Monday, July 23, 2012

Scary Black Man Gonna Getcha!

Republicans want so desperately to convince just enough Americans that President Obama is not one of us; too dark, funny name, Kenyan, a fascist and a Marxist. And even if he was born in Hawaii, that's not authentic enough.

And Mitt not-his-real-name Romney? He's one of us, except maybe for the magic underwear, and his $250 million net worth, and his overseas bank accounts. The Internet is crawling with trolls that somehow think the fact that Obama once went by the name of Barry is proof the man is hiding something, but don't give a rat's ass that their man is named after a baseball glove. 

The latest smear is much like others in recent months: lift a quote out of context, insist upon the most asinine conclusion possible, get absolutely hysterical about it, and then pound it repeatedly into the heads of your listeners. I'm looking at you, Fox.

You know the story. I know you know. President Obama supposedly claimed that all you successful business owners out there didn't really build your own business. He must be claiming that you are just lucky to inherit it, or government gave it to you. Must be, huh? Sort of a "Limbaugh said it, I believe it, that settles it," exercise in shutting down your mind.

Here's the quote, which I have transcribed from the video below:
"If you've been successful, you didn't get there on your own....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 got a business, you didn't build that. Somebody else made that happen...The point is that we succeed because of individual initiative, but also because we do things together."
It is that line in red that was lifted out of context and which has caused so many conservatives to foam at the mouth. But only those with their brain up their ideological ass, those willfully ignorant, cannot see that President Obama was referring to roads and bridges when he said "you didn't build that."

The President then gave an example of how business benefits from the Internet, noting that it was government action that made the Internet possible. You can easily come up with your own examples: physicians may have worked hard to get through med school, but they didn't build the hospitals, or discover the procedures they now use, or create Medicare to help them get paid. They didn't invent the malpractice insurance they have, or train the lawyers and accountants that advise them, or design and build the BMW they drive to the golf course they didn't build.

It's all obvious and indisputable, really. No one denies that untold numbers of people have contributed to make what America is today. As Issac Newton said, "If I have seen further it is by standing on the shoulders of giants." Few would see any of this as controversial. But this is election season and Republicans are spending millions to manipulate the evidence, make fantastic claims, and hope you won't notice that they are lying through their teeth.

And once again, Mitt Romney continues to lead by example. Recall that Romney more than once has lifted an Obama quote laughably out of context, a stunt that is easy to catch because of little things like cameras and the Internet.

And just so this doesn't end up as a "that's-your-opinion" type of thing, and because I like to use real evidence, here is the video that shows the out-of-context quote straight from the President, along with Romney flat-out lying about it. Listen carefully to what Romney says he stands for and compare it to what the President says. You won't see this on Fox.

Others have also slapped down the breath-taking attempt to make it seem Obama said what he didn't; here, here, and here.   

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