There are signs the Obama campaign of smears and falsehoods is wearing thin. Clive Crook writes: “The fuss over Bain Capital LLC and outsourcing is unworthy of an intelligent politician.” He continues:
Outsourcing isn’t new, and it isn’t capitalism carried to an unacceptable extreme. It’s part and parcel of the market economy. Companies strive to control costs, which lowers prices and raises real incomes. Buying goods and services from others, at home or abroad, that would cost more to produce for yourself is a good thing. I outsource all building work and car repairs. I’m glad that Apple Inc. outsources the manufacture of its iPads and MacBooks, because it means I can afford them. This isn’t an excess of capitalism. It’s just capitalism.
If Bain made money by finding companies where costs could be squeezed and productivity increased, good for Bain. We need more firms like that.
In very similar terms, The Post editorial board writes about the Bain assault:
According to the Obama campaign, Mr. Romney’s claim of non-involvement in the fateful three years can’t be squared with some sworn documents he signed that describe him as Bain’s chief after 1999. And that might make him a felon!
If this were a serious charge, as opposed to a political one, Mr. Obama’s minions would report Mr. Romney to the Justice Department. But the charge is not only hyperbolic, it’s derivative — of a previous accusation to the effect that, after 1999, Bain backed some companies that invested, and hired, overseas. This makes Mr. Romney guilty of “outsourcing,” and outsourcing, Mr. Obama insinuates, is bad. . . . But Mr. Obama’s effort to portray Mr. Romney as an evil outsourcer exploits, rather than addresses, [voters’] insecurities. The president knows that the globalization of markets, including the market for labor, is irreversible, which is why he hasn’t proposed policies even remotely commensurate with his campaign’s alarmism.
The president has made himself, the campaign and his liberal spinners seem economically ignorant and ethically challenged.
The contrast with th Romney team is noteworthy. Yesterday former New Hampshire governor John Sununu said on a conference call:
The president clearly demonstrated that he has absolutely no idea how the American econ - economy functions. The men and women all over America who - who have worked hard to build these businesses, their businesses, from the ground up is how our economy became the envy of the world. It is the American way. And I wish this president would learn how to be an American.
He later profusely apologized: “I was making the point that in America, entrepreneurs deserve credit and there is an American formula for creating jobs. And I used that phrase three or four times in that call. . . . And instead of saying that he’s got to learn the American formula for creating jobs, I - I did say those words that are there. And, frankly, I made a mistake. I shouldn’t have used those words. And I apologize for using those words.” Good for him.
The Obama team operates with a different set of rules. Call the other guy a felon. Misstate facts about Bain. There is no way to keep up with the accelerating race to the bottom. And Romney shouldn’t try.
Romney can delegate his responses to his VP pick, or more appropriately, a staffer. Or he can simply quote thoughtful observers on the right and left. Trying to ”clear up” what Obama has tried to obfuscate is a fool’s errand. And there has already been a surplus of foolishness in this race.