You don't need to watch When Mitt Romney Came to Town to get the basic gist of it: Mitt Romney founded Bain to buy companies with other people's money, piled debt on the companies to pay Bain's management fees and buy back their investments, then looted and stripped the companies, so they were either sold or ended up in bankruptcy.
As has been the story of the past generation, American workers got screwed.
I have been thinking about how we can leverage this unprincipled fight among lying Republicans to have a more lasting impact, both for the election, and beyond..
First, we need to understand that the people who made this movie hate Romney, but they are as much defenders of the 1% as any Republican, and would happily slash the government programs and jobs programs that help the people in the film. They are using these real people to hurt Romney, yet they would turn on them in an instant once they served their purpose.
Secondly, the movie is badly made - it is heavy handed; in some cases short on detail, often repeats itself, and was poorly edited so as to leave in some obvious false statements - opening up its credibility to attack.
Yet the point - that predatory capitalist raiders have grown fabulously wealthy stripping American companies of assets and sending jobs overseas is totally correct.
It is important to keep harping on this line of attack. The reason is that regardless of Romney, it is exposing the entire Wall St. private equity world to scrutiny they do not want.
Romney lost the election to Ted Kennedy in 1994 because Kennedy effectively made the same argument. As Fred Barnes said in the Wall St. Journal today:
This isn't the first time the Bain issue has been exploited against Mr. Romney. In 1994, he sought Ted Kennedy's Senate seat in Massachusetts, pulling even in polls weeks before election day. Kennedy responded with television spots of workers laid off at a company, American Pad & Paper, once owned by Bain Capital. The ads worked. Mr. Romney lost, 59% to 41%.
But more than that, the 1994 campaign and the fact it raised the issue of predatory capitalism scared the shit out of the Private Equity Firms - so much that they began a campaign to rehabilitate their reputation.
The same dynamic is in play here. Once the campaigns actually talk about the concrete harm Wall St. does it breaks a political taboo that has been carefully maintained by both parties.
This is why the Wall St. Journal was not at all sanguine about Romney's win - they fear it may have come with too heavy a price says Gerald Seib, the Washington Bureau chief.
New Hampshire is where the Pandora’s box of bitter attacks over his tenure running the Bain Capital private-equity firm was opened
Our job is to make sure the furies released from Pandora's box multiply and spread until the Financial domination of US capitalism is toppled, and we can return to an infrastructure, production based real world economy.