Barack Obama

How "You didn't build that" became "He didn't say that"

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Oh, THAT!

What do you do when everybody's claiming your president said something, and you just know he didn't really say it, but all the video and all the audio and all the transcripts show that he did say it? 

This is the dilemma faced by supporters of President Obama in the long wake of last week's "You didn't build that" speech.

The president's opponents are making a big fuss over comments that are on their face contemptuous of individual merit and out of step with American popular opinion.

The president's supporters have a multipronged counterargument: Either he didn't make those comments or they were taken out of context or even if they are in context they don't matter because we should be reading between the lines. 

Here is the paragraph in which Obama calls out successful entrepreneurs

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. 

That last line is pretty good evidence that Obama was still running with the Choom Gang in the 1990s, because he doesn't seem to have noticed that Al Gore walked into years of mockery over his expansive claims about the invention of the worldwide cybertubes. But let's not read between the lines. Obama's comment, in context and out of context, is stunningly ill-advised for a president sitting on the worst economy since World War II.

I'm David Taintor. Feed me.

But at TPM, David Taintor calls "You didn't build that" a "canard" that was cooked up by rightwing bloggers and belatedly adopted by Mitt Romney's campaign: 

Friday evening, it was a paragraph in President Obama's speech at Roanoke Fire Station #1 in Virginia. By Tuesday, it was a full-fledged fundraising line for the Romney campaign.

But that wasn't because the Romney campaign's opposition research shop immediately seized on the president's remarks. In fact, it would be three-and-a-half days before the Romney campaign itself made any mention of them. In the interim, what transpired was a textbook case of how a distortion can emerge from right-wing online media, get laundered by Fox News, and go mainstream as a major line of attack by the Republican nominee for President.

Reason alumnus Dave Weigel says the real culprit is the president's rambling, and he speculates about missing clauses: 

It's a rough-hewn clone of Elizabeth Warren's famed YouTube spiel about how business owners owed much to infrastructure and regulators. But this version is a bit of a ramble, [and] you can tell, because Obama never repeated this riff. And the looseness suggests that Obama left out a sentence or a clause. "Somebody invested in roads and bridges. If you've got a business—you didn't build that." Did he mean that you, small businessman, didn't build the roads and bridges? And if he didn't, is it politically offensive to suggest that businesses are built by more than sweat, blood, and John Galt quotes? Maybe, and yes.

I remain in awe of Dave's dogged and enterprising journalism, but I don't believe he can "tell" when the president is saying one thing but apparently meaning something else. I'm also not clear on what Dave's getting at by selectively boldfacing the sentences "Somebody invested in roads and bridges. If you've got a business—you didn't build that." You could just as easily prove the opposite by boldfacing "If you've got a business—you didn't build that. Somebody else made that happen." Either way, there's no prettying up these lines. Exactly who is playing context games here? 

A commenter on Emily Ekins' post last night goes even further, condemning the "intellectual dishonesty it takes to believe that's what he said." So I'll bite: What should we believe he said, other than what he in fact said? 

The popularization of Derridaian post-modernism since the 1990s has generally been a lot of fun, turning mainstream Americans into sharp observers of signs and meaning who are sure that either there's nothing outside the text or everything is outside the text or both. But at some point it helps to look at that thing above the subtext, which is generally known as "the text." Up to this point the presidential election has been Obama vs. Obama Junior. With "You didn't build that," which his campaign has made no effort to clarify or redirect, the president has drawn a line in the sand.

There is no nebulousness here. Beyond the paragraph quoted above, Obama calls government spending "the investments that grow our economy." He ridicules the tendency of Americans to brag about being hard workers with a variant of "So's your old man." ("Let me tell you something—there are a whole bunch of hardworking people out there.") He instinctively names "a great teacher" when looking for somebody to credit for causing success in the working world. The president has boldly presented his view on how an economy works. His supporters should give him the respect of taking his words seriously. 

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363 responses to “How "You didn't build that" became "He didn't say that"

    1. Obama didn’t get to the White House on his own merits. He owes his presidency to his teleprompter which, ironically, happened to be absent that day.

      1. Daedric artifacts always betray their owner eventually. For the lulz.

      2. His “…teleprompter which…happened to be absent that day.”

        That’s what I was wondering. The great speechifier.

      3. The most troubling part of his little off-script ramble is the suggestion that Government or the collectivist community “allows” anyone to succeed. So, if I succeed, it’s only because some allowed me to. Do I have that right, champ? To this Jackass in Chief, neither success nor failures are my own. There is always someone else with whom the share the credit — and the blame.

        This is especially rich coming from someone who wants to take credit for things that go right, and who assigns blame to anyone and everyone when things don’t go his way.

        President Jackass.

  1. You didn’t build that.
    http://www.didntbuildthat.com/

  2. David Taintor? ‘Nuff said.

    Also, never seen eyes set that close together on a human being.

    1. Not only are they set pretty close together, but that right lazy lizard eye just adds to the creepiness.

    2. He looks like if Ryan Gosling was on the receiving end instead of the delivering end of the fire extinguisher in Drive.

    3. He looks like the epitome of backpfeifengesicht

    4. Just when you think the left couldn’t produce a more punchable face… along comes this sorry sack of shit.

      1. Ya, i’d like to see you try to punch him…you little loser….disconnect your government oxygen, and getting off of that government scooter of yours I paid for…he would be bored by the time you got ready to throw your punch.

    5. “That dropped eye of yours looks like the hood on a cunt to me, Jack. When you talk, your mouth looks like a cunt moving.”

    6. You know how when you play Oblivion and you hit “generate a random face” and you usually come up with something that looks like an aborted horror? That’s what his face looks like.

      1. Threadwinner. +1 Internets.

    7. Yeah, I wonder what it is like to go through life without peripheral vision.

    8. David (the) Taintor: Builder and user of taints.

  3. The most obnoxious aspect of Obama’s speech isn’t even the contempt he expressed for individual accomplishment. It’s the crass, sad attempt to appeal to communitarian emotions, even though the small-scale communities where this spirit flourishes are largely populated by the “bitter clingers” he despises.

    But it does make sense that Obama would express himself in this way. After all, he wouldn’t have accomplished a damn thing in his entire life if he hadn’t had others plowing the roads for him, whether it was affirmative action getting him into the Ivy League or the media promoting him as a celebrity political figure.

    1. Look, everyone knows that he wasn’t talking about individuals cooperating to make things happen–we all understand that to be true. He was making it crystal clear that we’re all completely dependent on the good works of government.

      No amount of parsing takes away from his very clear message that the state is the center of his universe. Fuck that shit.

      1. Hey, I never said it was a sophisticated line of argument. It was a ham-fisted effort to promote what tools like Lizzie Warren and George Lakoff have been pushing in the leftosphere for the past couple of years.

    2. And Taintor’s little more than a power bottom for the Democratic establishment. These are the kinds of noodle-armed goons that progressives love to capture, because they have a perpetual chip on their shoulder for not being popular in high school, and are looking to make the whole of society pay for it.

      1. Actually Red, you got it backwards. See, a power-bottom’s actually generating all the power by doing most of the work.

      2. “…because they have a perpetual chip on their shoulder for not being popular in high school, and are looking to make the whole of society pay for it.”

        Very well said. In the words of Eric Hoffer: “We all have private ails. The troublemakers are they who need public cures for their private ails.”

    3. The thing is I suspect that Obama may not have even really thought about what he was saying. It’s entirely possible that he’s fucking stupid enough to just order his speechwriters to write shit for him and then not realize the ramifications of how it will be received.

      This president has shown a stunning level of tone-deafness continuously throughout his term. From giving the limey queen an iPod to this. He’s a fucking retard, so him doing this shouldn’t be surprising.

      You’ll note that not even the media drums the “he’s so smart” shit anymore. Because it’s just fucking ludicrous.

      1. I seriously don’t get how otherwise intelligent people refer to this doofus as smart. Is it fear of the race card?

        1. Obama sold a brand in 2008. Voting for Obama was a way for people to feel superior and smarter than the rest of the country. Obama managed to get people to tie their own intelligence in with his. If they admit how stupid he is, they have to admit to themselves that they were not so smart or superior.

          1. Exactly, John. They will fight to the death to support him because admission of what he really is is an admission that anyone who fell for him is a fucking moron idiot dupe asshole.

            And they know it.

            1. The left is positively moronic on this issue. Their guy always has to be a super genius. Come on, people, how many actual intellectuals–I mean, really fucking smart people–run for public office? Let alone win?

              As stupid as rightwingers can be, they don’t seem so delusional or emotionally crippled as to need to believe that their guy is brilliant.

              1. It really is an emotional issue with them. For lefties their politics is their identity. I think that comes from believing in a totalitarian mind set.

              2. It’s more a political necessity, IMO that BO be described as intelligent given the lefts relentless and sometimes downright schitzophrenic description of Bush (Palin, insert any republican here) as the village idiot (simultaneously with his being a master conspirator).

              3. Bulll—-fucking shit….you assholes think Sarah Palin is a fucking genius!!!!

            2. You forgot Lemming.

              1. and collectivism

          2. It also jives with their enlightened bigotry that everyone who votes for someone other than their candidate is a backwards and toothless hillbilly, who only cares about guns and oppressing women.

            1. Well, that’s where they’re right.

            2. Total classism.

            3. “Jibe” is probably the word you’re looking for. Facts are sometimes inconvenient, but the dictionary is usually your friend.

          3. Soooo, like a cult.

          4. +1,000,000

            The entire Obama experience is one long study in effective marketing, and how the power of his brand narrative or what have you completely trumps the reality of what he has (and has not), either before or after taking office.

            I still cling to the belief that he could be easily, easily defeated it someone just stood up and said, No. You can’t out-politic him, you just have to throw the truth out there like a big flaccid dong, and let the public get queasy marveling at it.

        2. I seriously don’t get how otherwise intelligent people refer to this doofus as smart.

          They confuse “credentialed” (and arrogant) with “smart”.

          1. You went to Harvard Law. Explain to the class how not everyone there was a super genius. It amazes me how people don’t get that idiots attend great institutions, too.

            1. Dubya graduated from Yale with an MBA and was somehow barely sentient (according to the DNC). Kerry graduated from Yale with worse grades than Dubya, couldn’t tell the difference between Vietnam and Cambodia, and yet was supposed to be an intellectual giant compared to Dubya.

              Some people in this world are in desperate need of an irony transfusion.

              1. Actually, he graduated from Yale with a BA in history. The MBA was from Harvard Business School. So he graduated from two of the country’s elite institutions. That means he’s twice as smart as Kerry, and as smart as Obama, right?

        3. There is definitely a lot of post-purchase rationalization, and in many case severe escalation of commitment.

          A lot of Obama supporters have even ratcheted up their support for anti-terrorism, deportation of immigrants, and now desperate attempts to deconstruct some profound sweetness in to these sour grapes.

      2. He really is stupid. That is bad enough. But we already knew that. What is worse is how his supporters will flat out deny how stupid he is and what he said even when it is on video. The speech speaks for itself. And they will sit there and tell themselves and the world that black is white.

        There is nothing that Obama could do or say that these people would not deny or defend. Nothing.

        1. He really is stupid.
          see, I question that. Craven? Yes. Dogmatic and ideological? Definitely. Not stupid, at least smart enough to recognize there is nothing that (he) could do or say that these people would not deny or defend/

          It is that knowledge that defines what he truly is – dangerous, if not malevolent. Folks see policy result and say “bad policy.” Bullshit; the outcomes are not accidental, they are the point.

          When you denude welfare reform, that speaks to what you are. When you rattle your rhetorical sabre about which Middle Eastern dictator has to go, knowing full well that something that is likely worse will replace him, it speaks to what you are.

      3. The thing is I suspect that Obama may not have even really thought about what he was saying. It’s entirely possible that he’s fucking stupid enough to just order his speechwriters to write shit for him and then not realize the ramifications of how it will be received.

        It was my understanding that Obama’s speech team is largely populated by a bunch of twenty-something pseudo-academics–people who think they are intellectually sophisticated but are too young and self-involved to actually produce anything but the most superficial of observations on anything. That would certainly explain why he sounds like a graduate student most of the time.

      4. Yeah, my initial reaction was just, who the hell was stupid enough to write a speech with this soundbite in it? And who was stupid enough to not fire them?

        1. Who is stupid enough to just read it and not change it during the speech? It is not too hard to look at the words and go “WTF are my speech writers thinking” and move on to the next section.

          I think he believes this shit. I think he gets on a roll and starts talking and the mask doesn’t just slip, it gets thrown in the trash can.

          1. Or he’s just like Ron Burgandy. If you hacked his teleprompter, he’d read whatever you put up there.

            1. If you put it up there, he will fucking read it. President Burgandy!!

              1. “Shit.

                I know shit’s been rough,

                with all that starving bullshit,

                and the dust storms,

                and we are running out of french fries and burrito coverings.

                But I got a solution.”

            2. If you hacked his teleprompter, he’d read whatever you put up there.

              Don’t tempt me.

              Obama: “Go fuck yourself, America!”

              1. Il Duce Redux says THAT even without TOTUS

            3. I was thinking the same thing. He’s a complete idiot. He’s stupid enough to believe the shit people like Frank Marshall Davis and Jeremiah Wright spew. He gets led around by his staff, propped up in front of a teleprompter and told to read. He has no idea what he’s saying. Then he gets to play golf or hoops. He’s never had a real job and has never done a single day’s work.

              When he’s caught on camera and away from the teleprompter, the crazy left-wing bullshit comes out. Like when he talked to that plumber guy.

          2. Who is stupid enough to just read it and not change it during the speech? It is not too hard to look at the words and go “WTF are my speech writers thinking” and move on to the next section.

            Yes, well, that question I can answer!

            1. 1) he reads it because he sees no problem with it
              2) he knows no one outside cranky conservatives will call him on it
              3) he knows a reliable media will defend him
              4) he still may win re-election which, given his performance, is astounding all by itself.

        2. Remember, this is the team that picked Gibbs and Carney to handle press relations.

      5. The thing is I suspect that Obama may not have even really thought about what he was saying. It’s entirely possible that he’s fucking stupid enough to just order his speechwriters to write shit for him and then not realize the ramifications of how it will be received.

        If you give a speech — you didn’t write that. Somebody else made that happen.

  4. In the interim, what transpired was a textbook case of how a distortion can emerge from right-wing online media, get laundered by Fox News, and go mainstream as a major line of attack by the Republican nominee for President.

    Because nothing is more distorted than the persons own word. He said it, no matter how you spin it.

    1. it’s almost poetic – a man elected on the basis on nothing more than words now finds himself looking stupid over words.

  5. “The popularization of Derridaian post-modernism since the 1990s has generally been a lot of fun”

    If by this you mean, I wanted to either tear my eyes out or go climb the Tower and do my Charles Whitman impression when I had to read Limited, Inc. then yes, its been a lot of fun. Fuck Jacques Derrida with a rusty shovel.

    1. Wow! I am now glad I have never heard of that guy before. Will avoid in the future.

  6. Watching the TEAM BLUE retards squirm and shill over this, and further deepen their reputation for being principle-less partisan scum, is fucking delicious.

    Shill, scum, shill! It gains you nothing, makes you look even scummier and stupider, and entertains me.

    1. They’re in a panic because Obama stupidly said exactly what he and each and every one of them is thinking.

    2. We’re actually panicked because we thought you idiots were smarter than you turn out to be. If you can watch this speech and honestly believe he said what Fox News wants you to believe he said…well, what do we actually win if you are America’s hearts and minds? Tomorrow Rush Limbaugh splices together a speech where Obama says, “I want .. [to] Eat .. Your abo…r…[ted] .. Fe… Tus.” and pretty soon NBCNews has a prime time story about it. How do you fight this fight? People who wilfully fool themselves can’t be reasoned with.

      1. People who wilfully fool themselves can’t be reasoned with.

        Taste the irony. TASTE IT!

      2. You’re retarded. The gist of the entire paragraph of that speech is that people who start businesses owe their sucess to the government.

        Even if you parse the line “you didn’t build that” as referring to roads and bridges, if you go back to the overall speech, he’s still saying that your business wouldn’t have succeeded without government help. All your doing is twisting one line of a speech into a form that makes it sound less bad, while ignoring the overall thrust of his argument.

        1. Team BLUE enjoys Obama’s overall thrust.

  7. Dig a hole to fill it back in? Unions will help you do that:
    http://www.youtube.com/watchv=nHYFONbT8EM

      1. You know the raw footage directly refutes this heavily edited version, right? No, you probably don’t.

  8. he actually believes that. Whenever he speaks from the heart he frightens everyone.

  9. What do you do when everybody’s claiming your president said something, and you just know he didn’t really say it, but all the video and all the audio and all the transcripts show that he did say it?

    It’s almost the perfect opposite of what they did to Palin over her “You can actually see Russia from an island in Alaska” quote.

    It’s just that the left claimed Palin said she could see Russia from her house–which was a lie. And the fact is you can see Russia from the Alaskan island she was talking about.

    Once you’re proficient at pretending people said what they didn’t say, and then master pretending what they said is false–even if it’s true? Doing the exact opposite is just as easy…

    You just pretend Obama didn’t say what he really said and then that what he said was true–even though it’s false.

    Easiest thing in the world.

    1. Ken,

      “I can see Russia from my house” was Tina Fey playing Palin on SNL. Just, it was funny, so nobody believed it was SNL.

      1. I know.

        It entered the public consciousness though. And she was dismissed by most people as intellectual lightweight, in no small part, because that statement was attributed to her–by the left.

        …even though it was only a sketch on SNL.

        That’s what’s so amazing about the truth with the left–it can be whatever they want it to be, apparently.

        Palin said something she didn’t really say–so she should be dismissed.

        Obama didn’t say something he really said–so we should all ignore his critics.

        This is the reality they live in.

    2. I remember watching Dan Quayle say, after a recent trip to Latin America, is that the one thing he regrets is not learning the language, Latin. This was quite obviously spoken in jest, but the media just reported it as Quayle being stupid again.

    3. Actually, it was Saturday Night Live who invented that quote. Most of America, the “majority” these pages are so fond of, thought it was funny and satirical in an informative way. But we didnt think it was wantonly dishonest. This current lie you’re all humping is dishonesty you’ve embraced with a full understanding that it’s a lie. You like it.

      1. Actually, it was SNL making fun of Palin because Palin said, “Actually, you can see Russia from parts of Alaska”. This was in reference to Palin’s having had to deal firsthand with the Russians.

        What’s sad is that the SNL writers thought it was untrue and impossible….so they made the joke about it.

        As someone who grew up in New York, who loves that city with all my heart-like organelles, I can safely say that there is no more provincial American than the New Yorker, the most venal form being the transplant.

  10. some juicy and delicious irony, isn’t there, that the candidate whose oratory sent thrills up legs becomes the president whose oratory derails him.

    1. As flawed as Gingrich was- I would have truly loved to see him on a stage with BHO in a debate. It would have been an ass-flaying of positively unprecedented epicness.

      1. Word. A lot of Gingrich’s ideas were hare-brained, but he knew how to debate and would have mopped the floor with Obama.

  11. Like people pointed out last night… Who cares how you parse it? If you parse it exactly the way the Democrats want, it’s still a shitty thing to say.

    The fact that roads and bridges were paid for through taxes (that either the business owner or their ancestors paid) doesn’t logically lead to unlimited tax hikes forever or that a business someone built isn’t a result of their initiative.

    It’s collectivist horseshit no matter how you slice it.

    1. Yeppers. Why don’t they just stick with openly embracing the state and socialism? It’s not like they don’t do it half the time already, and they certainly live that life.

      1. It’s the bureaucratic God Complex.

        Praising God isn’t enough, you must praise public servants. And your praise should be in the form of tribute and obedience. Otherwise any help you want to give to others less fortunate may be directed to the wrong unfortunates.

    2. It’s collectivist horseshit no matter how you slice it.

      Who cares if it’s collectivist horseshit or not……what is important is that you should plan on hearing it on a regular basis until the election.

      1. If he loses he is still not going away. He is that much of a pugnacious shithead. He’ll be both in the media and president in exile for the dregs he installed at all levels of the federal government.

        1. I think Obozo would love to be secretary general of the UN. Then he could continue to pretend to be king of the world. And the best part is that pretty much everyone involved with that organization believes the same collectivist horseshit that he’s shoveling. And as a bonus, all 3rd world despots will love him as one of their very own.

          1. Sorry, Americans need not apply.

            1. Who says he is American? After he is out of office, he can go back to saying he is from Kenya, or whatever he wants to make up.

              1. Okay, if he does that, I’ll like him slightly. For a brief moment.

                1. Accompanied by, ‘I was Kenyan all along, SUCKAS!’ yeah, I’d like him for a few seconds too.

                  1. I’d even get a shirt with that on it.

                2. I will still hate the fuck out of him, no matter what he does. In some instances, there is just too much water under the bridge for the love to ever come back.

                  1. Oh, come on. He sucker punches us and then laughs about it? I’d love that instant in time. You got me, dude!

            2. So Obama qualifies.

      2. what is important is that you should plan on hearing it on a regular basis until the election.

        My plan for this election is to ignore economic issues with TEAM BLUE altogether and focus solely on the civil liberties issue with their slavish devotion to the Big Zero. It’sample ammunition for the picking and you can even tailor it, if you know what’s important to that person. Obama has been so abominable on civil liberties that you can pick just about anything.

        The way I look at it is even if I don’t convince someone to not vote for the scumbag, I’m going to make them fell like shit for doing it. I want them to feel dirty pulling the lever for him.

        1. My favorite tactic is to steal a line directly from Pro Liberate. I ask them “if you like Obama so much, why did you hate Bush?” “Was it the deficits?” “The Wars?” “The civil liberties violations?”

          They also get this look like an android whose master control program has crashed and just change the subject.

          1. It’s so central to everything. Obama is Bush+more bad shit. There’s no rational way around that. There are irrational ways, but nothing based on logic and reality can avoid the conclusion: If you love Obama, you love Bush.

            1. Obama has Obamacare going for him. But they don’t want to talk about that anymore. The country has moved on.

          2. My line is, “This year I’m voting for the candidate that supports trillion dollar deficits, drone strikes, saber rattling with Iran, the PATRIOT Act, TARP, legislation by executive order, deportation of mass numbers of illegal immigrants, and raids on medical marijuana dispensaries,” and whatever else enters my head at the time.

            Most people are too ashamed to admit that doesn’t narrow it down enough for them.

            1. Between Obama and Romney, it doesn’t.

          3. Obama is Bush with universal health care. The latter being so important that it completely outweighs all of the former.

        2. I tried that, and got the response, “Well, at least it’s the right guy using them,” when I pointed out that Obama was killing kids with drones.

          Not a joke. That really happened. Now I have a whole group of acquaintances I can’t even stand to talk to anymore.

    3. It makes the big O look bad, so it must be some kind of TEAM RED conspiracy. QED.

      That’s actually how they think.

    4. And another thing… it all rests on the strawman argument that what “the rich” want is to pay no taxes whatsoever.* If you cut taxes back to what it takes to just build roads, bridges and infrastructure, “the rich” and the rest of us who actually pay taxes would dance in the streets with the purest joy.

      The choice has never been “zero taxes” vs. “reasonable taxes” but rather “nightwatchman state” vs “bloated nightmare cradle-to-grave bureaucracy.”

      There is plenty of money already being collected to pay for the federal government authorized and outlined by the Constitution.

      *Yes, that is the position of some people, but not the majority.

      1. No taxes, please.

      2. The rich did build that bridge or that road with their taxes.

      3. Also, if we are talking about roads and bridges, isn’t this why we pay 18 cents a gallon every time we buy gas?

        1. Yes, yet another nail in his rhetorical coffin.

    5. It is very collectivist, almost definitionally so. Which if you actually are a small ‘c’ collectivist, I don’t think it’s much to apologize for. It is what you believe after all.

      The problem is that small ‘c’ collectivists understand:

      1) That they are not a huge chunk of the populace,
      2) That the actions of large ‘C’ Collectivists in the 20th century badly harmed their brand,
      3) That Obama’s success is not helped by going down the road of debating whether he’s a collectivist or not.

      And so the whole thing creates a problem for him.

      1. Exactly. No matter what he was “really” saying, he’s still being a douche.

    6. That’s not even the fun part. The fun part of his comment about “roads and bridges” (of the highways and interstates) is that the roads and bridges weren’t built or intended for the sake of commerce; they were built for war. Eisenhower’s Highway System was conceived of as the National Defense Highway System after he was in Germany and saw how much more convenient the Autobahn made moving personnel and supplies during World War II.

      If Obama were actually an honest man (HAH!) or had a grasp of history he would have said the following: Let me be clear, I am going to suck Pentagon cock and pay for the privilege until they turn out something useful to the public at large.

    7. It’s the groundskeepers getting the idea they’re the dudes playing the game.

  12. Their defense is built upon the notion that Obama gets the benefit of the doubt. Obama deserves the benefit of the doubt about as much Chris Christie deserves to be at the front of the line to the buffet table for seconds before the rest of the crowd gets firsts.

  13. So his excuse is that he gave a badly written confusing speech full of ambiguity?

    That makes all OK then. Oh, except it kind of makes you wonder about that whole “President Obama is so intelligent and articulate” schtick, doesn’t it?

    Besides, a 3R notes @ 3:52PM above not matter how the words of the speech are parsed it demonstrates contempt for individual liberty, effort and accomplishment.

    Maybe we should go and find a corpseman and see if he can tell us in Austrian how to bow to tyrannical kings.

    1. Its all TOTUS’s fault, like we said in the MLs.

    2. So his excuse is that he gave a badly written confusing speech full of ambiguity?

      I think he was speaking from the heart.

      I think this is the kind of stuff he says when he goes off script.

      I think this is what he really thinks.

      1. And you know why I think this is what he really thinks?

        Because it doesn’t conflict with anything he’s done as president.

        Everything from TARP to the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau to ObamaCare to everything else he’s done. What he said is consistent with all of it.

        The other reason is because he’s never had a real job in his life. Never once has his pay depended on his performance or his initiative. And what he said is consistent with that, too.

        So, I guess we should wait and see if he comes out and tells the biggest lie he could tell right now–which is that he didn’t really mean what he said.

      2. Yeah, that was kind of my point.

        Well that and the guy is clueless.

        If a GOP president made the kind of gaffes that BHO makes they’d be all over it. Insted they just keep raving about how brilliant they man is as though that’s going to convice anyone with half a brain.

        1. The left knows they bought a lemon. They’re just trying to convince themselves that it really isn’t that bad, and anyway they should certainly renew the lease for another 4 years.

          1. They’ll go to the wall for him.

            But they don’t think he’s a lemon.

            They just want him to do moar!

    3. One of the issues I have with Obama–out of a very large pile of issues–is that he seems to have extraordinarily incompetent underlings. As president, probably your most important skill has to be in selecting and delegating to other people. He’s about as incompetent at that as anyone ever.

      1. you see incompetence, he sees slavish devotion and fellow travelers. You see foolish policies, he sees desired outcomes. I know it sounds conspiratorial, but the standard political calculus does not apply with this man. He’s not standard issue Blue.

        1. That’s why he’s going to lose this election to the most boring candidate, well, since Kerry.

          1. the most astounding thing is that this figures to be a close vote. Given his record, it is more reasonable to expect a 1980 repeat, which may be the case but that requires more faith in the public’s intelligence than I have.

            1. If Romney were another Reagan, it’d definitely be a landslide. But it’s just fucking Romney.

              1. If Romney were half a Reagan.

                1. Please: if Romney had half the political talents of Palin, he’d be on his way to a landslide.

                  Jesus, a ticket of Himmler and Heydrich could beat Obama like a rented mule.

                  But of course, the Stupid Party in Washington rammed Mitt Romney up the rank and file’s ass like a used sex toy.

        2. Obama sees slavish devotion and fellow travlers as a good thing.

      2. One of the points I constantly made before BO was elected was just how slender his executive portfolio was.

        Hell, in spite of what I think about Sarah Palin’s ignorance and lack of curiosity, I believe she is every bit as intelligent as BO and she certainly has better administrative and managerial skills.

        1. That was what I found amusing about 2008. Even many on the left kept comparing Obama to Palin. In fact, more than once I had to say, “Um, Obama’s running against the old Manchurian Candidate, not the librarian you want to sleep with but won’t admit it.”

          1. The constant obsession with Palin as if she was the candidate for President rather than VP was really bizarre.

            1. John, I don’t think it’s completely out of line to suggest that the candidate for veep should be qualified to be prez. After all, there’s that whole “heartbeat awy” thing.

              But most of the attacks on Palin were not on her competence, they were personal. And I say that even though I do think she was frightfully ill-prepared in most of her media encounters.

              1. I do think she was frightfully ill-prepared in most of her media encounters.

                No she had one interview with Katie Couric that was edited to make her look bad. She did quite well in every other interview. But the Dems got the talking point out so fast and wanted to believe it so much.

                1. And even she admitted that she had a “bad” interview. Still, there were hours of it that Couric had left on the cutting room floor. Palin learned from that experience never to trust the MSM again.

                  The Romney Team? Not so much. Team Frat House is made up of a lot of the same guys who ran McCain into the ground and, I should add, were part of the Message Team during the Bush Second Term.

                  How’d that work out for the Beltway GOP, I mean, now that New Orleans is back above water?

                2. Edited…what crap, it wasn’t edited…you lie!!!! (with apologies to Joe Wilson—but he is my man!!!)

            2. Palin was too dangerous to the left. She was a qualified women who could deliver a fine speech. Plus she wasn’t too hard to look at. She had to be stopped, and for good.

        2. for all her shortcomings, Palin had one thing Obama has not had till now – a record of being in charge. But, no one really went after her record; it was always personal.

      3. They’re incompetent, PL, but they’re so handsomely credentialed. Steve Chu has a fucking Nobel Prize, in fact.

        But it’s clear that, given Chu’s picks for “green energy” swag, the average lemonade stand entrepeneur has more business sense than him.

  14. But this version is a bit of a ramble, [and] you can tell, because Obama never repeated this riff. And the looseness suggests that Obama left out a sentence or a clause.

    Obama’s the kind of guy who would write something as open to future interpretation as A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed. DON’T RAMBLE.

  15. His supporters should give him the respect of taking his words seriously.

    The above sentence is a sure sign of the delusional hysteria often associated both with the irrational belief that leftists are sometimes worth hearing out, and with taking seriously what appears in the New York Times.

    Occasionally observed here, sadly.

  16. I just think it’s funny that in a campaign with Mitt Romney and Joe Biden, Barack Obama has managed to make the biggest gaffe so far.

  17. This is a Biden-level gaffe. Did Obama accidentally read the veep’s speech?

    1. Biden’s speeches are all in pictograms.

  18. The sheer and unmitigated arrogance coming from the TEAM BLUE camp is what is so astounding. They’re not even trying any longer to mask the contempt they have for the non-political classes.

    You don’t really expect them to say anything rational or intelligent and yet they still manage to shock you with freakishly stupid statements. Worse, the brain-dead sycophant partisans lap it up and promote it as something significant and though-provoking.

    This may be the clearest evidence that we have reached peak retard.

    1. sage contends that we can never reach Peak Retard. Then I look at Hugh and think “I don’t know about that”.

      1. Peak retard will only be reached when EVERYONE is a retard. Long before that happens retard will be defined down to cretin.

        1. That’s retarded.

          1. It’s just like a box of chocolates.

    2. They will deny anything. The words are clear. We have Obama on video saying it. And they deny it happened. The guy could go full Sandusky on a ten year old during a press conference and these people would say that it never happened and only right wingers care. WTF is wrong with these people. They have lost their minds.

      1. I believe that we have already firmly established that they have lost their fucking minds. Or, they were born that way and it’s an incurable disorder.

        They believe what he said, they really do, no need to try to hide it now, everyone knows they are blood sucking commie parasites. Even they know it, they just don’t care. Once you have sunk that low, self respect, or respect for anyone else is pretty much out the window.

        1. It has to be similar to what happened in Nazi Germany or Revolutionary France. A certain section of society just goes mad and believes insane things. We are just lucky no one has started killing anyone, yet.

          1. That is what permanent entitlement does to you. And the ranks of the permantently entitled are swelling like a raging torrent. The money is going to run out. Then what happens? Probably some of what you stated in your last sentence.

          2. Oh man, I am flashing back to my grad school days and talking about “The Great Fear” that swept Revolutionary France… by God I hope you are wrong – that didn’t turn out well.

            1. Maybe so, LTC John, but I start thinking, “Hmm…members of Congress…punk POTUS…guillotine…” and it makes me think about taking up knitting.

    3. Who are you going to believe, your intellectual superiors or your lying ears?

      1. Let me rethink that for you.

        1. + a number resembling the Federal debt.

    4. The sheer and unmitigated arrogance coming from the TEAM BLUE camp is what is so astounding.

      And you can thank one justice of the SCOTUS for the fact that the arrogance will now be ramped up several notches. Hey, look, we won! whoohooo, nothing we cannot do now! Just call it a fucking tax and FORWARD comrades!

      1. If Willard wants to win me over at all as president, one of the first things he’ll do will be to push for an amendment that makes taxarama unconstitutional. Fuck Roberts.

        1. I don’t look for much effort from the GOP to overturn this massive clusterfuck. Just some playing around in a feeble attempt to appease the crazy tea bagger and Libertarian types, and to fuck with the Dems a little, but no real and meaningful action.

          I look for it to die a slow death while killing off a lot more of the middle class in the process.

          A fucking pox on you, Roberts! Bastard.

          1. Oh, I agree. He won’t even try to make me happy. I mean, who cares how a libertarian taxpayer feels?

        2. Just impeach the cocksucker. It’s a lot easier than passing a Constitution Amendment.

          1. But that doesn’t change the law.

  19. David Taintor: most punchable face ever, or most kickable face ever?

    Also, that big yellow glowing thing in the sky during the day is called “the Sun”. Perhaps you should go outside once in a while during daylight hours you pasty-ass fuck.

    1. Hey, now, some of us resemble that remark. The daystar is entirely too damned bright and it’s way too hot out there.

      1. Are you a ginger?

        1. No. Gingers are soulless, whereas I sold my soul to the libertaraian devil.

      2. The daystar is the root of all evil. Just watch that documentary, the Zeitgeist, and learn young weedhopper…

      3. The Yellow Face burns us!

    2. He looks like the product of three or four generations of in-breeding. I imagine the eyes get loser and closer to together. I bet his grandchildren with just have one big eye and spontaneously bleed in direct sunlight.

      1. At some point their right eye will be in the left socket and vice versa.

      2. And apparently he missed the memo that you acne is actually treatable now.

        1. And the memo that combs are cheap and effective.

          1. They even have that new fangled thing called moose now.

      3. Oh, that face is definitely New England Cthulhu cultist stock.

        1. Possibly a member of the Whateley clan.

          1. Wiki on The Dunwich Horror:

            Wilbur Whateley is the son of a deformed albino mother and an unknown father (alluded to in passing by the mad Old Whateley as “Yog-Sothoth”), and strange events surround his birth and precocious development. Wilbur matures at an abnormal rate, reaching manhood within a decade. All the while, his sorcerer grandfather indoctrinates him into certain dark rituals and the study of witchcraft.

            1. Four generations later and the abomination turns to pathos.

          2. Not another Whately!

            Jezuz, Sothoth, they’re called tits and you have at least forty nine of your own. Get over the damned things and stick to hentai with pixelated genitalia.

        2. I’ve never seen him down at the EoD. But I’m only there when requested.

          1. There is no way possible that he doesn’t smell–at least faintly–of cat piss. No way.

      4. I bought some beer maybe a month back. Lady asked for my ID. Her eyes got big, ‘Forty four? You’re two years older than me? You look like a kid?’

        I told her, ‘I don’t do sunlight.’

    3. Ezra Something has the most punchable face. To be fair to him, the cub scout freshness of his never grown a hair there chin sets me off as much as the douchebagness of his smile.

      1. Klein is up there. But I think Ackerman might have him beat

        https://reason.com/blog/2010/07…..st-members

        Ackerman is the pathetic tough guy “lets throw some chairs” jounolister.

        1. A guy like that gives you crap, you just walk over, very leisurely, hold him by his shoulders and push him over like you were tipping a cow. He won’t fight back, and he’ll be on the floor not understanding why his threats were ignored.

          1. I live for the day some Washington douche bag gives me crap. Sadly it has never happened. They are a bit less aggressive in person.

            1. Offer them tequila shots. Something about that stuff brings out the inner Alec Baldwin.

              1. You are funny and cruel… I like the cut of your jib, sirrah!

  20. I just want to point out the Weigel turned out to be every bit the douche bag lefty moron I always said he was when he was at Reason. God he is pathetic.

    1. Too bad he stopped coming over here to argue with us when we called him an asshole.

      1. Might be the smartest thing he ever did.

        1. Yeah, but it was fun. I never thought he was too bad when he worked for reason, but the man with the Conway Twitty hair turned out to be an epic douche.

          1. Yeah, this surprised me too. I didn’t find Weigel’s Reason articles to signal anything like the kind of craptacular he throws out now. Maybe something happens when you turn in your monacle.

            1. Weigel was a reporter covering the 2008 campaign for Reason. Much of what he wrote was straight reporting. He’s pretty good at that.Whenever he slipped into editorializing it was obvious Delaware Dave was an out and proud progressive.
              Any libertarian sympathies were of the Wilkinson, Sanchez and McArdle school.

    2. I just want to point out the Weigel turned out to be every bit the douche bag lefty moron I always said he was when he was at Reason.

      Quit taking all the credit. There were lots of us calling him an epic douche when he was here.

  21. He didn’t say what you think he said. Who are you going to believe, us TEAM BLUE flacks or your lying ears?

  22. That last line is pretty good evidence that Obama was still running with the Choom Gang in the 1990s

    Tim, don’t let Jacob Sullum hear you say that.

  23. Could someone please send Taintor some Clearasil pads and a hair brush?

    1. Edward Norton in Primal Fear without the acting ability.

  24. David Taintor: The Steaming Pride of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire

    1. Wasn’t there a song about him? “Taintor Love?”

    2. Or maybe I’m thinking of Asimov’s Galactic Empire, with the governing planet of Taintor.

  25. Can we pile on washed-up libertarian Weigel some more? It’s more than well-deserved.

    It was a ramble because he didn’t repeat it!

    Um, maybe you should look up what ramble means, “hug” boy.

    “Somebody invested in roads and bridges. If you’ve got a business — you didn’t build that.” Did he mean that you, small businessman, didn’t build the roads and bridges?

    No, buttstick. “That” refers to the noun before it — “small business.” No amount of verbal massaging by you will change that. Buttstick.

    1. As I tried to point out to some moron at Huffpo, “that” is a singular pronoun and therefore cannot refer to “roads and bridges”. But then again, given the Left’s interpretation of the General Welfare Clause comprehending the subtleties of the English language is not their strong suit.

  26. Seems to me that small businesses that have succeeded sometimes do so in spite of what “someone else” built. Locally, metro took metro days to figure out why a computer crash halted the trains twice — twice — over the weekend. And the teachers in Obama’s backyard should be ashamed of themselves.

  27. I think the Reps are stupid for harping on a grammatical error. Change “that” to “those” and we aren’t even talking about this.

    1. EVen if you do, we still are. Suppose he did say “those”. What is Obama saying here?

      1. You wouldn’t have a business without government goodies

      2. You didn’t build those government goodies

      3. Therefore, that business and your success really isn’t yours, it is the government.

      It means the same thing either way.

      1. No it doesn’t. Saying you didn’t build the roads and bridges is way different than saying you didn’t build your business. The “roads” argument might be stupid but the two aren’t the same.

        1. You’re being that guy. It ain’t worth it.

        2. Saying you didn’t build the roads and bridges is way different than saying you didn’t build your business.

          Yes it is because that is not all he said. He said you wouldn’t have your business without those roads and bridges. They are as responsible for your success as you are. That means you didn’t really build your business.

      2. Either “that” refers to “your business”, in which case, the attacks are perfectly accurate.

        Or “that” refers to “roads and bridges”, which makes it sort of a babbling non sequitur.

        Umm, yes, that’s right, I have a successful business. I did not build those roads and bridges. Your point?

        1. Maybe you should have. And then you could have taken credit for working like crazy to make your business successful. Otherwise it just doesn’t count.

          1. So he didn’t pay any taxes to help build that road or bridge or school? That’s almost as retarded as Tony and Apparently A Statist.

            1. I was trying to be sarcastic. Sorry if didn’t come through.

    2. https://reason.com/blog/2012/07…..nt_3146026

      Any defense of Obama only reflects poorly on the defender. Don’t be that guy.

      1. Who’s defending Obama? I’m merely castigating the Reps for making shit up. Something they accuse the Dems of doing.

        1. Don’t do it. There is no excusing Obama for this crap no matter if the Rethugs did not exist at all. In a one party state this would be just awful rhetoric.

          1. just awful rhetoric still.

    3. Did you read the fucking article? It addresses two points:

      1) How do you know it’s a grammatical error? You tuned in to his dog whistle frequency or something? Besides, that explanation makes no sense given his next sentence: “Somebody else made that happen.”

      2) Even so, the whole thing is still pretty squarely in the collectivist camp, and he thinks he owns you and yours forever. Don’t believe that? Answer this question: how large of a check would I have to write to you to get my life back? One check, so that I don’t ever have to pay the government anything ever again–or put up with any bitching and moaning from anyone about how I’m not paying my “fair share”.

      1. 75% of everything you make for life ought to cover it.

        There is no amount. I like to push for a specific dollar amount on the basis that that’s how the government pays for things. They don’t write checks to vendors for “0.12% of Joe R.’s income in 2011”

        Even when it’s pointed our that the rich ARE paying their share, the discussion will simply shift from that to the need for them pay a larger share for “the greater good”, “societal contract”, etc. Some will go full retard and imply that rich people paying more then their share is necessary to prevent civil unrest or a ‘pauper’s revolt’.

        They get very angry when I point out that there’s no having a straight conversation with them when we go from “the rich aren’t paying their share” to “the rich should pay because that’s part of the societal contract” to “if the rich stop paying, we’ll have a revolt by poor people’.

        You’re dumber for days after having a discussion like that. It’s like being at a race, shooting range, or concert without hearing protection where your ears ring for days.

    4. That is patently retarded.

  28. 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

    I still think “that” was referring to the roads and bridges, not the business. If I’m right, then the statement doesn’t deserve this hooplah because it’s basically something he’s said time and time again.

    Either way, he’s still an asshat, though. It’s just a question of degree.

    1. It’s still screwed up. He’s clearly not just talking about interdependence, and hidden completely from sight is the fact that businesses and wealthier individuals carry a huge portion of the tax burden.

      Fuck Obama.

    2. In that context, it’s even worse, because it presumes that roads and bridges were an “investment,” something that was built because it would provide a rate of return with very little effort on the part of the beneficiary.

      The problem is that those roads and bridges would never have been built without the taxes from businesses during the period those roads and bridges were built, and taxes on businesses in the years afterwards (if paid for with debt instruments like bonds which mortgage the future earnings of subsequent generations).

      Just because the businesses weren’t out there with shovels or driving Old Bessy the paving machine doesn’t mean that they had no part in the construction of the road itself.

      1. No. I think it’s worse to claim that someone’s business wasn’t built by them, than to ignore the fact that someone’s taxes played a small part in building the country’s infrastructure. In the first case you are denying the vast majority of someone’s effort. In the latter you are denying a fraction of a fraction of that effort (one fraction goes to taxes, and one fraction of those taxes goes to infrastructure.)

    3. “That” is singular. “Roads” is plural. “Bridges” is plural. “Roads and bridges” is plural.

      1. Tim, you just took that boy to Grammar Town!

        1. Oh, no, now “Funky Town” is in my head, and I don’t have time to rewrite it into “Grammar Town.” Yet it scans!

      2. And east is east and west is west, and if you take cranberries and stew them like applesauce, they taste more like prunes than rhubarb does.

        1. I always put a few prunes into the brew to help the yeast out.

      3. “That” is singular. “Roads” is plural. “Bridges” is plural. “Roads and bridges” is plural.

        Come on. People make plently of grammar mistakes. Especially politicians who are constantly talking. Look at the transcript. Since when is “–” proper punctuation?

        Immediately after that he starts talking about the Internet, which is more like “roads and bridges” than a “business”.

        Again. I’m not defending his position. I’m just saying he didn’t fuck up as badly as many conservatives want to think he did. He still maintains the same position that he’s always had. And he still ignores the fact that our taxes paid for those roads and bridges.

        1. Conservatives say that any way you slice this thing–be it in the obvious as spoken way–or in the genrous way you want to take it, the same basic statement is being made–that business creators owe The State the existence of their businesses.

          The only difference is degree.

    4. Well you guys can get pulled into Noam Chomsky word games, but the spirit of this speech (and everything else he says, for fuck’s sake) was egalitarian collectivism and statism and class warfare balkanization lolzolzlz

      1. Agreed. So why are conservatives making such a big deal about this one little sentence? Obama’s been saying this stuff for decades.

        1. Because it clarifies for non-conservatives and non-libertarians just what a collectivist monster Obama really is. The lefties won’t care — they agree with him. The squishy middle needs to hear it, understand it, and make a choice. God help us if they make the wrong choice.

  29. 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.

    So the only alternative to magical, spontaneous self-creation is to get the government to make something.

    1. The Internet in some form was around for decades. It because relevant when private actors got involved. That’s yet another total bullshit meme.

      1. No one would have ever heard of the Internet if it wasn’t for the fact that people figured out that it was a convenient way to exchange free porn.

    2. His internet comment made no sense at all. It was a defense department project, after all, that was not intended to help businesses make money.

      He is either ignorant or deliberately lying. Again.

  30. Even if you give him the benefit of the doubt and interpret the speech to innocently mean that all accomplishments are built on accomplishments that came before it (the current apologist interpretation that I am hearing from my progressive friends), it is still a pointless and dick thing to say. It is like going to a pizza parlor and saying “your pizza is great and all and I am sure you worked hard and sacrificed a lot to create your business and your product, but come on, it is not like you invented pizza.” What the fuck is the point of saying something like that other than to piss on someone else?

    1. I’d like to take the time to remind people that the wheel in the middle of the two the left and right clicks button on the mouse if for scrolling through shit.

      1. I’d like to take the time to remind people that the wheel in the middle of the two the left and right clicks buttons on the mouse ifs for scrolling through shit.

        Talking to some one on the phone while one handing it.

        1. Talking to some one on the phone while one handing it.

          Man, I didn’t even know those services were still around.

  31. What Mitt Romney is accusing Obama of saying is so ridiculous that it deserves no consideration whatsoever. Everyone knows what Obama meant. And Romney is lying through his teeth as usual.

    In fact in the speech I just watched Romney give, when he was bashing Obama over this, Romney made exactly the same point Obama made. He acknowledged that nobody makes it on his own and that parents, teachers, infrastructure, etc., are involved.

    Obama’s mistake was putting words together in a way that could be taken out of context by the rightwing stupid machine. Romney repeated Obama’s point exactly then criticized Obama for it, by pretending that Obama said something as likely to come out of a president’s mouth as “fuck America.”

    Is it now fair game to edit Romney clips so that it seems like he’s saying he eats babies? He seemed to admit as much back when he was said it was OK to lie about Obama saying “if we talk about the economy, we lose.”

    1. Everyone knows what Obama meant

      yes we do.

      He meant this

      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 words speak for themselves. If you own a business, you didn’t build it and by implication it doesn’t really belong to you. It belongs to the collective.

      1. You are case in point that no matter how stupid the claim the rightwing stupid machine makes, people will believe it.

        1. http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-…..e-virginia

          Show me, in the official transcript, where he didn’t mean what he said.

          1. I’m assuming, with the aid of thoughts, that the president of the united states didn’t mean to say “You didn’t play a role in building your own business” as Mitt Romney and the right are characterizing it.

            I’m actually a little surprised he’s channeling Elizabeth Warren, but I know he’s not saying something absurd.

            1. You’re not sure what he’s saying, you just know it can’t be that thing he actually said.

              1. Why doesn’t someone just ask him what he meant?

                1. Because he doesn’t take questions?

                2. He said what he meant.

            2. True, it’s pretty implausible that the president would openly say something so contemptuous about a large group of potential voters and risk having it blow up in his face. We should really stop clinging to this story before it embitters us.

        2. Projection. With absolutely no self awareness. And a capital fuckin P.

      2. I think Obama is actually Frank Fontaine. He’s done cross-racial disguises, we know that much, and he has no problem with the long con. It’s just a theory.

        1. Of course, that makes the Koch brothers Andrew Ryan.

    2. So, Toady, what you’re saying is that we should give BO a pass because he’s so stupid he can’t give a coherent speech?

      OK, then.

      1. President Ron Burgundy. If you put it on the teleprompter he will fucking read it.

      2. I’m saying putting words in an unfortunate order is somewhat less of a malefaction than outright lying.

        1. President Humpty Dumpty.

        2. President Humpty Dumpty.

        3. Wow, it’s like 2004 all over again, except the parties are reversed.

          1. This. Eat Tony, eat.

        4. We can discuss BO’s lying some other time. In this thread we’re discussing his competence.

          I’m fascinated to see how it’s gone from what a genius BO is to “the soft bigotry of low expectations”.

    3. Yes, it was quite clear. What he meant was ‘If you own a business, you didn’t build that’. Only a total moron would think it means anything other than that. End of debate.

    4. Obama’s mistake was putting words together in a way that could be taken out of context by the rightwing stupid machine.

      If Obama can’t communicate his points in a clear and effective manner, perhaps the stupid machine is in his own camp.

      Seriously, if you and other Obama sycophants have to go around trying to post hoc explain the nuances of what his speech supposedly meant–“This is what he actually said. Trust us!”–then you’re already way behind in the OODA loop. You’re actually lucky that Romney doesn’t have half the killer instinct you guys are claiming he does, because someone with an legitimately agile political mind would have turned Obama into jelly by now.

      1. I don’t claim Romney has political agility. I totally agree with you, he could be doing so much better. Even rare gifts like this tend to fall flat when coming from his mouth, probably because it’s so ridiculous he can’t even pretend to be sincere about it.

        Obama says a lot of things, and very few are outright gaffes, as is evidenced by the length of time conservatives harp on the rare instances of them. People are still talking about 57 states.

        1. 57 states is a pretty damn serious gaffe, even though just in a silly kind of a way. But still, if Palin or Bush would have said that, Liberals would be crowing about it 10 years from now. It would have been beat to death on SNL and other comedy shows.

          1. The 57 states was kind of a forgiveable slip of the tongue. There were 57 primaries after all.

            “Corpse-man” and not knowing what language is spoken in Austria demonstrate plain ignorance. I seem to recall he mispronounced the name of the Orion spacecraft too.

            And bowing to the Saudi king is just clueless.

            These are things we would never here the end of if a Republican had done them. Instead they were buried almost as soon as they happened.

            1. All exceptions that prove the rule. I’ve heard every one of those a nauseating number of times from rightwingers. Granted, Bush had some classics that were oft repeated, but wake me when Obama similarly has a book-length catalog.

              1. Wake up, Tony. Here are 163, and the list doesn’t include many in the last year (e.g. twice referring to “his sons”).

              2. “All exceptions that prove the rule.”

                Ya think Tony can’t get any dumber, and then . . .

          2. For fuck sake….Palin!!!! Palin is your example of a genius????

        2. Seriously? Just because Obama’s not nearly the gaffe machine that Biden is doesn’t make him a person of “rare gifts.” He’s actually said dumber things outside the TOTUS than even this particular speech–the “spread the wealth” line he threw at Joe the Plumber, the “special ed” crack on Leno, and the 60 Minutes interview where he actually got called out by Kroft for acting “punch-drunk” for giggling over the economy.

          We could even go into the ridiculously childish metaphors he throws out, such as the mopping or slurpee-drinking speeches, which obviously appeal to the emotionally retarded college student demographic but are hardly examples of intellectual acuity.

          1. ATMs wrecked the American job market.

            1. And bulldozers. Can you imagine the job creation if we took heavy equipment away from road crews?

    5. Any way you slice it that was a very stupid thing to say. But I wouldn’t expect someone of such limited mental capacities to grok that.

      1. I award you the entire internet for an excellent use of “grok”.

  32. “Look, he did not say ‘unforeseeable.’ You may have heard him say it, but he did not say that. And that is a fact.”

    “I need you all to make me have not said that. I need you to make me un-said it.”

    1. There are those who say I said something…

      1. These aren’t the droids you’re looking for

  33. Classic case of “Assassin Panda”: He eats shoots and leaves.

  34. Ultimately, I don’t understand what the leftist have with the “right-wing” interpretation. Aren’t they always saying that if Obama doesn’t get elected that it was going to be because he wasn’t enough to the left?

    Obama came out as “From each according to his ability, to each according to his need” style shitbag. That’s 100% guaranteed to get him elected by the mass of people yearning to turn America into a broke-ass Europe-clone, right?

    1. No kidding. Even if he meant what the big meanies on the right say he did, shouldn’t that be a good thing? Shouldn’t lefties be happy that he is finally embracing the true cause?

    2. A real reporter would ask Obama that exact question.

  35. http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-…..e-virginia

    Yeah, he never said that. Nope. No credible source has him saying it. Never happened. RW meme.

  36. Either he didn’t make those comments or they were taken out of context or even if they are in context they don’t matter because we should be reading between the lines.

    The problem with this rhetorical tactic is that the “context” is precisely what clarifies Obama’s intention, and its exactly what it sounds like = The Collective Deserves Credit for People’s Individual Successes…which is the fundamental rationale behind raising taxes and confiscating wealth and handing out more ponies to unions etc etc.

    Whether he was saying, “business owners didn’t build their own business” or “business owners didn’t build teh Roadz + Bridges” that help those business grow… its a meaningless distiction

    in the broader context, he goes on *at length* denoucing the idea of individual effort, achievement, entrepreneurialism, etc. He spends the bulk of the speech suggesting that government is *underappreciated* as an engine of economic growth… as per the “govt invented the internet” meme…

    Tony = Everyone knows what Obama meant.

    Really? Funny how you never bother to articulate exactly what it was…

    1. It’s an elementary school lesson on the point of a society. It’s only necessary because the Republican party is in a bit of an Ayn Rand craze. It should not be a controversial thing; what should be considered absurd is the claim that the world is made prosperous solely from the efforts of lone entrepreneur heroes. Bill Gates certainly doesn’t agree with that.

      1. So, what Obama meant to say was that entrepreneurs DID build their businesses, but they didn’t build roads or bridges?

        1. He’s saying nobody becomes successful without the aid of his community. Mitt Romney said exactly the same thing in his speech when he was bashing Obama over the meme.

          1. So does JayZ owe a debt of gratitude to his local crack dealers and failed public schools and the police who sent many of his generation to jail… all of which inspired him to pen paens to the horrors of trying to survive in urban america? Truly, it doesn’t just take a village…it takes a hood!

            1. Well of course not. He supports Obama.

              *I have no idea if JayZ actually supports Obama.

            2. Do you have more than one hood Gilmore? For different occasions?

          2. The community didn’t give their aid. The individuals in the community engaged in capitalism. The roads and bridges were built by business owners and their employees looking to make a profit. They were not built by the government.

          3. No Superbowl winner ever won without the help of groundskeepers, either, but we don’t consider the guys who paint the lines on the field the main event, either, and they sure as fuck don’t take 50% of the gate, either.

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          4. Which is rubbish. No community becomes successful without the drive and initiative of certain members.

            I’ve worked for a couple of entrepreneurs. They built their own roads and bridges. I drive on them every day when I come into work. The founder of my company took a fetid swamp and carved out 110 acres of paradise with trees, streams, ponds and a magnificent building. He paid for the land. He paid to have the land transformed. He paid to have the roads around leveled and paved. He paid to have the building constructed. Every step of the way he paid taxes to the city, the county, the state, the feds. He built a fortune and employed hundreds of people. When he dies the government will likely seize 45% of it or more.

            Obama has built squat. He should shut his mouth, sit down and humbly ponder how much he owes to every great man who came before him that actually built something in this world.

            1. Oh you should shut your mouth and sit down. You can also say that no individual businessman becomes successful without a functioning community behind him/her. I am an entrepreneur, and it would be very arrogant of me not to acknowledge that I would not be a 1%’er without living in this country…the question is whether they can do a better job helping small business…and they can! Also about Obama, yes I know you hate him, but all of this hate has driven you people nuts…he is hardly the devil, he is a uniquely American success story in fact…and as far as big business and Wall Street goes he is a true friend to them (though not to small businesses—but then no one is–we don’t have enough money to spread around)

          5. He’s saying nobody becomes successful without the aid of his community.

            So therefore we owe our entire lives and fortunes and those of our descendents to the Nth generation to the collective.
            That’s what he’s saying.

            There is no limit to the amount of taxes you ought to pay, because everything you own is a gift from the collective.

      2. Amid your meandering pile of vague condescension, you still haven’t said what “it” is.

        1. Obama’s spiel about community.

        2. Uhm… duh! Its *obvious* what he meant! Its Elementary… I can’t believe you partisans are so dense …. and uhm, like, rich people agree with me too! Microsoft didn’t invent DOS…. they bought it, so like….uhm government, roads, taxes. ….you didn’t build that! I WIN AGAIN!!

          1. T o n y|7.18.12 @ 5:35PM|#
            Obama’s spiel about community.

            I love how each time you try and ‘articulate’ the *obvious thing Obama really meant*… you get progressively (no pun!) more and more vague and incoherent the more you try.

            It reminds me of the old SNL “Land Shark” sketch.

            [ a knock at the door ]

            Woman #2: [ appoaches the door ] Yes?

            Land Shark: [ muffled voice ] Mrs. Arlsbergerhh??

            Woman #2: Who?

            Land Shark: [ muffled voice ] Mrs. Johnannesburrrr??

            Woman #2: Who is it?

            Land Shark: [ muffled voice ] Flowers.

            Woman #2: Flowers? From whom?

            Land Shark: [ muffled voice ] Plumber, ma’am..

            Woman #2: I don’t need a plumber. You’re that clever shark, aren’t you?

            Land Shark: [ muffled voice ] Candygram.

      3. It’s fucking controversial because society is not government. And, like Obama and every other lefty, you conflate the two whether out of confusion or disingenousness. Maybe you need to revisit your elementary school lessons.

  37. Here’s what Obama can do. Repudiate the collectivism stated in his “misstatement.” Go ahead.

    1. “That’s not what I meant. I believe in free markets and limited government.”

      1. When pigs fly!

  38. The very best defense that can be made of this speech, the very best one, is that Obama said something trivially banal:

    You have a business. There are roads and bridges over there. You did not build them. That is all.

    If you treat it as anything other than trivially banal, even childish, then you cannot avoid some flavor of noxious, grabby totalitarian/collectivism.

    1. What if you throw a party road and nobody comes? People have been getting goods to market when roads were just where the ground was smooth enough to get a mule and cart over without losing either on. Claiming credit for the dedication of the productive is kind of asinine.

      1. Not to mention that there are plenty of roads and bridges in downtown Detroit. They may not be pretty, but they’re there. Why isn’t it a thriving metropolis? Detroit has a government, after all. That’s the most important ingredient, right?

  39. Isn’t this the logical extension of the victimhood culture? If I am not responsible for my failures, I also can’t be responsible for my successes, too? So I am not responsible for anything that happens to me or anyone involved with me.

    I’d like to see this shit hold up in court: Your honor, I am not responsible for my drunk driving – someone had to have built those roads and someone had to have built the car, someone had to refine the gasoline, someone had to have educated me to understand how to operate a vehicle, someone had to have passed a drunk driving law. So my drunk driving is the responsibility of government.

    1. Victimhood culture?

      I’m taxed too much.

      The news media, academia, the entertainment industry, and modern science are biased against me.

      We’re suffering under a totalitarian Kenyan communist.

      Sound familiar?

      1. Rich people don’t pay enough taxes.

        Evil speculators.

        Not enough regulation.

        Yeah, it’s sounds real damn familiar. That’s why it’s part of the CULTURE and not merely a TEAM RED/TEAM BLUE thing.

        But team fetishists never let facts get in the way of self-absorption.

        1. Don’t interrupt Tony while he is on a roll defending the Dear Leader from what Dear Leader actually, you know, said.

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      3. “and modern science are biased against me.”

        Except that it’s your side that always bitches about “AgriBiz!” or “Big Phamrma!” or whatever anti-science boogeyman of the week happens to be around whenever peer-reviewed studies don’t pave the way for rampant regulation.

  40. Look, everyone’s looking at this all wrong. When he said “build”, he meant “grow”. Yes, those who have businesses haven’t been able to build them up much recently, in many cases. And someone else (Barack Obama) made that happen. It was just a confused apology to the business community.

  41. But at TPM, David Taintor calls “You didn’t build that” a “canard” that was cooked up by rightwing bloggers[…]

    Which would mean that right-wing bloggers were not really quoting or paraphrasing the president but actually putting totally made-up words in his mouth.

    It takes a pair of very big huevos to come up with that focus shift.

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  42. Re: Tony,

    Everyone knows what Obama meant.

    Sure, he meant what he didn’t say.

    He [Romney] acknowledged that nobody makes it on his own and that parents, teachers, infrastructure, etc., are involved.

    Oh, so what Romney said is important enough for YOU to comment on after all, huh?

    Obama’s mistake was putting words together in a way that could be taken out of context[…]

    His mistake was to externalize his banality.

    1. Exactly. The proper response to what Obama said should be: Duh!

  43. Re: Tony,

    [W]hat should be considered absurd is the claim that the world is made prosperous solely from the efforts of lone entrepreneur heroes.

    Nobody claims that, Tony. What is controversial is saying that government makes the world prosperous and, for that, entrepreneurs need to fork over money to bureaucrats. That is the geist of Obama’s banal attempt at sounding philosophical.

    Bill Gates certainly doesn’t agree with that.

    Appeals to your betters is not the proper way to argue, Tony.

  44. What I love the most from these idiots is the total ignorance when it comes to how infrastructure is constructed.

    Newsflash: The government doesn’t build everything that you see.

    1. And, of course, every penny spent on that infrastructure was extracted by force from the private sector. So, in an important sense, yes, those businesses did build those roads and bridges: they paid for them!

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    2. Could you point me to the idiot who said that government builds everything I see? Because if that guy is representing liberals over here in orange sky world, I should have a word with him. That would explain a lot…

  45. What bothers me is, even if everyone is taking his speech out of context (which they’re not), he didn’t make the slightest bit of effort to applaud the role of the entrepreneur in economic growth. I wouldn’t have minded so much if he’d said “sure, individual effort has been the driving force behind American prosperity. But let’s not forget that the collective efforts of the taxpayer have played some part in this too.” He didn’t. He can’t even bring himself to give entrepreneurs and innovators the props they deserve. If he did, he’d be betraying his Marxist roots. There is no hiding his disdain for the individual.

    1. His speech was about how much help we all have turning effort into accomplishment. He wasn’t talking about Jesus. Not about the civil war. Not a word regarding the chemical build up in your chimney. Why isn’t your comment focused on the quality of portable speakers? Traitor!

  46. Walter, this isn’t a guy who built the railroads here. This is a guy who peed on my rug.

  47. the president has drawn a line in the sand

    How did that work out for Travis?

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    2. Travis was fighting for something he and the men with him held more important than their lives, freedom. Obama is trying to make us all slaves to the government. Slight difference.
      And I don’t see Obama every standing for something he believes they way Travis and the other did.

  48. It’s a left wing meme that it’s a right wing meme that this gaffe doesn’t demonstrate Obamas real shittiness.

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  50. Lot’s of developing nations are now growing faster without “this unbelievable American system”.

    1. Yes they are, by adopting freer markets. You don’t see too many politicians like Obama in places like Malaysia or India, I suspect, where people are actually interested in getting things done.

  51. Here’s my problem: why are journalists like Weigel making excuses for this guy and rationalizing for his Long March to State Capitalism? Weigel knew exactly what he said and what Obama’s intent was.

    It’s of a piece with what we have got in the MSM today: a Propaganda Ministry that would give Goebbels a fucking hard-on.

  52. I can’t believe someone here hasn’t made a connection to the whole “bridge to nowhere” non-issue Palin was absolutely castigated for by the left. If infrastructure is so all important, well, you do the math…

  53. “To everything, spin spin spin, there is a season, spin spin spin, and a lie to every purpose under heaven.”
    Well of course we are too stupid to understand what the anointed one said! It has to be explained to us poor mortals.

  54. Of course Obama said it. And we should keep reminding him he said it till November. Sorry, that is how it works in politics.

    As if TPM would be defending Romney if he said something so profoundly wrong and stupid.

  55. As always the gullible Oadorers claim that the most eloquent, magnificent, brilliant, exquisite speaker in American political history didn’t express his opinion properly.

  56. When it’s time for the television debates, Romney should just ask Obama

    “So, Mr. President, have you ever built a business?”

  57. It’s funny to me that liberals are, apparently, ashamed by Obama’s comments. He’s probably wondering why they’re not grabbing their pitchforks and joining him!

    The purpose of his speech is absolutely clear: he believes individuals — entrepreneurs, in particular — take far too much credit for their own success.

    Presumably, he intends to rectify that.

    If you agree, great. You join a rich, hideous, collectivist tradition. Wear it proudly.

    If you are, however, ashamed to espouse that position publically, then you are quite delusional in supporting Obama.

  58. Unfortunately the people that helped this current President were the likes of Bill Ayers, the Rev. Wright and the far-left in academia.

  59. It doesn’t improve with context. His point is that nobody can survive alone and therefore we need politicians to run our lives. Which is the equivalent of saying people need oxygen and therefore let’s have politicians pass out air tanks.

    Interaction and cooperation between individuals, including people working in business, are things that happen by default. Government’s main strengths lie in restricting, controlling, and taxing interaction and cooperation between people.

  60. It’s sad that we have reached a point where a large portion of the citizens of the United States believe that Big Government gives us anything. That premise is just an out and out lie. Lincoln stated it best in the Gettysburg address: “Government of the people, by the people, for the people shall not perish from this earth”
    This is not Obama’s view of our government nor any other progressive. They believe the Government a separate entity that stands apart, has its own set of rules, and does what it likes with impunity. It was obvious when Nancy Pelosi was asked if ObamaCare was constitutional, her response “Are you kidding?”. President Obama, Ms. Pelosi and all other progressives believe all the (wealth) money is theirs and we are just using it. They believe they can call it back at any time.
    This is consistent with Mr. Obama’s speech 6 days ago. He believes government built all the infrastructure necessary for business which is a lie which further demonstrates his lack of understanding of government and business both. We the people built the infrastructure in spite of the obstacles government presents. The President is wrong as are all others who believe that government is a force of good when in fact it’s a necessary evil that we, the citizens of the United States, have let get completely out of control. We must be diligent and rein in this out of control government, otherwise Government of the people, by the people, for the people SHALL perish from this earth.

  61. These are not the droids you’re looking for. Obama is nuts.

  62. “…look at that thing above the subtext, which is generally known as “the text.” ‘

    Is that a Whit Stillman reference I spy?

    Fred: Maybe you can clarify something for me. Since I’ve been, you know, waiting for the fleet to show up, I’ve read a lot, and…
    Ted: Really?
    Fred: And one of the things that keeps popping up is about “subtext.” Plays, novels, songs – they all have a “subtext,” which I take to mean a hidden message or import of some kind. So subtext we know. But what do you call the message or meaning that’s right there on the surface, completely open and obvious? They never talk about that. What do you call what’s above the subtext?
    Ted: The text.
    Fred: OK, that’s right, but they never talk about that.

  63. Whatever Obama and the Dems meant the question before us is clear…

    Do we believe in an America that is great because of government, or do we believe in an America that is great because of free people allowed to pursue their dreams and build their future! ~ Mitt Romney

    It has been clear to me for a long long time that Democrats especially do not believe in the purpose of the Constitution, that is, to limit government.

    We are faced with a terrible fact and a stark choice. The fact is that since FDR government spending has grown from less than 7% of GDP to more than 40% and is approaching 50%. Eventually this continual increase will stop. And that is where the choice comes in.

    It will stop either because we had the courage to collectively take less from government…or it will stop because we went the way of Greece and like cowards continued to demand ours as we went over the cliff. Either way it will stop!

  64. I still can’t bring myself to give the Repubs any money, but I put a Romney bumper sticker on my car in honor of The Onanist–I mean The One.

  65. Let’s make millions of individualized versions of this sign appear in store windows between now and November.

    IT COST ME (x) [YEARS|MONTHS],
    (y) NIT-PICKY PERMITS, AND $(z)
    BEFORE I COULD EVEN OPEN THIS BUSINESS,
    ALL THANKS TO GOVERNMENT “HELP.”
    BUT I GOT IT DONE ANYWAY!
    THANKS FOR NOTHING, BIG GOVERNMENT!

    I release this wording to the public domain, to pre-empt anyone who would claim ownership of it.

  66. The line reminds me of Hillary’s line about “it takes a village to raise a child” from that book she wrote in the 90s. I was in public school and it was often repeated as gospel. I didn’t realize it was BS until I left school.

  67. Obama is not just out of step, he is trying to lead us down a path we do not want to take. Thoreau marched to the beat of a different drummer, but he did not try to force the rest of the world to keep his pace.

  68. Board of Inquiry — Why did you say that about the Colonel?
    Clevinger — I never said that about the Colonel.
    Board of Inquiry — But when did you never say it?
    Clevinger — I always never said it.

    —- Catch-22

  69. Obama admires the entertainment industry….and is generously financed by the individuals. They have a lot in common: “They both get paid for pretending that they are someone that they are not”.

  70. Wow….this rag isn’t Libertarian at all anymore, it’s an arm of the Republican party (I wonder if the author consulted with the Romney Administration while writing this) Do the Koch Brother pay per-story? There is no question what Obama was talking about in that speach that seems to be the worst thing ever said in the history of humanity: He was just making a bland, and rather redundant statement about community. My business didn’t build the roads and Bridges that allow my customers to get around, or the electrical service that allows us both to function….gosh what an F’n radical!!!! Meanwhile not a word about Romney’s multiple “Gaffe’s” And what is most telling, not a word about Romney’s proposal to require tracking chips in every computer to aid in his “war on Pornography”. A real Libertarian would not support such fascism…but this rag does. And what is worst of all, not a word about Ron Paul….the only real alternative to the two really crappy choices we have in this election.
    I suppose the next issue will feature Romney as the founder of Libertarianism!!! Wg=hat a joke this paper is.

  71. No, i still say that Michael Moore has the most punchable face. He even has a punching bag stuck to his chin.

  72. Obama the LIAR continues to TRY and “walk back” this issue with more lies, watch this video and read the description to see the attempted damage control!
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t0wlpNv3U50

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