Earlier today, Mother Jones posted a really informative infograph on Mitt Romney’s time in Bain Capital Ventures. Among other things, it outlined how even though Romney claims that he wasn’t running the company when Bain was going through its typical teenage “outsource thousands of American jobs” phase, he was still listed as the company’s managing director, collected a six-figure annual salary from them, was given positions on the Board of Directors of several other companies acquired by Bain at the time, and owned a fairly substantial amount of voting power in Bain (“fairly substantial” here meaning 100%). The titles he claimed on SEC filing for Bain at the time looks like the thesaurus entry on the phrase “in charge:” Managing Director, CEO, Chairman of the Board, Supreme Overlord, Dear Leader, Ayatollah, Darth Romney.
On the surface, this means that the guy who’s buying 1400 television ads a day proclaiming that he’s going to get America back to work actually made himself a bazillionaire by, you know, putting Americans out of work. But hey, all that stuff can be found in the Greatest Hits package of the Republican Party, a group of people more mired in personal contradiction than a Marvel supervillain. I’d like to break out the deep cuts though.
You see, not much about the Mother Jones timeline really surprised me. It’s the kind of 1980’s professional wrestling villainy that we’ve come to expect out of the right-wing, but one part of it actually made me laugh out loud, not in a “this is really funny” kind of way, but in a “lol you piece of shit” kind of way.
In December of 2000, just two months before Mitt Romney listed “managing director of Bain Capital” as his official occupation on an SEC filing, Bain Capital acquired KB Toys for $300 million and forced them to take out loans to pay nine-figure bonuses to Bain Capital executives. A few years later, faced with bankruptcy, KB Toys was forced to close 600 stores, leaving thousands of toy store employees without a job.
Can we just break that down for a minute? Should I put it in bold font for everyone? Mitt Romney’s company bought a shit ton of toy stores around Christmastime, took all their money, and then fired all of their employees. He might as well have gone to the North Pole, put a sleeper hold on a bunch of elves, and hooked up with Mrs. Clause on Santa’s favorite loveseat.
I want to work in political campaigns some day, and it’s moments like this that I really wish I was working in one now, because the television ads for this little act of unspeakable evil basically write themselves.
“In December of 2000, Mitt Romney’s company Bain Capital acquired KB Toys, eventually forcing them to pay millions to the Legion of Doom (aka, the Board of Directors at Bain Capital) and leading to their eventual filing for bankruptcy, moving thousands of jolly toy makers from the assembly line to the unemployment line. What was Barack Obama doing in December of 2000? Passing out roasted geese to handicapped children and giving festive hand jobs to injured veterans under the mistletoe. Barack Obama: the way, way lesser of two evils.”
I have no doubt that Mitt Romney is a good businessman. Sure, he was born with a silver spoon in his mouth, but through tenacious business tactics he’s now rich enough to own a whole silverware set and pay people in India to carry his spoons in their mouth for him. However, even in this election where the economy is the biggest thing on people’s minds, this Bain Capital controversy is showing us that the qualities that make a good businessman don’t always make a good President. In fact, a lot of them directly conflict. A good President needs to be honest, empathetic, and relatable, whereas Mitt Romney is a liar, self-interested, and looks like a piece of drywall with an expensive haircut.
The biggest conflict though is that a President must do what is best for Americans, whereas a businessman must do what is best for business. Are Americans really going to elect a man who built his fortune on putting people on unemployment and has the nerve to call Obama the food stamp President?
Shit. Mittens must think we’re stupid.