OK, that's better. Now, where was I? Oh, right...I was going to opine on the Republican primary race. It's pretty damned hard to get excited about it and I guess I'll just have to assume I'll be voting for Mitt Romney this November. I had to laugh this past weekend during coverage of the GOP primary circus in New Hampshire. A reporter made reference to some "energized Romney supporters", and all I could think was "Energized? Resigned maybe, but definitely not energized."
Anyway, I was pretty excited about Rick Perry's entry into the race right up until the time he started to flame out. Then I started paying more attention to Gingrich, and when he started to surge in the polls after some strong debate performances I thought, hey...here might be a guy who could totally dismantle Obama in a one-on-one debate. But I started to sour on Gingrich when he went batshit crazy on the judiciary.
And this past week, when both Perry and Gingrich went all Occupy Wall Street on Mitt Romney over his tenure at Bain Capital, I knew they were both pretty desperate. I don't think Perry and Gingrich have suddenly decided they're 99%-ers, but I do think they're counting on people's ignorance of just what private equity firms do in an effort to paint Romney as a corporate raider.
Sure, private equity firms sometimes shut down companies and lay people off, but that's not their main goal. In fact, that's generally something they try to avoid. They don't just buy up troubled companies, either. As a case in point, the company I work for acquired a company some years back, but after a few years, it was decided that the smaller company's product really didn't fit into our larger portfolio. It would have been very easy for my company to just kill off the product and layoff the staff associated with it, but the product had value so it was decided to sell off that business unit to a private equity firm. That was at least four years ago, and that company is still alive - and growing - today as an independent software firm.
So, thank you Newt and Rick, for making Romney's inevitability a self-fulfilling prophecy, and for making free market capitalism a topic of debate...among conservatives.