Thursday, August 9, 2012

For The Record

Although it's not a flat-out lie the way Romney's latest is, I'm no fan of the recent pro-Obama ad, either, the one that features a guy who lost health care when Bain came to town and closed his plant, following which his wife died of cancer. (The ad is from a pro-Obama superpac, not from his campaign, unlike the one from Mitt, who "approved this message.") For one thing, the facts aren't linear, and for another, even if they were, the implication that Romney is personally responsible for the death is a bridge too far. They say the rules for superpacs prevent campaigns from coordinating with them. But Obama could condemn it, if he chose to. (Responding to criticism, people from the superpac take strong exception to the claim that it blames Romney for the woman's death.)

A strong case can be made about Romney and Bain, how his experience with them has nothing to do with what a president does in managing an economy, how it shows soulless pursuit of personal profit above all else. And, yes, I think his tax avoidance strategies aren't off limits, either. Taken together, it speaks of a guy for whom profit was everything, and who was willing to do whatever it takes to maximize it, with humanity taking a back seat. Or a seat on the roof. Capitalism makes our country run, but there are admirable capitalists and amoral ones. He was the latter then, and, with his pervasive lying and plastic positions, remains so now. It's instructive.

President Obama needn't go anywhere near the sort of mendacity that's strategy one for Mitt Romney. Unlike The Rominee, Barack Obama doesn't have to be afraid of the truth, nor should he feel the need to stretch it. That's what Mitt does, as often as he breathes, and much more often than he puts on his real-folks jeans and goes shopping, just like you and me.

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