by Benjamin J. Kirby
A guy named Barney Bishop -- "outspoken advocate for the free enterprise system" -- who evidently used to be the Executive Director of the Democratic Party of Florida, has a piece out in Sunshine State News today about how he's voting for Mitt Romney.
First of all, Barney, under the guise of his early-90s directorship of the state party, is still wearing and evidently abusing the totally inapplicable label of "Democrat" for shock value. We'll get to his ridiculous piece in a moment, but first, let's look at Barney himself.
Let's partake in a little exercise. I'll list the credentials and associations of a person, and you tell me what political party this mystery person is affiliated with:
- Contributor to BIZPAC Review, a "source for conservative politics, conservative opinion, business news and local news in South Florida."
- ...has appeared on national Fox News and Fox Business News, discussing such issues as mega-resorts and over-regulation by the EPA
- ...served on the Inaugural Committee for Governor Rick Scott, Florida’s 45th Governor
- ...appointed by Governor Jeb Bush to a term on the Florida Agricultural & Mechanical University Board of Trustees
- Former CEO of Associated Industries of Florida (your replacement is former Congressman Tom Feeney)
Any ideas yet? How about when Chelsea d'Hemecourt, an associate at your consulting firm, tweets this: Enjoyed listening to @jackabramoff today @CapitalCityTigerBay!
You "enjoyed" listening to the likes of Jack Abramoff, you have your own set of problems. But then again, you work for Barney Bishop, the man who lists the above things in his own biography.
The article starts out with a theft -- the theft of the pretty successful two-term agenda of the Clinton Administration.
In 1992, I was the executive director of the Florida Democratic Party. I managed political operations for the Democrats in one of the largest swing states in our nation. Our nominee, Bill Clinton, went on to win the presidency, and he fostered eight prosperous years in our nation’s history. He delivered balanced budgets and surpluses that reduced the nation’s debt. Clinton was the type of Democrat I’ve supported my whole life, fiscally conservative while still focused on the needs of the hard-working middle class. Clinton famously declared, “The era of big government is over.” Barack Obama is a completely different kind of Democrat.
Clinton's legacy is certainly not Bishop's to steal. First of all, I'd remind you that Clinton actually lost Florida in 1992. Who was Executive Director of the Florida Democratic Party in 1992? That's right. Barney Bishop, who offers up a nice bit of snake oil on his own LinkedIn page about his time at the Party and the presidential election:
...we played the critical role whereby Bill Clinton won the vote at the FDP State Convention in December of 1991 which kicked off his successful run for the White House.
Still lost Florida to George H.W. Bush.
Lost it. Lost. It. By 100,000 votes.
Moving on, Bishop decided to go after Obama. And he's awfully careless about it:
In every challenge that faces our nation, Obama sees a solution that can only come with another government-spending program. He fails to harness the ingenuity of entrepreneurs; instead he actually places obstacles, like burdensome regulation, in front of their path to progress.
Two things to take apart there.
First, the idea that Obama is somehow the big spender when it comes to his presidential contemporaries. He is not:
Second is the well-debunked Republican talking point that Obama is some kind of massive over-regulator. He is not. The over-regulation myth has been debunked by brighter minds than mine, like Cass Sunstein, who rightly pointed out that "the administration of George W. Bush imposed far higher regulatory costs than did the Obama administration in its first two years."
Republican-backed business groups have been trying to paint President Obama as the King of Regulations for a long time. Remember the National Federation of Independent Business campaign to whine and complain about regulations that weren't actually there? This is all part of the same sorry picture.
Bishop goes after the Affordable Care Act next:
Perhaps no better Obama policy reflects the extreme level of economic interference than the heavy-handed nationalization of our health care. Instead of expanding choice and free-market opportunities for families, it limits options and place a new tax on individuals.
Yes, because Lord knows we shouldn't do anything about health care costs:
How do you spend a professional lifetime in the world of public policy and politics and seriously suggest that we need no "economic interference" in the health care market?
Well, you can almost predict what's coming next:
With Obama’s failed stimulus program and other reckless spending, the nation’s debt has increased more in his first term than it did during the eight years of George W. Bush’s presidency.
First part: a lie. Damn, how many times does a blogger have to link to this chart? Thanks to the stimulus, we're on the plus-side of the ledger for job creation.
Second part: also a lie!
Whether he thinks you're stupid, or just gullible, he decided to go ahead and dive into the politics. His comments are remarkably clumsy:
Worse still, is the Obama campaign's persisting narrative that economic investment is bad or should be punished. Specifically, the attacks on the work Mitt Romney did in private equity demonstrate a dangerous lack of understanding of how important risk-taking investors are in the U.S. economy.
These few sentences are chock full of lies, misrepresentations, and red herrings. First, the Obama Campaign has no "persisting narrative" against economic investment. In fact, it's the Obama Administration who has implemented successful economic policies. Second, the attacks on Romney's work at Bain Capital, a private equity firm, aren't being made because of a lack of understanding of investors and their role in the economy. Romney is being attacked because he lied about his time at Bain Capital.
No, there's nothing wrong with investing in businesses or companies. Interesting, though, that Mr. Bishop fails to mention what he Obama Campaign is actually attacking with respect to Romney, his (in-question) time at Bain, and his practice of off-shoring money.
Up next from Barney Bishop is damn near the best part of his magical work of fiction:
Contrary to the failed Obama policies, informed by his experience in the private sector, Mitt Romney has a plan for cutting and capping the government’s spending to bring us balanced budgets.
Really? Because if there's a plan, I certainly haven't heard it yet. Neither has anyone else for that matter.
In closing, Barney Bishop says, "I am a Democrat, and I plan to remain a Democrat. But, in this election, I will be voting for the candidate I see best fit to restore our nation to economic greatness. I’m voting for Mitt Romney."
Barney, you're no Democrat. You're a cheap opportunist. And Barney, a guy like you ought to know: that's bad for business.