Rightbloggers Rush to Defend Mitt Romney -- The Corporate Raider, Not the Candidate

tomt200.jpgWhen last we left our heroes, the 2012 Republican Presidential challengers, they were inevitably folding to Mitt the Man Whose Turn It Is. Then Newt Gingrich -- or, excuse us, a Newt Gingrich Super-PAC to which he is not connected -- decided to go out swinging with a little film that portrayed Romney's early career at Bain Capital as an example of capitalism run amok.

While some of the brethren defended Romney against the charges, others skipped the middleman and instead defended capitalism run amok.

The film, When Mitt Romney Came to Town (aka King of Bain) shows some folks whose livelihoods disappeared after Romney and Bain Capital got their hands on them.

The film makes Michael Moore look like Eric Rohmer, and many sources have poked holes in its assertions. Interestingly, some of these are sources the right wing loves to hate, including the Washington Post -- the Death Star of the MSM! -- ("Four Pinocchios for 'King of Bain'") and New York magazine ("Gingrich Swift Boats Romney").

Thus conservatives found their least conservative candidate being attacked for his rapacious capitalism by... Newt Gingrich. Naturally it caused a sensation.

The brethren had reason to be nervous for their nominee-to-be. Because, let's face it, no normal human being likes people who do what the Bainsters did for a living. Ivan Boesky, David Levine, Ron Perelman, Carl Icahn, Paul Bilzerian -- such characters are about as respected as their movie avatar, Wall Street's Gordon Gekko, and not nearly as quoteworthy.

Also, quite a few Americans have experienced the "creative destruction" of such characters first hand -- like this guy: "That company went through three sets corporate raiders before they finally closed the doors and send the jobs to China. The telemarketing company where I work now just went through its second buy-out in the three years..." Such people may not like Obama, but they're unlikely to warm up to the former CEO of Bain Capital.

When the film broke, even some reliable capitalism defenders got kind of squishy about it. "Private-equity firms have been called barbarians... They also have been praised for improving weak businesses... Industry participants--and some critics--say there is truth to both perspectives," mush-mouthed the Wall Street Journal. The spectacle of the ruthless, fuck-the-poor WSJ scrounging for positive corporate raider anecdotes and regretfully announcing that sometimes these misunderstood heroes "failed to improve operations quickly enough to turn the company around" (rather like doctors who reluctantly stop massaging a dead patient's heart) shows how hot the movie made things for a half-minute there.

It got so bad that some rightbloggers rushed to disseminate a Romney defense by.... Steve Rattner, Obama's car bailout guy. And Romney himself started handing out money on ropelines. Elspeth Reeve at The Atlantic was moved to ask, "Since When Do Republicans Hate Corporate Raiders?" Listen, if their own mothers became a political liability, we're sure they'd denounce them, too.

But after a moment of shock, even rightbloggers who were not Romney's biggest fans stepped up to defend the rapacious form of hypercapitalism he had suddenly come to stand for.

At the New York Times, Ross Douthat sneered that Romney's Republican opponents "sound as if they're auditioning for a production of 'Les Misérables,'" and laid out his defense of corporate raidership. As the post-WWII boom wound down, said Douthat, "American policy makers, C.E.O.'s and investors responded by changing their priorities -- privileging growth over security, efficiency over equality, and embracing creative destruction on a scale that would have been unthinkable in the America of 1955. In the private sector, this revolution was driven by men like Mitt Romney."

Thus we lost the one-earner household, lifetime employment, and good pensions, but we got iPads and brokers eating sushi off naked women. Douthat presented this as progress. While "overheated critics" focused on the people who got fired after Bain devoured their companies, Douthat insisted that "the competitiveness revolution was good for the United States." For instance, Douthat told readers, America is 20 percent richer than Germany, which foolishly gives its citizens health care and a Termination Protection Act instead of pitting them against one another like maddened roosters in a cockfighting pit. America wins!

romneytown.jpg
It looks scary, sure, but creative destruction is ultimately positive -- like, when you steal someone's wallet, in the end you get his money.
Still, Douthat admitted asset stripping isn't an "unmitigated good" and that Romney "needs to prove to anxious voters that he and his party have more to offer them than just Bain capitalism alone." Alone! What can Romney add to yummy Bain capitalism that will make it even tastier? "Growth that leads to broadly shared prosperity," said Douthat. Just stick with that corporate raider thing, in other words, but make sure a few other people get some of it too. (Maybe a bigger Board of Directors? Have your people sketch something out.)

Larry Kudlow, host of CNBC's The Kudlow Report, went further, telling readers that Romney's medicine was just what this country needed.

"There's a very troubled company out there called U.S. Government Inc. It's teetering on the edge of bankruptcy. And it badly needs to be taken over and turned around. It probably even needs the services of a good private-equity firm..."

It sounds like a parody of the close of Gordon Gekko's famous speech ("And greed -- you mark my words -- will not only save Teldar Paper, but that other malfunctioning corporation called the USA"), but Kudlow was in earnest:

"Yes, layoffs will be a necessary part of the restructuring," Kudlow continued. "...Worldwide employment for U.S. Government Inc. is estimated to be over 2 million, a completely unmanageable number for a venture like this." Apparently not enough of us have lost our jobs yet, and America Inc won't be successful until we have.

The solution, said Kudlow, is "a highly regarded private-equity operation located in Boston that has a good (but not perfect) track record in turning around hopeless ventures... Isn't a Bainful turnaround exactly what America needs?" The ship of state may be righted after all, as soon as it has dispensed with the deadwood -- which, we hardly need add, would not include such vital resources as the host of CNBC's The Kudlow Report.

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MRjimvinbur at TOUT
MRjimvinbur at TOUT

 

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Dee
Dee

Every single airline employee who worked in the 80's & 90's and the retirees of that era and onward know all too painfully what a Corporate raider does to lives he/she considers expendable .....you think we are losing jobs now ....just wait til a corporate raider comes along .Most famous of all  is Carl Icahn ....TWA"s Destroyer .....How about all the other Airlines that went under .....or are going under .....Braniff ....National ....Northwest ....Continental ...Northeast ....Western ....Air Cal ...Pan Am .....

REMEMBER WITH YOUR VOTE ......

NikoWozz
NikoWozz

I am a 27 years old doctor,mature and beautiful. and now i am seeking a good man who can give me real love, so i got a sername Andromeda2002 on  Agedate.СòM, a nice and free place for younger women and older men,or older women and younger men, to interact with each other.Maybe you wanna check out or tell your friends.

Synykyl
Synykyl

I think Newt Gingrich is probably ready to trade Callista in for a newer model. Why not try contacting him?

Horatius
Horatius

Sorry, men don't care about love. Only sex.

McSalmon
McSalmon

It is fascinating to watch the right bloggers defend the routinely criminal knowing that what they are defending would be deeply unpopular to anyone with the slightest amount of skepticism.

Is it true that Gingrich's PAC put out a hit piece to undermine Romney? Yes. Is it true that Romney made millions for himself and his douchewaffle friends by killing thousands of jobs and razing corporate assets to the ground? Also yes.Can these statements exist in the same reality? Yes.What is the only defense of the right to defend it's selected nominee from the withering scorn of a nation with a high rate of unemployment? The usual technique works - deny that anything wrong was done (Romney is a job creating Capitalist! Free Markets! Whiskey! Sexy!) and blame everyone for making a valid point (Gingrich is a traitor! Liberals are all communists! Unions drove your jobs out of this country! I'm your boyfriend now! Blehdeledele)

It's a tried and true method - deny and attack. It is ironic that the man who popularized the technique, Gingrich, shall be harpooned with it in the end. A satisfying end to Newtie Dick, and one long anticipated.

merl1
merl1

I want to hear rightwingers defend Bain's habit of looting pension funds and getting bailed out by the evil Government. Then they'll have to defend Socialism. I know they can do it, I want to see it.

Gai
Gai

You want to know WHY  "the brethren defended Romney against the charges"???

Very very simple Bain OWNS Clear Channel which broadcasts Rush, Sean....

NO WONDER the Conservative Talk Shows trash the other possible candidates esp. Ron Paul, the only candidate who wants us OUT of foreign wars (Americans as Cannon Fodder for for the banksters) and wants to kill the FED!

Seems what media isn't owned or controlled by JP Morgan is controlled by Bain!!!

parsec
parsec

Back in the mid-Eighties I worked for a small company that made its products in America and sold them for a modest profit.  Two leveraged buyouts in three years and it closed its doors for good.  It's hard to keep an enterprise going when it's saddled with crushing debt.

Gai
Gai

There is a heck of a lot of difference between a Venture Capitalist - someone who loans money and sometimes expertise to an inventor, and a "Corporate Raider"  A Corporate raider takes an "Undervalued"  Company sucks all the capital out of it and leaves it struggling with massive debt. 

A Corporate raider is the exact opposite of a Venture Capitalist.  They suck capital OUT of a company instead of investing capital IN a company, and they do it by "Borrowing" fiat, printed on the spot, funny money from the bankers. In otherwords by FRAUD

You do not have to be a "Democrat" to spot and hate this fraud and the "Anti-capitalism" of leveraged buyouts that wiped out American Companies and American jobs in the 1980's because of Regan's hands off policy on Corporate Raiding.

The USA has been reduced to third world status thanks to four policies.1. Corporate Raiding 2. Fractional Reserve Banking and Clinton's new banking laws that removed the depression era bank laws.3. the "Derivatives/Credit Default Swap gambling games of investors (Check out Mike Tobias on CDSs and Sach Goldman on the 2008 Food Crisis)4. NAFTA and the World Trade Organizations that did away with the tariffs that protected American jobs and the third world environment. (Check out

It is about time both Republicans and Democrats realized the bankers set up a "lets you and he fight" situation so they could continue stealing from all of us.  The problem is not "Capitalism" which has been dead for over a hundred years it is Fractional reserve banking and "Corporatism"  - a Corporate/Banker run government.

See WTO Director Pascal Lamy on "Global Governance" Lamy, Clinton and Tony Blair are all connected (give lectures at) the London School of Economics. The LSE, Global Dimensions Programme, is funded by British Petroleum (A Royal Crown Company) and Blair, former chair of the Fabian (Socialist) Society is earning  £2  million a year from JP Morgan.http://www.globaldimensions.ne...

J
J

What's amusing is you implicitly acknowledge that the accusations, at least the current ones, are bullshit-- you cite publications from your ideological brethren that ran fact-checks and articles that expose the bullshit as well as an out-of-nowhere but very firm defense of Romney from a Democrat and Obama official. Yet, the rest rest of the piece contains sly insinuations that these sinister characterizations are legitimate.

Set aside the political or economic debate. If a student submitted this piece to me, rife as it is with rampant, contradictory arguments, I would hand it back to them with a single written comment: Try Again.

beejeez
beejeez

J?J?You all right, buddy?

coozledad
coozledad

What kind of student is going to hand a paper to a guy beating off on the loading dock at the IGA?

edroso
edroso

"What's amusing is you implicitly acknowledge that the accusations, at least the current ones, are bullshit..."

For an alleged professor, you don't read very carefully. The column's not about Romney. It's about conservatives' reaction to the Bain Capital movie. The "sly implications" you perceive are not from me but from the conservatives I quote, most of whom appear to believe that Romney wrought creative destruction and seek to defend it.

"If a student submitted this piece to me, rife as it is with rampant, contradictory arguments..."

Which arguments are contradictory, and which merely rampant?

"...I would hand it back to them with a single written comment: Try again."

And if I were your student, I would kick you in the nuts and steal your slide rule.

GeoX
GeoX

I feel like a real professor would probably have realized that sticking a comma between "rampant" and "contradictory" completely changes the meaning of the sentence.

merl1
merl1

I'd try to have the motherfucker fired for being too stupid to teach my child anything.

mommadillo
mommadillo

Well, that's a large part of the problem, J - we've got dipshits like you out there "teaching" impressionable young students.

MyPetGloat
MyPetGloat

It's a right wing zombie movie, featuring drooling imbeciles cannibalizing each other whilst moaning "BAINZ! BAINZ!" 

Substance McGravitas
Substance McGravitas

this revolution was driven by men like Mitt Romney.

And here I thought revolutions were exciting.

hells littlest angel
hells littlest angel

Was his dog strapped to the roof?

Provider_Une
Provider_Une

Well it was a revolution so I would think that there would be room up there for all of our dogs. Mitt thinking that his would appreciate the company..

ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®©
ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®©

Wow, Coke Head Larry still has a a job?

This truly is the Greatest Country Ever™.~

Provider_Une
Provider_Une

When you have Sartorial Chops™ like Larry you can always find work, no matter how wrong you are all the time about everything.

Having installed secret video cameras in the room hosting a CPAC after party called the "Goat Ropers Ball" can't hurt either.

I have it on good authority that Kaus was only admitted after pounding on the door for 15 solid minutes disrupting everyone's good time; he just had to get into that room....

Roger Ailes
Roger Ailes

"Kaus was only admitted after pounding on the door for 15 solid minutes disrupting everyone's good time; he just had to get into that room."

And Kaus did it with his hands behind his back, in the manner illustrated by George Clooney at last night's Golden Globe Awards.

Consumer Unit 5012
Consumer Unit 5012

I remember back when George W. Bush said he was 'gonna run this country like a business'.

Sadly, the "Liberal Biased" Media failed to remind us all that every business W had ever run either went bankrupt or got bought out by Bush Senior's rich friends...

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