FAKE OUTRAGE: Did Obama Insult Business Owners?
There are plenty of things for which to attack President Obama politically. After all, the economy could be better. Drone warfare is a bit scary. The Administration’s secrecy in dealing with political prisoners sort of brings that 1984 feeling to mind. You get the idea.
But we live in the world of Fox News soundbites and re-written press releases masqueraded as information. Which means all that above stuff is just background noise within the world of what really matters.
Things like the president’s supposed hatred of American ingenuity.
The latest: the president gave a Virginia speech in which he noted of this weird country in which we live: “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,” he said.
The Internet did not invent itself … Pretty uncontroversial, no? Well, the Romney campaign decided to take one sentence within that speech—“If you’ve got a business, you didn’t build that”—and release it out to the hungry dogs that are the Right Wing Media Infrastructure.
Here are some of the headlines:
“You didn’t build that,” as previously stated, refers to the bridges and roads that make up part of the American landscape. But re-framed, the quote sort of sounds like Obama is telling business owners they didn’t build their own business. An idea so dumb, no one could possibly take it seriously. Except the modern wingnut.
The idea moved as it usually does: Press release to Heritage to Fox to Rush Limbaugh to “business leaders” hitting Obama back and commenters parroting anger.
On just one article from the Washington Examiner, the comments glorify the fake outrage:
“That comment is straight from Rev. Wright and his Marxist preaching. He really does not have a clue.”
“This creepy socialist speech that claims economic success creates a tax debt to politicized thieves is beyond contemptible.”
Call it what you will: Misinformation? Desperation? The Romney campaign correctly assessing their media supporters’ intellectual understanding is equal to an Adam Sandler flick? Who knows?
But what it strikes us as is not just the intentional, sweeping misunderstanding of the president’s remarks, but of how the world works. Does the Romney campaign really want to have that debate, assuming they know what the president was really talking about, or are they comfortable with leaving it as, “WHY DID THE PRESIDENT SAY THIS THING I’M MAKING UP HE SAID!?” as LOL GOP Tweeted earlier today? Do they want to talk about roads?
Democrats have taken to selling their ideas on tax reform and local investment by giving examples of ways in which the government has provided businesses with comfortable American enterprise. The easiest way to do that is to literally show people the road they use to get to work, and maybe the trains that allow their customers to get to their business. If the right has a better idea for to-and-fro than roads and bridges, please let us know.