King of Bain

The complete film by the SuperPAC supporting Newt Gingrich called “When Mitt Romney Came to Town.” It’s quite an artful hatchet job.

As expected, the Republican establishment and most of the corporate media is pushing back strenuously against what it chooses to regard as an outrageous attack on Capitalism. Here, for example, is Newt Gingrich getting put through the wringer this morning by Steve Douchey and the not-so-friendly slackwits on Fox News:

Their follow-up guest was sleazy former NYC Mayor Rudy Guiliani who blasted what Gingrich and Rick Perry are doing as being “ignorant” and “dumb” – further claiming that “its building ignorance of the American economic system…it’s playing on the dumbest, most ridiculous ideas about how you grow jobs.”

8 Replies to “King of Bain”

  1. No matter what you say about the content within this piece, the most consistent thing about Gingrich has been his willingness (since the 1970’s) to do and say anything to achieve power and influence.

    I am a conservative who remains a voluable critic of contemporary capitalism; to suggest for a moment that a consesrvative person cannot and should not see major structural prolems with contemporary capitalism is ignorant and irrational. I hope this move by the Gingrich’s Cam frees-up a non-neo-liberal willingness to attack the current economic system. However, I do worry that Gingrich’s legendary opportunism will taint the emergence of such a perspective.

    An interesting gambit, to say the least !

  2. Newt certainly isn’t the most credible tribune for this message, which is unfortunate. That said, it’s still refreshing to see the critique of LBOs (slickly re-branded since the 80s as “private equity investment”) and the damage this particular form of “wealth creation” (i.e., extraction) has wreaked on the economy over the years come from other than “liberal” quarters.

  3. Newt Gingrich is from the South. There was a time when the region was a one-party fiefdom and was solidly behind FDR’s New Deal coalition. How could the South, the bastion of Jim Crow social conservatism provide political support for the social safety net? The South, while conservative on social issues, is actually more liberal (or populist) on economic issues.

    Barry Goldwater and Richard Nixon were able to attract disaffected “Dixiecrats” to the Republican party as the Democrats implemented Civil Rights. And in doing so, the party lost many northeast Republicans to the Democrats.

    Newt probably sensed that the attacks on Romney from the right on social issues was played out, so he’s attacking him from the left on economic issues which will might get a receptive audience in South Carolina–the next state where it is “do or die” for Gingrich.

    The United States is a huge nation, and I always saw their two major political parties having very tenuous and fragile coalitions, full of contradictions on both sides. On the Republican side, how can conservative Christians and the amoral neoliberals of high finance continue to pretend to like each other?

    I find the bomb throwing by Gingrich to be entertaining. Being an elitist himself (though he’s certainly more self-made than Romney who was born with a silver spoon in his mouth), I doubt these economic populist attacks on Romney are very sincere. But the commoners do vote, and he wants their votes so he can stick it to rich pretty boy Romney as long as possible.

  4. I’m watching the second video, and Gingrich can’t bring himself to fully attack “capitalism”. Ironically, the word ‘capitalism’ was invented by Karl Marx as a pejorative term to denigrate free enterprise itself. And many conservatives today have embraced and owned the term by declaring themselves to being proud capitalists.

    To make a case for Gingrich’s sincerity, he has said the following things in the past:

    -called Social Security the hallmark of a decent society
    -attacked Paul Ryan’s designs for Medicare Reform as “right-wing social engineering”
    -has criticized Dodd-Frank, but said he’d reimplement Glass-Steagall as an alternative (and he had left the House by the time it voted to get rid of Glass-Steagall)
    -said that black people need “Paychecks not Welfare Checks”.

    Well, the last one does sound insultingly patronizing. But one can agree that it’s better for someone to have a job instead of collecting welfare. He implemented welfare reform with Clinton with a similar mindset and was able to sell it that way in order to get Clinton’s signature.

    I think Gingrich is an interesting character. If they ever make a Hollywood-produced Clinton biopic, he certainly would need to be the central antagonist. Bless that fucker, if he didn’t exist, we’d certainly need to invent him!

  5. I believe everyone is over-thinking this one. Gingrich is most certainly not sincere in these attacks on Romney’s vulture capitalism past, or the greater laissez-faire/neoliberal-corporatist model that has been (quite wrongly) adopted by the right as ‘conservative’ doctrine. Gingrich is just as much a GOP architect as Reagan or Bush Sr. in adding the Austrian-school/Friedman model to the neoconservative catechism.

    Gingrich’s attacks on “capitalism” serve only one purpose; simple revenge.

    Romney’s SuperPac ended Gingrich’s chances to becoming the Republican nominee in Iowa, and therefore he’s doing whatever he can to hurt Mitt’s presumed coronation now; right down to throwing the kitchen sink, stove, refrigerator and anything else he can at him.

    Even a casual glance at Newt’s past will show the man only cares about one thing; Newt Gingrich. GOP elites and their corporate masters be damned.

    So his adapting a scorched earth strategy now should not surprise anyone. It does however make for entertaining theatre, as I’ve been waiting for decades to watch the GOP implode so under the weight of its hypocrisy and patch-work of coalitions.

  6. tofkw: I don’t think anybody is under any illusions about the moral bankruptcy of Newt Gringrich or his vengeful motives for launching this particular attack against Mitt Romney. In fact, it’s thoroughly disingenuous. As I noted in the comments to a previous post, Gingrich was actually an “advisor” to an LBO outfit that competes with Bain Capital, so the hypocrisy is pretty ripe here.

    Nevertheless, I was still sort of hoping there may have been a more honest discussion about the underlying principles involved. Is it really no longer possible to distinguish between honest venture capital that not only aims to create wealth but also produces something of value and “vulture capitalism” (to used Rick Perry’s expression) that just seeks to opportunistically extract wealth? Seems not.

  7. Red, I was responding more to people like The Mad Hatter, who at the end of his second post seems to have mistaken Newt for someone who possesses ethics or principles.

    As for the faithful sheeple within the GOP, they won’t be swayed by these attacks on neoliberal-corporatism. They’re too preoccupied with banning abortion and teaching creationism in schools.

  8. Oh, I didn’t read MH’s comment that way at all. Gringrich IS an “interesting character” to be sure and he was absolutely right that if Newt didn’t exist, someone would surely have to invent him.

    Personally, I don’t have a problem divorcing the man and his motives from the argument itself… [insert thrice-married Newt joke here]

    As for the “faithful sheeple” (aka “values voters”) and their tragic preoccupation with all manner of retarded Culture War issues… I’m just utterly dumbfounded by such people.

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