This week, it seems like everyone in a tie or smart business shirt has been jabbering on about how or if Mitt Romney's record as a Professional Millionaire at Bain Capital reflects poorly on his ability to be a job creating President. And while the Obama campaign has been sticking to the line that Romney's record as a guy who bought companies and gutted them means he'd be a terrible President, one Democrat went too far, saying that Romney's job was to go around "raping companies and leaving them in debt." Too far, dude. He was pranking those companies.
Basically, Mitt Romney's job at Bain Capital was sort of like Richard Gere's character's job in Pretty Woman, hopefully minus the handsy Julia Roberts-slapping assistant. But just because his job was to be a jerk professionally doesn't make him a corporate rapist.
Rep. Jim Clyburn is the third highest ranking Democrat in the US House of Representatives, and today, he appeared on MSNBC's Jansing & Co. During the program, he described Mitt Romney's business record like someone might describe Ben Roethlisberger's romantic reputation.
This is not an attack on free enterprise. I want say to you, I don't take contributions from payday lenders. I refuse to do that. That's free enterprise...There's something about that enterprise that I have a problem with. And there's something about raping companies and leaving them in debt and setting up Swiss bank accounts and corporate businesses in the Grand Caymans. I have a real serious problem with that."
Clyburn's otherwise salient point is lost in the really, really dumb word choice. As Jamil Smith of the Melissa Harris Perry Blog points out, comparing things that are not rape to rape is a terrible idea. And in case Clyburn or anyone else of any political persuasion needs some help, here's a quick Guide to Things That Are Not Like Rape.
Things that are not like rape: Insurance. The Affordable Care Act. One team beating another team at a sport. Bain Capital. Circuses. Using a Nirvana song against Courtney Love's wishes. The government making you go through screening before you get a gun. Being Johnny Depp and having paparazzi take your picture. And every other thing in the world that doesn't involve forceful penetration of a sexual orifice. Rape's kind of a singular experience in that way.
The Obama administration was quick to disavow Clyburn's word choice, saying they "have no place in this conversation."