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Election-driven news and views . . . by Jim Geraghty.

In the End, Any Desperate Politician Will Run on Resentment of the Rich



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From the New Hampshire Primary Day edition of the Morning Jolt:

We Are All Occupiers Now.

If Romney’s opponents embrace the rhetoric and class warfare of the Occupy Wall Street crowd any closer, they’re going to start pooping on police cars.

So, here we are, at the day of the first primary, and the main objection to Mitt Romney from Newt Gingrich and Rick Perry is that he fired a bunch of people? More than his liberal-softie sounding rhetoric in 1994 and 2002? More than his crusade to liberate us from the individual mandate of Obamacare in order to leave the states free to enact their own individual mandates? More than the fact that he’s won exactly one general election in his life, in a year that the left-of-center vote was divided?

Objections to private-sector layoffs from the party that wants to shrink government? How do we think all of those employees of the federal bureaucracy will get off the payroll? Mass alien abductions?

When you think about it, isn’t it possible that the layoffs enacted when Romney was at Bain constitute one of the boldest moves of his career? One of the times he’s been willing to do something unpopular because he thought it was right, and in the long-term interest of the institution he was managing, instead of following the polls and telling people what they wanted to hear?

Much of the focus came upon Romney’s comment that he likes being able to fire people who provide services to him, if he’s not happy with the quality of the service.

You know, the way you can’t with the Department of Motor Vehicles, or the way you can’t (or at least not without Herculean determination) with a crappy teacher at a public school. The way you can’t fire a tenured professor at a state university, whether or not he gives good value for his salary and benefits to those who pay his salary (the students and the taxpayers). The way we can’t take our business to some other government, without leaving the country.

(I thought it was almost impossible to fire any federal government employee, but somehow Barack Obama is eliminating 80,000 U.S. Army jobs over the next ten years, from 570,000 to 490,000.)

“You like being able to fire people who provide subpar services? Well, don’t we all. In fact, there’s one guy in particular who I’m itching to fire in November,” quips Allahpundit at Hot Air. “In case you haven’t seen it elsewhere, here’s the outrageous outrage du jour, a Democratic attack so cheap and out-of-context that even lefty Greg Sargent felt obliged to defend Romney from it. The full, entirely unobjectionable quote: ‘I like being able to fire people who provide services to me. . . . You know, if someone doesn’t give me a good service, then I want to say, “I’m going to go get someone else to provide that service to me.”’ Surely, surely, only an especially desperate Democratic hack would stoop to twisting that. Right?

Of course, Huntsman jumped on it. As did Perry. Then Newt.

“Dying to know if second place in NH goes to the guy who disdains me, or to the guy who latently disdains capitalism,” sighs VodkaPundit.

“They sound like a bunch of leftists. Listen to the rhetoric,” sighs Jedidiah Bila. She also quips, “McCain thinks SuperPACs are damaging the GOP field. I think most of the candidates are doing a good enough job of that themselves.”

Plus, I quote “Firefly” in response to Jon Huntsman lamenting the insanity of the modern GOP.


Tags: Jon Huntsman , Mitt Romney , Newt Gingrich , Rick Perry , Rick Santorum


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