What Newt should have said
For a guy hailed as the Republican most like a whip in terms of smartness, Newt Gingrich surely can’t explain his way out of a difficulty. It seems that he has decided to highlight those aspects of Mitt Romney’s business career that might seem less than charming to the 99%.You might wonder at the timing of Newt’s new strategy. He is unveiling the attack in South Carolina. South Carolina, of course, is a state that for the last half-century has been mauling workers’ rights like they were an insufficiently manned garrison commanded by Major Robert Anderson. And the numerous employees fired from the outsourced textile industry remained to continually re-elect the party of their masters. So I wonder why Newt decided to take that avenue rather than bashing Romney for being an abortion loving cap-and-trader so enamored of Massachusetts style big government that he raised so many taxes that even the blind got a special tax increase. (Not that Republicans have any interest in the disabled. That’s so Bob Dole.)
Well, it seems that Gingrich’s own masters, his fund raisers and those who may want to engage a historian in the future, did not take kindly to Gingrich’s attacks on slash and burn capitalism. Undoubtedly even if they were not practicing that version of capitalism now, they wanted to keep their options open. And probably not a few of them got “seed” money from Latin America, or worse. So you can see why Gingrich admitted that he crossed the line. That line being between, I guess, the ruthless, untruthful, bigoted ambitious on the one hand and those making truthful indictments of the ruthless, untruthful, bigoted ambitious, on the other.
But it didn’t have to come to this. Newt could have forestalled (get it? check def. 3) all this bellyaching that he didn’t admire the sharp practices of those who simply wanted to make the market more efficient by eliminating those less 1% than the rest of us. Newt should have said up front: “I admire the ruthlessness of CEO Romney and its effects on our economy. As president I wouldn’t do anything to prevent the slash and burn practices of those with venture capital in their hands. Let’s be frank, if we’ve ever run a business or worked at one, we know that many people need to be fired. Their presence on the payroll not only subtracts from the profits that ought to go to the job creator class but also demoralizes other employees, who therefore become another burden on profits. So no one objects to firing. If anything, more Americans ought to be fired. Particularly if they cost more than 10 year old Thai girls. After all, if the job-creating class receives less money, then there will be less jobs created. By definition. QED. GOP.
“But the problem is who wants to do the firing? I know that I’m far too compassionate to go up to someone, someone who perhaps has a sick family member in the hospital recovering from serious surgery, and say: It’s over. We’re done with you. I’m sure that most of you couldn’t do it either. Or else you would lose sleep and perhaps your conscience would bother you. That’s why I admire a man like Mitt Romney, who has neither conscience or any other known human emotion. Seriously, look at him. Can a guy that lies as much as he does have a conscience?
That’s why I want you to examine his life’s work. A work that we can all admire. It’s so admirable that most of you should probably pay more taxes so he doesn’t have as much tax burden.
“But the question is, Ought a man like that be president. Sure, his job elimination talents might come in handy in the EPA or the Department of Education or some other job-killing federal department. But President? He might look at the money that goes to red states, more than collected from them in taxes, and say, “Hey, that’s inefficient. Let’s cut that!” Then where would the job creators be? And what about the job creators in the oil business or in agricuilture or in the arms industry? Do we need a person who “likes firing people” there? I suggest you think about it when you watch that film that I had no coordination with: ‘When Romney came to town.’ It certainly is thought provoking. Not that I ever saw it or know anything about it.”
Now you see, neither Sheldon Adelson nor any other plutocratic master of the GOP would take offense at this. None of the truly great collectors of capital really wants to be president; the office has to great an opportunity cost for a real capitalist. And as long a Newt hints that he would be as regressive a tax slasher as a real plutocrat, then why would they care if Mitt gets thrown to the dogs. Hell, Mitt isn’t that reliable to begin with. This approach surely would have gotten Newt out of the jam he’s now in. Hell, even Sarah Palin could have figured that out.
It wouldn’t work for Rick Perry, however. It’s far too subtle a concept for Perry to understand.