Thursday, July 19, 2012

No Sex, But More Lies on Videotape by the Republicans

I love it that Barack Obama keeps coming to Virginia. I understand why; after all, we've now officially become a swing state - or, rather, a swing commonwealth.

I was pleased that, on his most recent visit, the President got past the NoVa suburbs and outside the Richmond and Hampton Tidewater areas and into the greenery that's rural Virginia - down Roanoke way (otherwise known by the locals as Big Lick) - into what Sarah Palin infamously called real Virginia.

I mean, I know ... these are the people the President has to convince; and he seems to understand, like most educated Virginians, that in Virginia, you can go from cosmopolitan to DeliveranceLand in twenty minutes. It's the DeliveranceLand inhabitants - the box store workers, the WalMart devotees, the rural residents who live off a diet of Fox News, Rush Limbaugh and religious radio - he needs to convince.

I get the President's message, and I suppose everyone who was in his presence got that message too. He's pushing a jobs agenda, the basis of which is the rebuilding and restoration of our crumbling and out-dated infrastructure; and he's tying that into how its improvement will benefit business, in general, in the long run.

Here's what he actually said:-

 If you were successful, somebody along the line gave you some help. There was a great teacher somewhere in your life.  Somebody helped to create this unbelievable American system that we have that allowed you to thrive. Somebody invested in roads and bridges. If you've got a business -- you didn't build that. Somebody else made that happen. The Internet didn't get invented on its own. Government research created the Internet so that all the companies could make money off the Internet. 
The point is, is that when we succeed, we succeed because of our individual initiative, but also because we do things together. 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.

Well, of course, we all know what the Republicans did. They did the same old same old - pluck a sentence from the text of the speech, selectively edit it and play and replay the clip ad nauseam. Somewhere in the netherfields of Hell, Josef Goebbels is smiling - a political party at the heart of American life is using his Big Lie PR technique to destroy the less-than-Aryan President of the United States.

Fox News, America's equivalent of Goebbels, has devoted two days of broadcast, fixating on what deliberately dumbed-down Stanford graduate Gretchen Carlson called a startling comment.

Startling, taken out of context, but when taken in its entirety, the remark is part of a direct challenge to the fallacy that wealthy individuals never benefited from government programs. In fact, you can read some more exerpts from the speech which support that premise here.

The Republicans, and their standard-bearer, Willard Mitt Romney, have seized upon the soupcon: "If you've got a business, you didn't build that. Somebody else made that happen." They've done it as part of a concerted effort to make the President appear to disdain the small business initiative which forms the backbone of American life, and in doing this, they are reinforcing the idea that the President is unAmerican.

The Left and the Democrats should be prepared to hear a lot of the "unAmerican" meme during this election cycle, but they should understand fully what it really means; and they shouldn't be afraid to refute it openly and directly.

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