After the Bain Existence controversy about my post about Bain Capital yesterday, and whether or not Bain Capital really wanted to lend Chrysler and GM money to fund their managed bankruptcies, and about whether or not Bain Capital’s PR agency understands the concept of sarcasm and can recognize it even when it’s wearing a red flag, and about whether or not Mitt Romney knows that Chrysler and GM did file for bankruptcy and did undergo managed ones that, thanks to the government’s bailout money, enabled them to emerge as ongoing entities rather than pieces for liquidation, I swore off politics posts on AB and figured I’d just limit myself to my tried-and-true subject matter: legal analysis.
But, well, I live in Michigan, which is both Ground Zero for the auto companies and Ground Zero for the next big day of primaries. And, well, Romney was in the state today (albeit not my part of the state) giving a speech and being interviewed by local journalists. And his speech and the interviews were covered on the local evening news broadcasts, including the one I watched.
I still might have resisted commenting, were it not that Romney apparently was asked by a reporter this afternoon why he continues to imply in his spoken comments and op-ed pieces that GM and Chrysler did not go through bankruptcy, or did not go through managed bankruptcy, as he repeatedly now says he recommended at the time, and instead were given the federal bailout money to survive without filing bankruptcy. I say “apparently,” because the news clip I saw, on the Detroit metro NBC affiliate (clickondetroit.com), showed only Romney’s answer to whatever question was asked; it did not show the reporter asking the question.
But, speaking between clenched teeth embedded in a frozen “drop dead, you liberal elite member of the news media” smile—eyes flashing with barely-controlled rage—he said, um, that the car companies did file for “managed bankruptcy,” and that they finally did so at his urging, having earlier refused to do so, and that it is very nice that the companies have survived and are thriving now.
Which it is. Very nice, that is. But now that Romney has conceded that managed bankruptcy is in fact what the companies underwent, he now really should also concede that the only way they were able undergo and emerge from managed bankruptcy, rather than go through just a plain old bankruptcy whose endgame is liquidation, is that the federal government’s bailout financed it. And that there was no other possible source of that financing. Unless, of course, Bain Capital could done it, maybe through leverage provided by Goldman Sachs, which might have had the funds for it because it already had been bailed out by the government.
Or maybe Bain Consulting (no relation to Bain Capital) had an even better idea—if only they’d been asked.
The managed bankruptcies that Romney had in mind in early 2009 for the two car companies pretty clearly were liquidations that would then allow Bain Capital or other venture capital firms to buy small parts of these companies, eliminate union workers, and … I’m not sure. A weird, incoherent ad his campaign’s been running on the local news broadcasts actually hints at the elimination-of-union-workers thing, while actually advertising that “liberals” got “Obama” to save the auto industry. Seriously.
Anyway, in keeping with my promise in my earlier post today in which I said I would never, ever—ever—again write something facetious would expressly identifying it as sarcasm, satire, or just a plain old joke, I make the following disclaimer: the title of this post is intended as a joke. Mitt Romney probably does not read Angry Bear. Even though he did seem awfully well prepared for the question.
The reporter who asked him the question must be an AB reader, though.*
*That sentence was edited after this post was posted, to make clear that the reporter was quite well prepared, and that of course that indicates that he had read my AB post about Romney’s weird failure to acknowledge that the two car companies did go through managed bankruptcy and emerged from it as ongoing companies only thanks to the government’s financial assistance (a.k.a., the bailout) during the bankruptcy process.