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Mitt Romney and Joe Biden
(Mitt Romney photo Rebecca Cook/Reuters, Joe Biden photo Obama For America)
 
Based this anecdote reported by Molly Ball in The Atlantic, Mitt Romney and his team are genuinely oblivious to the political dangers inherent in his brand of plutocratic capitalism:
One Washington-based Republican adviser recounted an interaction in which a senior member of the Romney team, asked what the campaign planned to do to soften the class-based criticism of Romney, gave a blank look and snapped, "Nobody cares about that crap."
Contrast that attitude with this line from Vice President Joe Biden's campaign kickoff speech yesterday:
Simply stated, we’re about promoting the private sector, they’re about protecting the privileged sector.  (Applause.)  We are for a fair shot and a fair shake.  They’re about no rules, no risks, and no accountability.
I'd say that Biden had sprung a trap, but I think Romney and his team genuinely believe that their brand of plutocratic capitalism is the one and only true form of free enterprise and that anyone who doesn't buy into is guilty of socialism, communism and un-American loathing of the private sector.

In his speech yesterday, Biden dismantled their narrow world view. Democrats do want a strong and growing private sector, and they don't expect government to do everything. Unlike Republicans, however, Democrats are realistic enough to know that you need government to establish and enforce rules of the road to make sure that competition is fair, that sometimes you need to the public sector to step in and support the private sector when the economy is in crisis, and that a strong safety net to prevent poverty makes us a stronger and freer nation.

When Democrats have failed, it's because they've forgotten those things and caved into Romney's plutocratic vision, but when they've done things right, they've not only shown that Democrats are better capitalists than Republicans, but that a strong private sector can mean a strong middle class. In three years, President Obama already has a better record on private sector jobs than President Bush in eight. And President Clinton had a better economic record than President Reagan—and he balanced the budget while doing it.

Mitt Romney might believe this election is about a choice between his economic vision and Soviet-style Communism, but as Biden said, it's really about whether we're going to stack the deck in favor of a privileged sector or whether we're going to have a private sector that gives everybody a fair shot. And no matter what Romney's campaign says, people do give a crap about that.

Originally posted to The Jed Report on Fri Mar 16, 2012 at 09:17 AM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  They Believe Promotion of the General Welfare (7+ / 0-)

    must be stopped because it imposes heavily on top ownership, and they don't care what that implies or leads to.

    It was reported here last winter that the entire bottom 90% of us can only put out half of US consumer spending. Government and the ruling economy are the top 10-15%.

    They are the nation and society.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Fri Mar 16, 2012 at 09:28:39 AM PDT

  •  'Nobody cares about that crap'..translated: We're (10+ / 0-)

    scared shitless.

  •  I do not understand... (13+ / 0-)

    ...Mitt Romney's economic plans or why he wants to be President. Even if his plans are wrongheaded, I still want to hear a decent explanation and defense of them. I hear nothing of value from him that describes even what he wants to do or why.

    (-5.50,-6.67): Left Libertarian
    Leadership doesn't mean taking a straw poll and then just throwing up your hands. -Jyrinx

    by Sparhawk on Fri Mar 16, 2012 at 09:33:38 AM PDT

  •  Romoney is toned deaf and evil why would (4+ / 0-)

    he know about anything.

    He treated his own dog badly, what would he care about non-rich human beings who weren't born evil and rich like himself.

    The radical Republican party is the party of oppression, fear, loathing and above all more money and power for the people who robbed us.

    by a2nite on Fri Mar 16, 2012 at 09:41:25 AM PDT

    •  not totally convinced (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      vcmvo2, vpd4, TRPChicago

      he's "evil" but he is very, very tone deaf and clueless and simply has no concept of how the world is outside of his quite restricted and narrow parameters.

      If he were in any other position than trying to become POTUS, I could almost feel sorry for him.

      Anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means "my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge." -- Isaac Asimov

      by Mnemosyne on Fri Mar 16, 2012 at 11:33:19 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  No he's a sociopath & an R that is evil 2 me (0+ / 0-)

        Can't feel sorry 4 someone who screwed people out of jobs 4 lots o money. A corporation = person is his opinion which makes him  an evil monster because his ideology only works 4 him the evil 1% but not 4 us. Right? He could care less because it would actually show & b in his words. He can go 2 h*** w/ his family also.

        The radical Republican party is the party of oppression, fear, loathing and above all more money and power for the people who robbed us.

        by a2nite on Fri Mar 16, 2012 at 04:38:56 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  What is reported about that dog, Seamus, (0+ / 0-)

      makes me feel a lot worse about Mitt Romney than I already did, and I already pretty much thought he was cold and soulless.  

      Politics aside, I am just having a really hard time getting past the way he treated that animal.

  •  Lots of good sound bites, I think. (5+ / 0-)


    A fair shot at at getting a fair share.

    Dems: Promote the private sector.
    Repub: Protect a privileged private sector.  Make sure all   money all flows uphill.

    Dems: Promote the general welfare.
    Repub. Privatize public property. (As is happening in          
    Michigan and Wisconsin.)

    Repub: Stack the deck in favor of the privileged.

    Democrats - We represent America!

    by phonegery on Fri Mar 16, 2012 at 09:46:08 AM PDT

    •  Where's the New Deal part about all that (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      phonegery

      New Deal stuff, Social Security and healthcare-for-all and approriate regulation of bidness excesses, and et cetera, or is Biden really just giving us a softer taste of the lash of individualized everyone-for-themselves that is the New Normal?

      There's so much wrong with all of it...

      "Is that all there is?" Peggy Lee.

      by jm214 on Fri Mar 16, 2012 at 11:14:59 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Biden was on fire yesterday..... (17+ / 0-)

    And the points he was making gave an indication of what you can expect out of the Administration as the race heats up.

    Personally, I'm a Biden fan...and it was good to see what a great campaigner he is going to be for the President this year. I'm getting motivated.

    Wonders are many, but none so wonderful as man.

    by Morgan Sandlin on Fri Mar 16, 2012 at 10:21:14 AM PDT

    •  I've always loved Biden's passion.. n/t (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      vcmvo2, Morgan Sandlin

      "We'll explain the appeal of curling to you if you explain the appeal of the National Rifle Association to us." - Andy Barrie

      by HugoDog on Fri Mar 16, 2012 at 11:33:49 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Agreed - I think R-radio talkers dis him (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Hirodog, Morgan Sandlin

      (as dumb, at the least) because a progressive white middle-aged middle class male is a threat to the black and white picture they present every day.

      (Prob'ly also causes uncomfortable cognitive dissonance, the converse of "The test of a first rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposed ideas in the mind at the same time, and still retain the ability to function.")

      And what HugDog said also, too.

    •  Obama Too - GOP's Got Nothing! (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Morgan Sandlin

      Joltin' Joe comes out swinging!  I'll always regret the vice presidential debate forcing Biden vs. Palin.  He had to pull all his punches to avoid being seen as bullying the handicapped.

      If Obama and Biden can keep an offensive burning hot, the GOP aren't going to be able to play anything more than culture wars.  Then maybe we'll see some truly progressive legislation appear.  I'm not saying I'm happy about some of the things that have transpired over the last 3 1/2 years, but I'm also not voting against up a case of toe fungus in favor of GOP MRSA.

    •  In some ways Biden is the campaign's secret weapon (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Morgan Sandlin

      He fills the usual veep role of attack dog (which he's good at.) Plus, he's been around long enough that he gives them the experience of a seasoned liberal campaigner who is staunchly pro-worker. That allows Obama to cozy up to the financial sector and other constituencies usually reserved to the R's. We may not like the optics, but in terms of winning a campaign it's essential.

      Plus I think the R's under-estimate Joey B at their own peril. (And did I say his wife is hot?)

  •  I like the idea of Biden as the Bad Cop (9+ / 0-)

    Obama as the Good Cop. Obama gets to stay positive and keep things classy, while Biden can get down in the mud with the elephants.

    •  That's been the role of the VP (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Mnemosyne, Matt Z

      since Nixon at least.

      Eisenhower nice, Nixon mean.
      Kennedy nice, Johnson mean.
      Nixon "nice" (but creepy), Agnew mean.

      And so on.

      In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice; but in practice, there always is a difference. - Yogi Berra En théorie, il n'y a aucune différence entre théorie et pratique, mais en pratique, il y a toujours une différence. - Yogi Berra

      by blue aardvark on Fri Mar 16, 2012 at 11:19:03 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  even beyond that (5+ / 0-)

      remember that going back to 2007-8, Obama always has to be Jackie Robinson....his public persona is no-drama, cool, unflappable, even-steven, and conciliatory rather than confrontational; while I believe this genuinely isn't an act and seems to be what Obama is personally like, the fact is that if Obama allowed himself to be framed as the proverbial Angry Black Man, he probably never beats Hillary in the primary, let alone war hero John McCain in the general. (The Rev. Wright bullshit alone would have sunk many a lesser orator.)

      Times have changed, but not so much that I think this dynamic doesn't hold any longer.

      Biden, on the other hand, obviously doesn't have that standing in between him and a quality attack speech. I hate to put this in such stark terms but I can't see how it isn't true.

      •  good point (5+ / 0-)

        and useful to remember, especially because most of the electorate doesn't go into the detail that we do (obsessed creatures that we are). Mr. and Mrs. America get most of their "news" from the 5-second clip, and if that clip shows the president angry, then it gets played as Angry Black Man.

        But Biden can do Angry Blue-Collar Guy Who Made Good.

        And now that I think about it, he was originally from Pennsylvania, so perhaps that cancels out the stain of Santorum, at least a bit.

        Anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means "my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge." -- Isaac Asimov

        by Mnemosyne on Fri Mar 16, 2012 at 11:38:20 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  yup (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Mnemosyne, vcmvo2

          consider how it took just 15 seconds worth of audio to sink Howard Dean. Obama's discipline over the last several years in handling dopey/insulting/leading questions from rightwing reporters (not to mention his debate performances) is really something.

          All of that--years of work--could come crashing down at any second because of some offhand or flippant or irritated remark, an all too human response, and he's managed to avoid letting something like that trip him up.

  •  Great contrasting photos ... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    annieli, vcmvo2

    Pictures worth 1,000 words!

    "The Internet is the Public Square of the 21st Century"- Sen. Al Franken

    by Kdoug on Fri Mar 16, 2012 at 11:09:44 AM PDT

  •  This why Biden is so valuable (7+ / 0-)

    He did not grow up like Romney - he worked for everything he has -

    He is actually the better contrast to Romney than Obama- so I like what they are doing here.

    The object of persecution is persecution. The object of torture is torture. The object of power is power. --George Orwell

    by jgkojak on Fri Mar 16, 2012 at 11:13:37 AM PDT

  •  Biden got one thing wrong (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    HugoDog, stagemom

    he should not say "no risks"  he should say "public pays for private risk".

  •  Biden is going to have a good time with this. nt (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mmacdDE, annieli, Mnemosyne

    "So, am I right or what?"

    by itzik shpitzik on Fri Mar 16, 2012 at 11:15:38 AM PDT

  •  we want a Sweden, they want an Uzbekistan /nt (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    blue aardvark

    slutty voter for a "dangerous president"; Präsidentenelf-maßschach; Warning-Some Snark Above"Nous sommes un groupuscule" (-9.50; -7.03) "Sciant terra viam monstrare."

    by annieli on Fri Mar 16, 2012 at 11:15:52 AM PDT

  •  How many things that government does (7+ / 0-)

    are essential to capitalism? Let me list a few.

    • Enforcement of contracts
    • Keeping track of who has title to real property
    • Prosecution of fraud
    • Prosecution of theft and robbery
    • Patents, copyrights, trademarks, and other protection of intellectual property

    It's pretty freakin' difficult to imagine modern capitalism without all of those and more. And it's also difficult to construct a plausible mechanism whereby the private sector could do any of those things.

    A strong central government is there a pre-condition for a prosperous nation. The denial of this obvious fact is an axiom of libertarianism and thereby falsifies the entire ideology in one fell swoop.

    In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice; but in practice, there always is a difference. - Yogi Berra En théorie, il n'y a aucune différence entre théorie et pratique, mais en pratique, il y a toujours une différence. - Yogi Berra

    by blue aardvark on Fri Mar 16, 2012 at 11:16:37 AM PDT

  •  When Obama/Biden reject the Wall Street (0+ / 0-)

    money that continues to fuel the campaign funds, I'll listen more.  Why is no one prosecuted for screwing the economy?

    Still voting Obama/Biden but I'm not fawning over the political bs...

    Listen, strange women lyin' in ponds distributin' swords is no basis for a system of government. Supreme executive power derives from a mandate from the masses, not from some farcical aquatic ceremony.

    by EdMass on Fri Mar 16, 2012 at 11:18:47 AM PDT

    •  Not everyone on Wall Street is evil. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Americantrueandblue

      “when Democrats don’t vote, Democrats don’t win.” Alan Grayson

      by ahumbleopinion on Fri Mar 16, 2012 at 11:49:00 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Tell that to Greg Smith (0+ / 0-)

        Why I Am Leaving Goldman Sachs

        It makes me ill how callously people talk about ripping their clients off.
        Update to story, here:

        Senior Banker Resigns From Goldman Sachs via Scathing NYT Op-Ed

        Goldman Sachs' top brass responded, via an internal company memo leaked to Politico. Rather hilariously, Lloyd Blankfein and Gary Cohn cite the positive results of an internal survey, the "People Survey" as evidence that the corporate culture there is just fine:  89 percent of Goldman Sachs bankers said that Goldman Sachs employees did an excellent job of helping their clients — that is, of being Goldman Sachs employees. 11 percent of Goldman Sachs bankers apparently do not like themselves.
        Still humble?

        Listen, strange women lyin' in ponds distributin' swords is no basis for a system of government. Supreme executive power derives from a mandate from the masses, not from some farcical aquatic ceremony.

        by EdMass on Fri Mar 16, 2012 at 12:43:51 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  You can't prosecute everything (0+ / 0-)

      If Goldman Sachs trades against their own clients in egregious ways, that's illegal, and the executives responsible should go to jail.

      If Goldman Sachs traders make billions of dollars trading derivatives in transactions that add no economic value, you have a deeper problem.  Getting rid of the carried-interest provision of the tax code would be a good start to fixing them, as the carried-interest provision and the undertaxing of short term gains is a bigger crime than any one employee of Goldman Sachs is guilty of.

      And if a liberal Democratic hedge fund manager makes a billion dollars trading on his belief that we DFH's are right and the conservatives are wrong, well, we need more liberal Democratic billionaires.

      •  sign me up (0+ / 0-)

        we cannot have too many DFH billionaires!  Heh

        Listen, strange women lyin' in ponds distributin' swords is no basis for a system of government. Supreme executive power derives from a mandate from the masses, not from some farcical aquatic ceremony.

        by EdMass on Fri Mar 16, 2012 at 12:33:19 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  One other thing they really need to point out (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ahumbleopinion, Spoc42

    Private sector doesn't mean multinational that sucks up everything in site. It doesn't mean monopoly, or collusion, or too big to fail.

    Private sector means COMPETITION. And you don't have competition when you have 2 or 3 companies that control everything and make their own rules.  

  •  what? "nobody cares about that crap"?! (0+ / 0-)

    did he miss the whole Occupy thing, or what? I mean, dismissing it is one thing, but asserting that nobody cares is fucking malpractice.

  •  While they don't believe in evolution (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Spoc42

    Republicans sure as hell believe in social darwinism.

    "I had seen the universe as it begins for all things. It was, in reality, a child's universe, a tiny and laughing universe." Loren Eiseley

    by cadejo4 on Fri Mar 16, 2012 at 11:25:04 AM PDT

  •  Forget everything you think you know about (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ahumbleopinion

    Romney's campaign.  At least 45% of the voting population will vote for him soley on his pledge 'not to raise taxes'.  These voters don't care about anything else, and I mean anything.  They don't care about schools, the environment, energy independence, foreign relations, religion, contraception, the 1% vs the 99%, etc..  Mittster's people know it's all about taxes.  Notwithstanding Mittster's position on any or all of the issues listed, as long as he promises not to raise taxes, he has a great chance of beating Obama.

  •  somewhat to my surprise, (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    vcmvo2, DesignGuy, stagemom

    I'm really liking Joe Biden as veep, far more than I ever did when he was a senator. It's as if he's come into his own in this job, which can't be an easy one -- playing backup to the star at all times, in an undefined and generally overlooked slot.

    And Dr. Jill is terrific IMO.

    Anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means "my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge." -- Isaac Asimov

    by Mnemosyne on Fri Mar 16, 2012 at 11:31:30 AM PDT

  •  thanks Jed...the most concise argument for gov't (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Railfan

    I have send for a while...

    send this to the Obama people...
    they need to conclude their speeches with this line...

    Unlike Republicans, however, Democrats are realistic enough to know that you need government to establish and enforce rules of the road to make sure that competition is fair, that sometimes you need to the public sector to step in and support the private sector when the economy is in crisis, and that a strong safety net to prevent poverty makes us a stronger and freer nation

    "When fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in a flag and carrying a cross." Sinclair Lewis, 1935 --Talk of foresight--

    by tuma on Fri Mar 16, 2012 at 11:34:24 AM PDT

  •  Fire away Joe (4+ / 0-)

    You know how.  He's pretty remarkable in being able to be combative without being threatening to people.  He's already been around the block a few times.  Plus, he'll talk to anybody.

    "It's too LATE to stop now!" - John Lee Hooker

    by Rolfyboy6 on Fri Mar 16, 2012 at 11:35:13 AM PDT

  •  I love this frame for the Democrats (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Railfan

    It is the perfect response to Republican cries of "Socialism!!"  

  •  Except... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Hirodog

    ...Romney's brand of "capitalism" isn't capitalism.  (And, much to the annoyance of conservatives, it isn't zero-government laissez-faire either.)

    Biden actually has it right, perhaps more so then he realizes.  Romney would have been no different (except perhaps for hair style) if he'd been a party boss in the Soviet Union (their model of aristocracy, along with the kind practiced in France in the mid-18th century, is the ideal plutocratic world; their problem is that the people who vote for them prefer Santorum's 13th century ideal).

    Capitalism is not some natural state.  It is a system of economic organization that requires quite a bit of basic public intervention to work well.  (Markets do microeconomics very well, but they aren't so good on their own at dealing with corruption, externalities, natural or market shocks, or extreme disparities of wealth.)  That's always been hard to convey ("we're for capitalism except when we're against it" doesn't make a good slogan) but "privileged" versus "private enterprise" does a better job of drawing the distinction.

  •  Like a cool breeze on a bright, sunny morning (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    vcmvo2, DesignGuy

    That was what it felt like, listening to Obama and Biden open up the campaign with those speeches.  Add to that Hillary's stem-winder about the war on women, and it's clear that our speechifyin' puts those GOPpers in the shade.

    For months we've listened to the GOP's 'best' harangue us with fear and smear, petty jabs at each other, and lies about the President.  It was a pleasure to hear our side open it up with a positive message and a spirited debunking of GOP lies.  Just listen to Mitt, Rick, Newt, and Ron, and then imagine Obama, Biden, Hillary, and the Big Dog opening up the throttle and letting it roar.  I feel more hopeful already.

    Of course, that's just me.

  •  ok...loves it! but need to comment about joe's (0+ / 0-)

    photo!  SNL worthy!
    now, put it next to the same pose as the one of rick perry!
    3, 2, 1...this will def make it to a skit!

    "Without Art, we are but monkeys with car keys"

    by stagemom on Fri Mar 16, 2012 at 12:35:59 PM PDT

  •  Pity they have managed to (0+ / 0-)

    disenfranchise millions of people who agree.  And in the remaining areas, they just use electronic rigging to steal votes.  And then there's counting votes...the tabulators for the 2004 election remain in serious doubt...then there's the whole silly thing about places like Podunk Iowa and Bumfuck Ohio that end up being the deciding votes (!) in national elections...

    It should be obvious by now to everyone with even one functioning brain cell that the vast majority of the US population (and I daresay, the world as well) embrace progressive social values.  There will always be the crab contingent who seek to pull the rest of us back into their dark, ritualistic and religiously (TM) fueled abyss.

    They HAVE to cheat in order ever to have a say in the way things are.  And as shown, a few cycles in office and they have managed to dismantle, destroy, corrupt and coopt everything progressives accomplished over 70 years.

    The banksters want Mitt.  Israel wants Mitt.  Watch as they steal POTUS for him.  In 2016 Jebbie will be ready for another Bush in the WH.

    And we all know, the banksters are making these calls.

    So all good intentions aside, neither Biden nor anyone else is going to fix what's wrong merely by repeating and/ or embracing the sentiments of the majority -- the majority has been silenced most crudely.

  •  A team is more than its quarterback (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    stagemom

    It's ok to pay the quarterback a big salary. He earns it.

    But if you don't pay the guys on the front line a living wage, the QB gets sacked. Somehow the Romneys of the world have forgotten this.

    We're stronger when we're playing as a team.

    Simply stated, we’re about promoting the private sector, they’re about protecting the privileged sector.
    Great line!

    The invasion of Iraq was a war crime, a crime against humanity, and a crime against civilization. Prosecute the crime.

    by Positronicus on Fri Mar 16, 2012 at 01:58:22 PM PDT

  •  "Large crowds are people, my friends!" (0+ / 0-)

    Take note Alanis: "Irony" is Mitt Romney telling someone they're out of touch.

    by here4tehbeer on Fri Mar 16, 2012 at 03:12:20 PM PDT

  •  I smell a Republican Dukakis coming on... (0+ / 0-)
    One Washington-based Republican adviser recounted an interaction in which a senior member of the Romney team, asked what the campaign planned to do to soften the class-based criticism of Romney, gave a blank look and snapped, "Nobody cares about that crap."
    In 1988, asked how he was going to deal with accusations by Republicans that he somehow wasn't patriotic, Dukakis told Jack Germond of the Baltimore Sun, "I'm not going to deal with it anymore.  People are too smart to listen to that."

    All your vote are belong to us.

    by Harkov311 on Fri Mar 16, 2012 at 03:18:26 PM PDT

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