Romney's devastation: Bain, vulture capitalism, and massive profiteering off human suffering
Romney may be defending his extremist vulture capitalism, capitalism that destroys jobs and ruins lives, and Republicans may be rallying to his side, aghast that anyone should dare question even capitalism at its worst, but there's no doubt one of his core weaknesses has been exposed. As Andrew Sullivan, hardly one to advance a left-wing take on capitalism, writes:
I just watched the Bain documentary featured below and being broadcast throughout South Carolina by Newt Gingrich's SuperPac in full. It's loaded with out-of-context quotes and heavily biased; it focuses on the specific human suffering of the necessary "creative destruction" of capitalism not its general benefits to the economy. It does so through the voices and stories of ordinary Americans. And, as an emotional bludgeon, it's devastating.
But what makes it so dangerous to Romney, it seems to me, is that the Bain Brahmin didn't just fire thousands of working class people in restructuring and in closing companies. He made a fucking unimaginable fortune doing it. That's the issue. Other Republicans can speak about the need for free markets in a sluggish economy. But with Romney, we have a singular example of someone who made a quarter of a billion dollars by firing the white middle and working class in droves in ways that do not seem designed to promote growth or efficiency, but merely to enrich Bain.
I simply cannot imagine a worse narrative for a candidate in this climate; or a politician whose skills are singularly incapable of responding to the story in any persuasive way. This ad is powerful. Romney has already seen a drop in South Carolina. I suspect he'll drop some more. And I suspect once the potency of this line of attack is absorbed by the GOP establishment, there will be some full, if concealed, panic.
I'm not exactly as fond of the "creative destruction" of capitalism as Sullivan is, nor do I think it as "necessary" as he does, and I'm not sure this video is quite as twisted as he says it is, but otherwise I'm in agreement. It's a pretty "devastating" line of attack. And one based on Romney's actual record, not one just made up to make him look bad.
I suspect he'll still go on to win the Republican nomination, not least because many Republicans (particularly the elites) applaud his brand of capitalism and the immense wealth he made at the expense of others, but the long-term damage to his electability could be immense.
In case you haven't seen it yet, here's the preview for the documentary. It's pretty powerful.