“When some people question why I would challenge his Bain record, the point I’ve made there in the past is, if you’re a head of a large private equity firm or hedge fund, your job is to make money. It’s not to create jobs. It’s not even to create a successful business – it’s to make sure that you’re maximizing returns for your investor. Now that’s appropriate. That’s part of the American way. That’s part of the system. But that doesn’t necessarily make you qualified to think about the economy as a whole, because as president, my job is to think about the workers. My job is to think about communities, where jobs have been outsourced.”
For liberals like myself, defending the Obama administration has been difficult for a variety of reasons. The person that we supported in the primaries of 2007 was actually more of a creation in our own minds. Obama frankly did not present a firm opinion on most of the major issues in that election, and instead allowed supporters to assume what he hypothetically supported. As a result we (once again) elected an extremely centrist Democrat, and one that was more than willing to tell us (liberals) to go screw if it meant achieving a policy goal via compromise with the Republicans. I think that now, with a few months to go before the general election, Obama has realized that this strategy failed.
Any sensible Republican needs to take a hard look at the past four years and realize that they severely fucked up a golden opportunity to remain relevant and electable by the time my generation starts to run things. The current crisis which we have endured for what seems like a decade now, came as a direct result of modern conservative policies manifesting themselves in the realms of economics, national security, and social concerns. Obama, despite what supporters like myself would have preferred, has not spent his presidency demonstrating how completely out of touch the GOP is and how they should never ever be trusted to run something as powerful as a lemonade stand again. Rather Obama has been more than willing to negotiate with people who had no interest in compromise with him. As a result of this desire for bipartisanship, Obama’s political power (as well as the welfare of the country) has suffered greatly.
The campaign, by evidence of new ads like the one featured above and by the continued harping on Romney’s time at Bain Capital, has finally realized that victory is not going to come through vague appeals for “hope”. The time for working with Republicans, or even taking their opinions seriously on matters, is gone. If Obama wants to continue to be President, he must point out the blatant hypocrisy in Romney’s patriotic message compared to his record as a venture capitalist as well as deconstructing every detail of how Romney’s vision for this country would absolutely suck for anyone not already in the top 1%.
In the coming weeks you will hear the screams from corporate media outlets about the horrors of Obama’s negative campaigning and about how this is the end of civility as we know it. This is a good sign. For too long now centrism for the sake of moderation has served as an ideological grab bag of stupidity working to obscure an increasingly insane set of policy proposals from the right wing. If those in power are upset by Obama simply pointing out the huge inconsistencies in Romney’s record, or the negative impact of Romney’s past decisions as a powerful figure in business and government, they need to stop pretending to understand politics in a democracy.
If we learned anything from last week it is that the Romney campaign has a serious glass jaw when it comes to defending itself against the truth. This is not like dealing with the Bush campaign, where facts and figures that did not support the President’s view of the world were disregarded in favor of mindless gusto and Karl Rovian rat-fucking. Instead Romney and his surrogates are playing this game with an undeserved sense of entitlement or destiny, and seem genuinely confused when the other side attempts to deconstruct their message that Romney should become our next President.
So the bottom line is this: If the Obama campaign continues to pursue this line of attack, and if the Romney camp’s response is as weak and hilariously flawed as it has been, this election might actually break Obama’s way much more dramatically than previously thought. No amount of dark money or old-school GOP tactics can support a turkey like Romney’s current strategy. All that really matters is that Obama finally realized which side will really support him when he is advocating for a change in our political system.