FROM BOTH SIDES NOW: What did Romney do wrong at Bain Capital?


Part 3—The piffle we cling to instead: What did Mitt Romney do wrong at Bain Capital?

For that matter, what did he do there at all? For a bit of comic relief, click here to see the New York Times try to explain the work of “private equity firms.” (More on that hapless report tomorrow.) Or better yet, consider Maureen Dowd’s account of what Romney did wrong.

Dowd isn’t a liberal, of course—except to the extent that the liberal world has tolerated her simpering nonsense down through the years. (The tolerance has been total.) But here’s her account, at the start of this morning’s column, of what Mitt Romney did wrong:
DOWD (1/11/12): As chief executive of Bain Capital, Mitt Romney was all about cold analysis and hot profits.

He took a rare personal interest in one of his investments: the Lifelike Company, which produced My Twinn dolls, fashioned to look like the little girls who owned them.

As Mark Maremont reported in The Wall Street Journal on Monday, Romney invested $2.1 million in 1996 for a stake in the company; the idea was brought to him by a Lifelike partner who was a friend from Brigham Young University and Harvard Business School.

Romney, who accuses President Obama of “crony capitalism” on the Solyndra deal, introduced his brother-in-law to Lifelike officials, who dutifully hired the relative and promoted him to vice president with an annual salary of $100,000.

Romney’s Bain colleagues, according to The Journal, were dubious from the start and, indeed, the brother-in-law was fired and the company failed, despite a personal loan from Romney.
Fascinating stuff! According to Dowd, Romney was “all about hot profits”—and his brother-in-law got a job! That’s about as far as she gets in explaining what Romney did wrong.

Of course, Maureen Dowd has no real interest in explaining matters like that. She likes to talk about silly shit, specializing in a type of piffle in which she is basically playing with dolls. This morning, she quickly moves past Romney’s career, landing instead on various minor imperfections of appearance, demeanor and speech.

As a candidate, Barack Obama was “the diffident debutant.” Romney is a “Ken doll:”
DOWD (continuing directly): But I’m beginning to suspect that before the factory shut down, Mitt requested his own customized doll.

He has clearly brought a My Twinn on the trail—a plastic replica of a candidate who’s often described as a plastic replica: white teeth, gelled hair, windowpane shirt, Tommy Bahama jeans.

(“I won’t vote for a Ken doll,” a Bradford, N.H., resident, Jason Reid, adamantly told me at the Bradford Market the other night.)
“I won’t vote for a Ken doll,” one fiery New Hampshire man said. Unfortunately, many other New Hampshire folk did. Romney won big last night.

Mitt Romney’s teeth are too white! Beyond that, Dowd doesn’t like his hair—or the cut of his jeans! This is the kind of silly piffle Dowd has long dispensed from the doll house about which she types. And alas! During these many low-IQ years, Dowd’s focus has seized the American press—a process described as “creeping Dowdism” all the way back in 1992. Dowd is all about teeth, hair and jeans—and the make-believe “character judgments” one can fashion from such dross.

Dowd isn’t good at explaining things like the “looting” of workers at small companies. What is “vulture capitalism?” What did Bain do?

People! Dowd doesn’t care!

As Dowd continues her column today, she plays in her house with her own Romney doll, telling us simpering, stupid-ass stories about the way his mind works. (She ends with an illuminating tale about the way he plays tennis.) Earlier, Dowd has run through the standard complaints about Romney’s offhand comments this week.

But what did Romney do at Bain Capital? Dowd doesn’t know, won’t tell.

Maureen Dowd is an empty vessel—but then, so is the intellectual leadership in our burgeoning liberal world. Our “leaders” screeched and wailed this week about those same offhand remarks—but when it came time to explain Bain Capital, Ed Schultz basically couldn’t do it on Monday evening’s program (see THE DAILY HOWLER, 1/10/12). Indeed, how inept is Maureen Dowd as a real explainer of actual problems? In Sunday’s column, she gave the world a scripted but puzzling complaint.

This comes from a doll house too. On Sunday morning, Dowd was playing with her Santorum doll:
DOWD (1/8/12): In Iowa, [Santorum] tossed out a line about food stamps that NPR reported this way: “I don’t want to make black people’s lives better by giving them somebody else’s money.” He later told CNN that he was “pretty confident” that he didn’t say “black.” The only alternative, watching the video clip, is that he said “blah.” He doesn’t want to make blah people’s lives better by giving them somebody else’s money?
Liberals know what is wrong with Santorum’s remark, which Dowd is forced to described as “reported.” But just imagine you’re an average voter who isn’t already part of the tribe. Would you know what was supposed to be wrong with Santorum's “reported” remark? (Dowd can’t even say it occurred!)

Santorum “doesn’t want to make black people’s lives better by giving them somebody else’s money?” Would an average voter really know what was supposed to be wrong with that? If he actually said it, of course—which Dowd can’t say he did?

Dowd didn’t explain what was wrong with Santorum’s “reported” comment. Today, she doesn’t know how to explain what Romney did wrong at Bain. But then, Schultz couldn’t really explain what Romney did wrong at Bain Capital either. He talked about “looting” on Monday night’s show—but then, he couldn’t explain.

Can we talk? It’s easier when we play with our dolls, making up silly-ass stories about their offhand remarks. It’s easier, but in the long run, we’ll guess that approach will be much less effective for liberals and progressives.

For many years, these silly-shit tales came in from the right—with the mainstream “press corps” often all too eager to play along. Al Gore wore earth tones! John Kerry wind-surfed! His wife’s home was much too large!

Remember when Kerry was “reported” to have said something rude to a Secret Service agent? While in Idaho, snowboarding? To refresh yourself, see THE DAILY HOWLER, 5/7/04.

(Via Dowd: “Obambi” was a “diffident debutante.” His harridan wife was too big and too bossy! And Howard Dean’s wife! Omigod omigod! Darlings! Those horrible clothes!)

This silly shit used to come from the right—and from powerful fools like Dowd, who the career “liberal” world just won’t challenge. Tomorrow, we’ll review this monument to “journalistic” bad faith—and we’ll continue to see that this silly dumb shit is coming from both sides now.

Who is Jason Reid: This morning, Dowd cites the remarks of Bradford, New Hampshire’s Jason Reid. This was Reid’s second star turn in the Times this week.

On Sunday, Reid was featured right at the start of Jim Rutenberg’s news report:
RUTENBERG (1/8/12): Jon M. Huntsman Jr. was in jeopardy of arriving late to his own rally here the other night. But his wife’s desperate need for caffeine forced them to stop for gas-station blend at the Bradford Market, where an admiring clerk added to their delay.

“You have a working knowledge of China,” the clerk, Jason Reid, told Mr. Huntsman, the ambassador to China until last spring. Mr. Reid said he would vote Huntsman in the Republican presidential primary on Tuesday. But, calling himself “a realist,” he added, “Say Romney does get the nomination or something like that: could you see yourself working in an executive position for him in some capacity?”

Pausing for a moment, Mr. Huntsman pursed his lips and said as politely as he could, “Don’t want to even contemplate that.”
An admiring clerk made a hopeful purse his lips. It was politics in the raw!

Reid has made it big this week—and of course, he has done nothing wrong. Today, he scored the old-fashioned way—by authoring the type of remark the silly Dowd very much wants.


  1. The difference between Santorum's remark and Kerry's alleged remarks is that the former is first-hand information available in online video and audio primary sources. I don't read Dowd and don't give a toss about her silly stories, but I trust my hearing and understanding of American English enough to interpret his comment by myself without any help from the media or bloggers, thanks.

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