I'll state right up front that I don't know nearly enough about the details of Mitt Romney's tenure at Bain Capital to declare it all to be on the up and up and completely in jive with real capitalism and not the crony variety. My suspicion is that I should have suspicions. Stories like this only affirm that feeling.
But the exact details of Romney's record at Bain are nearly inconsequential vis-à-vis Newt Gingrich's attacks on Romney and his Bain tenure because Newt's not talking about them. To wit, he's not accusing Romney of being a crony capitalist and attempting to posture as a Randian capitalism purist. Newt's own record of supporting GSEs like Fannie and Freddie (indeed, profiting off Freddie to provide political cover for their operation with conservatives) and proposing a GSE for space exploration — however exactly that's supposed to work — show he doesn't really have a big problem with the intertwining of government and the private sector.
Newt's attacks seem more like the whining of great unwashed 99% masses of Occupy Wall Street than a reasoned critique. Watch the trailer for the Newt SuperPAC's new King of Bain: When Mitt Romney Came To Town film and tell me that it doesn't seem like something that would screen to hoots and hollers in Zuccotti Park…
Yes, Newt keeps using the word "looter," which, for anyone whose read Atlas Shrugged, has definite and specific connotations. I dubious that that's how he means it. All this talk of corporate raider-hood seems more like an leftist, Oliver Stone, Gordon Gekko, Wall Street rant than it does agitation for a more pure, objectivist, Randian society.
Newt's on a singular mission to destroy Romney. And, hey, I have no sympathy for Mitt. If there's an argument to be made that Bain's dealings under Romney were unethical or that Bain was living off the public largesse, make it.
But employing the lexicon of the Left and OWS and the playbook of the Left and OWS in order to trash Romney without making the argument that Bain was practicing *crony* capitalism is shameful.
It's almost as if Newt doesn't understand the nature of creative destruction, that there are good investments and bad investments, and that jobs come and go as companies succeed and fail. Cheap trading on these sob stories of people who have lost their jobs shows an egregiously limited understanding of how capitalism works.
And, I've been told too often of how smart Newt Gingrich is for him not to understand that.
UPDATE: I had missed Rush savaging Newt over this exact topic earlier today. The first soundbite of Newt where he proudly proclaims that he's using the rhetoric of "classic American populism" is downright chilling to me. Populism runs counter to the rule of law. For Newt to be proud of his indulgence in this is irresponsible on his part.
Watch the video, courtesy of TheRightScoop.com...