July 13, 2012

He Stoops to Hunker

Hatched by Dafydd

President Barack "Big Stick" Obama, America's Trillion-Dollar Taxman, is out of gas and running on vapors... in this case, the "vapors" induced in the press at the evidently terrifying thought that we might soon have a businessman lording over la Casa Blanca. Heaven forfend! All the president's men can do is hunker down and hope that something happens, or that something "sticks," to reverse the downward dynamic of the election.

In a desperate ave Diabolus, President B.O. attempts to turn Mitt Romney's most attractive qualification, his extraordinarily successful management of Bain Capital, into a disqualifation for public office. At the moment, the president's campaign labors to label the Republican candidate as -- wait for it -- a federal felon.

No, really:

As Paul [Mirengoff] noted twice today, the Obama campaign has reached a new low by resuscitating its Bain-Capital-related smears of Mitt Romney. Picking up on a recycled story in the Boston Globe, the Obama campaign suggested in a call with reporters that Romney may be a felon; either that, or he is misleading the American people. [Emphasis added. -- DaH]

The Democrats’ smear is based largely on ignorance of securities law. In her phone call today, Obama staffer Stephanie Cutter cited SEC filings which listed Romney as a “controlling person” after 1999. If Romney was controlling Bain Capital, Cutter argued, then obviously he was responsible for Bain Capital’s investments after 1999 and has been lying about his relationship with the company. But being a “controlling person” doesn’t mean that you are running the company....

As the owner of Bain Capital from 1999 to 2002, Romney naturally was listed as a controlling person in Bain’s SEC filings. That has nothing to do with whether he played any operational role in the firm’s investments, which, by all accounts, he didn’t.

The "felony" part comes into play because Romney signed various Securities and Exchange Commission documents over the years between February, 1999, when he departed from Bain Capital in haste to rescue the Salt Lake City Olympics, to 2002, when the legal nonsense surrounding Romney's departure finally was resolved; since those statements are signed under oath, if Romney lied on them, that could be considered felonious behavior under some circumstances (and of course, it would be a federal rap, because the SEC is a federal agency).

But there isn't an echo of a ghost of a molecule of evidence that (a) Mitt Romney actually actively managed Bain or made investment decisions after he left in 1999, nor that (b) he lied about anything. In fact, it doesn't even make sense: Since Romney was a private person during those years, still intending to return to Bain (which he never did), he would have had no reason to lie anyway.

The One had no "Magic 8-Ball" to predict that a decade later, it would make a scintilla of difference whether he ceased managing his firm as soon as he headed out to the Great Salt Lake or a triplet of years later. What could he possibly gain in 1999, 2000, 2001, and 2002 from fibbing about this? He wasn't even elected governor of Massachusetts until November, 2002.

But there is a darker, more repugnant possibility here that appalls me, but which I am compelled to consider (which also appalls me). My inability to dismiss it from my musings sprouts from Obama's own pre-presidential electoral history; in particular, the fact that Obama won several contests by concocting ways to force his opponents off the ballot entirely.

And what better way, they may believe, to force Romney off the ballot, or at least cripple him so badly that Obama's reelection becomes a foregone conclusion, to persuade the American voters that they were on the verge of electing a "federal felon" to the presidency?

How far would the Obama campaign go in trying to emasculate the GOP nominee? Would they, for example, open a Justice-Department "investigation" of Romney's Bain-Capital statements? Repeatedly subpoena and interrogate Romney campaign officials -- "What did the governor know, and when did he know it, Mr. Rhoades?" -- to disrupt the campaign, douse it with the malodor of criminality, and incidentally wring details of every last campaign strategy out of them?

Would they dare go so far as to call a grand jury and indict the Republican nominee?

I think I would let out a whoop and do the Snoopy happy-dance if they did. Alas, while I think Obama and his campaign cronies are fools, I cannot bring myself to believe they're utter fools. And they would have to be, to think that arresting or indicting their opponent, like some African or South American banana republic, would have any effect other than to appall the electorate, enrage voters (even many Democrats), and finally cause them to rise up in a true popular front against the Big Stick.

Still, I find the possibility amusing; certainly no other president of my lifetime would have either the chutzpah or hubris to imagine he could get away with it... but I'm not 100% certain that the current occupier of 1600 Penn. Ave. doesn't: He has demonstrated an arrogance and narcissism never before seen at such exalted levels.

Call it the Case of the Injudicious Indictment, where Mitt Romney would play Perry Mason to Obama's bumbling Burger. It's not likely enough for me to call it a prediction, but it's worth keeping your eye to the ground for a heads up.

Hatched by Dafydd on this day, July 13, 2012, at the time of 1:01 AM

Comments

The following hissed in response by: seePea

It is the old LBJ maneuver of "when did you stop beating your wife"

The above hissed in response by: seePea [TypeKey Profile Page] at July 15, 2012 9:45 AM

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