Romney & His Homies – All-Out for Capital

Romney & His Homies – All-Out for Capital

By Carl Bloice
Black Commentator Editorial Board
September 27, 2012

The part I liked most about Romney’s Florida
address to campaign donors, where he wrote off
nearly half the country’s population as lazy ingrates,
was the part about the house. It came right after he
declared that the “biggest surprise that I have is that
young people will vote for Democrats,” when he
suddenly segued in with a stern warning for those
gathered there, “It’s like, I mean, there won’t be any
houses like this if we stay on the road we’re on.”

I guess he was impressed by the house, which is
saying something for someone who has eight of his
own. But this one is 15,000 square feet and reports
are that the “Spanish style oceanfront villa” the
Romneys are redoing in Southern California will
have only 11,000. The mansion where the
Presidential candidate was speaking belongs to
fellow capitalist, Marc Leder, who also owns multiple
dwellings, one of which has reportedly been the
scene of some wild U.S.-style bunga bunga parties.

It seems it was Romney who turned Leder on to the
promise of private equity dealing and Leder has
donated over $200,000 to his mentor’s campaign.

“From his perch high atop the class structure,
Romney offered an analysis of political motivations
that even Marxists would regard as excessively
materialistic,” wrote Washington Post columnist E.J.
Dionne Jr. the other day. That’s actually a bit of a
slur on Marxists who don’t reduce everything to
personal acquisition and spend a lot of time
promoting social justice and a sense of collectivity.
But Dionne was right about one thing. The words
Romney spoke that day in Boca Raton “reinforce a
narrative that he is an out-of-touch elitist who
doesn’t care about the plight of the average
American, and that his allegiance is primarily to his
class rather than to his country.”

Romney is actually a bit of a Marxist. He
understands the relationship between capital and
labor and the tension between the two and he is
resolute in standing up for the interest of the former.
As the servants passed the canapés, he was actually
engaging a frank discussion with fellow members of
the capitalist vanguard alliance about the time of
day and the way forward. “If it looks like I’m going to
win, the markets will be happy,” he said. “If it looks
like the president’s going to win, the markets should
not be terribly happy. It depends, of course, which
markets you’re talking about, which types of
commodities and so forth, but my own view is, if we
win on November 6th there will be a great deal of
optimism about the future of this country. We’ll see
capital come back, and we’ll see – without actually
doing anything – we’ll actually get a boost in the

He feared for the nation’s future if Latinos continued
a tendency to push the same ballot levers black
people do.

Some people have had fun with the “without
actually doing anything,” part, which is a kind of
astonishing thing to say. But I find more intriguing
and revealing the assertion that “We’ll see capital
come back.” Back from where? Certainly he doesn’t
mean capital as in money. The stock market is up
and the people he was addressing are lining their
pockets quite well – and building big houses. No, he
means capital as in the two categories “capital” and
“labor.” In that sense, his other remarks and
policies being put forward by his campaign and his
party are aimed at ensuring capital’s “advance.”

The man from Bain, who took in $13.7 million last
year, was actually having a frank discussion with
his fellow capitalist vanguardists at the a $50,000-
a-plate fundraiser, especially those from the
system’s financial sector, about the time of day and
the road ahead.

And there was audience participation. At one point a
diner rose to say, `For the last three years, all
everybody’s been told is, `Don’t worry, we’ll take care
of you.’ How are you going to do it, in two months
before the elections, to convince everybody you’ve
got to take care of yourself?”

None of this should be too surprising. As the cocky
conservative David Brooks in his New York Times
column the other day reminded us, “capitalism is an
inherently elitist enterprise.”

Certainly, the representatives of finance capital are
not solely in the Republican Party. What we are
witnessing today is both major parties vying for the
attention and largesse of the titans of Wall Street,
Montgomery Street. What Romney was saying to the
gathered Republican moneybags was: this is how we
will prevail. We have nothing to offer those who are
not doing well amid the current crisis prone
economy so why pretend? If we are to rule we have
to divide.

As John Hayward, wrote September 19 in the far
right wing journal Human Events, Romney’s
nostrums were “perfectly in keeping with the
strategy behind the Republican National Convention
this year.”

That discussion was supposed to remain in the
mansion, among the faithful. Now it’s out in the
open. Al praise be to Mother Jones and Carter’s

“I can summarize what Romney said to a bunch of
wealthy donors at a May fundraiser: America is
divided between the deserving rich and bums who
want a handout. Vote for me, and I’ll keep you rich.
Thank you very much. Enjoy the chicken,” Roger
Simon wrote in Politico last week.

“It’s not elegantly stated, let me put it that way,”
Romney said later. “I’m speaking off the cuff in
response to a question, and I’m sure I can state it
more clearly in a more effective way than I did in a
setting like that and so I’m sure I’ll point that out as
time goes on. It’s a message which I am going to
carry and continue to carry.”

“Still, Romney ignored a question about whether he
really believes what he was saying,” wrote Holly
Bailey at The Ticket. “Asked if his words were
reflective of his `core convictions,’ Romney simply
walked away.”

I’ve seen no indication whether there were any
Mexican Americans or African Americans in
Romney’s Florida audience. If there were he
managed to insult both of them, declaring that he
feared for the nation’s future if Latinos continued a
tendency to push the same ballot levers black
people do.

The stock market is up and the people Romney was
addressing are lining their pockets quite well.

“Up until this point, as I chronicled the race-baiting
and bigotry of the Romney campaign, I had seen it
all as a cynical strategy deployed simply to appeal to
the basest instincts of the Republican base – and
not necessarily reflective of Mitt’s own biases,” Adele
M. Stan wrote at AlterNet last week. “But the video
tells a different tale. There, in the well-appointed
home of leveraged buyout mogul Marc Leder,
Romney seems to be, at last, his authentic self,
speaking in a relaxed manner before people of his
own social class, giving the subtext of Romney’s
wish-I-was-a-Mexican remark the feel of a more
authentic racial resentment.”

Reactionary Patrick Buchanan couldn’t wait to get
into the act. “Romney indicated that folks deeply
dependent on government are almost impossible for
an advocate of smaller government to win over,” he
wrote last week. “Is he entirely off base when
Washington, D.C., the most government-dependent
city in America, went 93-7 for Obama in 2008?”

Talk about dog whistles.

Not all Republicans are comfortable with Romney’s
sermon at the mansion, as indicated by the number
trying to jump ship or move as far away from the
captain as possible. Some have sense and just don’t
agree. Others are merely embarrassed. “Some
conservatives are backing away slowly, sensing
smartly perhaps that there’s something deeply
cynical, cruel, hostile and unpatriotic about the
things Romney said when he thought the rest of
America wasn’t listening – just rich ex-frat boys like
himself,” wrote Cheryl Contee of Jack and Jill
Politics September 21.

“When I was a lad, conservatives were supposed to
see the good in the existing order and work to keep
things from falling apart,” wrote Gary Silverman,
Financial Times US news editor, last Friday. “Mr.
Romney, by contrast, appears to be preparing for a
confrontation of some kind. During his appearance
in Florida, he looked like he was steeling himself for
the day when he was going to take on all these
irresponsible people and teach them the right way to
live their lives.

“As I watched those video clips posted online, I grew
thankful that someone had left that little gizmo
there in Florida so we could see the real Mr.
Romney. It makes up for all those months watching
that sunny guy with the easy smile on the campaign
trail. This week, we looked into Mr. Romney’s soul –
and boy, it’s dark in there.”
______________ Editorial Board member
and Columnist, Carl Bloice, is a writer in San
Francisco, a member of the National Coordinating
Committee of the Committees of Correspondence for
Democracy and Socialism and formerly worked for a
healthcare union.


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