Attacking Bain

I have to be honest that I do not have a problem with or feel the level of outrage some of you do about Newt Gingrich attacking Bain and Mitt Romney. It’s not because I necessarily agree with Newt on the attacks, but because these are the attacks the left will throw at Mitt and, should he be the nominee, the early attacks help him refine his message.The Perry attacks are, actually, a bit more carefully nuanced and, I think, work better. According to Perry, “There is nothing wrong with being successful and making money, it’s the American Dream. But getting rich off failure and sticking someone else with the bill is indefensible.” His attack was based on one aspect of Romney’s work, not the entirety of it.All that said, I think it is important for us on the right to remember that we typically have an intrinsic faith in the free market and understand the creative destruction of capital in a way most voters do not. We eat, breathe, and sleep this stuff. The typical voter does not. The typical voter does not understand private equity, leveraged balance sheets, etc. They see it as some mystical black magic abused by greedy people on Wall Street.There are, frankly, a lot of Republican primary voters who view it that way too.We can disagree with the strident attacks against Romney as a greedy vulture capitalist, but the reactions of many on our side surprise me because many are premised on the idea that no person could agree with the attacks and the attacks are inherently wrong.First, I am willing to bet there are a lot more people in the country who are likely to agree with the attacks than most of us realize and second, there are a lot of people even on the right who see private equity as a collaborator in the economic mess.While we should be prepared to defend capitalism, we should not be caught unprepared by the attacks and act as if no one could think differently from us on the issue when, I venture to say, we are in the minority on this issue. Frankly, I think these attacks are what Barack Obama is going to use to try to win the election. And I think they are going to work much better than Romney backers expect.Just wait for the Batman tie ins over the summer with Bain. You ain’t seen nothing yet folks. It is a sad day when Republicans attack a Republican for being a capitalist, but it is equally sad that the Romney camp seems flat footed by attacks that will be central to Obama’s strategy to defeat him.



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