Friday, January 13, 2012

Will "Vulture Capitalist" Have Legs?

I'm enjoying the spinning and skewering going on over Romney's Bain Capital Thing. It's a remarkable development so early in the political season. I can't help being a little cynical about it, though, because it feels like the entire Republican Establishment and their media handmaidens are trying like anything to defuse the issue for the general election by getting it out in the open now -- and then "pushing back".

This is a time-honored political tactic, and the Rs are sometimes brilliant at it. Say an R candidate has some sort of weakness -- they did it with Bush the Lesser all the time -- and have some other R point it out ("He cain't tawk that English so good..."). Or make a big deal out of his many failed businesses. Whatever. The point is to bring these perceived weaknesses into the discussion early and then transform them into strengths: "He's a Man of the People! He's someone I could have a beer with!" Yadda, yadda. And it works; well, it works well enough to snow some of the people some of the time (and of course all of the Haute Media all of the time) and that's good enough to gain enough votes to steal an election.

That's why I'm not at all convinced that Gingrich and Perry are really trying to stop or bring down Romney -- the Nominee Designate of the Republican Party and Our New Emperor In Waiting -- with all the "Vulture Capitalist" yabbering. No, not at all.

It's still very early in the political season, for example. The "Vulture Capitalist" charge is one that the Dems have made, but not until Romney was the nominee would it make any sense or have any impact. Romney won't be nominated for months and months. So the Rs -- being the marketeers that they are -- bring up candidate weaknesses now so as to counter them and defuse them early, before the Dems can use them.

Romney is said to be pushing back now, defending Capitalism and the Free Market and God and everything else, and also, too, defending Bain Capital, for no matter how bad some of their results were, "That's Free-Market Capitalism, my friends."

And so it is.

If the Dems were a Leftist party, which they are not, they would be hammering away at this kind of Truth Telling relentlessly -- "yes, this is what capitalism is, this is what it does, and this is why we're in this economic pickle now." But they won't do that, first because the Rs are doing it, so they don't have to. Then because the Dem Establishment is right there with Romney. Got his back they do.

The problem for the People brought on by Vulture Capitalism and leveraged buy outs and all the rest of the kit bag of tricks used by the financial cliques are very well known. They have been denounced and celebrated in song and story and endless reporting in the alternative media for decades.

Bush the Lesser was a Vulture, too, you know. We have been down this path before and we know where it leads.

But Dems go to Harvard Business School, too, you know; and they absorb the same predatory notions as the Rs; the Chicago School is no slouch in arguing on behalf of the wrecking crews, either. Putting controls on the activities of Bain or any of the other outfits set up to loot and plunder and wreak economic havoc is not in the policy cards no matter who you put in the Oval Office.

That Romney was/is one of the plunderers and looters may ultimately have no political legs at all; Obama's policies, after all, certainly won't control the likes of them.

But still, it's good to see this stuff out in the open, highlighted in the media, despite all the spin and lies that surround it (NPR).

People have a visceral revulsion to harm this sort of finance capitalism does to them. But it harms everyone. It is what causes the constant Crisis of Capitalism. We know that.

Maybe this time, we'll get furious enough to stop it.


  1. Personally, I'm inclined to think that this subject will continue to be, if you'll pardon the expression, the elephant in the room. Granted, it's Friday, so cocktail hour started early, but bear with me.
    The GOP's entire strategy is to make everything worse between now and November, which, somewhat paradoxically, will make corporate looters like Romney even more unloved.
    As you rightly point out, the media will do everything they can to avoid the possibility of anyone making this connection, but these days, even that can backfire.
    The wild card, of course, is Obama... Will he continue to make (lame, ineffectual) appeals to populism, or will he bow down to his real bosses once again? Perception, sadly, is reality, so rhetoric matters much more than actions. Advantage: Obama. What's Romney going to say, anyway? More crap about "creative destruction" and the joys of firing people?

  2. When Mittens started yakking about "creative destruction" my ears pricked up, for this is not something people at his level are supposed to talk about in front of the servants, if you know what I mean.

    This is fully into the Koch Empire territory... so I wondered: is this man trying to throw the election??

    May be.

    The Romney Comes to Town video is brilliant and devastating. (And when I saw that Bain was behind the demise of KB Toys, I went ballistic. BASTARDS!)

    There's hardly anyone in the country that hasn't been touched negatively by the likes of Romney and his predatory ilk.

    But the cynic in me is still suspicious about the underlying political strategy. Meanwhile I liked this profile of Romney at Salon:

    Romney and the Pathology of Bain

    The thing is, he's oblivious.