Friday, July 20, 2012

Only wrong if a Obama says it

So apparently, every right-wing media outlet in this country got a severe case of "failed primary school reading comprehension" this week.  The president gave another speech, as politician are wont to do during a campaign.  During this speech he made a point that pretty much no one with two neurons to rub together for sparks denies, no man is an island.  If you grew up in a human society, there were things that you benefited from that you did not construct, devise, pay for, or implement yourself.  In fact, those things were paid for by all of us.  Things like schools teaching us knowledge and skills, roads to move ourselves and supplies on, police to protect us from criminals, fire departments to keep us from waking up on fire, etc.

However, Republicans these days like to portray themselves and their wealthy backers as some kind of Promethean ubermenschen.  They got where they were with no one helping them.  No one ever did anything for them.  They may as well have sprung into the world fully formed as Athena from the brain of Zeus, summoned their first factory into being by the sheer force of their will and spoke into being their educated work force and the roads on which they ship their products!  And since they have consumed nothing of these tax funded programs and services, they owe very little to nothing to the system.  As such, asking them to pay their share is punishing them, attacking them, looting their coffers to benefit people that never did anything for them.

Well, in the president's speech he reminded people that even if you are one of those lucky few who can get a business off the ground and succeed in turning your ideas into real profit, you DID have help getting there.  Our infrastructure, our educational system, our service men and women all aided you and still aid you.  To be specific he said...

"If you were successful, somebody along the line gave you some help. There was a great teacher somewhere in your life. Somebody helped to create this unbelievable American system that we have that allowed you to thrive. Somebody invested in roads and bridges. If you've got a business -- you didn't build that. Somebody else made that happen. The Internet didn't get invented on its own. Government research created the Internet so that all the companies could make money off the Internet.
"The point is, is that when we succeed, we succeed because of our individual initiative, but also because we do things together.... We say to ourselves, ever since the founding of this country, you know what, there are some things we do better together. That's how we funded the GI Bill. That's how we created the middle class. That's how we built the Golden Gate Bridge or the Hoover Dam. That's how we invented the Internet. That's how we sent a man to the moon. We rise or fall together as one nation and as one people, and that's the reason I'm running for President -- because I still believe in that idea. You're not on your own, we're in this together." (full speech here)
 Clear as day to me.  Just because you've got a business doesn't mean you created the infrastructure on which that business relies.  But follow me now, follow me through the wormhole to Planet Wingnutia...
President Obama insulted small business owners during a campaign stop in Roanoke, Va. on Saturday.
“If you’ve got a business — you didn’t build that,” Obama told the crowd. “Somebody else made that happen.” (Todd Starnes)
Well if you take out the surrounding paragraphs, yes, it looks like he's insulting people.  Oddly enough, Todd gives the paragraph after that where Obama lauds both individual initiative AND the power of working together.  A paragraph that oddly demonstrates that small business owners aren't being attacked here, but so much for that.  Hell, he even posts the whole transcript after the "insult" quip, but that line at the top is all that we need on Wingnutia.  So of course the right-wing blogs, Fox News, and half of the Republicans I know on facebook have just had a field day with this.

But context loss isn't the only phenomenon we find on Planet Wingnutia.  On this strange world, apparently the law of contradiction doesn't hold (or does and doesn't at the same time... without it things get a bit weird).  Because of this we now have this strange video of Mitt Romney

Did you catch that?  It is subtle.  Mitt Romney first bashes Obama for the Fox News version of the speech.  He then turns right around and get the crowd cheering during the following statement.
 There are a lot of people in government who help us and allow us to have an economy that works and allow entrepreneurs and business leaders of various kinds to start businesses and create jobs. We all recognize that. That's an important thing
So...  Barack Obama says business owners didn't get there on their own, they had their own initiative AND the help of the American system, the help of all of us.  "Boooooo!  Un-American socialist drivel!"  Mitt Romney say owners didn't get there on their own, they had their own initiative AND the help of the American system, the help of all of us.  "Wooo!  *cheering*  USA!  USA!"

That's some double-think that would make Engsoc proud.  It isn't really that hard, you see.  When Romney tells you there are five lights, all you have to do is repeat back that there are five lights.  Granted, "it's only wrong when the other guy does" it isn't really a strange tactic for Romney.  Looks like a fun election season.

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