Thursday, August 30, 2012

What Romney means when he says Obama "attacks success"

I've always thought that Romney's claim that Obama "denigrates" (blackens) small business owners and "denigrates" success was just one more calculated lie, of a class with "apologizes for America" or "threw Israel under the bus." Tonight, during Romney's nomination speech, I understood it's personal.  After a roll call of allegedly flourishing Bain investments came this:
These are American success stories. And yet the centerpiece of the President’s entire re-election campaign is attacking success. Is it any wonder that someone who attacks success has led the worst economic recovery since the Great Depression? In America, we celebrate success, we don't apologize for it.

We weren’t always successful at Bain. But no one ever is in the real world of business.

That’s what this President doesn’t seem to understand. Business and growing jobs is about taking risk, sometimes failing, sometimes succeeding, but always striving.
 Yes, the risk-taking small businessman Obama is guilty of blackening is Romney:

When I was 37, I helped start a small company. My partners and I had been working for a company that was in the business of helping other businesses.

So some of us had this idea that if we really believed our advice was helping companies, we should invest in companies. We should bet on ourselves and on our advice.

So we started a new business called Bain Capital. The only problem was, while WE believed in ourselves, nobody else did. We were young and had never done this before and we almost didn’t get off the ground. In those days, sometimes I wondered if I had made a really big mistake.
I don't know how deep the resentment goes on a personal level. But Romney has used the attacks on Bain -- which followed a year of Romney lying nonstop about Obama -- as an excuse to throw off all restraint in the tenor and veracity of his attacks on Obama.  The Bain attacks, his surrogates made clear six weeks ago, would provide cover for the race-baiting campaign  that has in fact since unfolded -- as an unnamed adviser spelled out to McCay Coppins:
Indeed, facing what the candidate and his aides believe to be a series of surprisingly ruthless, unfounded, and unfair attacks from the Obama campaign on Romney's finances and business record, the Republican's campaign is now prepared to go eye for an eye in an intense, no-holds-barred act of political reprisal, said two Romney advisers who spoke on condition of anonymity. In the next chapter of Boston's pushback — which began last week when they began labeling Obama a "liar" — very little will be off-limits, from the president's youthful drug habit, to his ties to disgraced Chicago politicians.

"I mean, this is a guy who admitted to cocaine use, had a sweetheart deal with his house in Chicago, and was associated and worked with Rod Blagojevich to get Valerie Jarrett appointed to the Senate," the adviser said. "The bottom line is there'll be counterattacks." 
Never mind that the attacks in question have nothing to do with "small business" but are focused on the specific actions of a private equity powerhouse playing a rigged game.  Or that the risk Romney took in launching Bain Capital was mitigated by a promise, not only of having his old job at Bain Consulting restored should the new venture fail, but of being provided with a cover story in the event of such a retreat.  The specifics of the attack don't matter. It's the pretext that counts.

Related: Romney Rules

 

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