"It profits me but little that a vigilant authority always protects the tranquillity of my pleasures and constantly averts all dangers from my path, without my care or concern, if this same authority is the absolute master of my liberty and my life."

--Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Logic 101: Bain v. Fast and Furious

President Obama recently said in an interview that Romney, as chief executive, has to take responsibility for what occurred at Bain on his watch:

SCOTT THUMAN: What about Bain Capital? It’s a big issue for the past 24 hours right now. Mitt Romney’s campaign says he left in ’99, yours says it’s 2000, there’s a significant difference, is he being dishonest with the American public?
PRESIDENT OBAMA: Well, here’s what I know, we were just talking about responsibility and as president of the United States, it’s pretty clear to me that I’m responsible for folks who are working in the federal government and you know, Harry Truman said the buck stops with you.
Now, my understanding is that Mr. Romney attested to the SEC, multiple times, that he was the chairman, CEO and president of Bain Capital and I think most Americans figure if you are the chairman, CEO and president of a company that you are responsible for what that company does.
Ultimately Mr. Romney, I think, is going to have to answer those questions, because if he aspires to being president one of the things you learn is, you are ultimately responsible for the conduct of your operations, but again that’s probably a question that he’s going to have to answer and I think that’s a legitimate part of the campaign.

Putting aside the undisputed fact that Romney was on a leave of absence during the period in question when Bain supposedly was "outsourcing" jobs, and that, during that period, he was doing a good thing -- saving the Salt Lake City Olympics -- consider this logic.

1.  If Romney is responsible as a chief executive for outsourcing by his company, Bain.

2.  Then Obama is responsible as a chief executive for gunrunning by his agencies in the Fast and Furious program in which more than 2,000 weapons were "walked" to Mexican drug cartels for reasons that have never been explained.

3. So Romney is responsible for a private business doing something that is legal.

4. While Obama is responsible for the federal government doing something that is illegal.

How exactly does this analogy help Obama? 

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