I wonder if Bill Burton and crew knew about this and greenlit the smear anyway or if they didn’t care enough to even find out. Why would they? The point of calling Romney a murderer is to keep him on the defensive; the more ridiculous the charge is, the more media/online oxygen it sucks up and the less air there is for Mitt’s own attacks on O to breathe. They tried a straightforward offensive against Romney’s complex private equity record a few months ago but the results were inconclusive. Now they’re trying again with a bolder, simpler narrative: Romney’s layoffs literally killed people. If you’re a low-information voter who pays attention to this stuff in bits and pieces, a story you’re half-listening to about a rich guy and a steelworker and a plant closing and a young wife tragically dying from cancer sounds really bad, even if it’s a gross smear. In fact, the grosser the smear, the more compelling the half-listened-to story seems. Right, Harry?
Question: Knowing what we know now about the timeline of all this, what’s left of the accusation in the original smear ad? What is it, precisely, that Bain is being faulted for doing or not doing? They shouldn’t have closed down the plant because … it was unfair to expect the workers who were laid off to ever find new jobs with insurance? It was negligent not to predict that some workers’ wives might get laid off too and wouldn’t find a new job for years before they became ill? There appears to be no actual policy or business critique here. It’s just a string of events spread over five whole years, with certain key data omitted, and you’re supposed to infer causation without really being told why or how. This is what the Unicorn Prince has come to after promising four years ago to heal America or whatever. Perfect.