A recent satirical post wrote the GOP should vet Mitt Romney's past dealings with Bain. Romney's opponents shouldn't do this because they hate capitalism (does anyone really believe that they do?). No, his foes should do it because if there are skeletons in that closet, we need to know about it now, before Mitt's sealed the nomination.
Was the Occupy Wall Street movement just a ragtag bunch of dropouts looking for a party? Well, ok. Maybe some. But considering that Mitt Romney was the frontrunner at the time, it doesn't take a black-helicopter conspiracy nut to believe that the Democratic National Committee could be behind the whole thing. Why? To lay the groundwork for attacks on Romney once it's official. The backdrop is set: the so-called 99% against the rich, corporate-jet flying, elitist business owners. Once the winter thaws, these protests will be back.
If you know your opponent is going to use a charge against you, you defend against it, you prepare for it. So, while Rick Perry and Newt Gingrich attacks -- including the release of a 30-minute propaganda video -- are very negative, they are very useful for Romney, and not just because it helps Newt flame out in a glorious pyre of pomposity.
Mitt Romney, having already won Iowa and New Hampshire, is still leading in South Carolina. If he's the inevitable nominee, we need to be prepared to defend this image all summer long.
Unlike 2004, Dan Rather doesn't need to fake it; it's already out there.
Given all this, with the constant drum circles beating anti-capitalism chants all summer long, this image will be leading newscasts on ABC, NBC and CBS every night. Add to this the sorry tales of woe pouring out about Bain Capital and how Mitt Romney, captain of industry, dragged workers into the gutter on Christmas Eve, and he'll be Bill Murray as Frank Cross firing Eliot Loudermilk.
So, as ugly as today's attacks are, they inoculate Romney. They strengthen his immune system, like getting a strain of the flu. And, it gives him the chance to say next September, "this is old news that was already hashed out months ago."
So, thank Newt Gingrich: he's de-fanging one of Obama's major attacks against our likely guy. It's not certain it'll work or be enough, but it's better than doing nothing now.
It looks like we're stuck with Mitt. We may as well give him a chance of beating Obama.