We stand by that we should be vewy, vewy careful (if we are indeed to call ourselves “free market conservatives”) about attacking free market businessmen engaging in free market capitalism.
But in the MittBot camp, that perfectly defensible point of view has apparently morphed into “you can’t criticize anything an individual does under the banner of free market capitalism.”
Let us make one thing clear here: Free market capitalism sometimes leads to bad results. It’s the nature of the beast when you’re talking about anything “free.” Being free to do good also means being free to do bad. What makes it still the best way to go is that every single one of the alternatives being several orders of magnitude worse. Just like democracy is a horribly inefficient way of running a country, yet it remains infinitely preferable to each and every one of the alternatives.
With the exception of the wise, benevolent, absolute rule of His Imperial Majesty, Misha I, of course. But we digress.
What His Majesty is defending against the attacks on Bain is not every single individual action of theirs, we’re sure there were some pretty questionable whoppers in there as is always the case where imperfect, flawed humans are involved, we’re defending the practice of free market capitalism. We’d be surprised if one couldn’t find at least one, and probably numerous, examples of Bain Capital screwing somebody over royally for no good reason other than to line their own pockets, and those individual instances are, of course, very much legitimate targets depending on one’s personal point of view.
That’s not the same as being “anti-capitalist” overall.
Let us not forget that Hugh Hefner is a pretty damn successful capitalist too, just to name one. Does that mean that we have to defend every single thing he built his fortune on? Try to convince us. We’ll be only too happy to unleash the full fury of the Imperial Sarcasm Star on you. But we will defend his right to use the free market to succeed, and we will happily point out that his success would have not been possible if there hadn’t been any buyers for his filth. For that is how capitalism works and should work. No matter what your product, its success relies and should rely entirely upon there being a market for it, so the ones who buy your product are every bit as responsible for your success as you are.
And, of course, from a purely pragmatic point of view (and aren’t we always told by the MittBots to be “pragmatic?”), no matter what the actual circumstances and merits of each individual Bain case, perhaps running for president in the worst economy in living memory with a background of having killed jobs isn’t the best platform you can stand on. No, I don’t really think that any amount of Power Points and spreadsheets, no matter how much they speak the truth, is going to drown out the cries of “people lost their JOBS!” in an election where jobs are the top concern on every voter’s mind.
First we had McCain.
Now we might end up with McBain.