Poorly informed voters are swayed by commericals, and it’s disheartening to see part of capitalism portrayed in Marxist terms that some people will buy into. It could be used to slowly move the country more leftward… by a Republican. This is my big concern.

I wish Newt had used a differnt method of attack.

OTOH, this is part of the attack that would come to Romney by the Dems, so see if he can deal with it. (I’m not a Romney person. I think if Obama could create a candidate to run against it would be Romney.)

Ramesh Ponnuru sums this up nicely over at NR:

“My own thought, reading Last’s closing line, was that it is indeed possible to distinguish between ‘the specific case of Bain Capital’ and ‘the free market itself,’ and a criticism of one need not be a criticism of the other. The trouble is that Newt Gingrich’s criticism isn’t the one that Last outlines, or at least isn’t just that one. If it constitutes ‘looting’ whenever fat cats enrich themselves by firing people, then free markets get pretty hard to defend.”

IOW, the Professor could be right with his distinction, but Newt hasn’t been that precise.

http://www.nationalreview.com/corner/287710/re-romney-and-bain-ramesh-ponnuru

Henry Hawkins | January 10, 2012 at 3:55 pm

The moderate GOP establishment is using the conservative base’s fear and loathing of Obama to marginalize the conservative wing. They’ve preselected their moderate candidate knowing conservatives will hold their nose and vote for him. This is essentially the same bunch that blew the recent alignment wherein the GOP held the White House and both houses of congress. This same bunch is urinating all over the conservative base that handed them the 2010 midterm landslides.

This is the same bunch that made me leave the GOP years ago and register as unaffiliated. I’d love to be in the GOP, but they simply aren’t conservative. They are rightist only in the sense that they position themselves two inches to the right of wherever the Democrats happen to be, which is currently waaay left.

They mucked it up when they had the WH and congress, they mucked it up in 2008 with John McModerate, they mucked it up by keeping Boehner and McConnell in leadership, they’re mucking it up right now with attacks on anyone not-Romney (read ‘conservative’), and are about to muck up an absolutely winnable race against Obama, who will place Romney in a top hat, tuxedo, and monocle like a Monopoly card, holding Romneycare in temporary abeyance for the coupe de grace.

In a word, we are screwed.

Professor, I think your devotion to Newt is clouding your judgement.

When support for a particular candidate and dislike for another is soooo heated that we find it acceptable to speak like democrats about the legal private business enterprise of the candidate one dislikes then we are on our way to flushing our party down the drain.

It’s over?

Jeeesh!

Watch Ann Barnhardt’s vid on Willard if your still on the fence . Enjoy .

Imagine if the GOP establishment had exerted even a fraction of its intense and fierce defense of Romney on behalf of Palin at any time in the past three years.

These sniveling losers make me sick. I’d like to revel in their coming humiliation if not for the fact we’re all collateral damage in their arrogant, mind-boggling stupidity.

    Jaydee77 in reply to raven. | January 10, 2012 at 4:47 pm

    The difference is Romney has an outstanding record of accomplishment while Palin is a snowbilly who helped push indies to Obama because she didnt know simple things like the definition of the Bush Doctrine even though her son was about to participate in it.

      retire05 in reply to Jaydee77. | January 10, 2012 at 5:27 pm

      Massachusetts state budget:

      Jan. 2003 (when Romney took office) – $23,011,620,000.00

      Jan. 2007 (when Romney left office) – $31,649,416,000.00

      Increase of $8,637,796,000.00 or 37.8% in just four years

      If you consider that an accomplishment, you are no conservative and don’t belong in the polite company of conservatives.

      raven in reply to Jaydee77. | January 10, 2012 at 5:34 pm

      But yet it appears she was able to balance her budget, while the “accomplished” Harvard MBA couldn’t.

      I can sympathize. Romneycare couldn’t have been easy on the bean-counting. But at least he gave us all a blueprint for Obamacare. All was not lost!

      But enough of the past! Now it’s time to watch Mr. Electable work his wonders.

    Red4Liberty in reply to raven. | January 10, 2012 at 8:05 pm

    Raven – You are on the money tonight. My biggest issue with what’s going on the last couple of days is this full throated defense of Romney from so-called conservatives. It just seems so hypocritical when just last month Newt was the receiver of unfair and dishonest attacks and I don’t remember conservative radio show hosts or Fox News dedicating their entire show to his defense. I don’t remember hearing anyone vilify Romney for dishonest attacks on Rick Perry in September/October regarding Social Security. I certainly don’t remember this type of defense for Palin as you stated. I just don’t get this big defense of Romney.

Wow. Who knew that I would feel worse and more demoralized heading into an election year that SHOULD have been an object lesson in the failure of liberalism. I am honestly depressed. This wallowing in negativity has simply demonstrated that the country is DOOMED. I have not been told WHY I should vote for anyone. Perhaps because I have no dog in this fight (as they say “ABO”), I am a bit disappointed in the malice that has come out. If Romney set this negative tone, which seems plausible, that is far greater a crime than running Bain. However, if Newt hadn’t LOST HIS MIND the last few days since Iowa, he would be pulling ahead not falling behind. His quotes that Rush played were pretty alarming. They were pretty leftist, as Rush truthfully put it. He covered all the OWS bases:
-“There is something inherently wrong when getting rich off failure and sticking it to someone else is how you do your business and I happen to think that’s indefensible,”
-“There has to be some sense of everybody’s in the same boat — and I think again, as I said, he’s gonna have to explain why would Bain have taken $180 million out of a company and then have it go bankrupt, and to what extent did they have some obligation to the workers? Remember, these were a lot of people who made that $180 million, it wasn’t just six rich guys at the top, and yet somehow they walked off from their fiduciary obligation to the people who had made the money for them.”
-“If we identify capitalism with rich guys looting companies, we’re gonna have a very hard time protecting it. I am totally committed to capitalism. I am totally committed to Main Street. I am totally committed to people’s right to start companies. I am committed to their right to fail. But I think it has to be fair, it has to be out in the open. This is why you have this underlying anger about the financial class. Because people look over there and they go, “Wait a second. How come I lost my mortgage and you stayed a millionaire? How come I lost all my savings and you stayed a millionaire?”

Those were the quotes from Rush today. It only got worse on Fox this morning and in the Union Leader (Manchester paper).

    iambasic in reply to ntamulis. | January 10, 2012 at 4:24 pm

    Yes, Newt shot himself in the foot HUGELY!

    A better tactic would be to paint Romney as being a much better private sector capitalist than as a Republican executive as evidenced by his un-conservative tenure as Governor. The take away should be – “Keep Romney in the private sector.” 😉

      ntamulis in reply to iambasic. | January 10, 2012 at 4:33 pm

      Exactly. Newt has his record as Speaker to run on, he doesn’t need this:
      -“The question is whether or not these companies were being manipulated by the guys who invest to drain them of their money, leaving behind people who were unemployed,” Gingrich said on Bloomberg. “Show me somebody who has consistently made money while losing money for workers and I’ll show you someone who has undermined capitalism. … That’s an indefensible model. There are some cases that look very suspicious where he and Bain Capital made a lot of money while other people went broke.”
      -“I’m for capitalism, I’m for free enterprise, I’m for entrepreneurs,” Gingrich told Fox. “There’s a big difference between people who go out and create a company — even if they fail — if they try to go in the right direction, if they share in the hardships, if they’re out there with the workers doing it together. That’s one thing. But if someone who is very wealthy comes in and takes over your company and takes out all the cash and leaves behind the unemployment? I think that’s not a model we want to advocate, and I don’t think any conservative wants to get caught defending that kind of model.”
      -“Main Street has always been suspicious of Wall Street. Small businesses have always worried about big businesses. I’m very uncomfortable when I see seven or eight banks take 80 percent of the market share and crowd out small independent banks, and I think people have a natural concern when they see financiers come in from out of town, take over a company, take all the profit and then leave people unemployed behind.”
      -“There’s a company in The Wall Street Journal today that Bain put $30 million into, took $180 million out of and the company went bankrupt,” Gingrich said. “And if you have to asked yourself, you know, was a six to one return really necessary, what if they only take $120 million out, will the company still be there with 1,700 families still have a job? I think there’s a real difference between people who believed in the free market and people who go around, take financial advantage, loot companies, leave behind broken families, broken towns, people on unemployment.”

“To put in $30 million and get back $60 million would have been a fabulous return. To put in $30 million and get back $90 million would be a fabulous return. Did they really need to take out $180 million if, leaving $30 [million] or $40 million, if the company would’ve survived, the people would’ve been employed, the jobs would’ve been there? These are places where they made money while the company went broke.”

    ntamulis in reply to ntamulis. | January 10, 2012 at 4:41 pm

    From the Washinton Post:

    Gingrich’s financial figures don’t match those reported in the Wall Street Journal article, but he was apparently referring to the description of Bain’s deal involving a company called DDi. The Journal reported, “Bain nearly quadrupled the money its investors put into DDi starting in 1996, turning a $41 million investment into $157 million of value within a few years, according to the 2004 prospectus.” Bain then merged DDi with another company and took it public. The company later filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization, the Journal reported.

    Gingrich reiterated his call for Romney to hold a news conference “to walk the country through the things that they did at Bain because in three or four cases, they don’t look like capitalism. They look like rich guys looting companies, taking all the cash and leaving behind all the unemployed.”

    He added: “It’s not fine if the person who is rich manipulates the system and gets away with all the cash and leaves behind the human beings.”

    As an aside (2 things): I actually agree Romney should do a better job explaining WTF Bain actually did… and how do make things bold or italics? I am new to this “forum” thing…

    Lastly, before I get flamed (or banned!), I am not defending Romney, I am defending Rush!

Honestly, Professor, if it were over it was over on Election Night 2008. Barack Obama ascending to the Presidency was this Republic’s death knell.

Is anyone surprised? Not me.

The problem isn’t Democrat vs. Republican, it’s Statists vs. Bitter Clingers.

The Republican candidates are just as much part of the establishment as Obama (only without the treasonous appetite for shredding the Constitution).

That is why I was so heartbroken that Palin didn’t jump in. She is not of the establishment – which is just exactly what we needed.

I tried to get excited about another candidate, but they are just so lacking.

I for one welcome our new Marxist overlords.

    ntamulis in reply to turfmann. | January 10, 2012 at 4:43 pm

    I agree with you. And your Simpsons quote.

    LukeHandCool in reply to turfmann. | January 10, 2012 at 5:22 pm

    Well, turfmann, I think the way to do it is to become a British colony once again.

    As Bill Bryson said in his charming, “Notes from a Small Island,” communism should’ve been left to the British to develop. They like “going without, queing up indefinitely, and accepting with rare fortitude the imposition of rationing and bland diets.”

    Plus, it would instantly become normal and socially acceptable to be absolutely pissed drunk every night!

    LukeHandCool (who wonders if his brilliant faux Cockney accent would hinder his social climbing here among the beautiful L.A. Westsiders. But then there is also his wife. As Luke is known to say to her, “Jeeez, of all the Japanese girls in the world, I gotta pick the one who is bad at math and from a dirt poor family. Well, bugger me, mate!”)

Just read actual transcript and heard Newt’s quote on FOX.

He wasn’t attacking capitalism per se.

The issue is that Newt unwisely resorted to using Leftist tone and rhetoric in a legitimate critique of Mitt’s record of ‘job creator’.

In so doing, he’s seen by the Left as validating the popular generalization of capitalism as anti-proletariat.

It’s winning the same applause from the Left as when he called Paul Ryan’s Medicare reform… “Right Wing Social Engineering”.

Disclaimer : Not a Romney supporter. Still holding out for a miracle dark horse candidate.

I’d cast my vote for Sarah in a heartbeat.

Unless and until, I’m voting for Newt, who has ideas, who knows what makes Washington tic and how to make it work, who is vetted, and able to survive and overcome the smears, and who does truly understand what we’re facing.

Romney is undoubtedly a good man, and a competent man, but he does not inspire. Nor does he seem to have any real fire, just grim passive determination.

I get the feeling his eye is on the goal of winning the office. Newt’s is on what to do AFTER winning – and his goals are lofty and they do inspire. There’s a difference.

[…] field is divided and depressed. [Update: William Jacobson says the Republican party has become "the party of Bain". Heaven help […]

The MSM got their way. Obama was just waiting for the general election, to bring Bain out against Romney. It doesn’t matter who did what, it will be painted as “those rich,evil Republicans taking money from the poor starving workers”. We did not need to have this fight during the election or the primary. If the establishment weren’t pushing Romney so far down our throats, Bain capital would never have been an issue.
It is time to move on from Bain and Romney, and get behind someone who can win the nomination. I hate to say it, but it looks like Santorum may be the only survivor of this mess, and I don’t think he can win in the General. (I don’t count Ron Paul in the list of possible winners of the nomination or the Presidency).
Finally, lest I be called a Santorum-bot, I still support Perry (he has a jobs record to run against Obama), but as far as I can tell he is running 4th in SC, and he too has criticized Romney on Bain.
We need to cut away the albatross that is Bain Capital, it takes too long to try and explain the inner workings of venture capital firms to every Joe the plumber. The general public will take the 30 second sound bite that makes all Republicans seem evil,greedy and heartless and Obama will win re-election. Romney may have done us in, without ever winning the nomination.

BannedbytheGuardian | January 10, 2012 at 5:38 pm

There was & is no such thing as a simple Bush Doctrine. Palin queried Gibson & encouraged him to expand on his definition.

(Significant editing at this point later shown in the uncut version ).

Palin then said she mostly agreed but there had obviously been some mistakes.

Bush by all accounts chose the surge option in Iraq against massive domestic pressure .I think everyone now agrees this was a success . It is within this window that Terack volunteered. As it was he went to Anbar to monitor/patrol the surge effects.

Thus I conclude based on your minimal example there was no single Bush Doctrine.

BTW Gibson lost his career over that interview.

BannedbytheGuardian | January 10, 2012 at 5:45 pm

That above is obviously to Jaydee at 4.47.

Back to American capitalism /bain etc.

oh and in other news. The Obama admin (Ken Salazar) has banned mining in a million acres in AZ where uranium is mined… you know killing both jobs and energy.

The media will need helicopters with bigger gas tanks to travel to and from the double standards they’ve set between the two parties and ideologies at play here.

    punfundit in reply to Andy. | January 10, 2012 at 6:21 pm

    Helicopters, good point. We can’t have “corporate jets” now can we?

    JerryB in reply to Andy. | January 10, 2012 at 9:49 pm

    Bingo, Andy. This is how to turn things around. We must hang the albatross around Hussein’s neck:
    – If firing workers is bad, how about preventing a pipeline that would hire tens of thousands of workers?
    – If making a profit is bad, why did bozo give money to banks to keep them profitable?
    – If buyouts are bad, why did bozo buy out GM, feed the UAW, and defraud investors and taxpayers?
    – If pension fund losses are bad, why does bozo want to take more money from Joe the Plumber’s savings?
    – etc. (Fill it in, make it succinct. Newt, this is your strong suit. Get on it!)

The biggest problem in Newt’s arguments is in the word “fair”. Romney and others in Bain did what the law allowed. Republicans from Nixon on have made possible for: 1)the kind of leveraging and putting one’s debt before that of others — even with what seems like an air tight contract, 2) leaving pension commitments outside the company’s debt responsibility. (Taxpayers finally took it on the chin with the latter). Workers will be more circumspect about trusting their union’s negotiation with management when they realize there are no more tax dollars. 3)Permitting such a short-term profit motive that no one’s purposes are truly served except that of the equity company owners and perhaps the management who made the deal. Something is rotten when there is no long-term vision or business plan.

If Romney becomes the nominee, he must be dogged to repair these shortcomings in current American capitalism (along with that in banking and other financial institutions. There are plenty of issues that are important to reversing our present of financial dereliction in addition to limiting government.

Fairness does not cut it. We want market principles that protect everyone and leave them, worker, manager, and owner, free to take risks in a reasonable environment.

I am willing to continue to fight for Perry, perhaps Newt, but they are not articulating a free market position at the same time. Santorum is too much of a big government politician. How can people call him conservative? Both Perry and Newt (at least in the past) have serious credentials.

I would tell the Republican voters to take heart. The question is not electability.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=50_iRIcxsz0

Some of this conversation is way beyond me, but I will ask this: Who hasn’t had a co-worker who needed either a severe reprimand or termination? My years as a public school teacher taught me that there poor performance might be rewarded, instead of punished. There are people who need to be fired.

A former acquaintance worked for a company which specialized in purchasing family-owned, small-town newspapers, and cutting their staffs. Many of these papers had employees whose jobs needed elimination yet they were still employed. While my acquaintances’ objection is that this company was firing too much talent, there clearly was a surplus of employees. That happens. What Romney did wasn’t a crime, and was, in fact necessary. A business man has a obligation to his stockholders, employees and customers to run his business as efficiently as possible. Need I say that is a societal obligation? We bailed out the automakers when what they needed was somebody to strip them into functioning chunks and get the deadwood out. Romney could have done what was needed.

There are things about Romney which give me pause. His business experience isn’t one of them.

IF there were any real criticize about Bain, it would be acceptable. What we have here instead are candidates taking the “I like being able to fire people” remark out of context, and associating Bain with “vulture capitalism” which it was not (most of the firms invited them because they needed help).

AND the rhetoric hasn’t been any rational critiquing of their policies, either. Gingrich especially has adopted the anti-capitalist language of the socialist left.

I know you want to have it both ways. Tough.

[…] My Eureka moment on this one was when I read this from the Legal Insurrection blog of William A. Jacobson: […]

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