The ‘Six Degrees of Mitt Romney’ Leads to Death?

I honestly thought I’d seen it all when it comes to the shameless, dishonest, and outrageous tactics used by political campaigns. Sadly, I was proved wrong the other day when I watched the latest ad from Priorities USA Action, a super PAC supporting President Obama’s re-election bid.

The video features an ex-employee of a company closed by Bain Capital (Mitt Romney’s former private equity firm) airing his personal grievances against the GOP presidential candidate. Priorities USA Action, headed by former Obama administration spokesman Bill Burton, has actually used several such people in their advertising this year in order to portray Romney as a heartless, rich guy who couldn’t care less about the lives of people who aren’t equally heartless and rich.

The previous advertisements offered no frame of reference, of course, behind the simple logic of a struggling company’s need to reorganize and consolidate in order to stay in business. I wouldn’t have expected them to. After all, you can’t effectively pull on the public’s heartstrings when the facts reveal that these sympathetic people would have lost their jobs regardless of whether or not Mitt Romney and Bain Capital ever existed. Still, that’s the way the game is played. Though disingenuous, those previous advertisements weren’t all that out of the ordinary.

The latest ad, however, far exceeds the boundaries of decency – even in the realm of a political campaign.

In it, former employee of GST Steel, Joe Soptic, tells the story of how Bain Capital shut down the plant he worked for. He explains that because he was out of work, he lost his health insurance. He then describes how his wife became ill. Next, he speculates that she might have felt sick for a long time and chose not to speak up about it because she didn’t want to burden her family with the cost of uninsured healthcare. He explains that by the time she was diagnosed with stage-four cancer, there was very little that could be done for her and she passed away soon after. He ends the advertisement by saying, “I do not think Mitt Romney realizes what he’s done to anyone, and furthermore I do not think Mitt Romney is concerned.”

Now, I’m certainly sympathetic to anyone who has lost a loved one, but Joe Soptic should be ashamed of himself for letting a political organization use the memory of his dead wife to slander an individual. It’s bad enough for Soptic to claim that someone he doesn’t personally know is callous to human suffering, but it’s far worse than that… Soptic egregiously assigned blame for his wife’s death to someone who had absolutely nothing to do with it, seemingly for purely political purposes. That’s absolutely outrageous and disgusting. And it’s equally outrageous and disgusting that Bill Burton and the rest of the morally bankrupt people at Priorities USA Action would promote such a message.

Is this kind of trash honestly going to be the benchmark for this year’s presidential campaign? Is it now fair game to use some six degrees of separation, twisted logic to accuse anyone of absolutely anything, including what is essentially being described as murder?

If you take a step back and actually digest the statement that is being made in the ad, the accusation is absolutely horrendous. Even if you ignore the fact that Mitt Romney had left Bain to work for the Olympics by the time Bain Capital closed GST Steel, it’s horrendous. Even if you ignore the fact that Joe Soptic’s wife wasn’t diagnosed with cancer until five years after her husband had lost his job, it’s horrendous. Even if you ignore the fact that Joe Soptic’s wife was covered by her own job’s insurance until she quit that job years before she was diagnosed with cancer, it’s horrendous. Even if you ignore the fact that Joe Soptic, by his own admission, still has no idea whether or not his wife experienced and ignored any warning signs of the cancer and chose not to see a doctor due to family finances, it’s horrendous.

The accusation is horrendous because it implies that if someone loses their job, any unrelated hardship they experience throughout the rest of their life (including death) is somehow the fault of their former employer. If you think about it, the only other time this narrative turns up in the national media is during the aftermath of a workplace shooting, when investigators are piecing together the motives of a disgruntled, former employee who sought revenge against an old boss. And here it is actually being used as a political platform! It doesn’t get any more shameful than that.

Even the unscrupulous comedian, Bill Maher, who donated $1 million to Priorities USA Action earlier this year, has to be wincing at the kind of rancor his money has helped pay for. And if he’s not, maybe someone should use the same logic as Priorities USA Action used to hold Maher responsible for the death of any former guests on his HBO show.

Perhaps the most disturbing part of this story is that Priorities USA Action isn’t just some independent, maverick organization. It’s the super PAC that President Obama himself publicly endorsed and directed his donors to. It’s the super PAC comprised of former members of his administration. Such an association warrants the media to call on the president himself to condemn the use of such an appalling tactic.

You can bet the media would be all over Mitt Romney if his leading super PAC, Restore Our Future, was using the same methods.

Bailing the Ship of State

Even though I write at least three articles a week, I find it impossible to stay abreast of the madcap antics of Barack Obama and his multitude of stooges. At times, I feel like Mickey Mouse portraying the Sorcerer’s Apprentice in Walt Disney’s “Fantasia,” frantically trying to deal with all those deranged brooms.

For instance, consider the fact that Obama has increased our national debt from roughly 10 trillion dollars to 16 trillion in just three years, and is now trying to convince us that he’s the biggest penny pincher since Dwight Eisenhower.

Sillier yet, he has chosen to run against Romney’s record at Bain Capital. According to objective sources, Bain’s success rate during Romney’s years was 78%. In other words, about four out of the five companies in which Bain invested became successful. What percentage of green energy companies in which Obama has invested our tax dollars have succeeded? Does “zero percent” ring any bells?

There are times when I actually find myself feeling sorry for Jay Carney. After all, when he accepted Obama’s offer to replace Robert Gibbs, I’m sure Mr. Carney had visions of fame and fortune awaiting him. What he failed to take into consideration was that day after day, he was going to have to march to the podium and try to put the best face on a very ugly administration. He was going to have to spend his professional life lying and spinning like a top.

At least over at Fox, Juan Williams gets to sit down while he’s spinning. Watching Williams trying to explain and excuse every miserable thing Obama does reminds me of the character, Spicer Lovejoy, in “Titanic.” In case you don’t recall, he was portrayed by David Warner, and he was Cal Hockley’s bodyguard.

Although Lovejoy was a villain, I couldn’t help thinking that nobody could ever have a more loyal and dedicated employee. Even after the ship hit the iceberg and was starting to keel over, Lovejoy was still earning his salary, even as his knees were getting soaked.

That’s the kind of dedication I see in Juan Williams. Even Lovejoy didn’t carry as much water as Williams does. No matter how dumb he sounds, no matter that Steve Hayes, Bret Baier and Charles Krauthammer, are all staring at him as if he’s begun speaking in tongues, nothing can dissuade Mr. Williams from defending his guy. Sometimes, I find myself wondering if Obama sits in the Oval Office, dreaming up nonsense just to see if Williams will back him up.

Although I delight in ridiculing the Left, I’m afraid there are times when I have to take conservatives out behind the woodshed. For instance, when did you all decide that it was necessary to pretend that your kids were all scholars whose huge brains would atrophy if you didn’t send them off to college, where nutty professors could shovel left-wing crapola into their craniums? And just how did you figure that their lives would be enriched by majoring in studies devoted to black, Hispanic, lesbian and Communist, propaganda?

Furthermore, the fact that your offspring are so susceptible to these lies proves that you haven’t bothered explaining to them what makes America exceptional. You wouldn’t fail to inoculate them against mumps and measles, but you cavalierly leave them free to catch the left-wing virus that floats around just about every schoolhouse in the nation.

Even in nursery school, members of the despicable teachers unions have them chanting “Barack Obama, mmm mmm mmm” and you’re just fine with it. Is it any wonder that later on, when they’re told that they should admire psychopaths like Che Guevara, Mao Tse-tung and Fidel Castro, while despising Washington, Jefferson and Adams, they swallow the bilge as historical fact?

In closing, I’d like to call attention to Mayor Michael Bloomberg. Nanny Bloomberg, who has declared sugar, salt, tobacco and trans-fats, verboten in New York City, is a scofflaw who has broken the law at least 16 times in the last six months, thanks to using a helicopter to transport his self-righteous butt to and from his mansion in the Hamptons.

As one of his constituents put it, “Bloomberg’s being a little hypocritical. If you’re so concerned about the quality of life of the citizens in this city — like don’t smoke a cigarette in Central Park — don’t land a 2,000-pound helicopter in front of my apartment with the choking exhaust and intolerable noise, especially when the heliport is supposed to be closed.”

It seems that the Manhattan heliport is only supposed to be open for business from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. on weekdays, and shut down entirely on weekends. Bloomberg defended himself by saying he was unaware of the curfew. If anyone believes that, he has a bridge over in Brooklyn that he’s willing to sell cheap.

On the other hand, at least Bloomberg felt compelled to present a defense, as cheesy as it was. When Ted Kennedy was still in the Senate and promoting wind power as a way to replace fossil fuels, a green energy outfit proposed erecting windmills in Nantucket Sound to take advantage of those Atlantic Ocean breezes. Once Kennedy realized those windmills would be visible from his home, the plans were scuttled.

Being a Kennedy, he didn’t even have to come up with a lame, Bloomberg-like excuse. Nobody would have disputed him if he’d pointed out that all by himself he could easily generate all the wind power Nantucket could possibly use.

©2012 Burt Prelutsky. Send your comments to