Friday, September 7, 2012

Three Democratic Convention Speeches with the Same Cringe-worthy Meme

These three know some businesses succeed and others fail
Last night I was in the car with my husband. You know, the political junkie who controls the radio dial whenever we're driving. He insisted on listening to the Democratic Convention speeches.

Within a few minutes I was begging--in vain, I knew--for him to give me respite and turn the darn things off. The speeches I heard that irked me were by a trio of victims of greedy Mitt Romney and Bain Capital, people who proclaimed their work-places had been shut down due to takeovers that not only led to their plants and factories closing, but more emphatically, to a rich guy lining his pocket from their suffering.

Aside from the ridiculousness of the proposition--companies Bain Capital couldn't rehabilitate were failures for investors and led to less rather than more profits to line those greedy pockets--I was struck by a nearly-identical phrase repeated within just a few-minute span by all three speakers, listed as former employees of companies controlled by Bain Capital.

Randy Johnson, a worker at an unidentified "plant," said "On July 5, 1994, Mitt Romney and his partners at Bain Capital fired me and more than 350 of my coworkers" without warning.

He qualified, "I don't fault him for the fact that some companies win and some companies lose. That's just a fact of life."  Keep that phrase in mind. Its sentiment is repeated by two more speakers offering testimonies about Mitt's heartless lack of ethics.

Randy Johnson followed his qualifier with, "What I fault him for is making money without a moral compass. I fault him for putting profits before working people like me. But that's just Romney economics." Boo, hiss.

The second Bain Capital victim, Cindy Hewitt, former employee at Miami's Dade Behring plant, decried "Mitt Romney and his partners" for "driving our company into bankruptcy," and with it destroying 850 jobs. How Romney and his evil crew profited from the loss of their investors' money is unknown, though "they ultimately walked away with more than $240 million," according to Ms. Hewitt.

"Of course I understand that some companies are successful and others are not--that's the way our economy works," she noted, quickly adding, "But it's wrong when dedicated, productive employees feel the pain while folks like Mitt Romney make profits." 

Now, a devious company can perhaps get away with losing investors' cash in a buyout bankruptcy once, but if they do it again, they're not going to stay in business. Especially when it's public that they somehow squeezed $240 million out of the deal for themselves. But what I noticed was the strangely-inserted aside about some companies being successful and others not. Sounded like the same speechwriter who penned Randy Johnson's "some companies win, some companies lose" line.

Then the qualifier popped up again. The third victim of "Mitt Romney and his partners," David Foster, a worker at Kansas City's GST Steel, told his tale of woe, in which "promises" by Romney and Bain Capital to plant workers were dashed when they borrowed money against the mill "to pay themselves millions," ultimately forcing the company into bankruptcy.

"Now, some companies succeed; others fail. I know that," echoed Mr. Foster. And then the zinger: "But I also know this: We don't need a president who fires steelworkers or says 'Let Detroit Go Bankrupt.'" The Washington Post fact-checker blog, by the way, found that Romney never used that term, though in a 2008 editorial suggested the way for auto-makers to beat their financial crisis was through a "managed bankruptcy" from which they'd emerge leaner and more efficient. The Post added that GM and Chrysler did, in fact, go through managed bankruptcies in order to survive.

But, we quibble. Everyone knows that some companies are successful, and others not. And that some companies win and some companies lose. Everyone agrees that some companies succeed and others fail. And some speeches just make me cringe (and others make me wince).

Please, turn off the radio! I've had enough Mitt-bashing and want to hear some new ways our future leader will create jobs and get rid of the debt and deficit. I don't begrudge households earning more than $250K the tax cuts everybody else is getting. I just want to know the innovative, concrete steps that will take our country out of this financial mess. I heard Mitt give five steps, in his speech to the Republicans. Now, Mr. President, it's your turn.

1 comment:

  1. But Elizabeth Warren said Democrats celebrate success. I remember distinctly that she said that just before she starting bashing successful people and before Michelle Obama tried to hide their success.