Romney, There You Go Again

I said I’d never do it but I did.  I watched another episode of the long running  political comedy called The GOP Primary Debates-2012.  I can’t explain why I did it.  There were some perfectly good basketball games on as well as some reruns of NCIS that I had only seen three or four times.  I guess it must have been the Icarus effect.  I won’t insult your intelligence by retelling the story of hubris and arrogance that led Icarus….suffice it to say, I couldn’t help myself.

I knew I was going to have a problem with this one though because the field is now reduced to four, which means that each of them would have more time to talk.  I don’t mind listening to Ron Paul, because I’ve always been interested in what a leading political thinker of the 17th century might say, and he does have a sense of humor as well. Ok, I know he’s a little crazy, but cut him some slack.  He’s seventy six years old for chriss sakes. I think there oughta be a rule. If you make it to seventy five, you get to say whatever you want about anything you want, and people have to listen politely and not give you too much grief.

I’ll get to Santorum and Romney later, but I knew I was going to have a problem with the Newtster.  The problem is that he makes my skin crawl.  Well, not literally crawl.  You know what I mean.  He has that snarly look, and I keep thinking about all his wives, and his way of making everything he says seem, well, nasty.  Get this….his own party throws him out of being Speaker of the House,  he gets married again and makes a bundle giving speeches and now he thinks he’s qualified to run for president.  Not be president, just run for it.  So I thought I’d get around my Newt problem by putting the sound on mute every time Newt was asked a question.  It worked for the first question or two, but then it seemed that Newt was looking directly at me every time he said something.  It was spooky.  So I decided that in addition to putting him on mute, I’d put a tea towel over my head and hide my eyes as well.  This worked ok, but since I had to guess how long he would take to answer a question, I often missed some really good stuff from one of the other guys.

Lots of people don’t like Santorum.  I guess he’s rubbed folks the wrong way by saying that you ought to have sex only when you want a baby.  I personally don’t see anything wrong with this, and if we followed his philosophy we might really cut the deficit by reducing all baby related spending.  I don’t like his sweater vests though, and I might have had to give him the Newtster treatment if he had worn one, but thankfully he had on a cheap Sears suit instead.  It’s hard for me to admit this, but my real problem with Santorum, is that he’s a dead ringer for my old sunday school teacher, Hubert Sneed.  Hubert announced one sunday out of the clear blue that if we danced with a girl we would go to hell.  This obviously leaves open the possibility of dancing with boys which I don’t think the evangelical types would go for either.  This was right before the big eighth grade formal for which I had been taking foxtrot and waltz lessons for six weeks.  After a monumental struggle with my fear of hell, I went to the dance, but I’ve been worried about what Sneed said ever since.  I’ll betcha that Santorum would have given me the same warning about hell too.

It’s Romney that I want to talk about though.  Every one says that, not only will he win in Michigan, but he will, sooner or later, get the nod as the republics nominee for president.  Egads.  Can you imagine.  We might have a president who says he likes Michigan because of the size of its trees.  Some people say that it was a little cheeky of him to brag about his wife driving two Cadillacs, but I say, what the hey, just because millions of people are out of work and losing their homes to foreclosure, that’s no reason not to be proud of your wife and her Cadillacs.

You gotta admire someone who will go to the state that employs more auto workers than any other and repeat, and repeat again, that it would have been much better if we had let Chrysler and GM liquidate and fire all of their employees.  At least he sticks to his story.  I give you an excerpt from his (in)famous op-ed in that dreaded left wing rag, the New York Times on November 18, 2008. “If GM, Ford and Chrysler get the bailout that their CEO’s asked for yesterday, you can kiss the American auto industry good bye.  It won’t go overnight, but its demise will be virtually guaranteed.”  Boy, did he nail that one.  Last week GM reported record profits for 2011 two years after their government supported bankruptcy (the government bailout) and paid each of their 47,500 union workers a cash bonus of $7,000.  You can see why Romney was so successful as the head of a major financial buy-out company.

But that’s not the worst of it.  In these aforementioned debates he said again, that rather than get support from the government, they (the auto companies) should have engaged in a “managed bankruptcy”, to which Santorum nodded sanctimoniously and said, yeah, man, “a managed bankruptcy, an ordinary bankruptcy process.”  Unfortunately, having recently been through a corporate bankruptcy, and although I’m no expert, I’ve been up close and personal with the bankruptcy laws.  Even I know that in order to conduct a managed bankruptcy (one in which you keep the company running while you reorganize, you’ve gotta have new capital.  I suspect what he meant was that they should have gotten their new capital, called debtor-in-possession (DIP) financing from the private capital markets rather than the government.  Well, duh.  You think they didn’t look.  As every person who knows how to take a taxi to Wall Street knows, there was no private capital available for them on any basis.  The government was the financer of last resort.  It was that or let them go poof.  The real problem, though, is that Romeny knew this.  He knows capital markets.  He was a partner in Bain Capital.  This is what he did for a living.  He knows the bankruptcy code, including Section 363 under which GM proceeded.  He knows GM and Chrysler and the government had no other choice.  And he just flat lied.  I don’t blame Santorum.  Hell, he doesn’t know DIP financing from dip s**t.  He was just shooting off his mouth.  Romney, on the other hand, was lying.

Some  will say, “but all politicians lie”, and I must admit, that many, even most, do.  But I think that we deserve something better.

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