Blog Credo

The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary.

H.L. Mencken

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

No One Puts Newtie In A Corner

Newt fulminates as Ron Paul looks on.

Rather than post a link, I'm just going to blatantly rip off mistermix at Balloon Juice.

Here's Newt's attack line

“You have to ask the question, is capitalism really about the ability of a handful of rich people to manipulate the lives of thousands of people and then walk off with the money?” [...]
The former Speaker is making the case that, in contrast to good old fashioned businesses who make stuff, Romney and his ilk have instead gamed the system to create a soulless machine that profits from the misery of others. [...]
“I am totally for capitalism, I am for free markets,” Gingrich assured reporters on Monday. “Nobody objects to Bill Gates being extraordinarily rich, they provide a service.” What he instead is concerned about is when an investor receives “six-to-one returns, and the company goes bankrupt.”

And here's mistermix's analysis:

I haven’t seen a Democratic attack on Bain phrased this crisply. Democrats attack Romney’s math on job creation and they are using Randy Johnson, who was laid off in Bain’s gutting of Ampad, as a spokesman. While it’s true that Bain laid people off, the fact that they did so doesn’t in itself make Bain a bad business. Good companies sometimes lay people off. Newt’s attack has more bite because he’s putting Bain in the same boat as the rest of the hated Wall Streeters who almost took this country to ruin and haven’t been punished for their actions.
If Democrats can make this connection, which seems to be an obvious one, they can harness some of the anger that remains over the mortgage crisis and the resulting Great Recession. I might have missed it, but I don’t see that happening. I wonder if it’s because Democrats are afraid of offending deep-pocket Wall Street donors, or because they are afraid of being cast as socialists, or simply because they’re generally inept. But so far, Newt is doing a better job than the DNC.

Wow, that's kind of the heart of the matter, isn't it?

Romney is incredibly vulnerable in the general election in two ways.  First, he is just not very likable.  He's not genuine.  I would even argue he has no integrity.  Not in the sense of he's a liar and a cheat, but that he lacks the integrity that allows you to be genuine, to be who you are, to be the same person regardless of the situation and who you are talking to.

Second, Bain Capital is just the perfect example of the financialization of America's economy.  This guy is the living embodiment of what #OWS was yelling about.  And while #OWS eventually got smeared by the drum circles and the anarchists, the basic message found real resonance with Americans, because the average American looks at the last four years and sees a system that rewards the rich and punishes everyone else.

Maybe it's just that Newt knows better than anyone how to stick the knife in, but that last line about free markets versus predatory capitalism... Man, that's brilliant.  Succinct and believable precisely because it comes from a Republican.  Maybe Obama has more trouble leveling that line of attack because he's been attacked for four years as being a "Socialist," but if this becomes the narrative, Romney is doomed.

Calvin Coolidge, that most conservative of Presidents, said that, "A man who builds a factory builds a temple."  What do we say about the man who shutters that factory and lays off the workers?  What do we say about the money changer in the temple?

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