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Mitt Romney and an array of surrogates are mocking President Obama for remarks he made defending public investments in infrastructure, accusing him of arrogantly claiming credit for small businesses’ hard work and risk-taking. But it takes an Olympic-level gymnastic leap to make the attack work as advertised.
The Romney campaign is seizing on a specific line the president said at a campaign event in Virginia on Friday: “If you’ve got a business, you didn’t build that. Somebody else made that happen.” Or, as a Romney press release blared: “OBAMA, TO BUSINESS OWNERS: ‘YOU DIDN’T BUILD THAT.’”
Sounds pretty bad — and it is, if you leave out the sentences directly before and after, which make it crystal clear Obama wasn’t talking about building businesses at all. The “that” in “you didn’t build that” referred to roads, bridges, infrastructure, education, emergency services and law and order — all services that protect and enable business owners along the way toward creating a successful operation. Here’s the full passage:
“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. There are some things, just like fighting fires, we don’t do on our own. I mean, imagine if everybody had their own fire service. That would be a hard way to organize fighting fires.
So we say to ourselves, ever since the founding of this country, you know what, there are some things we do better together. That’s how we funded the GI Bill. That’s how we created the middle class. That’s how we built the Golden Gate Bridge or the Hoover Dam. That’s how we invented the Internet. That’s how we sent a man to the moon. We rise or fall together as one nation and as one people, and that’s the reason I’m running for president — because I still believe in that idea. You’re not on your own, we’re in this together.”
Okay here is the thing that I believe separates the liberals from this current crop of conservatives.
Those of us on the Left pride ourselves on our intelligence and our ability to see through the bullshit, while the Right prides themselves on their faith and ability to stick to their guns regardless of what facts might be introduced which demonstrate that they are incorrect in their point of view.
Therefore in order to reach out to the new GOP teabagging base, Romney (Who I think we can all agree actually does know better) and the Republican surrogates, takes something like this completely out of context knowing FULL WELL that not only will the Republican base NOT research to see if it is true or not, but will even avoid any possibility of accidentally learning that it is in fact bullshit!
We have seen this same scenario play out time and time again with the Palin supporters, who like the brain eating zombies of cinema, seem to have spread their intelligence devouring disease among the rest of the Republicans in this country.
The GOP faithful are essentially demanding that they be lied to so that they can continue hating the President with impunity, even though his policies will actually greatly benefit the vast majority of them.
At this point I don't believe there is really much hope left for the Republican party. Though a rousing loss in 2012 might serve as a wake up call for the few intellectuals currently hiding their gray matter behind insipid talking points and dull vacant stares.