The Bain of Our Existence
(By American Zen's Mike Flannigan, on loan from Ari Goldstein.)
"The reason is simple: Romney is not a conservative. He's not, folks. You can argue with me all day long on that, but he isn't. What he has going for him is that he's not Obama..." - Unconvicted child molester and drug addict Rush Limbaugh on Bain Capital-owned Clear Channel.
It would be understandable if liberals were tempted to take a break this winter or at least until Newt Gingrich finally gets smart and drops out of the race. After all, the 28+ minute-long movie unofficially made for and by Newt Gingrich through his SuperPAC, Winning Our Future, is seamlessly indistinguishable from what liberal icon Robert Greenwald would produce through his production company (in fact, it's virtually impossible to imagine the people Winning Our Future had hired to produce the spot not looking to Greenwald's Brave New Films for cues, if the thorough research replete with touching music is any indication.).
In fact, as long as the former House Speaker is in the race, he'll be doing a lot of President Obama's heavy lifting.
Yet while proper due and attention is being paid to Mr. Gingrich's unofficial spot, it's notable that other prominent conservatives such as Sarah Palin have piled on. Uniting with Winning Our Future, the former Alaska Governor and failed Vice Presidential nominee and proven tax cheat has demanded that Romney to release his tax records, which he has staunchly refused to do (at the end of the video, you'll see why: Most of Romney's estimated quarter of a billion dollar fortune that was hoarded at the expense of American jobs and companies has long since been squirreled away in not-so-blind trusts and offshore bank accounts far from the apathetic reach of the IRS.).
The entire video would be an indelibly searing indictment on any candidate with Mitt Romney's history of financial predation at Bain Capital were it not for the fact that among other conservative voters, Barack Obama, a man whose middling stimulus bill still created 3,000,000 jobs, is even more loathed and feared than Mitt Romney.
While the president's entire agenda on job creation has been underwhelming at best these past 35+ months, it's hard to imagine why and how even rock-ribbed Republicans primarily worried about the economy and job creation would fear Mr. Obama more than the elitist Romney, a mannequin of a game show host who'd cost America countless tens of thousands of jobs in his 17 years helming Bain (or created about 100,000 for communist China, depending on how one chooses to look at it).
Perhaps Limbaugh in my epigraph succinctly explained it all. As with Romney's repugnance among Republican voters until late, his newfound if middling appeal can be summed up as, "He's not Obama." When dealing with the one-dimensional, reactionarily reptilian Republican brain, one cannot introduce more complex logic than that without subjecting oneself to endless head banging on the brick wall of racially-motivated "reasoning."
But Romney's so-called appeal, much of which was bought prior to getting endorsements from federal, state and local right wing politicians, is more a direct benefit from running in a weak field of Republican contenders than anything else. Romney, like McCain before him, is like the 83 game-winning 2006 St. Louis Cardinals (who went on to win the World Series.): A mediocre entity that vultures a berth more through process of attrition than anything else.
But as ill-informed and reactionary as conservative voters tend to be, the repugnance to Romney that still almost cost him the Iowa caucus to one term Senator Rick Santorum can perhaps also be ascribed to reptilian reactivism. Say what you want about George W. Bush and John McCain and many Republican presidential candidates before them but at least those men had human traits and could resonate with voters across a broad spectrum of the electorate (McCain, despite his age and clearly incipient dementia, still got almost 60,000,000 people to vote for him against Obama).
Mitt Romney, even on those mercifully rare occasions when he tries to connect with the grass roots, cannot help but show what an elitist scum he truly is, whether it's telling largely out of work Floridians "I'm unemployed, too," betting Texas Governor Rick Perry $10,000 over a minor squabble over a book passage during a nationally televised debate, telling hecklers at the Iowa State Fair that corporations are people, that income inequality should be spoken of only in "quiet rooms" or four years ago seeking out a reporter for special abuse when he rightly called out Romney's lobbyist Ron Kaufman as running his campaign.
In fact, the only time one can get a human reaction from Romney is when someone accuses him of being a flip-flopper, insists that corporations are not, in fact, people or calling him out for his long history of vulturism with Bain Capital. Even then, Romney, will break into the most plastic and disingenuous grin since Ken and Barbie or what Charles Pierce at Esquire calls his "Flog the Butler" face.
Mitt Romney, scion of a wealthy family who escaped the Vietnam draft and instead spent a year at a palace in France during a Mormon mission, far from being a cool, even-tempered customer, is one of the most viciously defensive Republicans on the map on the rare occasions when someone from a crowd or the mainstream media calls him on his lies and constantly shifting positions. Even the mere suggestion that Romney may have come by his quarter billion dollar fortune under less than honorable means is enough to make him scramble for his emotional launch codes, if his shameful speech in Iowa last summer is any indication.
Much of Romney's divorce from reality and the facts can be gleaned from his very perversion of the definition of what Bain Capital's primary mission was. Bain, a world-eating entity that has created one weed-clogged parking lot after another from coast to coast, is a venture capital firm. Ask anyone at a venture capital firm who doesn't have a current or former alumnus running for president if their number one goal is job creation and they'll laugh you clear into the street.
The mission statement of a venture capital firm is to make money and if any jobs are created it's merely incidental. In nearly 25% of the cases in which Bain Capital bought a business, it filed for bankruptcy and was parted out like an old Chevy while hundreds got thrown out into the cold.
This is the picture that Mitt Romney would like you to forget, one that seems to perfectly illustrate the entire philosophy and agenda of the universally-despised Wall Street. Does that look like a portrait of people who are primarily interested in job creation or one of cash-stuffed scarecrow psychopaths in the heady 80's of Oliver Stone's Wall Street rubbing their unseemly wealth in our faces?
RomneyCare here in Massachusetts is but a mere microcosm of what he'd do to this country if he was ever allowed to sit behind the Resolute Desk. That abominable mutation of MassHealth, which used to provide for the health care needs of those on welfare and other public assistance, was co-opted by the half dozen largest health providers in the Commonwealth. The rechristened MassHealth Connector now offers rates too high for any unemployed or underemployed person to pay unless they meet a stringent hardship guideline. And if you're not that indigent but still too indigent to pay the premiums these HMOs demand, you'll wind up owing Massachusetts your $900+ personal exemption.
It's impossible to imagine anyone not on Wall Street or who doesn't work for Bain Capital or who hasn't been paid off by Romney ever voting for him except out of a reptilian revulsion toward a man of African American heritage running our country. It's quite obvious that prominent conservatives such as Mr. Gingrich and Ms. Palin are trying to take down Romney simply because they know that he's unelectable or because they themselves are revolted by the cult to which he belongs.
Whatever their motives, we should welcome their opposition to a Romney presidency because it marks the first time in a while that well-monied Republicans have ever gotten their facts straight.