Jay Ambrose, formerly Washington director of editorial policy for Scripps Howard newspapers, is a columnist living in Colorado. Email: SpeaktoJay@aol.com.
His campaign's defamatory broadsides against Mitt Romney are "entirely appropriate," says President Barack Obama, a former community organizer whose work did so little good for the South Side of Chicago that it is now one of the more murderous neighborhoods in America. Play the game he's playing and you'd say he is to blame for the gang killings.
I don't think so, and neither do I think it is appropriate for his campaign to pound Romney for deeds done by Bain Capital after Romney had quit running the firm he founded.
What's far worse, of course, is the suggestion that Romney committed a crime. This isn't just inappropriate. It is gutter politics. It is what you would expect from someone who would do anything to win no matter how scummy.
But scumminess was the crucial technique when Robert Bauer, Obama's campaign lawyer, said there was proof that Romney was "fully in charge" of Bain Capital when it engaged in activities political operatives had denounced. He said that papers Romney filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission listed him as boss and that there was something much amiss if this was a misrepresentation.
It could even "result in an investigation by the (Securities and Exchange Commission) into possible criminal, as well as civil, violations of the law," he harrumphed.
Hooey. You can retain titles and interest in a firm without being actively engaged in its activities, and the idea that Romney was involved in some sort of subterfuge is absurd. During this period, he was running the Winter Olympics in Utah for the whole world to see, and the filings with the SEC can hardly be construed as attempts to convince the government he was up to something else.
A Washington Post fact checker has looked into the technicalities of all this and said Romney's clean and Bauer is deserving of Pinocchio citations, meaning he was short on truth.
To help Bauer understand, I hereby offer a story about myself. Back in the 1970s, I was editorial page editor of The Knickerbocker News in Albany, N.Y., was awarded a fellowship for professional journalists at the University of Michigan and took off for nine months.
I did not give up the position or title, but was not accountable for editorials being written by another journalistic malefactor. If someone in Albany wanted to punch someone in the nose for an objectionable Knick News opinion during this period, he had no right looking me up in Michigan.
Having said as much, I ought to say something else, too -- that the supposedly foul deeds committed by Bain while Romney was in Utah are foul mostly in the eyes of the mystified left. It seems that Bain invested in firms that outsourced some contracts abroad, supposedly costing Americans jobs when the practice actually helps assure lower prices for masses of consumers while also helping our economy with efficiencies that can ultimately lead to expansion and more jobs.
Romney said Obama should apologize for the criminality smear, but I would go further. He ought to apologize for getting all the way to the presidency without understanding how important business leaders like Romney are and how the high profits he made while leading Bain are the stuff prosperity and job creation are made of.
They are also that without which Obama could not conceivably continue his dreams of a welfare state utopia that, of course, would be no utopia, just more money spent on Obamacare-type programs doing more disservice than service.
That brings us back to Obama as community organizer, preparing himself for other liberal adventures of the heart while doing nothing of lasting significance.
I suspect he did help some people here and there, and I applaud that, but fatherless homes are the root cause of what is ripping the South Side apart, and nothing he did deterred that for a second.