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January 13, 2012

WTF: Gingrich Calls for Super-PAC To Correct "King of Bain" Falsehoods; Super-PAC Says It Will Keep On Promoting It As-Is

This is a weird question. A candidate isn't supposed to "coordinate" with a Super-PAC supporting him.

But that means that he's the only guy in the world who's not allowed to say "I find their message deceptive."

That seems strange. Maybe public communication should simply be permitted, period, by law, to avoid this odd interpretation of the law. If it's public, it can be scrutinized, right?

Anyway, Newt urges the Super-PAC to correct its false claims while making the attack on Romney he should have made from the start (and Perry, too-- yes, I know he stupidly walked into this snakepit as well).

“Governor Romney is running as someone who knows how to create jobs. In fact, he has claimed to have created 100,000 jobs while at Bain Capital. However, numerous analyses have said that figure is as inaccurate as President Obama’s claim to have “saved or created” millions of jobs.

“Furthermore, Governor Romney’s experience as a portfolio manager did not help him create an environment in Massachusetts that was friendly to job creation. As Governor, Mitt Romney raised $700 million in taxes and fees, despite a campaign pledge not to, and Massachusetts ranked 4th worst in job creation under his leadership.

“These are just some of the facts which President Obama would use to undercut Governor Romney’s claims to be a job creator if he is the Republican nominee. Given these facts, it is entirely appropriate for Republican Primary voters to ask questions to determine whether Governor Romney is presenting himself in an accurate light."

The PAC has rejected Gingrich's request to correct.

And about the report that Sheldon Adelson, the casino magnate and funder of the group, is unhappy with King of Bain and the tone of the attacks? “I haven’t heard that,” Tyler says. “We’re not backing off.”

Tyler is also indifferent about growing media scrutiny of the film’s accuracy, and he shrugs off Glenn Kessler’s fact-checking in the Washington Post. “It’s kind of interesting that the press, who failed to do its job on Bain, is mad at me because we did our job on Bain,” he says. “[Reporters] missed the story… Most voters do not know anything about Mitt Romney’s time at Bain Capital, other than what he tells us.”

I was just arguing that I have the same problems with Romney that I did with Palin.

Let me continue in that vein:

Wall Street is pretty unpopular right now. A populist gale is blowing, and a lot of lightning is hitting Wall Street.

Now, when Romney supporters once argued with True Conservatives -- those who supported unpopular, and yet ideologically correct, positions to the hilt -- Romney supporters would say things like, "Sure I agree with you, in principle, but you're not being realistic. You cannot change people's opinions that much to get the support for what you want."

I agreed with that then. I still agree with it. But Romney's supporters seem to no longer agree with it, as their plan for dealing with the populist rage at Wall Street seems to be, "We'll just convince people they're wrong."

Okay.

Just curious, while you're out there fighting to convince people for a kind of never-doubt-Wall-Street-as-its-actions-always-benefit-the-public creed, why not also agitate for No Abortions In Any Case, Including Rape and Incest, too? Since you're now apparently of the belief you can change public opinion, why limit it to just this one thing? Why not just uncork this newly-discovered wine and let the spirits flow all around?

Anyway, to lighten up on Romney, who is not nearly as electable as people seem to believe, Steve Rattner, a former Obama advisor (who also worked with Bain) says that while vulture capitalist firms do exist, doing shady deals to capture assets without really adding anything of actual value, but that Bain wasn't one of those. Except for four possible cases of mistakes (in favor of Bain), he claims the company's leadership has generally been pretty sterling.

See, that sort of argument plays better with me, because I do not subscribe to this Always Trust Wall Street Jagoffs ethos that has suddenly sprung up. I don't trust them, same as I don't trust anyone, really, outside of my family and chosen friends. I don't want to hear that the guys (partly) responsible for collapsing the world economy always have my best interests in heart and always make sound decisions. It doesn't sell, so don't peddle it.

Clarification: Partly responsible, yes. They sold themselves on the idea their funky tranches had almost no risk at all, and hence were investment grade, and hence sold them (and kept them for themselves) on this very, very wrong judgment. That's a big, big error.

Have faith in them? Nah. But then, a fact-specific claim about Bain works better. I don't want to hear that all of Wall Street is shiny-happy, because I don't believe it. But I'm open to hear that Romney's company was shiny-happy.

In fact, I agree more with this guy...

...who sagely reminded us that what's good for GM is not necessarily good for America.

No, I don't expect corporations to do anything except chase a profit. That is what they're in business to do, and I don't begrudge them that.

But part of "chasing a profit" includes, maybe, lobbying for laws which may assist them in that endeavor, and maybe taking advantage of such laws already promulgated, and no, I don't automatically rally to say whatever a corporation might want, it should have.

Disney gets the copyright term extended each and every time Winnie the Pooh is about to become public domain. Should I just agree to that, because Disney wants it? It is now pretty much expected that nothing published earlier than 1922 will ever become public domain again.

Anyway, this sort of argument is just basically unpersuasive, this How Dare You Question Anything thing.

The list of people I don't trust is long and varied, and includes priests, scientists, reporters, writers, and yes, CEOs.

Apparently because I'm a Republican, I'm supposed to have perfect faith in that last category. Why, I don't know. Because, America.

While the conservative party is correct to be highly suspicious of any attempt to regulate business, it should also not be so dopey as to begin assuming that everything a self-interested party may want, or may do, is in the best interests of the country.


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posted by Ace at 02:51 PM

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