• As for the controversy over Bain, Romney's old leveraged-buyout firm, as inconvenient as it may be for the Mittster at this moment in the primary cycle, he is better off fielding the charges that he is an insensitive robber baron now, than in the general election against Obama.
• Romney is a charter member of the nation's one-percenters. The son of an automobile-industry chief executive, Romney was reared amidst plenty and went on to amass plenty more. The problem is not that Romney was a capitalist, it's that he has misrepresented the sort of capitalist that he was. Buyout moguls do not create jobs so much as they rearrange them. Steve Jobs and Bill Gates created new industries and redefined the economic landscape.
• What Romney did at Bain was to capitalize on the incompetence of previous management. If that meant taking government subsidies to get a leg up, Romney took them. If that meant declaring bankruptcy to survive, Romney did just that. It was white-collar dump-picking. Yet, with all of the sanctimony and hypocrisy that he can muster (and nobody can orchestrate those traits more effectively than Mitt), he has tried to portray himself as a hero of the marketplace who was busy shaping destiny, when all he was doing was making a buck — not, as they say on Seinfeld reruns, that there is anything wrong with that.
In short, Romney is a phony, plastic fraud who will do anything to win the Republican nomination. It looks as if he will.
: The Editorial Page
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