Corey Booker was looking to use his connection with the Obama team as a lever to criticize the nature of politics in 2012. He was being a demagogue because he knew the point he was making was bogus. Drawing a false equivialency between those on the right who might use the President's connection with Reverend J. Wright, with the Obama campaign's focus on Mitt Romney's record at Bain capital. Booker claims he wouldn't participate in an attack on private equity firms? That both sides need to deal with the real issues?
It was an easy attack that he knew would go over well with the mainstream media; who love to say both sides are damaging our democracy. Both sides are slinging mud. Well no. This is just the Republican side in this case. If we were talking about the failure to support school choice, the Democrats. The failure to support gun control, both sides. The failure to defend the institution of marriage, both sides. But not here.
Democrats have a duty to examine a major part of Romney's business record which he offers as a reason to vote for him. There are totally honorable professions that are both necessary in our society, yet not discussed about in civil conversation, and those involved don't use their careers as stepping stones to political office. People in private equity need to do unpopular and oftentimes (seemingly) immoral actions. For instance, if there is a fundamentally healthy company in terms of the daily business but they are struggling because they have debt from past obligations, at some point some person is going to come in and take out the good business and leave the bad debt on the sideline. This can happen in bankruptcy, a buyout, or some king of turbulent process. The best thing for society is to keep the working business assest. This often means that many past workers will not get the money they were promised and are owed. It may mean that former vendors won't be made whole. It might mean that some current workers will lose their jobs. But it also means that many current workers won't lose their jobs as a result of bad debt crushing the whole country. The end result is that rich people and institutions 'swoop" in and "save" the company while making enormous profits. Oftentimes at very little risk.
This is part of the creative destruction in captitalism. It is sometimes messy but it is good.
HOWEVER, the person who tells thousands of people they won't be getting their pensions should not expect to run for President as a hero of the middle class! Just like we probably won't elect a butcher as President of the United States either! Most of us love to eat meat. We need people to kill the animals, prepare them to be cooked, and so forth. But we don't want to watch it! We personally wouldn't be able to do it so matter of factly. To chop a cows head off? Slice a cow open and chop it up? This is what private equity firms do much of the time in the private sector. They do tough, dirty, necessary work. But just like I wouldn't want a butcher as President, neither do I want a person who can calmly take away people's pensions, turn millions of dollars of profit, and move on as normal business. We expect our President's to have more empathy.
The Obama team is using the Bain issue 100% fair. Corey Booker is wrong.
ps.. Imagine a funeral director running for President