By Scott Tibbs, January 19, 2012
I have often complained about Republicans' uncanny ability to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory, and Mitt Romney proved that he also has that ability by comparing his tenure at Bain Capital to Barack Obama's takeover of automotive companies. This was such a missed opportunity to contrast his record to Obama's record.
The differences between Romney and Obama are striking. First and most importantly, Romney's action was one of private enterprise, not centralized government control. Romney should have said that Obama eliminated jobs as President, and people in private industry will not have to worry about having that happen if Romney is President. The distinction between private enterprise and top-down government control is one that cannot be emphasized strongly enough.
Secondly, Romney could have pointed out that decisions made by Bain Capital were market based decisions, while Obama's actions with the auto companies were motivated by politics. Aside from the fact that all decisions made by government are inherently political decisions, Obama's goal was not to help the auto companies. Obama's goal was security for the unions, to be repaid with campaign volunteers and contributions to both Obama and the Democratic Party.
Republicans also need stop attacking Romney for his "I like to fire people" remark. First of all, it is dishonest. Romney was clearly talking about the free market working in consumers choosing a different health insurance company, or any other company that doesn't serve you well. People make those decisions all the time, whether it is to shop at one grocery store over another selection and prices to switching to a different phone company or internet access provider because the offer from the new company is better. I have "fired" a certain phone company twice, and I thoroughly enjoyed it both times.
Republicans are also handing Obama a weapon to use against us. If Romney is the nominee, Obama will echo Republicans attacking Romney over Bain Capital. Even if Romney is not the nominee, Obama will use that line of attack against the Republican nominee by saying the GOP would not protect workers against the "evil" corporations. Because the corporations sit there in their corporation buildings, and they're all corporationy, and they make money.
Bottom line: Republicans should not be attacking free enterprise. Republicans should be defending free enterprise and attacking government overreach into our lives and into the economy. When Republicans use the rhetoric of the Left, we set ourselves up for defeat.