Green Room

After bludgeoning Romney, Dems oddly silent on Jack Lew’s Cayman Islands investments

posted at 4:55 pm on February 11, 2013 by

There are myriad reasons for conservatives to oppose Jack Lew’s nomination for Treasury Secretary.  The fact that Lew recently held a substantial, and entirely legal, investment based in the Cayman Islands is not one of them.  But shouldn’t liberals be livid?  Last year, the Obama campaign and its surrogates furiously accused Mitt Romney of “betting against America” through his financial portfolio, which included foreign holdings — including some in the Cayman Islands.  This ad painting the Republican nominee as an unpatriotic hypocrite was memorably unsparing in its demagoguery:


So if Romney represented “the problem,” how might Lew factor into Democrats’ calculus?

President Barack Obama’s reelection campaign famously trolled Mitt Romney for having bank accounts in the Cayman Islands throughout 2012, with campaign spokesman Ben LaBolt calling it proof that the Republican “bets against America.” It’s a line that was echoed during the election by Governor Martin O’Malley, the Democratic National Committee, and several web ads on Obama’s own YouTube channel, which featured at least 20 videos mentioning Romney’s Cayman accounts. A search for Cayman Islands on the Obama campaign’s website brings back more than 1200 results. But now that one of Obama’s own cabinet nominees is defending his own Cayman account, Democrats are suddenly silent on the matter.

It’s a pretty safe bet that the DNC won’t be distributing mock Cayman passports to reporters in an attempt to torpedo the president’s greedy, patriotism-challenged nominee (according to their own very recent standards).  WaPo’s Marc Thiessen dives deeper into the breathtaking double standard:

Just last week, during a “60 Minutes” interview before the Super Bowl, Obama declared, “When you look at some of these deductions that certain folks are able to take advantage of, the average person can’t take advantage of them. The average person doesn’t have access to Cayman Island accounts.” It’s a recurring theme for the president. In a 2009 speech, Obama focused his ire on “a building in the Cayman Islands that had over 12,000 businesses claim this building as their headquarters” — a building called Ugland House. Obama said, “And I’ve said before, either this is the largest building in the world or the largest tax scam. And I think the American people know which it is: The kind of tax scam that we need to end.” Well, guess who was involved in the “largest tax scam” in the world? Jack Lew. According to the New York Times, Lew’s Cayman Islands fund was based in “the notorious Ugland House, a building whose mailboxes are home to nearly 19,000 corporate entities, many of them tax shelters.”

But Lew’s situation is totally different, you see, because he’s a Democrat.  It’s worth noting that the ad above also slammed Romney for supposedly outsourcing American jobs while at the helm of Bain Capital.  There is zero evidence to back up this false claim, which Team Obama leveled repeatedly.  Every independent fact-checker debunked this ad and others like it, verdicts that did nothing to dissuade the Obama campaign from running the spots from coast to coast. Democrats then doubled down, suggesting that Romney might be a felon … a sleazy, backdoor attempt to justify their original lies.  This escalation prompted another fruitless round of rebukes from fact-checkers.  Chief Obama mudslinger Stephanie Cutter breezily still affirms that she harbors no regrets over her starring role in promulgating these disproven smears.  And why would she?  She’s a shameless means-to-an-end hack, and her side won.

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It’s different for those nasty GOP people, you see.

thebrokenrattle on February 11, 2013 at 5:04 PM

When Lefties are confronted with blatant hypocrisy from their Cultural and Spiritual Leaders, might they question, just for a second, that maybe their Salvation might not be delivered by Big Government, and that they might be useful idiots for the power-hungry?

visions on February 11, 2013 at 5:07 PM

Two sets of rules. One for liberals, and one for everyone else.

Socialism is never for the socialist.

CurtZHP on February 11, 2013 at 5:20 PM

If the GOP Congress-critters don’t run a few of Obummer’s Anti-Romney Cayman Island ads in Lew’s hearing, I will be very, very disappointed.

KS Rex on February 11, 2013 at 5:58 PM

HA needs to a tally of all the hypocritical things Team Barry accused Romney and W over.

Just start a damn scroll…

budfox on February 11, 2013 at 6:45 PM

If the GOP Congress-critters don’t run a few of Obummer’s Anti-Romney Cayman Island ads in Lew’s hearing, I will be very, very disappointed.

KS Rex on February 11, 2013 at 5:58 PM

I’d start preparing yourself for disappointment.

ChrisL on February 11, 2013 at 6:56 PM

They will just spin it the other way.

tomas on February 11, 2013 at 7:48 PM

Oh for the love of God, last time a Treasury nominee was up, they fielded a freaking all-but-tried-and-convicted TAX EVADER. No way in hell is this going to be any different. Lew is going to skate right through with absolutely no resistance to speak of from the Repubs.

gryphon202 on February 11, 2013 at 9:33 PM

Just how many jobs did Citi off-shore when Lew was there?
How’s that Bangalore(?) call center working out?
Obama accuses Romney of cheating on his taxes….
Geitner cheated on his taxes.
Obama accuses Romney of off-shoring jobs while at Bain….
Citi off-shored jobs while Lew was at Citi.

This is just too easy.

When better crooks are found, they’ll be Democrat candidates for office.

And when will Corzine be prosecuted for stealing $1.6-Billion from his clients accounts?

Another Drew on February 11, 2013 at 10:45 PM

HA needs to a tally of all the hypocritical things Team Barry accused Romney and W over.

Just start a damn scroll…

budfox on February 11, 2013 at 6:45 PM

Great idea.

BallisticBob on February 11, 2013 at 11:08 PM

“Shut up” they explained.

MunDane68 on February 11, 2013 at 11:24 PM

Expecting any sort of logical consistency from the Left is setting yourself up for disappointment. Going back at least to Lenin, they justify any lie, any deceit, any trick, and any act which helps them gain, hold, or expand power.

You can only have an honest discussion with a dead leftist; silence is as close to the truth as they ever get.

Adjoran on February 12, 2013 at 5:16 AM

Nothing odd about it. If you are a member, or an enthusiastic supporter, of The Party you are pure of heart and have only the best of intentions, so whatever you do is okay. You are always given the benefit of the doubt and it is always assumed there is a simple innocuous explanation for anything that on the surface seems untoward.

However, if you are not a member of The Party you are assumed to be a black hearted evil greedy bastard with only the most selfish of intentions. You do not get the benefit of the doubt and it is always assumed you are up to no good and have been caught.

farsighted on February 12, 2013 at 8:09 AM

“oddly silent”? Nothing odd about that, or the media silence.

MT on February 12, 2013 at 8:42 AM

I always thought the “I’m Candidate X, and I approve this message” thing was silly, but I’m reaching a point where blatantly false ads like, well, every one coming from the D side last year, should be followed up with a “What you just heard is a complete lie. The candidate in this ad just lied to your face.”

But then, that probably still would’ve only appeared on the Romney ads. Never mind.

I guess what we need to do is change Shakespeare’s line by inserting “journalism professors” in place of (or in addition to) “lawyers.”

BKeyser on February 12, 2013 at 10:00 AM

I see nothing odd about this, everybody with at least two active brain cells knows that the double standards have always have been in effect. Democrats are not held to what we call normal standards, while most Republicans are held to stringent standards. Of course, all this is predicated on the degree of corruption that is allowable.

savage24 on February 12, 2013 at 11:17 AM

You’re expecting the left to make sense. Ain’t gonna happen! Honestly, this pointing out how hypocritical they are, constantly, is getting a little boring. And they’re just ignoring it anyway. Liberals don’t have to make sense, they can say anything, about anyone, at any time, and should remain unchallenged. They should not have to prove the validity in what they assert, we sheep should just accept they are our betters and live with it.

Boats48 on February 12, 2013 at 12:21 PM

This help’s explain his signature. It’s the zeroes in his Cayman Islands investment account.

Bitter Clinger on February 12, 2013 at 12:31 PM