Thursday, January 12, 2012

Why the Impending Nomination of Romney Is a Special Gift to Social Democrats

Newt Gingrich did what he does best last week. He launched an attack video against Mitt Romney that calls into question his business ethics at this time of high unemployment.

Mitt Romney will be forever tied to the aptly named Bain Capital where he presided over the massive outsourcing of American industrial jobs to foreign nations. The fat-cats over at Bain Capital raked in the dough while American jobs were shipped overseas or dropped altogether.

The only asterisk after this criticism is the idea that Mitt Romney left his CEO position for a short time in order to chair, of all things, the 2002 Olympics in Salt Lake City. Of course, he still profited from the jobs-killing Bain Capital during his winter vacation - to the tune of millions - but he was not "on the board" at the time that Newt Gingrich and others have chosen to highlight. Serendipitously, this brief hiatus serves as reminder to the American people of both Romney's "Multi-national" nature and his religion - another sore spot for Romney within his party.

(Can somebody please queue the videos of Mormon overseas adoption scandals?)

Until just now, the word "outsourcing" has been on the no-no list of American political rhetoric. The corporate media, being in cahoots with their advertisers, have agreed to refrain from explaining to the public why the jobs just aren't showing up. Even on MSNBC, you'll rarely hear Rachel Maddow go off any tangents about child labor exploitation in the Eastern Hemisphere.

Liberals have been shouting into a vacuum about the evils of outsourcing for quite some time. Terms like "multinational conglomerate" are dog whistles to the far left. We complain bitterly to our facebook friends about the astronomical cost of our defense operations and blame most of it on the ubiquitous "military industrial complex". It presents a rhetorical question that earns Social Democrats a lot of traction: How can we justify denying people unemployment insurance when we are spending so much money on defense? Furthermore, why is our defense money going overseas? Shouldn't our military or American civilians have those jobs?

The questions raised when the topic of outsourcing is mentioned are ones that Republicans - and some Blue Dog Democrats - find troubling to answer. The unrestrained capitalist process of moving jobs around from nation to nation is great if you are a foreign dictator who needs money for guns and bombs and have plenty of child-age workers to exploit. It's also great if you are a Wall Street tycoon who only cares about the bottom line.

But outsourcing is not so great for the average American worker. Can the Republican Party win an election without working class Americans? They didn't have to answer that question in years past because "jobs" was not nearly the buzz word that it has become in this economy.

2012 is going to be a very different sort of terrain for Republicans. They must now answer to their economic principles or lack thereof. Just a few short years ago, the Tea Party did a fine job of obfuscating these issues by promising an economic solution and then delivering a radical conservative social agenda. That kind of thing doesn't work twice and Mitt Romney is the perfect candidate to clarify that.

Romney is the 'Picture of Dorian Gray' for Republicans. He reminds them that they can encourage their party to follow Ayn Rand's economic mythology and Laissez-faire Capitalism or they can encourage Christian Morality but the two concepts cannot be reconciled without a lot of hypocrisy and disenchantment.

The very best thing that might come of a Mitt Romney nomination by Republicans is the election of a Democratically controlled congress which could easily persuade President Obama to put a legislative cap on the outsourcing of American jobs in his 2nd term.

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