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Centrist Doubts, by @DavidOAtkins

Centrist doubts

by David Atkins

Pass the smelling salts:

Propelled by a torrent of blistering television advertisements, President Obama is successfully invoking Mitt Romney’s career at Bain Capital to raise questions about Mr. Romney’s commitment to the middle class, strategists in both parties say, as the candidates engage in a critical summer duel to set the terms for this fall.

Despite doubts among some centrist Democrats about the wisdom of attacking Mr. Romney’s business career, millions of dollars in negative commercials painting him as a ruthless executive who pursued profits at the expense of jobs are starting to make an impact on undecided voters in swing states, according to strategists from both sides.

The petty, comfortable, centrist bipartisan fetishism of Thomas Friedman and his ilk is hypothetically excusable in its misguided earnestness.

But to claim that attacking Romney's vulture capitalist record as a classic Gordon Gekko archetype is somehow going to make the President seem "anti-business" is so absurd it cannot possibly be in earnest.

The Gordon Gekkos of America are not the "business community." People who actually make real things and provide real services in the real world are the "business community." For better or for worse, the Koch Brothers, Bill Gates and Sam Waltons can legitimately claim the mantle of real American business. Vulture capitalists kind cannot. And yes, even moderate, undecided voters in swing states can tell the difference.

There are no authentic "centrist doubts" on this issue. There are only politicians who fear losing the Wall Street gravy train if they call out the vulture capitalists for what they are.