I know, Noah is irritating if you're not rooting against Romney, but isn't there something to this point? It's something David Gregory kept trying to bring out on "Meet the Press" last Sunday. First, he was talking to Ed Gillespie (Senior Adviser, Romney 2012 Campaign/Former Chair, Republican National Committee), and I'll just ignore Gillespie's evasions. Here's Gregory, spliced together:
[Does Romney] stand by business decisions that were made by the firm he created?... But, so he-- he stands beside-- behind decisions the company has made… about call centers or about... outsourcing which in the lot of circles is considered good business.... Does Mitt Romney believe that outsourcing is a legitimate decision for companies to make, to make them stronger companies more efficient companies?...Gillespie won't say what is obvious, that sewing fabric together is a job that ought to be done in China, and we've got lots of incredibly cheap clothing that we all benefit from because it's made in China. What do you think your clothes would cost if they weren't made in China? Imagine if we suddenly had to start buying American-made — "Look for the union label" — clothes! All Gillespie (and others, who got the talking points) will say is we shouldn't politicize the Olympics.
I mean, you know, outsourcing is a tough political topic. But if you are a business man there’s a real need for outsourcing jobs.... Mitt Romney is somebody who’s-- who is in the private sector who understands it. So would-- would he not stand by the practice of outsourcing?...
All right. So just one more try at this. Does he believe that outsourcing is a legitimate business practice?... In the creation of a healthy economy?...
But clearly he’s sensitive about the outsourcing issue because it’s a politically-charged issue. In that same vein, does he have a problem as somebody who ran the Olympics before with Olympic uniforms not being made in America, being manufactured in China, Congress is taking this up now, it seems to be a bipartisan sense of outrage. Where is Mitt Romney on this?
Later, Gregory was talking to Senator Jon Kyl (R-AZ/Assistant Republican Leader) and he continued to push for a serious acknowledgement of how business works:
Do you consider [outsourcing] a legitimate business practice that should not be politicized?Even later, with his "roundtable" guests, Gregory said:
But the reality is that in politics everything gets politicized in all these decisions. And Bob Woodward, the idea of when he was at Bain, when he left Bain is perhaps less material than whether, you know, somebody who was in private equity will or will not stand behind some of, you know, decisions that are made in the global economy including outsourcing as much as it gets uncomfortable in political campaign....Should Romney and his people be less coy about what business is?
Would he do better to say, look, I am very wealthy, it is complex, there are a lot of investments. Have a look at all of this and now we can get back to-- to talking about jobs?
ADDED: "Rapacious" is a great word, with powerful associations to "rape" and "raptor." Here's the etymology from the OED:
< classical Latin rapāci-, rapāx predatory, inordinately greedy ( < rapere to seize (see rape v.2) + -āx : see -acious suffix) + -ous suffix. Compare Middle French, French rapace (c1310 in Old French), Occitan rapace, rapaço, Catalan rapaç (15th cent.), Spanish rapaz (c1140), Portuguese rapaz (1253), Italian rapace (1313).
With sense 2 compare French rapaces (plural noun) birds of prey (1768), scientific Latin Rapaces (alternative to Raptores Raptores n.), and their etymon classical Latin rapaces beasts of prey.Obviously, Romney shouldn't admit to rapaciousness.