July 19, 2012

New Obama ad criticizes Romney for saying that Obama said "If you’ve got a business — you didn’t build that. Somebody else made that happen"

This is a ballsy move:



Obviously, Obama said those words, and Romney supporters have seized upon those words. Rush Limbaugh has been playing and replaying that line. Charles Krauthammer said: "I think Obama has made the gaffe of the year when he said if you created a business, you didn't build it. That phrase, 'you didn't build it' should be hung around Obama until the end of his presidency."

And now, here comes the Obama campaign not only running Obama's self-damaging words but showing Romney repeating them with a critical edge. This takes nerve... nerve or genuine, outright fear that Obama's garbled statement will be used to destroy him. They must confront it and take some of the edge off it. And maybe they've decided they shouldn't worry about breathing more life into it. It's alive and on the loose and they need to give chase.

The idea of the ad is to get us to see that despite the awkward line that's so useful to his opponent, Obama was mostly saying something we agree about: That people don't succeed entirely on their own, but benefit along the way with the help of others. The ad has text on screen that says: "Mitt Romney is launching a false attack," after Romney quoting the quote "That's not what [Obama] said," and after showing Obama saying the quote, "Mitt Romney will say anything."

You could say if you listen sympathetically to Obama saying the quote, you could understand the quote in a way that's not ridiculous and disturbingly left-wing.  And if you get that far, then Romney's use of it could be understood as "a false attack." [But false is still the wrong word.] But why would Romney not use that quote for all it's worth? Since when does decency/integrity/honesty require that a politician interpret his opponent's words in a sympathetic light and give him the benefit of the doubt? The quote is a gift to Romney and he's accepted it.

It's like Romney saying "Corporations are people." That's a gift to Obama's people and they are using it. They don't feel any ethical compulsion to stop and say we understand what he really meant. I mean, I love the way the new Obama ad — trying to get us to understand — includes this additional part of the context: "We succeed because of our individual initiative, but also because we do things together."

When I heard that the first time, I said: Yeah, corporations are people. We do things together. Sometimes when people succeed doing things together, they form a corporation as a way of working together. But you'll never hear Obama say that. He will use the 'Corporations are people' line for full mockery effect, never admitting that he knows why it makes sense and why it really isn't anything we disagree about.

If Obama offered to stop using stop using "corporations are people" if Romney would stop using "you didn't build that"....





  
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167 comments:

Bob Ellison said...

Ballsy = stupid?

rhhardin said...

Limbaugh today had the best analysis, that Obama isn't backing off because he's doing what he does, community organizing.

You set the audience against the other guys.

Vote for me and I'll get you your stuff.

harrogate said...

There is no way that Obama would ever offer such a deal, hopefully everyone knows this that is voting. But anyway, how hilarious is it that three people voted that Romney would say "yes because he prefers more pleasantness"?

Very hilarious.

Matthew Sablan said...

Of course Obama would offer such a deal. Remember when he agreed to public financing for the 2008 campaign?

leslyn said...

No kidding.

Lyssa said...

I voted for the first one, but I don't really think that it's about payback. It's more about, first, you just don't play that way in politics. There are no ground rules, no agreements like that. Second, because it would be very stupid, strategically, for Romney to make an agreement like that. Corporations are people is over, whatever damage it may have done (and I don't think it's much) is done. Romney can milk this thing all the way to the election - he has a lot more to gain than Obama in exploiting each other's gaffes.

campy said...

That phrase, 'you didn't build it' should be hung around Obama until the end of his presidency."

All the way to 2016? Seems extreme.

Matthew Sablan said...

If he gets re-elected, sure, all the way to 2016. Bush II will have plenty of silly statements remembered forever too.

Matthew Sablan said...

Heck, people still insist that they did not inhale (or have sexual relations with THAT WOMAN). Presidents are meant for mockery.

tim maguire said...

Both require explanation to not be damaging. If both are explained to a fair-minded person, Romney comes out the better (no matter how sympathetic you are to Obama, it doesn't get better than "society can't exist without infrastructure, so all your money are belong to us").

So it's not a fair trade, Obama will have to throw something else into the deal to make it worth Romney's accepting it.

How about identity verification on online donations? No, that's too much. Vast sums of other people's money are Obama's lifeblood; his campaign couldn't survive without illegal cash. How about getting honest about the Bain documents? That might make it even.

edutcher said...

No, it's not anything but stupid because they're trying to split hairs over what the meaning of "is" is.

This is like Lurch telling people he voted for it before he voted against it.

And I went for 1, largely because it looks like this is kicking the Romster out in front.

Axelrod and Plouffe tried their best and then Zero had to open his big, fat mouth and let the truth out.

Issob Morocco said...

Althouse didn't say ballsy, someone else did. She is just giving chase to the elusive but ever present Obama Straw man!

brainpimp said...

"outright fear that Obama's garbled statement will be used to destroy him"

Ann, don't be dense. It wasn't grabled. He said EXACTLY what he meant to say. How can you sit here and shill for this guy?

Are you so invested in protecting your bad decision last time that you will sacrifice another election just to protect own psyche'?

Christopher in MA said...

President Barack J. Simpson.

I didn't say it. You can't prove I said it. Nobody saw me say it.

But do go on, lefties, tell us how George W. Bush was the tangle-tongued dunce.

EDH said...

I pointed-out the Obama sympathetic "who built (actually invested in) roads and bridges" interpretation in a comment to an earlier post, but concluded Obama had let bleed out what he really thought.

But here's the point Romney should emphasize: Obama really doesn't say "We succeed because of our individual initiative, but also because we do things together."

Here's what Obama said:

Somebody invested in roads and bridges. If you’ve got a business — you didn’t build that. Somebody else made that happen.

That isn't "us" or "we" did that together.

That's "we" used the government against "them".

Fprawl said...

Germans?
Forget it, he's rolling.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V8lT1o0sDwI

LordSomber said...

Pretty weak ad.

traditionalguy said...

Thanks again Axelrod. You just repeated the hostility to individuals owning a business and tried to say it's sort of true about public works. What if all public works went on strike?

That's masking a basic Obama hostility of crony fascism and EPA Crucifictions with Woody Guthrie's idea that this land is your land, this land is my land and that rents must be paid for its use.

Sorry Dems. That line is still the old raw Marxist call to war against the American people owning a private business.

Obama was raised hating bourgeoisie and he plans on extermination us ASAP.

SomeoneHasToSayIt said...

The full text of Obama's remarks that day, are even worse than that one line. lol.

He accidentally revealed how he actually thinks.

Almost makes me doubt my atheism.

wyo sis said...

This reminds me so much of school kids who just simply won't back down on something stupid they've said. They insist everyone else has to see it from their perspective. It's the kind of thinking that unformed minds rely on. The adult world says "OK I messed up on that one I'll have to do better next time.

Roman said...

When the dinosaur media has you back and will not take you to task for obvious falsehoods, you can say whatever you want. Too many people only listen to sound bites and read only headlines. "If it is print or on the TV it must be true."

Ann Althouse said...

"Althouse didn't say ballsy, someone else did. She is just giving chase to the elusive but ever present Obama Straw man!"

No, I said it. The link has different content.

Issob Morocco said...

Althouse also got snookered because she fallen for the 3 card montee Axelrod switcheroo and has misquoted the Obama line. The one in the ad is not what Romney reread at Irwin PA.

"In the ad, Romney says that Obama revealed his thoughts on business when he said this, "If you’ve got a business -- you didn’t build that. Somebody else made that happen."

Watch the Obama ad again, the One doesn't say business but success.

Try again Ann as this one you missed.

rehajm said...

If both are explained to a fair-minded person, Romney comes out the better (no matter how sympathetic you are to Obama, it doesn't get better than "society can't exist without infrastructure, so all your money are belong to us").

When 'you didn't build that' is taken in context with 'I'm always struck by people who think, well, it must be because I was just so smart', the' he-was-talking-about-the-bridges' defense doesn't hold water. Spin aside, the intent was to mock successful people...

Issob Morocco said...

Althouse is missing on my humor like she is missing on the Obama ad line switch!

Ann Althouse said...

"No, I said it. The link has different content."

I moved the link to avoid the impression that "ballsy" isn't my word. It is!

BJK said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
garage mahal said...

"I think Obama has made the gaffe of the year when he said if you created a business, you didn't build it."

Of course Obama was talking about roads and bridges. But oh well!

Is it a gaffe when your opponents have to edit it?

Bob Ellison said...

Ballsy = stupid in this case. Marketing is a tough game, but in general, you try to call attention to strengths. Don't call attention to weakness. Don't even speak out on weakness! Don't.

Obama is doing everything wrong here.

The Farmer said...

I guess it's ballsy in the way it's ballsy for an insane man to strip naked and drag his piano out in the middle of the street to entertain his neighbors.

Tom Spaulding said...

Ann, why would Obama be taking ANY heat for his version of Warren's "really well put,...plain spoken statement of the truth, with a passionate edge that spins some listeners toward the idea of higher taxes for the rich and irritates the hell out of those who hear the power of these words and can't point to any actual misstatement."?

Of course, several of us did completely refute Warren/Obama's idiocy yesterday, and noted your conspicuous absence in defending this "truth" once we did so.

Powerful words, indeed.

Issob Morocco said...

Althouse I know you said Ballsy, but you need to watch the ad and then Romney's Irwin PA speech and Obama's speech. Axelrod switched the edit to the line about success not about starting a business.

That is how con men work.

FloridaSteve said...

No offense but your poll questions lately have been almost comically one sided.

The Farmer said...

That might be the most counterproductive political ad I've ever seen. What a dunce.

el polacko said...

"ballsy" ? how about 'insane'? we've all heard what barack said and, no matter how you try to slice it, it comes out the same: there's nothing special about you, you don't deserve the credit for anything you've accomplished because you couldn't have done it without government/"somebody else".
no, ann, we do not "all agree" that this is a truism. some folks really do 'make it on their own' and don't try to give me any crap about the roads and bridges...all of our taxes went to build those and they are used by serial killers and entrepreneurs alike.

Issob Morocco said...

Nevertheless, the Obama campaign, in the ad, says it's not true. "The only problem?," the ad text reads. "That's not what he said." It then turns to Obama, from the same Roanoke campaign speech, who said, "If you were successful, somebody along the line gave you some help. There was a great teacher somewhere in your life."

Which is true. Obama did say that. But he also said the line that Romney says he said-- "If you’ve got a business --you didn’t build that. Somebody else made that happen."

And, in fact, later in the ad the Obama campaign actually plays the clip that Romney quotes of Obama, at about :40 second spot.

From Weekly Standard.

Karnival said...

This is horrible grasping at straws. He said what he said. '...you didn't build that business'. And it's not new. Just months earlier, Elizabeth Warren in Massachusetts started her Senate campaign with the same words. Back then, the Left was all swooning over her 'strength' and her ability to say it like it is. Then she got smacked about it.

Months later, Obama, in a candid thought, says the same thing. It is a philosophy that shows itself when the left are let loose with their own thoughts.

Obama's campaign is hoping to tell people to not believe what they heard. They are always telling us to not believe what we see or hear. What you actually heard was blah, blah- this or that.

This is insane. What he said a few days ago, and what Elizabeth Warren said a few months ago, is very revealing, but not new or surprising. It is their philosophy. And frankly it is so utterly naive and shows such a complete lack of understanding of just what it takes to create, open, and build a business.

Roads? Schools? Defense? We all pay for those. Especially businesses. But, do the roads, schools, military guarantee a businesses success? Who does that? The individual. The effort, courage, risk-taking, money, time of life, diligence, and sweat of an individual or team of individuals. Not society. I'm out here busting my ass every day of every week. Every day- weekends included. I don't see anyone else doing it for me, nor do I want them to. Roads? Gosh thanks. I think I pay my share of it. If not, take that $500 million back from Solyndra and pay for some bridge repair somewhere.

Jesus...just ask the small business closing in the strip center down the street from you in any city- how come they're not making it? They have roads in front of them. Wasn't that enough?

Obama does not now, and has never understood the free market. He just doesn't. And at this point, its just fucking embarrassing listening to him. The only thing more excruciating is listening to the media try to paint this over.

His time has come to go. Period.

bagoh20 said...

Sure, we succeed because we do do things together, but that "we" does not include people like Obama or the government, which pays for nothing and actually does very little productive that does not cost the rest of us more than it's worth.

His entire point is that we help each other succeed through government. That's exactly what he meant, and that's exactly why it's worthy of mockery.

Government is at best a necessity like dental work, you need to do it, but finding a way to succeed without it is much less pain and expense, and who in their right mind wants more than they need, except the ones doing it for a living.

The more these two "gaffes" are explained - the better Romney looks, so keep at it Mr. President. We're already mad about how you said it, and now we can get mad about how you meant it.

Ballsy = desperately stupid, but what else could he do?.

rehajm said...

That might be the most counterproductive political ad I've ever seen.

At this point in the campaign if you ignore what they say and watch what they do, the Obama camp must believe this speech they were so proud of is hurting them enough to risk making it worse.

MaggotAtBroad&Wall said...

It's bizarre for Obama to assert that Romney is misquoting him while demonstrably proving that Romney is not misquoting. I strongly urge the Obama campaign to spend tons of money running this ad in as many markets as possible.

Issob Morocco said...

Cheers Althouse and the elusive Obama Straw Man!

Ballsy is saying Obama is ballsy when he is really sneaky and conniving willing to do and say anything to get and keep power.

What you should be asking is who is the the straw man that made the small business happen?

Ann Althouse said...

I'm sure it's garbled. At first, I thought he meant to say "you didn't build that on your own." But after listening to it many times, I focused on the preceding sentence "Somebody invested in roads and bridges." Based on the inflection, I think when he said:

"Somebody invested in roads and bridges — if you’ve got a business — you didn’t build that. Somebody else made that happen."

What he thought he was saying was:

Somebody invested in roads and bridges — I'm talking to anybody who's got a business — you didn’t build those roads and bridges. Somebody else made that happen.

Now, the slip matters because it is revelatory of what he really thinks. Even if he'd said it better, his opponents would use it against him, the way the similar Elizabeth Warren quote is used. But he said it badly, and that made it really horrible and funny and usable. So... here we go.

I have said repeatedly that the core idea is actually a shared belief. But there is a problem with a govt official lecturing people about this. It's one thing for a business owner to say: I couldn't have done this on my own. I own my success to my parents, my wife, to this community, to my church, and to the grace of God.

It's another thing for govt officials to butt in and tell you you haven't accomplished your own accomplishments. But it's not even them telling you that. They're saying it to another crowd, to the people who are supposed for feel unsuccessful, trying to make them feel entitled to wealth redistribution, as carried out by the government official who is making the speech.

That's the problem!

chickelit said...

The left is hoping and pretend-praying that someone stupid will stand up and say that Romney denies that we all work together and accomplish things together. That's what they're trying to do here with this train of thought, IMHO. Gaffe or not, what Obama said about denying initiative is very revealing.

Obama's got a gaping hole to plug and he wants to raise taxes to do this instead of taking a hard look at the folly of promising more free stuff for votes.

The choice in November is to reign in spending or to jack up taxes.

bagoh20 said...

No wonder so many lawyers are in politics. Like fish in water.

It's a game where you carefully prepare your words and then later completely deconstruct them and rebuild whatever you need. It's verbal Leggos. Maybe Obama can get John Roberts to explain it to us.

a psychiatrist who learned from veterans said...

It is ballsy and a good counter-punch. To paraphrase Clinton, it all depends on what "that" is. In the natural reading of the text 'that' is what you built. In Obama's version, it's the school that government organized. That's the 'that.' I really think now we need to move on to God who provided you oxygen; why without oxygen.. But wait, we're actually breathing oxygen which was pollution from a CO2 burning preCambrian plant so wait it was evolution. That Obama is a great dancer, learned from the Mick I guess. Got any more tunes, Mitt.

Darcy said...

Geez.

Bob Ellison said...

I'm sure it's garbled.

Yes, indeed, your comment is garbled. Great word, that.

Obama may believe what he said. If so, he's a socialist. If not, he's a liar. Let's choose! Socialist, or liar?

Issob Morocco said...

Althouse, being a mind reader is not your strong suit.

"I'm sure it's garbled. At first, I thought he meant to say "you didn't build that on your own." But after listening to it many times, I focused on the preceding sentence "Somebody invested in roads and bridges." Based on the inflection, I think when he said:

"Somebody invested in roads and bridges — if you’ve got a business — you didn’t build that. Somebody else made that happen."

What he thought he was saying was:

Somebody invested in roads and bridges — I'm talking to anybody who's got a business — you didn’t build those roads and bridges. Somebody else made that happen.

You are opening the door to your students to challenge your grades to them by saying "I didn't really mean that but this, but I just had a moment of bad cognitive association."

Tom Spaulding said...

Let me help you out here. Let's use the favorite tactic of the Left and personalize your comments, since "Government official" is not very ballsy:

It's another thing for Barack Obama to butt in and tell you you have accomplished your own accomplishments. But it's not even Obama telling you that. He is saying it to another crowd, to the people who are unsuccessful, trying to make them feel entitled to wealth redistribution, as carried out by Obama.

Less euphemism, more Plain Speech.

Marshal said...

"garage mahal said...
Of course Obama was talking about roads and bridges. But oh well!

Is it a gaffe when your opponents have to edit it?"

Actually Obama was claiming that indirect benefits justify the government taking whatever they think they can spend from anyone who has it. I'm pretty sure it's a gaffe when your supporters have to pretend your statements mean something other than what you said.

chickelit said...

Bob Elison noticed: Yes, indeed, your comment is garbled. Great word, that.

A garbled hunk of speech?

bagoh20 said...

If McCain said it, he'd be going senile, unstable and mentally lacking.

It's good to be teacher's pet. You still gotta be tough on him, but their is always redemption when you live in her heart.

PackerBronco said...

Who created the sculpture known as "The Pieta"? The answer is of course, Michelangelo. Now, certainly someone labored to extract the block of marble from an Italian quarry that Michangelo used, but all that person did was to extract a block of marble. The piece of art it was turned into was solely the creation of Michelangelo.

In the same way, businesses rely on the raw material and infrastructure available in our society, but they are built and created using the sweat, initiative, and guts of the entrepreneur.

So yes, the businessman DID build that just like Michelangelo is the sole creator of "The Pieta".

Issob Morocco said...

Bob Ellison,

I vote Lying Socialist, but I repeat myself.

yashu said...

The full text of Obama's remarks that day, are even worse than that one line. lol.

He accidentally revealed how he actually thinks.


Same thing happened with "the private sector is doing fine" line. That prompted the same "taken out of context" defense; but the full (con)text only made it worse, only corroborated O's opponents' interpretation.

PackerBronco said...

The basic thrust of Obama's message is that since you did not really build your business (the governemnt helped), the government has the right and the duty to walk in, seize your business, tax to death, and tell you exactly how it has to be run.

Because, you know, you didn't really build it and therefore you don't really own it.

rehajm said...

It's a game where you carefully prepare your words and then later completely deconstruct them and rebuild whatever you need. It's verbal Leggos

you've stumbled onto a billion dollar idea there. Except you didn't. Somebody else did that.

Richard Dolan said...

"I'm sure it's garbled."

That's how I heard it as well. But it doesn't help Obama any, and what he meant to say is just as damning. Roads and bridges don't pay for themselves, and neither do all those govt employees. We already have a steeply progressive tax structure, where the bottom 50% of income earners pays (net-net after transfer payments) no income tax, and the top 10% pays well over half. So, if the premise of his argument is that we're all in this together, why is the solution to expand the portion of the electorate paying no income tax? O's argument about 'we're all in this together' would logically lead to a kind of flat tax, where everyone pays something even as the rich pay more.

Darcy said...

"I have said repeatedly that the core idea is actually a shared belief."

Sure it is. But I don't believe the majority of American voters share this belief.

You have to twist yourself into knots explaining this "shared belief" and it still stinks of socialism.

Chuck66 said...

"I did vote for the bill. That was before I voted against it"

MaggotAtBroad&Wall said...

The other thing that's "funny" about this speech is that Obama is making the case for the wonderfulness of collective action, and yet prior to becoming president the thing that made him wealthy was engaging in one of the most solitary activities there is: writing books about himself.

Tristram said...

I really think he is taking to heart his admission that his big mistake was not doing a better job of communicating / telling a story. So here he is, telling a story about the other guy telling a story about how he told a story about something some almost Native American was telling about some straw men.

Nathan Alexander said...

Obama's original and revisionist comments need to be compared to the parable of the Little Red Hen.

When the bread is baked and is hot and aromatic, and the govt comes in and says, "I'll help you eat that," the taxpayers need to become Little Red Hens that say, "Oh no you won't! I'll vote you out of office first!"

Jim Gust said...

I made my first contribution ever to a Presidential campaign today. I bought one of the "I built it" T-shirts from the Romney campaign.

https://www.mittromney.com/donate/built-it-shirt

Obama was not wise to pick this fight.

Tom Spaulding said...

So, I guess the 1% has a question for the 99%, since we're all in this together:

WHAT THE HELL IS YOUR EXCUSE?

Tom Spaulding said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Hagar said...

It wasn't garbled - and it is beyond "socialism" and really creepy.

Lyle said...

The corporations are people is no where near the same in comparison. The corporations are people is actually a plus for Romney, I think... at least when it comes to pro-business moderates.

bagoh20 said...

Tristram,

Funny, and as crazy as it sounds, that is what we are discussing. It seems silly, but it really is the main question of the election, that and competence. The different ideologies are clear to pick from, even if the representatives are not the perfect examples, and the competence question isn't even close.

Ken said...

garage,

Of course Obama was talking about roads and bridges. But oh well!

Of course, this is an outright light. But oh well!!

Amartel said...

Oh, please, this is laughably bad and stupid and desperate. Also, "this seems crazy."

Romney direct quotes Obama's speech
Message: "but he didn't say that"
Footage of different quote from a different part of the Obama speech.
Bonus bipartisan teacher licking.

But, yeah, point taken: flat out lying while calling yourselves a Truth Squad is "ballsy."

Calypso Facto said...

"Somebody invested in roads and bridges — if you’ve got a business — you didn’t build that. Somebody else made that happen."

What he thought he was saying was:

Somebody invested in roads and bridges — I'm talking to anybody who's got a business — you didn’t build those roads and bridges. Somebody else made that happen.


Unconvincing. "That" is singular and obviously refers to the singular noun "business". But in the end, I think both versions expose Obama's class-warfare, us-against-them, eat-the-rich, partisan attitude, so ... win-win. Thanks to the Obamanauts for giving this MORE publicity.

Is it a gaffe when your opponents have to edit it?

What's the unedited quote you think is not a gaffe, garage? Please, do tell.

Blue@9 said...

"I think Obama has made the gaffe of the year when he said if you created a business, you didn't build it."

Of course Obama was talking about roads and bridges. But oh well!


Even if that is what he meant (speculative), he's wrong even within the communitarian worldview he espouses. Didn't that business owner pay taxes? Didn't he vote and participate politically in the process that led to those gov't decisions? Didn't we all build those roads and bridges together?

If he were honest he would have said, "Mr. Business owner, we built all those roads and bridges together, with your money and with government planning. Actually, the only people who didn't build these things are the poor folks who don't pay taxes."

W Wing said...

When Obama speaks without a teleprompter he is spectacularly inarticulate. During the 2008 campaign, and during his first year in office, Obama's handlers rarely ever let him speak in public without a teleprompter...now we know why. Rather than being a great orator he is instead an accident prone speaker. Remind me again, what is he really good at?

MayBee said...

Mitt Romney is lying when he claims we said we have always been at war with Eastasia.
We didn't say that. We said we've always been at war with Eastasia.

Mitch H. said...

Of course Obama was talking about roads and bridges. But oh well!

He was also talking about teachers, so screw that crap. Because "roads and bridges" is this season's Washington Monument defense. Yeah, Obama talks and talks and talks about "roads and bridges", but where did the stimulus money go? Somewhere north of 80% entirely towards government overhead and transfer payments, IIRC. Actual infrastructure like roads and bridges? Less than 10%. The Obama administration's favorite "infrastructure" investments? Massive malinvestment in worthless, useless high-speed rail and blind flailing in the general direction of "green energy", most of it pissed straight down a well.

Furthermore, the insufferable dick gave the speech at a fire station, insinuating that there was no such thing as a volunteer fire company, insulting the civic society, private charity, entrepreneurs, volunteers, and pretty much everyone who isn't either on the government dole, a crony capitalist looking for an angle, or employed by the State.

I had difficulty understanding why everyone was freaking out about this quote, because it didn't surprise me in the least. What, is it a revelation to you that the current President cannot tell crony capitalism from entrepreneurship? That he has no real concept of civil society independent of the State? That he's openly contemptuous of volunteerism, private charity, and the proverbial success story?

Then you really are a rube, and you're not worthy of your franchise.

Rumpletweezer said...

This goes beyond The Big Lie. It says, "You didn't hear him say what you thought you just heard him say."

Steve Koch said...

Althouse has gone off unto the weeds again. She should resurrect her Carol Hermann character so she can put all her garbled thinking into the "Carol Hermann" posts (where it would be sorta amusing) and her lucid thinking in her Althouse posts.

-----------------------------------

Bob Ellison said...
"I'm sure it's garbled.
Yes, indeed, your comment is garbled. Great word, that.
Obama may believe what he said. If so, he's a socialist. If not, he's a liar. Let's choose! Socialist, or liar?"

Trick question, he is actually a socialist and a liar. Just kidding, he is more fascist than socialist since he is really into the crony capitalism.

gregq said...

Garage whines:

"Is it a gaffe when your opponents have to edit it?"

No. But it's a gaffe when your supporters have to lie about it.

Romney didn't edit a thing. That was exactly what Obama said. Hell, just listen to the whole Obama ad, and you'll HEAR him saying it.

Wow f'ing incompetent do you have to be to put out an ad accusing your opponent of lying about you, and then, in the ad include the quote of you saying exactly what he said you said?

This is going to be SUCH a fun campaign. I predict Obama make at least 57 gaffes by the time election day rolls around.

:-)

MayBee said...

How does the "roads and bridges" explanation fit with his comments about "you think you're smart? There are lots of smart people...you think you work hard? A lot of people work hard"?

Did government not build the less successful people roads and bridge?

That's the problem with his explanation that it's all about being in it together. He taunted smart, hardworking people for somehow, still, not deserving their success.

Lem said...

But you'll never hear Obama say that. He will use the 'Corporations are people' line for full mockery effect, never admitting that he knows why it makes sense and why it really isn't anything we disagree about.

The professor reminds me of another post she made.. not too long ago.

garage mahal said...

What's the unedited quote you think is not a gaffe, garage? Please, do tell

I don't think what he said *was* a gaffe. It was pretty obvious what he was talking about. But Romney did splice together passages in an ad pretty underhandedly. Oh well.

Ken said...

Ann,

I'm sure it's garbled.

No, it's not garbled. This is exactly what he meant to say. This is taken straight from Atlas Shrugged:

“Rearden. He didn’t invent smelting and chemistry and air compression. He couldn’t have invented his Metal but for thousands and thousands of other people. His Metal! Why does he think it’s his? Why does he think it’s his invention? Everybody uses the work of everybody else. Nobody ever invents anything.”

She said, puzzled, “But the iron ore and all those other things were there all the time. Why didn’t anybody else make that Metal, but Mr. Rearden did?”


It's that last line that Obama and his ilk completely ignore.

First and foremost, Obama is incredibly critical of the quality of roads and bridges, so he's openly admitting government sucks at providing these things.

Second, government has taken it upon itself to create and enforce its monopoly on "infrastructure", a task on which it should most definitely NOT have a monopoly.

Thirdly, the most important and completely over looked part of Obama's argument is that even if government provided sparkling high quality infrastructure, businesses don't magically appear. The roads connecting Philly and New York didn't create New York and Philly. Those roads were built to connect to existing cities. Roads and bridges get built BECAUSE of the private sector, not the other way around.

To demonstrate, look at the sagging economy of western Maryland, despite huge expenditures on the I68 corridor. Look at the jobs that did not appear related to the bridge to nowhere. Look at the pathetic Murtha Airport.

It's this same stupid thinking that is sinking many cities. City "planners" see successful cities have good convention centers, symphonies, etc., then, like the idiots they are, conclude the city succeeds because of these things, not the other way around.

Causality runs in the exact opposite direction democrats think it runs. Successful infrastructure gets built because the private sector succeeded. Privately run business don't succeed because infrastructure gets built. If you think not, check out China's ghost cities.

Lefties really do believe in their heart of hearts that if you build it they will come. But the reality is that after they come things get built.

Chip Ahoy said...

Today I was thinking, feeling and thinking, those two things at the same time, while fashioning a pop-up card for a niece and thinking-feeling the whole time mostly about that niece and how much I love her so and how I was feeling the thinky-thoughts feely-feeling through my fingertips with each cut and with each application of glue. And how that card was so infused with my very real fond affection it is positively vibrating.

Psyche. I knew I didn't really make that card other people did. If it wasn't for all those teachers and roads I'd be nowhere.

Ross said...

I like the part at :37 where Obama says the part he says he didn't say.

Ann Althouse said...

"You are opening the door to your students to challenge your grades to them by saying "I didn't really mean that but this, but I just had a moment of bad cognitive association.""

No, because the form of expression is part of the grade. But where I can tell what someone meant to say, I take that into account, to the extent I think is appropriate.

No one can challenge my judgment on that. It's explicitly against the rules.

Jim Westfall said...

Watched the new ad with seven other people over my shoulder and the response was unanimous - Obama's team is lying in the ad. The only people this ad will assuage are those already firmly in Obama's camp who heard what they wanted to hear about roads and bridges. To everyone else this comes across as a limp counter-punch that just makes the sentiment against Obama worse. His campaign no longer seems to know when to stop digging.

Shanna said...

I didn't even know Romney said 'corporations are people' so who cares whether Obama talks about it? I think Obama meant what he said. The lines about Lots of people are smart, lots of people work hard...that gave the game away. This ad just says that Obama is scared.

You are totally voting for Obama again, aren't you?

Bryan C said...

"Somebody invested in roads and bridges — I'm talking to anybody who's got a business — you didn’t build those roads and bridges. Somebody else made that happen."

How's that any better? We're still a bunch of layabouts crashing on the sofa, raiding the fridge, and hogging all the bandwidth in Somebody Else's house. Wishing and hoping that they'll make something good happen to me someday.

Tom Spaulding said...

Katina Trinko, NRO:

The thing that strikes me the most about this video — besides the fact that the Obama campaign is realizing Romney has added a new energy to his stump speeches by playing off this line of Obama’s — is how it shows that the Democrats really don’t seem to understand that being anti-big-government is not the same as being anti-community.

Liking teachers, as Romney does in this video, and recognizing their influence, doesn’t mean you need to believe in a government system that kowtows to the unions and pays (and keeps, in times of layoffs) teachers based on tenure, not on excellence.

...Liberals don’t own the idea of the importance of community, of how social institutions and personal relationships are vital to well-being, including at times economic well-being or success. The conservative argument is for freedom, not for all-around individualism. In fact, there’s a case to be made that communities are stronger under smaller government, when voluntary associations and cooperation are especially crucial for getting projects done and ensuring that all in the community (such as the poor and sick) are taken care of.

The choice this election is not whether we should all live in isolated cabins by ourselves or if we should live around our fellow human beings in towns and cities. The choice is about the role and extent of the government.

Michael said...

The businessman uses the roads, but so does everybody else. The businessman crosses the bridges, but so does every body else. The businessman used the school system, but so does everybody else. The businessman uses the internet, but so does everybody else.

The businessman mortgages his house to meet payroll, nobody else mortgages their house for him. The businessman risks his fortune for his business, nobody else risks a penny. The businessman does not get a paycheck and nobody else provides him one.

Obama meant what he said and he did not fumble. His audience was pleased to hear that they are every bit as hard working and smart as the successful people that Obama despises, that his audience despises, and but for pure luck they too would be rich millionairesandbillionaires like all the people making over two hundred and fifty thousand dollars a year.

dbp said...

garage mahal said...
"I think Obama has made the gaffe of the year when he said if you created a business, you didn't build it."

Of course Obama was talking about roads and bridges. But oh well!


If he meant roads and bridges, wouldn't it have been proper grammar to say them rather than it?

garage mahal said...

"If he meant roads and bridges, wouldn't it have been proper grammar to say them rather than it?"

He didn't say "it". He said "that".

"Somebody invested in roads and bridges. If you’ve got a business — you didn’t build that. Somebody else made that happen."

Here is what Romney said this week. Should Team Obama run an attack ad on this:

"But let me ask you this, did you build your business?"

Patrick said...

I assume that he was talking about roads and bridges. That doesn't help him. It is his instinct to collectivize success - you couldn't have done that without the rest of us, so pay up!

Notwithstanding the fact that the people who built the businesses also paid far more heavily for the roads and bridges.

But yes, the President has demonstrated once again his failure to master basic speech without a teleprompter. Utterly embarrassing.

dbp said...

I was working from your quote GM. Still Them would be the proper form for a plural, not that.

As for me, I work for a corporation which dates from (I think) the 1600's, so I clearly did not build it.

garage mahal said...

I was working from your quote GM.

I think you grabbed that quote from a different poster. No big whup.

Don't Tread 2012 said...

Desperation = word games.

If all you have left is word games, you lack an argument and have abandoned supporting a cogent point.

Teh Won is vulnerable to having his own words used against him.

How he deals with that speaks volumes.

Rocketeer said...

Here is what Romney said this week. Should Team Obama run an attack ad on this:

"But let me ask you this, did you build your business?"


I would invite him to try. It would be as ballsy - i.e. stupid - as the Obama ad we are currently discussing.

See, here's the thing: Obama, by virtue of the Kinsley gaffe, has absolutely cemented in the electorate's mind what it is he believes. They merely suspected it before. But now the dummy has gone and affirmed it for them.

Anything he attempts to undo the damage at this point be ignored, or worse, ridiculed, as unbelievable.

Amartel said...

Lying is not "ballsy."
Ballsy = "tough" and "courageous" and unafraid of authority.
Calling lying "ballsy" is putting a positive spin on lying and will only serve to endorse more lying.

This, however, IS ballsy. http://thehill.com/blogs/blog-briefing-room/news/239065-sen-rubio-questions-federal-funding-for-npr-during-interview-on-npr

Questioning funding for NPR while being interviewed on NPR. Ballsy.

Coketown said...

Maybe he didn't mean roads and bridges, either. Maybe in a speech last spring he mentioned a Ferris wheel and just this week got around to mentioning that if you have a business, you didn't build that [Ferris wheel].

This interpretation is almost as absurd and desperate as garage's. When Obama said "If you have a business, you didn't build that," he meant, "If you have a business, you didn't build that." He wasn't referring to the nouns of the previous sentence, nor the nouns of last spring. He made a pretty straightforward conditional statement: IF you have a business, THEN you didn't build that.

Watching Team Obama confront a gaffe for the first time is comic gold. He's made plenty in the past, but for some reason this is the first one he actually has to address, and he's all thumbs.

ricpic said...

...Obama's garbled statement...

The statement is crystal clear. It's a declaration of war on individual achievement. The pity is that I doubt the people running Romney's campaign wiill take advantage of this golden plum dropped in their laps. It's not enough to repeat Obama's "...you didn't build that." It has to be explained just how hostile to our way of life the statement reveals Obama to be and why the statement is hostile to our way of life and it has to be explained over and over and over again. This Romney will not do. You have to scream at how predictably the Republicans never fail to let an opportunity slip away. And this is an absolutely golden opportunity to define the anti-American.

Don't Tread 2012 said...

"They merely suspected it before."

Before, as in 2007, in my case. I pay attention. But I digress.

The gullible and the shiftless, they walk among us.

garage mahal said...

See, here's the thing: Obama, by virtue of the Kinsley gaffe, has absolutely cemented in the electorate's mind what it is he believes.

That roads and bridges are essential to commerce?

Order a pizza from anyone in your yellow pages, and stipulate that you want it delivered only on roads they paved, and let us know how long it takes to get your pizza.

gregq said...

Garage hisses:

>>>
He didn't say "it". He said "that".

"Somebody invested in roads and bridges. If you’ve got a business — you didn’t build that. Somebody else made that happen."
<<<

Yes, garage. Your grammar lesson for the day: "that" is singular (your business) "those" is plural" (roads and bridges). So, assuming basic competence on Obama's part, "that" is referring to "your" (singular) business that "somebody else made happen."

You know, that unionized teacher you had in the second grade.

>>>
Here is what Romney said this week. Should Team Obama run an attack ad on this:

"But let me ask you this, did you build your business?"
<<<

Go for it! The answer is, "yes, I did, and I know that Mitt Romney understands and values that, whereas Barack Obama doesn't understand it, but hates me for doing it."

Rocketeer said...

"You didn't build that - Somebody else made that happen" is so potently damaging for the president precisely because it is so believable that it's what he really thinks.

It fits the perception that a sizable chunk of the electorate - let's call it the swing vote, shall we? - has suspected but been trying to supress for some time, because it is painful to think that an American president really thinks that way.

THe mask has slipped, and no matter how hard he tries I believe he will never be able to successfully get it back on.

Ken said...

Additionally, the entire reason all lefty initiatives fail is because they get causality mixed up. Welfare is a catastrophic failure because the left ignores the actions middle class people take and focus on subsidizing certain characteristics of the middle class.

Middle class people own homes. LET'S SUBSIDIZE HOMES. Please ignore the complete financial fuck up of the last decade.

Middle class people go to college. LET'S SUBSIDIZE COLLEGE. Please ignore the incredibly high failure rates, the incredibly burdensome student debt (larger than the housing crisis), and the abysmal rates of return for an overpriced piece of paper.

The list goes on. It's symptomatic of weak thinking. Look at how successful these people are. It's because they have X. LET'S SUBSIDIZE X!! X is subsidized and becomes a bottomless pit into which Obama and other assholes throw good people's money.

Marshal said...

"Coketown said...
When Obama said "If you have a business, you didn't build that," he meant, "If you have a business, you didn't build that.""

No wonder garage can't understand it, it's in code!

Coketown said...

This was a really embarrassing statement on Obama's part. Let's pray this week's economic data distracts from it.

lol

Don't Tread 2012 said...

"Order a pizza from anyone in your yellow pages, and stipulate that you want it delivered only on roads they paved, and let us know how long it takes to get your pizza."

Only a dumb-as-a-stump liberal would make such a suggestion.

Jay said...

garage mahal said...

Is it a gaffe when your opponents have to edit it?


Except nobody is editing anything.

Further, notice how you can't bring yourself to criticize Obama in any manner under any circumstance.

Boob.

Roger J. said...

IIRC from Econ 101 there are public goods and private goods. There clearly some compelling arguments for the need for public goods which are funded by taxation.

Interestingly it seems to me that before government became the Leviathan, Toquville in the 1830s remarked on American community spirit in the absence of significant government intrusion. He felt that American community was a significant factor in American Democracy. Conflating that observation with the new leviathan seems to me to be wrong.

Its a shame that "Democracy in America" is probably not read much any more.

Coketown said...

Watching GM flail around this comments thread is hilarious. The way he massages words and contorts logic, he'd make a first-rate whore--not that he isn't one for Team Obama already. I just meant once the campaign is over and he needs something to occupy his time, that might be something to consider.

Marshal said...

"garage mahal said...
That roads and bridges are essential to commerce? "

Really, he's just saying they're esential to commerce? He wasn't justifying higher taxes?

When you have to lie for your candidate try to be less obvious. This is just embarassing.

Rocketeer said...

That roads and bridges are essential to commerce?

Order a pizza from anyone in your yellow pages, and stipulate that you want it delivered only on roads they paved, and let us know how long it takes to get your pizza.


Won't be hard. See, they'll deliver it on any publicly-funded road in their community, since they pay the same - actually, considerably more - taxes than everyone else, on average.

You simply don't get that, do you? You don't get that it's a nonsensical assertion even stretching to disregard his Freudian slip of the tongue?

Coketown said...

There clearly some compelling arguments for the need for public goods which are funded by taxation.

That's true. The trouble, though, is that nobody is arguing against this. There seems to be a third-party candidate running on the Anarchist ticket that coincidentally is named Mitt Romney, and that's what is causing all this confusion.

Seeing Red said...

The roads were built from the taxes people paid by mostly working for private enterprise.


Robin Hood - steals from Big Gov't to give back to the workers who provided the capital and bad backs.

And Lizzie Warren built her success on the backs of lies.

Don't Tread 2012 said...

"Conflating that observation with the new leviathan seems to me to be wrong."

Agreed, forced compliance and voluntary free association are starkly different, with differing effects.

Liberals have no faith in people, only force. So government must be grown in order to fill the halls of control, for our own good of course.

"People constantly speak of 'the government' doing this or that, as they might speak of God doing it. But the government is really nothing but a group of men, and usually they are very inferior men." -- H.L. Mencken

Old Dad said...

"Order a pizza from anyone in your yellow pages, and stipulate that you want it delivered only on roads they paved, and let us know how long it takes to get your pizza."

Garage, that's even dumb for you.

Remember the ever popular signs promoting many road projects--"your tax dollars at work."

Wisconsin needs school choice now.

dbp said...

I guess it is a good thing we have President Obama to remind us about the value of government. It would make more sense though if his opponent was a radical anarchist rather than a moderate Republican.

Patrick said...

"Order a pizza from anyone in your yellow pages, and stipulate that you want it delivered only on roads they paved, and let us know how long it takes to get your pizza."

Why shouldn't we use those roads, Garage? The government did not build them with its own money. It used money that it took from the taxpayers, for all (even those who pay no taxes) to use.

In the paragraph preceding the President's gaffe, or alleged gaffe, he makes it very clear what he thinks of successful people -

"I’m always struck by people who think, well, it must be because I was just so smart. There are a lot of smart people out there. It must be because I worked harder than everybody else. Let me tell you something — there are a whole bunch of hardworking people out there."

You're not special, you just ripped us off, or got lucky. Pay up!

Roger J. said...

Coketown--thanks for your comment. And I believe it is the function of the politial system to determine what is the appropriate level of funding public goods that is the nub of the issue. On this there is ample opportunity to disagree.

Rabel said...

Althouse, I agree that what he meant to say was not the same as what he said with the possibility that it revealed his true thoughts.

But this ad, which must have had Obama's approval, exposes one of his less "likeable" character traits.

He won't or can't own up to making an error.

When he misspoke about the Supreme Court, Tribe had to cover for him. And I think there might have been one other instance where he admitted a mistake but qualified that with an excuse.

Once you get to know him and see through the smile and the populist con, he's not a likeable fellow.

dbp said...

Coketown had the same thought as me, but as usual; better said and quicker.

Alex said...

Let me guess, Obama just won the Althouse vote!!

Roger J. said...

As Thomas Hobbes reminds us, without some sort of social contract the life of man will be nasty solitary brutish and short. The issue of course is the nature of the social contract.

Calypso Facto said...

I don't think what he said *was* a gaffe.

10 new Facebook pages devoted to the quote and 1,000,000 plus views on YouTube (and growing) suggest you're going to be awfully lonely in that opinion.

Cedarford said...

My guess is the statement was so damaging to Obama that he has to try to go out and explain it away as not meaning what he said.

On the other side, the Republicans have to be very careful not to reduce all business and economic success as sole credit to the "Hero Visionary and Doer" Owner or CEO.
They could use the votes of the brilliant and hard working employees that built the success as well. The VC investors and consumers that made the businesses successes by their choices.

Laying sole credit for a business success on the latest CEO or just one of the initial owners - The John Galt they designate - is like saying killing bin Laden is solely due to the leadership and vision of the One Great Galt at the Top.

In this case, Obama.

garage mahal said...

10 new Facebook pages devoted to the quote and 1,000,000 plus views on YouTube (and growing) suggest you're going to be awfully lonely in that opinion

So why do you think Romney stitched together two different portions of Obama's speech to make it appear it was one continual passage?

Roger J. said...

I think Mr Obama has hurt his campaign with his observation. As C4 notes it appears that his campaign recognizes this and is back peddling furiously. But the damage has been done.

Kansas City said...

It is a ballsy move. And, I think, a stupid one. I happen to agree with Obama's defenders that he was saying the business owner did not build the roads or perhaps the larger American community. But this ad is too complicated. The "false" charge could not stick, and will not stick in this type of ad. Perhaps Obama thinks they can scare Romney off the issue. But I think it sticks. I also think Obama runs a big risk with so much negative adversiting. The guy has been president for 4 years. The persuadable voters must wonder why he cannot run on his record, and must run on attacks. Romney should repreat that arugment, along with his surrogates, endlessly. Obama does not really have an answer to it that works in any kind of ad. He is okay in person when he says politics is for big boys and he does not pay attention to attack ads. But he is overdoing the attack ads. Romney needs to get past the tax return issue, which is a danger. But if he does, he may have smooth sailing.

Rocketeer said...

So why do you think Romney stitched together two different portions of Obama's speech to make it appear it was one continual passage?

To save time? It's not like it changes the meaning any, regardless of how hard you wish it did.

Rocketeer said...

But I think it sticks.

It sticks, because a) it is entirely rational to think it's what he really believes, and b) the "roads and bridges" defense is just wasted energy, in that it puts him in a place that is just as damning anyway.

Joe said...

Order a pizza from anyone in your yellow pages, and stipulate that you want it delivered only on roads they paved, and let us know how long it takes to get your pizza.

I could stipulate that they deliver it in a car they manufactured themselves as well, and laugh at their incompetence when they fail to deliver it. But that would be stupid.

I don't demand that an extra $1 from the pizza's price be handed off to the Ford Motor company.

Rocketeer said...

I don't demand that an extra $1 from the pizza's price be handed off to the Ford Motor company.

Delivery cars, roads - the businessman has paid for both already, through his purchase of the car and his payment of his current taxes.

Patrick said...

Has the President ran even one ad in which he touted his own record, ever? I mean even for the Senate, and the State Senate of IL. Guess that's kind of hard because there's no record, certainly not one of success.

AndyN said...

I'm sure it's garbled. At first, I thought he meant to say "you didn't build that on your own." But after listening to it many times, I focused on the preceding sentence "Somebody invested in roads and bridges."

I assumed that was what he was going for the first time I heard him say it, but it doesn't really help. The most charitable interpretation you can give this comment is that the man who the leftists consider the most eloquent speaker of his generation and the smartest man in any room he's in is actually only marginally coherent in his native tongue. The more obvious interpretation is that he thinks central planning deserves the bulk of the credit for businesses that thrive due to individual effort.

I also have to say, the fact that you had to listen several times to coax the intended meaning out of that passage might explain your vote in 2008. A lot of us didn't need much exposure to Obama to understand what kind of politician he was. Maybe if you'd paid a little more attention to who he was rather than trying to interpret what he said he'd be in the best possible light, you would have cast a more rational vote.

garage mahal said...

To save time? It's not like it changes the meaning any, regardless of how hard you wish it did.

Oh c'mon. It was edited to change the meaning.Otherwise they wouldn't have done it.

Here it is:


Romney ad:

If you’ve been successful, you didn’t get there on your own. You didn’t get there on your own. I’m always struck by people who think, well, it must be ‘cause I was just so smart. There are a lot of smart people out there. It must be because I worked harder than everybody else. Let me tell you something. If you’ve got a business, you didn’t build that. Somebody else made that happen.

Portion of Obama speech:

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.

yashu said...

I have said repeatedly that the core idea is actually a shared belief. But there is a problem with a govt official lecturing people about this. It's one thing for a business owner to say: I couldn't have done this on my own. I own my success to my parents, my wife, to this community, to my church, and to the grace of God.

It's another thing for govt officials to butt in and tell you you haven't accomplished your own accomplishments. But it's not even them telling you that. They're saying it to another crowd, to the people who are supposed for feel unsuccessful, trying to make them feel entitled to wealth redistribution, as carried out by the government official who is making the speech.


Well put, yes. But instead of calling it a "shared belief," I'd rather call it a truism. That is, insofar as it's "true," it's something no one sane would deny-- it goes without saying. But therein lies the trick, or trap. When someone takes a truism (something that anyone sane would agree to, that no one would deny) and asserts it as a thesis, as an empirical proposition that they're arguing for or defending-- there's something funny going on, and one should look closely at what it is.

Wittgenstein's a genius on how this kind of move generates all sorts of philosophical problems and confusions. (Examples of truisms philosophy takes to be theses: the world exists, other human beings exist, I exist, I know I'm in pain, etc.) In political rhetoric, that move should send up a little red flag. Not that it's necessarily nefarious or deceptive-- political rhetoric thrives on truisms.

But when a politician states a truism as if it were a thesis that the other side denies, the listener should be alert to the fact that what is being claimed is something other than the truism. The truism is being put to some other use, has a different meaning. In this case, it's key that "they're saying it to another crowd, to the people who are supposed for feel unsuccessful, trying to make them feel entitled to wealth redistribution, as carried out by the government official who is making the speech."

The trick, of course, is that when the political opponent argues against the "something other than the truism" which the truism is being used to say, the opponent is accused of denying the truism itself, of denying the undeniable.

Calypso Facto said...

So why do you think Romney stitched together two different portions of Obama's speech to make it appear it was one continual passage?

I don't know what version you're talking about, and I don't think it matters. In Obama's ad, the topic of this post, he says "if you've got a business, you didn't build that". And that phrase is an internet buzzing, t-shirt selling, liberty affronting gaffe that is sweeping the country. And it's not just a hit with the already-decided wonks hanging out at Althouse, it appears to be pop culture in the way that swings votes among people who usually don't even pay attention.

Tom Spaulding said...

"Order a pizza from anyone in your yellow pages, and stipulate that you want it delivered only on roads they paved, and let us know how long it takes to get your pizza."

OK. I will. Do you work at the Pit or Rocky's? Do you accept tips from conservatives?

Steve Koch said...

First, Obama went super negative (calling Mitt a criminal, among other things), which motivated Mitt to fight back and go negative on Obama. This is a huge plus for Mitt because Obama is an easy target with loads of vulnerabilities.

Second, Obama slips and says what he and most lefties/dems really think, giving a huge gift to Mitt. This is going to leave a mark.

I've always wondered why lefties don't slip up more. They have to keep up with the vast web of lies that is lefty virtual political reality. Any time they slip up and say what they really think or say what is actually true (instead of the lefty catechism), there is great potential for embarrassment.

Interesting to see that only the stupidest lefties on the blog are defending Obama. The less stupid lefties are quiet, desperately hoping this will blow over.

EMD said...

Order a pizza from anyone in your yellow pages,

Garage uses the Yellow Pages.

Luddite.

Rocketeer said...

Garage: It does not change the meaning. The full quote is just as damning.

Really, Obama acted stupidly, and he's gonna pay for it in at least 57 states, maybe one more.

I guess the upside is at least he'll finally be able to enjoy that waffle.

bgates said...

Obama was mostly saying something we agree about

No he wasn't. "No man is an island, so help me take more money from those people over there" is ridiculous and disturbingly left-wing.

Charlie Martin said...

Reason had a nice take on this: http://reason.com/blog/2012/07/18/how-you-didnt-build-that-became-he-didnt

Rocketeer said...

I've always wondered why lefties don't slip up more.

They do. But some slip-ups, even a totally in-the-bag media can't keep quiet or paper over. They're trying, even in this case, bless their hearts they're trying, but they can't get this genie back in the bottle.

chickelit said...

Obama 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. [emphasis added]

If Republicans wanted to show up Democrats, they could point out the military orgins of those wonderful Government endeavors, viz., ARPANET and Eisenhower's Interstate Highway System. Defense Department initiatives were always the bain of Democrats, so I suppose this wouldn't be playing "fair."

Amartel said...

While we're on the topic of the "Roads and Bridges" defense, and how that's what the government does best:

Golden Gate Bridge: finished under budget using private equity and non-union labor, even and despite delay and obstruction from federal government.

SF-Oakland Bay Bridge: 25 years after Loma Prieta earthquake new section is almost half way across the Bay (exciting!!!!) and causing daily traffic delays on old section. Nobody even mentions about the budget anymore it's such a work of fiction. (Unlike the shovel-ready "budget" for the Jerry Brown Memorial slow train to nowhere that will never be built.)

Kansas City said...

Obama is quite good, as are other highly accomplished lefty politicians, at putting in enough weasal words that they get away with the far left beliefs. Here, Obama tried to do the same thing. I think he honestly was saying the business owner did not build the roads and bridges, but he did not make it clear in his bad sentence. If he would have just said the business owner did not build the roads and bridges, he would be fine. He got too amped up and just said did not built that in a way that sounded like he did not build the business. What I can't understand is why he did not quickly explain what "that" meant. It may now be too late to effectively explain.

David R. Graham said...

"I have said repeatedly that the core idea is actually a shared belief. But there is a problem with a govt official lecturing people about this. It's one thing for a business owner to say: I couldn't have done this on my own. I own my success to my parents, my wife, to this community, to my church, and to the grace of God.

It's another thing for govt officials to butt in and tell you you haven't accomplished your own accomplishments. But it's not even them telling you that. They're saying it to another crowd, to the people who are supposed for feel unsuccessful, trying to make them feel entitled to wealth redistribution, as carried out by the government official who is making the speech.

That's the problem!"

Concur. Well said.

garage mahal said...

And that phrase is an internet buzzing, t-shirt selling, liberty affronting gaffe that is sweeping the country

Whatever you say, Calypso. Maybe I need to get out more.

brainpimp said...

Even if what Ann can contort his meaning to i.e. You didn't build those roads or bridges, it doesn't help Obama. That is a complete non-sequiter.

No one else built those roads except the road company. Using that same logic only the road construction company can claim success by using the roads.

It still shows that Obama doesn't think the business owner is responsible for his success. By extending that logic it is impossible for an individual to have success.

Collectivism at it's finest.

ken in sc said...

When I lived in the Philippines, I learned that there was a common idea there it was pure luck that you had something that somebody else didn't have; therefore they had as much right to what you had as you did. That's a great philosophy for Malay Pirates, who most people in the Philippines are descended from. But, it also means that anyone who can afford it hires security guards to guard their house. Basically, this is a third-world idea, which is where Obama really came from.

Joe said...

No one else built those roads except the road company. Using that same logic only the road construction company can claim success by using the roads.

I've been thinking that the road-building and bridge-building companies should be most pissed off of all. Why is Obama taking public, collective credit for the work of those business owners?

Of course, if they're privately owned and run, Obama would tell them that they can't run their business without the payroll-accounting software they purchased, which is tuned to the tax rules the software company derived from the government's laws. Which makes the whole thing vacuous.

It still shows that Obama doesn't think the business owner is responsible for his success. By extending that logic it is impossible for an individual to have success.

Unless they cheat, of course, which is the sub-text of the whole speech and campaign.

Paddy O said...

"When I lived in the Philippines, I learned that there was a common idea there it was pure luck that you had something that somebody else didn't have;"

Interesting, especially since I would guess that those who don't share this assumption are among the massive amount of Filipinos who have emigrated to the United States, and once here express the Asian-American drive for success.

I'm actually not kidding about that. I've long thought that we don't get a random selection of immigrants from any country, but that the people who immigrate tend to do so out of a shared drive.

Jay said...

garage mahal said...

I don't think what he said *was* a gaffe. It was pretty obvious what he was talking about.


Hey silly sputter, you're left arguing either that the "smartest man ever to be president" doesn't understand the basic rules of grammar ("that" cannot refer to "roads and bridges" because "that" is singular (as is "business") and "roads and bridges" is plural) or that he meant exactly what his critics say he meant.

So is Obama stupid or what?

Methadras said...

Isn't it odd that the Elizabeth Warren statement of individuals being successful is only on the back of government largess and without them success of businesses wouldn't be possible? So, now it's being attributed to Urkel making a gaffe, a mistake that Romney is now pouncing on, yet Romney is saying that the success or failure of the government is built on the back of all of us. What Urkel and Warren mistake is that government is its own entity that doles out success via it's legislation, regulation, and entitlement. We little people clasp our hands in wanton hope that government can throw us a dash of success as well.

These are the fools that need to die in a fire and today. My success is due to me and my tax money. The roads that were built, the infrastructure that was built was all done on the collective success of sovereign individuals and their tax dollars that government re-purposes for itself. It's still our money, hence, it's still our success and government had zero to do with that.

Michael said...

There were roads and bridges before there was an income tax. How can that have happened? There were militias before there was a federal government. Militias that kept the peace, the maurader at bay. How?

Mark said...

Garage, Obama's biggest problem with all his recent blunders is he's actually making me like Romney.

Honestly? As the pressure rises, I expect Obama to screw up more and more. The part of me that has come to loathe Obama takes pleasure in this. The part of me that nonetheless understands he's still President of the United States isn't at all happy. A President can do real damage when sloppy.

SC Mike said...

Regarding the "personhood" of corporations, the law is clear, no? See: 1 USC § 1 - Words denoting number, gender, and so forth - In determining the meaning of any Act of Congress, unless the context indicates otherwise—

words importing the singular include and apply to several persons, parties, or things;

words importing the plural include the singular;

words importing the masculine gender include the feminine as well;

words used in the present tense include the future as well as the present;

the words “insane” and “insane person” and “lunatic” shall include every idiot, lunatic, insane person, and person non compos mentis;

the words “person” and “whoever” include corporations, companies, associations, firms, partnerships, societies, and joint stock companies, as well as individuals;

“officer” includes any person authorized by law to perform the duties of the office;

“signature” or “subscription” includes a mark when the person making the same intended it as such;

“oath” includes affirmation, and “sworn” includes affirmed;

“writing” includes printing and typewriting and reproductions of visual symbols by photographing, multigraphing, mimeographing, manifolding, or otherwise.

Bob Ellison said...

No one can challenge my judgment on that. It's explicitly against the rules.

I hope you're trying to be ironic.

AndyN said...

I could stipulate that they deliver it in a car they manufactured themselves as well, and laugh at their incompetence when they fail to deliver it. But that would be stupid.

Now that you mention it, modern roads and bridges wouldn't have been built without specialized motor vehicles. So yeah, if the government has a road there, they didn't build it themselves.

phx said...

I hope nobody minds this elementary reference. This is from Critical Thinking: An Introduction to Basic Skills" Hughes & Lavery, found on Google Books.

"Thus in any discussion we have a moral obligation to treat our opponents fairly. When they are
present, we ought to give them the opportunity to clarify what they have said. When they are not present, we have a moral obligation to follow the principle of charity, that is, to adopt the most charitable interpretation of their words among the possible interpretations suggested by the context. The most charitable interpretation is the one that makes our opponent's views as reasonable, plausible, or defensible as possible. According to the principle of charity, whenever two interpretations are possible, we should always adopt the more reasonable one (unless something in the context suggests that another interpretation is what the person meant."

wyo sis said...

phx
Basic skills of critical thinking. What has that to do with politics?

gerry said...
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gerry said...
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gerry said...

Of course Obama was talking about roads and bridges. But oh well!

Idiot.

The pronoun "it" is singular and refers to a singular antecedent. The antecedent nearest "it" - and the only one that is singular - is business. "It" refers to singular "business", not plural "bridges" and "roads".

Apparently, both you and Obamarama are illiterate asswipes.