Mitt Romney: Bained and Confused

You can argue that elections ought to be about real issues….

That’s how the Democrats lose so many elections they should win.

The Republicans always go for diversions and attack ads, while the Democrats wring their hands, take the high road and lose….

Well, I ‘m glad President Obama’s campaign has apparently seen the light.

The attacks on Romney and Bain Capital are off subject, but brilliant.

And they are working….

If you are going to fight dirty tricks like Karl Rove and the GOP pulls, you have to be willing to join them in the gutter.

And listen to them scream “unfair” when someone does to them what they’ve been doing to others for years….

The next white shoe to drop will be Romney’s tax avoidance…..

Joe Klein at Time gets it….


Back in June of 1988, Lee Atwater took me aside and showed me some stuff that Bush the Elder’s campaign had developed against Michael Dukakis, who was then enjoying a 17-point advantage in the polls. The “stuff” seemed laughable. Dukakis hadn’t signed an order requiring schoolchildren in Massachusetts to recite the Pledge of Allegiance. He had once said that he was a “card-carrying member of the ACLU.” The most damaging bit was that he’d run a weekend parole program for prisoners, which had been abused by several inmates. (If I remember correctly, Atwater didn’t lay out the sordid details of the Willie Horton case.) In any event, I thought these “issues” were fairly pathetic–and they were. But…

They proved to be devastating. Part of it was the Dukakis campaign’s ineptitude when it came to responding–a consequence that led directly to the establishment of Bill Clinton‘s famed “War Room” in 1992. But more important, this coordinated campaign  ”defined” Dukakis as an out-of-touch, soft-on-crime Massachusetts liberal, a prisoner of the “Harvard boutique” etc etc etc. He spent the entire summer on the defensive. I still think the pledge of allegiance stuff was pretty silly–Dukakis had refused to require children to say the pledge in order to honor the beliefs of Jehovah’s Witnesses–but it was a nail in a brilliantly constructed coffin.

Fast forward to now. Mitt Romney is experiencing a Dukakis-like summer playing defense. The Obama campaign has also constructed a brilliant coffin, custom-made for a turnaround artist. There are many nails in this coffin, some more important than others. The nails are being hammered in a natural progression. There is a logic to this. The current controversy over whether Romney was or was not running Bain capital during the years 1999-2002 is a relatively minor nail–the functional equivalent of the Pledge of Allegiance. Bain was involved in the global economy during those years. This meant outsourcing jobs to places like Mexico and China, which meant the creative destruction of obsolete jobs here at home. Whether Romney was directing them or not, these activities were perfectly legal. That doesn’t matter, though:  there is confusion about why he was still listed as the boss if he wasn’t really the boss, which seems shifty. And there’s the question of why he was making tons of money if he wasn’t the boss, which is what this is really all about.

via Bained | Swampland |

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