Tuesday, September 28, 2021
HomeRecommendedNewt Gingrich and Capitalism, Mitt Romney and Bain Capital

Newt Gingrich and Capitalism, Mitt Romney and Bain Capital

Newt Gingrich’s recent criticism of Mitt Romney has landed him in hot water.

At issue is Bain Capital, a venture capital firm Romney ran, which made its money buying up troubled businesses and selling the assets at a profit. Gingrich questioned the validity of that business experience as it relates to qualifications for being President. Gingrich’s comments were labeled as anti-Capitalist and even compared to policies of Democrats and President Obama.

It was argued Bain did the things we advocated for during bail-outs. Didn’t we argue for letting failing businesses fail, be bought by investors like with the process governed only by Market forces? Yes, we did. How then, can Gingrich’s comments be seen as anything but anti-Capitalist?

The answer lies in asking where Romney’s business experience came from; not in simply acknowledging he has some and moving on. The question is “What sort of business experience are we talking about, exactly?”

Near my home is a property recently bought by a convenience store chain to build on. To build the new store an existing building was torn down. The key point here is that the company which demolished the building and cleared the land is not the same one building the new store.

Why? Because the skills and experience needed for the two tasks are very different and, while they may be lumped together under the general label “construction,” to suggest a skilled demolition company is automatically a good builder because it can tear down is readily seen as a flawed premise. Just so with Romney’s appeal to his business experience and Speaker Gingrich’s critique of that appeal.

Romney’s business experience certainly qualifies as Capitalist and Free Market just as a demolition company is a construction company. But his experience is in dismantling businesses, not in building them, creating jobs, putting people to work and the other portions of Capitalism and Free Markets that happen after old things are destroyed.

The President’s job will not be to tear America down like a vacant and derelict building. It will be to fix what has fallen into disrepair; to restore the values and and ideals that drove us to first place among the world’s nations. That was Reagan’s strategy after the disaster that was Carter. He didn’t tear America down or break her up as if some or all of her was past saving or no longer relevant. Instead he cast a bold, bright future of shining hilltop cities with their best days ahead of them.

Romney’s experience in dismantling things, as excellent as it may be, is better suited for an America at sunset; not for a time when it is morning in America.

Some may try to apply my analogy to the political and suggest Romney would be great at dismantling political things such as ObamaCare and the rush to Socialism we are seeing in Washington DC. But Politics and Business are very different enterprises. Skills in one may not readily transfer to the other.

Not even Romney is arguing his political experience better qualifies him for the Big Chair. There is a good reason for that.

If dismantling powerful political structures is the goal, no candidate’s experience compares to Newt Gingrich. He put the Contract with America’s issues front and center and forced votes on them. He led and oversaw the flip of the House from Democrat to GOP control. While Bill Clinton often takes credit for balancing the budget, spending bills originate in the House. Newt Gingrich was Speaker of the House during that time. No list of accomplishments is complete without remembering passing Welfare Reform. Again, Speaker Gingrich led that effort.

This is the context in which Gingrich’s comments need to be placed and evaluated. Not the frantic search for an easy sound bite driven by a 24 hour news cycle; but the thoughtful and honest evaluation of the actual skills and talents available to bring to bear on the challenges facing our Republic in the midst of difficult times.

Seen in this light, Speaker Gingrich and his comments and evaluation don’t seem anti-Capitalist or anti-Free Markets at all. In fact they seem wiser and more thoughtful than he is being given credit for.

What of Governor Romney? His business experience, as excellent and as Capitalist as it is, does not produce the best skill set for running a nation facing the challenges we do in 2012. The Governor is a fine man and successful businessman. He’s just not the best man for the job.

Blue Collar Musehttp://bluecollarmuse.com
Ken is an experienced 50-Something and has been married to The Much Younger Trophy Wife for 25+ years. They have 5 children, the oldest of which is currently serving tour #2 in Afghanistan. The rest share a home in Tennessee with their tyrannical dachshund, Rusty and an assortment of teens, friends, political crazy people and relatives ... His views are his own but he highly recommends they become your views ... No, really ...

8 COMMENTS

Leave a Reply

8 COMMENTS

  1. Isn’t it odd that the one claim to fame Mitt had, the one that had conservative pundits come rushing to his defense , even in the willful suspension of disbelief about the Individual mandate thing, now seems to be falling apart under closer examination.
    His great supporter, Senator McCain, was supposed to have seven homes. WE don’t know if Mitt has any more than the three that we know about – Massachusetts, New Hampshire and California, but we do not begrudge him any of them. We just want him to do the right thing and report all of them, to release his tax returns and transcripts and birth records, just like everybody urged Obama to do, and be above board with us.

    • Perry is lucky not to have been quoted back in 1993-4 when the whole conservative movement, ala Heritage/Newt, was for the individual mandate as a conservative alternative to HillaryCare…but then Perry was a Clintonite then…

      • Perry was not a Clintonite then. On Sept. 29, 1989, he made it official at a Capitol press conference. At his side were GOP chairman Fred Meyer and U.S. Sen. Phil Gramm, a former Democrat who was aggressively courting would-be converts.

        “I intend to vote the same convictions,” Perry said. “The only difference is there will be an R beside my name.”

        source

        • Neither was Newt nor Heritage, but they were quoted in print on the individual mandate at the time.

          Same convictions? My convictions changed when I had my conservative epiphany in 2001 and I can look back to pre-1989 days and still see stark differences between the Ds and Rs back then as now.

  2. They say history is always written by the winners. Well, Newt’s history is yet to be written. He was only a co-author of the Contract in ’92. And Newt didn’t balance the budgets, the Republican Congress did, whose leadership mostly would tell you Newt was inept in leading them. So much so, they asked him to leave, even threatened a mutiny if he didn’t. He confronted Clinton on the govt budget, Clinton called his bluff and shut the the govt down, and he blinked.

    When Newt talks about a record of leadership I blanche. He’s talking about the one he’ll rewrite, probably with Obama biographers, some years from now.

    On the issue of trust alone, I trust Romney more.

    • Great points VB and while Perry showed vast debate skills improvement last night in Myrtle Beach, all but Paul did really well and Newt and Perry refused to retract their offensive “vulture” slurs. Santorum did well. Romney is still the best choice for me at this stage and I do trust him to do what he says he will do.

    • Wine and cheese mellow with age, and perhaps a 68 year old Newt in 2012 has mellowed from the 51 year old Newt in 1995. I do not ignore the true history that you point out VB. I just wonder if there are still grudges and vendettas against Newt that have a lot more to do with the past than with the present. It could be more than Newt can overcome.

    • I tell you all , you have got to read Dick Cheney’s book, he is writing about himself but when he writes about his election to Congress and Newt even in 82 Gingrich was considered “outside the mainstream” because he kept telling them they COULD takeover the House, if they just STOPPED working with the Democrats. The Republicans in that era were sitting quite happy, knowing they would keep their seats each election because they came from Republican districts, they didn’t want to upset that apple cart, but Newt trudged on, pissing of many of those members, because as they Newt and his conservative raiders continued the onslaught against the Democrats in teh House, those who wanted their little piece of the pie included in the next budget written and passed by Democrats were increasingly not getting those pies because Democrats were pissed at Newt, btw at the end of 12 yrs Newt got them the whole kit and kaboodle.

  1. Isn’t it odd that the one claim to fame Mitt had, the one that had conservative pundits come rushing to his defense , even in the willful suspension of disbelief about the Individual mandate thing, now seems to be falling apart under closer examination.
    His great supporter, Senator McCain, was supposed to have seven homes. WE don’t know if Mitt has any more than the three that we know about – Massachusetts, New Hampshire and California, but we do not begrudge him any of them. We just want him to do the right thing and report all of them, to release his tax returns and transcripts and birth records, just like everybody urged Obama to do, and be above board with us.

    • Perry is lucky not to have been quoted back in 1993-4 when the whole conservative movement, ala Heritage/Newt, was for the individual mandate as a conservative alternative to HillaryCare…but then Perry was a Clintonite then…

      • Perry was not a Clintonite then. On Sept. 29, 1989, he made it official at a Capitol press conference. At his side were GOP chairman Fred Meyer and U.S. Sen. Phil Gramm, a former Democrat who was aggressively courting would-be converts.

        “I intend to vote the same convictions,” Perry said. “The only difference is there will be an R beside my name.”

        source

        • Neither was Newt nor Heritage, but they were quoted in print on the individual mandate at the time.

          Same convictions? My convictions changed when I had my conservative epiphany in 2001 and I can look back to pre-1989 days and still see stark differences between the Ds and Rs back then as now.

  2. They say history is always written by the winners. Well, Newt’s history is yet to be written. He was only a co-author of the Contract in ’92. And Newt didn’t balance the budgets, the Republican Congress did, whose leadership mostly would tell you Newt was inept in leading them. So much so, they asked him to leave, even threatened a mutiny if he didn’t. He confronted Clinton on the govt budget, Clinton called his bluff and shut the the govt down, and he blinked.

    When Newt talks about a record of leadership I blanche. He’s talking about the one he’ll rewrite, probably with Obama biographers, some years from now.

    On the issue of trust alone, I trust Romney more.

    • Great points VB and while Perry showed vast debate skills improvement last night in Myrtle Beach, all but Paul did really well and Newt and Perry refused to retract their offensive “vulture” slurs. Santorum did well. Romney is still the best choice for me at this stage and I do trust him to do what he says he will do.

    • Wine and cheese mellow with age, and perhaps a 68 year old Newt in 2012 has mellowed from the 51 year old Newt in 1995. I do not ignore the true history that you point out VB. I just wonder if there are still grudges and vendettas against Newt that have a lot more to do with the past than with the present. It could be more than Newt can overcome.

    • I tell you all , you have got to read Dick Cheney’s book, he is writing about himself but when he writes about his election to Congress and Newt even in 82 Gingrich was considered “outside the mainstream” because he kept telling them they COULD takeover the House, if they just STOPPED working with the Democrats. The Republicans in that era were sitting quite happy, knowing they would keep their seats each election because they came from Republican districts, they didn’t want to upset that apple cart, but Newt trudged on, pissing of many of those members, because as they Newt and his conservative raiders continued the onslaught against the Democrats in teh House, those who wanted their little piece of the pie included in the next budget written and passed by Democrats were increasingly not getting those pies because Democrats were pissed at Newt, btw at the end of 12 yrs Newt got them the whole kit and kaboodle.

Must Read