Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Let's have this fight!

One of the big stories today is that the Republicans have taken a quote from President Obama's speech  in Roanoke, VA at a fire station last Friday totally out of context and are using it as an attack. Romney is so desperate to vilify the President and change the subject that he's created a video and dedicated a whole page on his website to the lie.

In case you've missed it, here's the quote out of context: "If you've got a business, you didn't build that. Somebody else made that happen."

And here's what President Obama actually said - with lots of context:
There are a lot of wealthy, successful Americans who agree with me -- because they want to give something back. They know they didn’t -- look, if you’ve been successful, you didn’t get there on your own. You didn’t get there on your own. I’m always struck by people who think, well, it must be because I was just so smart. There are a lot of smart people out there. It must be because I worked harder than everybody else. Let me tell you something -- there are a whole bunch of hardworking people out there.

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.
This is something that the President talks about all the time. And it strikes me as one of great divides between liberals and conservatives these days.

Many times when President Obama talks about this he makes a moral argument that we are our brother/sister's keeper and have an obligation to look out for one another.

This time he was making more of a pragmatic argument...there are some things that we just can't do on our own.

If, as Republicans would have us believe, we're on our own, then divisive polarized politics is good enough.

But if there are reasons to come together and accomplish things we otherwise couldn't tackle on our own, then we have to do that through a government where we can ultimately sit down and talk through our differences.

So to the Republicans who are harping on this today, I say...bring it on! This is what the fight is all about.


  1. Yes! Thanks for pointing this out. I've noticed President Obama directly dismantling the idea of "trickle-down economics" and promoting the idea that government can actually be a good thing for quite some time now.

    I just saw a clip of Ronnie Reagan on YouTube going on and on, with tons of stammering and with the excitement of a wet noodle I might add (the great communicator, yea right!), about how government should be run like a business, and this was in 1982. Republicans, with constant assist from the media, have been forcing this sentiment (business=good, government=bad) into the public consciousness for a LONG time. The fact that President Obama has been tackling this false argument head-on has been one of my favorite things about his Presidency. Very important stuff in order to keep beating Republicans down the road too.

  2. Romney and the repub party (and the media) would tell us that this is NOT what it's all about and that this is just a distraction by Obama to take attention away from the REAL problems. They'd tell us that this election is ONLY about the economy and jobs. (This is where the media steps in and helps promote that idea.)

    I've got news for the repubs ... and they're finding this out already the hard way but don't want to give in to it. The news is this:

    The American PEOPLE will be the ones who decide what this election will be about. Not the parties and not the media! And it looks like the people think that a discussion about government's role in economic recovery is worth having. The repubs HATE talking about it because they cannot present a winning argument on that subject.

    The repub idea of government's role in the economy is no role at all,except get out of the way. .... But provide an insurance instrument for their bank's gambling losses with public money. They're back on the wrong side of history about this subject once again ... and throughout America's history they've ALWAYS been on the wrong side of it. Their ideas about govt's role in our economy is 100% wrong. Always has been and always will be. (Unless they change their minds.)

    I think it's about time we put the repub party to bed for once and for all with regard to their economic system. They've got no business making economic policy for America and in fact are dangerous.They should no longer even be allowed to give input on the subject. Their system has been proven over and over to be a complete failure for about the past 100 years! And in 2008 their ideas ALMOST took down the entire world's economy. The rest of the world is beginning to realize that fact too.

    1. Something else ....

      Despite what the repub party says they want the election to be about, the people have their own ideas.

      And the people think that income inequality is an important problem to solve as well.

      The repubs are ignorant to the needs and wishes of most of the people of our country ... so they'll be slow to figure this out.

      Listen up repubs:

      The people will be the ones telling YOU what's important and what our elections will be about. WE DECIDE ... because you work for US. Not the other way around.

      Once you stop listening to what most people think is important, you'll soon find yourself OUT of our govt.
      And the Koch Bros don't have enough money to save you all and help you all keep your jobs.


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