The Corner

Obama’s Venture-Capitalist Hypocrisy

As Dan noted today, the Obama reelection campaign is increasingly backing itself into a corner with its attacks on private-equity and venture-capital industries. The Wall Street Journal pointed out yesterday that on the same night the GST Steel ad debuted, Obama was courting big private-equity donors at a $35,800-a-head fundraiser at the Manhattan home of Blackstone Group president Tony James. The Blackstone Group is one of the largest players in the private-equity business that the Obama campaign has vilified in its caricature of Romney as a “vampire” capitalist.

Worse, Blackstone is the very same firm Obama’s team singled out to shame GOP donors who “benefit from betting against America.”

In recent press briefings, White House press secretary Jay Carney has strayed from “official business” and waded into campaign territory in order to attack Romney’s private-sector record. But that seems to be backfiring too. As one of the press corps reporters asked today, what about the risks the Obama administration took with taxpayer-funded venture-capitalist experiments like Solyndra?

Way back in August 2010, before the Solyndra scandal broke, Businessweek ran an article calling President Obama our “venture-capitalist-in-chief” for his $69 billion gamble on a “new American industrial policy” to promote green tech.

That article contained a revealing quote from a Harvard Kennedy School professor: “What determines success in industrial policy is not the ability to pick winners but the capacity to let the losers go.”

The ace venture capitalists in the federal government didn’t know how to let Solyndra and other losers go.

So who will win this debate? Take your pick: Romney’s private-sector venture capitalism or Obama’s  public-sector crony capitalism.

Most Popular

Politics & Policy

Students’ Anti-Gun Views

Are children innocents or are they leaders? Are teenagers fully autonomous decision-makers, or are they lumps of mental clay, still being molded by unfolding brain development? The Left seems to have a particularly hard time deciding these days. Take, for example, the high-school students from Parkland, ... Read More
PC Culture

Kill Chic

We live in a society in which gratuitous violence is the trademark of video games, movies, and popular music. Kill this, shoot that in repugnant detail becomes a race to the visual and spoken bottom. We have gone from Sam Peckinpah’s realistic portrayal of violent death to a gory ritual of metal ripping ... Read More

Romney Is a Misfit for America

Mitt’s back. The former governor of Massachusetts and occasional native son of Michigan has a new persona: Mr. Utah. He’s going to bring Utah conservatism to the whole Republican party and to the country at large. Wholesome, efficient, industrious, faithful. “Utah has a lot to teach the politicians in ... Read More
Law & the Courts

What the Second Amendment Means Today

The horrifying school massacre in Parkland, Fla., has prompted another national debate about guns. Unfortunately, it seems that these conversations are never terribly constructive — they are too often dominated by screeching extremists on both sides of the aisle and armchair pundits who offer sweeping opinions ... Read More

Fire the FBI Chief

American government is supposed to look and sound like George Washington. What it actually looks and sounds like is Henry Hill from Goodfellas: bad suit, hand out, intoning the eternal mantra: “F*** you, pay me.” American government mostly works by interposition, standing between us, the free people at ... Read More
Film & TV

Black Panther’s Circle of Hype

The Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) first infantilizes its audience, then banalizes it, and, finally, controls it through marketing. This commercial strategy, geared toward adolescents of all ages, resembles the Democratic party’s political manipulation of black Americans, targeting that audience through its ... Read More