It’s good to be the king . . . of class-warfare hypocrisy. While he lectures his political opponents about their neglect of middle-class America, President Obama is headed to Martha’s Vineyard. Again. Because nothing spells “populist” like a $7.6 million, 9.5-acre estate owned by one of Chicago’s wealthiest corporate financiers.
The sprawling summer manse of David Schulte is actually a downgrade from the Obama family’s previous summer digs. The $21 million, 28.5-acre Blue Heron Farm that had hosted Obama and his massive entourage since 2009 isn’t available for rental anymore because a British mogul snapped it up.
Homeowner Schulte deserves special attention. If this deep-pocketed donor and private-equity whiz were a Republican, the Occupy hordes and left-wing super PACs would have made him a household name by now. The SEIU already would have picketed his private residence. Cher, Bette Midler, and Chris Rock would be tweeting furiously about this privileged white robber baron in all caps.
Schulte, you see, earned his money in much the same way the demonized Mitt Romney did: through corporate restructuring and rescuing debt-burdened companies. He and his former partner, Sam Zell, have happily embraced the nickname “grave dancers” since the early 1990s. By 1993, their billion-dollar “vulture fund” based in Chicago had purchased all or part of Jacor Communications, the embattled media conglomerate; Sealy Corporation, the mattress empire; and the distressed Schwinn Bicycle Company.
The duo also scooped up Santa Fe Energy Resources (an oil-and-gas company) through a partnership and refinanced Revco, D.S., the drugstore chain. Schulte called his financial playground “the land of broken dreams,” according to the Los Angeles Times, which described the partners as “bottom-fishing.”
Team Obama had plenty of brutal depictions of GOP private-equity mavens during the 2012 campaign: “Looter.” “Corporate raider.” “Greedy Gekko.” “Heartless profiteer.” Liberal media outlets likened Romney’s cohorts to mobsters, strip miners, and cannibals. “Bain was just like the Donner Party,” comedian Stephen Colbert snarked. “They ate the weak.”
Super PAC Priorities USA Action, run by former Obama spokesman Bill Burton, teamed with shameless campaign-mouth-turned-CNN-talker Stephanie Cutter to smear Romney’s private-equity record. They falsely accused Romney and Bain Capital of allowing laid-off steelworker Joe Soptic’s wife to die of cancer — even though she had insurance coverage after he lost his job, Romney was no longer with the company when Soptic’s plant closed, and the wife died seven years after Romney’s departure.
Like Schulte, Romney’s Bain record includes many successful turnarounds that saved workers’ jobs, pensions, and health benefits. When Democrats do it, it’s creative capitalism. But when Republicans do it, it’s a criminal enterprise.
The double standards are rich. But Obama’s coffers are richer. Democratic demagoguery means never having to say you’re sorry for throwing stones at glass houses, while vacationing in the compounds that “vulture capitalism” built.
— Michelle Malkin is the author of Culture of Corruption: Obama and His Team of Tax Cheats, Crooks & Cronies. © 2013 Creators.com.