The longest and largest exploding cigar lit by the Obama campaign thus far was its attack on private equity. Obama???s war on stay-at-home moms was pretty ugly too, but at least it could be concentrated into a single person ??? the formerly ubiquitous Hilary Rosen, who fit neatly under the wheels of the campaign bus when a terrified Obama team realized she had ruined their carefully constructed ???War on Women??? narrative.
The private equity blunder has much longer legs, because it has significantly fractured the Democrat Party, leading to the Cory Booker insurrection. Obama???s subsequent treatment of Booker spilled more bad blood onto the political pavement.
Part of the reason for this, as Newark???s Mayor Booker said when he famously pronounced himself ???nauseated??? by Obama???s campaign tactics, is that Americans of every profession and political persuasion have investment ties to private equity. Obama???s attacks on Bain Capital were so sloppy that the public couldn???t help but view them as a war against capitalism itself. The President was, in essence, asserting that political overlords can pick and choose individual investment firms as ???good??? or ???evil,??? based on ideology and their partisan connections. This is not a line of reasoning many Americans feel comfortable with, as well they should not.
It???s interesting to read in Bloomberg Businessweek that the Bain Capital attack was heavily influenced by none other than Steven Spielberg, who enjoyed three hours of face time with freshly minted Obama campaign manager Jim Messina.
???At DreamWorks Studios,??? Bloomberg relates, ???Steven Spielberg spent three hours explaining how to capture an audience???s attention and offered a number of ideas that will be rolled out before Election Day. An early example of Spielberg???s influence is RomneyEconomics.com, a website designed by the Obama team to tell the story – a horror story, by their reckoning – of Mitt Romney???s career at Bain Capital. Afterward, Spielberg insisted that Messina sit down with the DreamWorks marketing team. Hollywood movie studios are expert, as presidential campaigns also must be, at spending huge sums over a few weeks to reach and motivate millions of Americans.???
Wait a minute, let me get this straight: a guy who runs a Hollywood studio criticized someone else???s business practices? That fits right into the same rabbit hole where President Downgrade gets to complain about someone else wiping out too many jobs.
Hollywood studios are pretty much the incarnation of Occupy Wall Street???s caricature of Big Business in general. They???re masters of fuzzy accounting, and experts at gaming the tax code. They send jobs overseas as if launching them across the Atlantic with a catapult. They???re notoriously brutal to lower level employees, while fat cats like Spielberg and top stars rake in gigantic fortunes. The entertainment industry is very well represented in the top ???One Percent,??? despite producing nothing except ephemeral amusements.
Nowhere in America are the threadbare pockets of the Sainted Middle Class picked with more gusto than movie theaters, where the price of everything from tickets to refreshments has blown up faster than anything Barack Obama tried to blame on evil ???oil speculators.??? And movie studios, in turn, vacuum so much cash from theater owners that they are almost entirely reliant upon the sale of $5 sodas and $6 buckets of popcorn to stay in business.
Which means you folks in New York City are probably going to have to get used to living without movie theaters, once everything they actually profit from has been declared contraband by the Mayor. But I digress.
The Left???s class warfare argument has always been disgusting in its hypocrisy, because every single collectivist government ever created ??? from ???soft??? American socialism to its harder European counterparts, and the horrors of communism and fascism ??? has made generous allowances for a special aristocracy, which enjoys absurd levels of wealth and privilege. The riches of powerful Party officials and their allies are not only tolerated, but celebrated. The Western world supports a very successful ???infotainment??? industry dedicated to fawning over celebrity lifestyles. Their draft deferments from the class war are printed on the base of every gold and silver award they display on the mantle when they host $38,000-per-plate Obama fundraisers.
That???s why a failed President who has driven his country???s economy into a ditch can enjoy political advice, and multi-media support, from the filthy-rich heads of some capitalist ventures, while bitterly castigating others, and singing the praises of ???redistribution.??? When Obama said ???I do think at a certain point you???ve made enough money,??? he obviously wasn???t talking about Steven Spielberg.