Common ground now shaky
As a supporter of most Republican candidates running for some political office, I take heart in the fact that the GOP is becoming more of a "big tent." In fact, at my local BPOU alone you'll find a mix of pro lifers, social libertarians, the "religious right", etc. But the one common denominator usually is (and always should be) fiscal conservatism and a belief in free markets.
Unfortunately, the 2012 GOP Presidential nomination is beginning to have the makings of a quasi-Occupy Wall Street meeting.
The Democrats started it, and now Republican rivals are piling on. Mitt Romney is suddenly playing defense about his career as a venture capitalist--and in a Republican primary campaign, of all things.
The attacks on Romney’s Bain Capital career from fellow Republicans may be coming too late in the game to knock him off his path toward the nomination. They may also be ineffective in a party that lionizes capitalism and the business sector that propels it. Raising hackles about Romney's flip-flops on abortion and other key issues and comparing his Massachusetts health law to "Obamacare'' seems like safer ground.
But at the very least, the GOP field is providing a cache of video that Democrats are no doubt already hoarding for use in the likely event that Romney is President Obama’s opponent.
On Monday, a super PAC bankrolled by allies of Newt Gingrich said it is planning a $3.4 million media blitz in South Carolina that attacks Romney as a ruthless corporate titan who profited on the backs of hundreds of laid-off workers.
In Concord, meanwhile, Jon Huntsman turned a Romney remark about liking to be able to fire service providers who fall short into a Bain reference. "What's clear is, he likes firing people; I like creating jobs," Huntsman said.
Rick Perry also took up the anti-Bain attack at a campaign event in Anderson, S.C. "I have no doubt that Mitt Romney was worried about pink slips - whether he was going to have enough of them to hand out,'' he quipped, poking at Romney’s attempt at a feel-your-pain moment on Sunday.
Why do I feel like I'm suddenly in an alternate universe?
Now, am I denying there are risks in a capitalist system? Of course not. After all, there are no guarantees to succeed but the rather the assurance of the opportunity to have as much success as one desires. And I think it's been proven for many, many decades that one's ability to perform is hampered with too much government intervention. Thus, government programs are impediments to long-term success.
The thing that is most perplexing is there is a buffet of issues on which to attack Romney (i.e. health care, his flip flop on abortion, etc.), yet the one thing that conservatives can appreciate about him is what he's being forced to defend: his success in business.
If I were a conspiracy theorist, I could surmise that the rest of the GOP field knows Romney is the inevitable nominee and thus are assisting him in honing his debate skills against President Barack Obama. I shudder to think the likes of Gingrich and Perry actually subscribe to talking points which sound as though they're emanating from Zuccotti Park.