America’s two party political system generally means Republicans assail Democrats for perceived philosophical differences and Democrats respond in kind because Republicans revere the wealthy over every other demographic. The primary election season often finds members of the same party railing against each other, but it is not often that one presidential hopeful is on the receiving end of criticism for their signature agenda and selling point from his own party’s members. The interesting development is that many high profile Republicans have joined Democrats in assailing Willard “Mitt” Romney for his business practices that resulted in mass layoffs, business closures, and unfettered greed typical of the wealthy elite.
Romney promotes himself as a brilliant business mind who single-handedly created thousands of jobs while heading Bain Capital even though the facts tell a different story. The Republican front-runner portrays criticism of his private-sector layoffs and destruction of 22% of Bain Capital’s business investments as an “assault on free-market capitalism,” but it does not sit well with Democrats or Republicans. Unfortunately for Willard, there is legitimate, bipartisan agreement that his business practices while at Bain are not above reproach and are immoral, vicious, and worthy of scrutiny.
It is not that Romney’s Republican critics are suddenly advocates for middle class Americans’ values, because they are not. However, they do understand that Americans typically do not look kindly on ruthless corporate greed and are hopeful that their attacks on Romney’s business practices resonates with voters. Romney’s detractors in the Republican field realize, like Democrats, that most Americans detest excessive greed corporations are notorious for and that made Romney filthy rich. Romney is so out of touch with the mainstream voters that he claims criticism of his business practices are attacks on capitalism, putting free enterprise on trial, and the product of sheer envy.
Rick Perry is no stranger to corporate greed, but he makes a good point that venture capitalists like Romney and Bain Capital are like “vultures that are sitting out there on the tree limb, waiting for a company to get sick. And then they swoop in, they eat the carcass, and they leave the skeleton.” It is reasonable to take it a step farther and besides being vultures picking apart a carcass, Romney and Bain Capital deliberately leveraged companies into sickness to pick up the pieces after causing bankruptcies and closures.
Sarah Palin even weighed in on Romney’s vulture capitalism and said he should give proof of his dubious job-creation claims, release his tax returns, and “accept that his private-sector layoffs are fair game and not attacks on free-market capitalism.” Newt Gingrich drew a distinction between Romney’s conduct and free enterprise, and claimed Romney’s style of business practice “undermined capitalism.” Even Bill Kristol, conservative columnist said that “the unqualified defense of the virtues of Bain Capital is silly.”
It is more than silly, it is indefensible and shows the limited appeal Romney has to mainstream America. Romney never boasts of the millions he made, and still earns, from destroying the “economic lives of companies, individuals, and entire communities as a corporate buyout specialist,” but his only selling point to lead the nation is that he created 100,000 jobs while at Bain. The pressure from conservative pundits, Democrats, and Romney’s fellow Republicans must be having an effect on him because during the GOP debate on Monday, Romney changed his story and said, “four of the companies that we invested in, they weren’t businesses I ran, but we invested in, ended up today having some 120,000 jobs. Some of the business we invested weren’t successful and lost jobs.” If nothing else, Romney is smart enough to comprehend that as the campaign drags on, the fallacy of his record of personal job creation is one of those inconvenient truths voters are going to learn about. As more Americans learn that Romney’s only perceived qualification to serve as president is a lie, they will reconsider every single statement he has ever made as suspicious if not an outright lie.
If Romney’s only qualification is as a job creator, then he is clearly a failure and not qualified to be president. Even if he did personally create jobs, there is more to being president than running a business. Romney’s economic plan is a rehash of Bush economic policies on steroids and if America was a business, the crippling debt his tax cuts for the wealthy produce would bankrupt the nation in short order. His plan gives enormous tax breaks to the wealthiest 1%, raise taxes on lower-income and middle-class families and still adds more than $6 trillion to the federal deficit over a ten year span. Besides not being a “job creator” as a businessman, Romney will push America deeper in debt that any respectable business owner would label as stupid.
Romney may have expected Democrats to assail him for his record at Bain Capital, but it is unlikely he expected the level of criticism from his fellow Republicans concerning his immoral business practices that destroyed jobs and businesses. Democrats probably did not expect Republicans and conservatives to be allies in exposing Romney as a vulture capitalist, but they welcome the increased bipartisan scrutiny. In the end, the American voters are the winners for learning early that Romney has no qualifications to serve as president. Romney’s only appeal to many GOP voters is that he is white and not President Obama, but even that will not be a factor with Independent voters.
The curious, early alliance between Republicans and Democrats anxious to expose Romney’s lack of business acumen and job creation must have stunned Romney and regardless he will be the Republican nominee for president, he is in trouble for exaggerating his record. There is one thing Americans dislike more than corporate greed and wealthy elitists, and it is a liar. Perhaps Romney truly believed his magic underwear would protect him from being exposed as a fraud, but because Republicans joined forces with Democrats in an unlikely alliance, it will not be long before the entire nation learns that Willard Romney is totally unqualified to be anything other than a vulture capitalist who profited off the misery and unemployment of thousands of Americans.