Inspired by the cover feature on President Obama in this month’s Rolling Stone (by Rice University’s own Douglas Brinkley), I went looking to see what other articles they’ve published recently that I’ve missed (aside from Matt Taibbi’s blog and his homepage on RS, which I never miss).
It was remarkably easy to find a number of different pieces on Mitt Romney and what he really does and is about, and not just from Taibbi (although everyone should read his cover story from a couple months back, Greed and Debt: The True Story of Mitt Romney and Bain Capital). Here are three pieces from Tim Dickinson:
That last one is news to me, and makes it even more hilarious that he’s trying to run as though he made his fortune all by himself, and that his extremely wealthy upbringing and government assistance had nothing to do with it:
In fact, government documents on the bailout obtained by Rolling Stone show that the legend crafted by Romney is basically a lie. The federal records, obtained under the Freedom of Information Act, reveal that Romney’s initial rescue attempt at Bain & Company was actually a disaster – leaving the firm so financially strapped that it had “no value as a going concern.” Even worse, the federal bailout ultimately engineered by Romney screwed the FDIC – the bank insurance system backed by taxpayers – out of at least $10 million. And in an added insult, Romney rewarded top executives at Bain with hefty bonuses at the very moment that he was demanding his handout from the feds.
Many of these articles are a month or two old, but that’s precisely why I bring them up: Because the substance, or lack thereof, in Mitt Romney seems to have been forgotten in the wake of the media fawning over his facts-not-required debate performances.
It’s amazing to me how little the debates touched on any of these things– Mitt’s pandering to extreme
conservatives anti-government religious zealots, the fact that he made his fortune loading up companies with debt and taking payouts, his stowing away vast amounts of his fortune in the Cayman Islands and other places overseas, the possibility that he might have even committed tax fraud (and, by the way, he STILL has not released his tax returns). This stuff matters when assessing the man. The man has already made it clear that, policywise, he doesn’t believe in things like taxing the rich or women’s rights, and on the issues where I strongly disagree with Obama’s handling of them, he would actually be worse. If he can’t run on policy, he can try to run on business success or character. But he has no character, and his business success is not to contribute to a productive society; it’s another symptom of the wealth-extraction that has infested our economy (and will kill it if it continues): Don’t create anything of value, just find ways to suck money out of the system and hide it somewhere. Who cares if the system collapses; you’re rich, you can just pay the proletariat a pittance to provide you with the services a functioning society tries to provide everybody!
Judgments of superficial behavior aside (even though I do think there are certain things candidates can do to reveal their character, and Romney’s behavior in the debates makes me think he is and will always be that spoiled child of privilege, who thinks “fair” is him getting more than you, because that’s the way his whole life has been), he’s a guy who utterly refuses to be transparent with the public on anything: How he made his money, what he does with it, what his plans for the presidency are. It’s remarkably cynical; the guy believes that as long as he “looks and sounds presidential” when he has to appear on camera, none of the other stuff matters. And it terrifies me that polling suggests he may be right.
Don’t forget what he’s really made of.