Republicans ranging from Limbaugh to Giuliani have condemned the ad and the anti-Romney campaign, saying it plays right into Obama's hands. That would be enough to make me kindly disposed towards the ad - I can't recall the last time I agreed with anything Limbaugh and Giuliani have said - but Tyler made some good, objective points that make a lot of sense.
We're in a primary, not a general election, he said of the contest now going on among Republican contenders. This is a time when candidates are supposed to be vetted by the press, and then voters.
Some economists have joined the critique of the ads, saying that what Romney did at Bain embodies Schumpeter's notion of "creative destruction," as one of the necessary, healthy engines of capitalism. I'm Darwinian in my theory of media evolution - see my The Soft Edge - so I'm well aware of Joseph Schumpeter's work. But Tyler had a valid response to this, too: it doesn't matter whether you dress up what Romney did at Bain in sophisticated economic theory. Romney did preside over the dismantling of weak companies Bain had acquired, and profited from this.
And Romney apparently enjoyed it. Vultures may be part of the natural world, and play a role in evolution and survival of the fittest. But that doesn't mean we have to like them, or want one to be President.
Beyond that, as I said last week about Gingrich's handwringing about Romney Pac-group attack ads on Gingrich: people are not that influenced by them, anyway, people can separate truth from falsity, stop whining.