ChrisWeigant.com

Rubio Turns Water To Whine

[ Posted Wednesday, February 13th, 2013 – 16:55 PST ]

OK, I fully admit that headline was too tempting for me to pass up. But I have to say, I'm not really all that interested in Senator Marco Rubio's dry mouth or the swig of bottled water he took to quench it. I leave that for others who are better equipped to offer up the proper response. Saturday Night Live and Jon Stewart, in other words.

What struck me about Rubio's response to President Obama's "State Of The Union" speech was the whining he stuck into the middle of it. Now, I've become accustomed to the Republican jiu-jitsu trick of turning a powerful Democratic Party weapon against them by pre-emptively playing the "victim card," but Rubio's attempt at doing so last night was just laughable. Because -- both before and after he made the attempt -- Rubio was guilty of doing exactly what he was complaining about those mean Democrats doing to the poor put-upon Republicans.

This should have been obvious to all but the seriously irony-impaired. From the transcript of Rubio's remarks, here's his big complaint:

There are valid reasons to be concerned about the President's plan to grow our government. But any time anyone opposes the President's agenda, he and his allies usually respond by falsely attacking their motives.

When we point out that no matter how many job-killing laws we pass, our government can't control the weather -- he accuses us of wanting dirty water and dirty air.

When we suggest we strengthen our safety net programs by giving states more flexibility to manage them -- he accuses us of wanting to leave the elderly and disabled to fend for themselves.

And tonight, he even criticized us for refusing to raise taxes to delay military cuts -- cuts that were his idea in the first place.

But his favorite attack of all is that those who don't agree with him -- they only care about rich people.

According to Rubio, Democrats (those meanies!) love to falsely attack the motives of the pure-hearted Republicans. Now, while the rest of Rubio's speech is ripe territory for pointing out falsehoods, prevarications, obfuscations, and hilariously outrageous spin, let's just concentrate on the one line: "[the president] and his allies usually respond by falsely attacking [Republicans'] motives."

This excerpt from Rubio's speech occurred only six paragraphs after he said the following:

Presidents in both parties -- from John F. Kennedy to Ronald Reagan -- have known that our free enterprise economy is the source of our middle class prosperity.

But President Obama? He believes it's the cause of our problems. That the economic downturn happened because our government didn't tax enough, spend enough and control enough. And, therefore, as you heard tonight, his solution to virtually every problem we face is for Washington to tax more, borrow more and spend more.

Got that? President Obama "believes" that "our free enterprise economy" is "the cause of our problems." If that isn't a "false attack" on Obama's "motives," I don't know what is.

Rubio can apparently read Obama's mind. I know this because if Obama had ever said anything along the lines of "America's free enterprise economy is the root cause of all our problems!" I believe I would have heard about it. Many, many times, in fact. From Fox News, at the very least. In fact, such a clip would have been at the heart of the last presidential campaign. But it wasn't. Know why? Because he never said it. But even though he never said it, he still "believes" it -- which Marco Rubio was kind enough to share with us all last night. You see, Rubio can accurately divine what motivates the president in his whole agenda. And Rubio sees absolutely nothing wrong with attacking such motivation -- even though it is false.

Not content with falsely slamming Obama's motives before he began to whine, Rubio also returned to the subject again and again in the rest of his speech:

But if we can get the economy to grow at just four percent a year, it would create millions of middle class jobs. And it could reduce our deficits by almost four trillion dollars over the next decade.

Tax increases can't do this. Raising taxes won't create private sector jobs. And there's no realistic tax increase that could lower our deficits by almost four trillion dollars. That's why I hope the President will abandon his obsession with raising taxes and instead work with us to achieve real growth in our economy.

Rubio has gone beyond knowing what the president "believes" and has moved on to what his "obsessions" are. Once again, Rubio feels quite comfortable attacking President Obama's motives, in quite personal fashion.

Rubio further accuses the president with "playing politics with Medicare" and laying out "false choices."

To be scrupulously fair, Rubio did spend much of his speech taking on the policy proposals and political agenda of the president -- attacking the ideas, and attempting to differentiate the Republican counter-ideas and counter-proposals. He didn't do a very good job of this, because Republicans right now are much more interested in their rebranding efforts than they are about coming up with any actual new ideas. This lipstick-on-a-pig effort is supposed to put a kinder, gentler face on traditional Republican orthodoxy, and Rubio is seen as one of the people to do just that (at least he's not, like Bobby Jindal, out there calling the Republicans the "stupid party").

But lipstick or not, it's still a pig. There are too many examples in Rubio's speech to even accurately count, but here's just one, to show the problem the Republican Party faces in their rebranding efforts:

When I finished school, I owed over 100,000 dollars in student loans, a debt I paid off just a few months ago. Today, many graduates face massive student debt. We must give students more information on the costs and benefits of the student loans they're taking out.

That's a wonderful thought, isn't it? Except for the fact that the Republican Party was vehemently against two things which have improved the situation already. The first was to get rid of the middleman and loan students money directly -- which cut the amount they'll have to repay and denied the banks money for doing essentially nothing. The second was to create a federal agency which has as part of its core mission the power to force "more information" on loans -- not just for students but for all consumers borrowing money. Both ideas were heavily fought against by Republicans (they are, in fact, still fighting the whole concept of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau). Spin, meet reality (to put it another way). So it's a little hard to take them seriously now.

There were dozens of such attempts at spinning black into white and up into down. Anyone who knows the history of what Republicans have fought for and against -- even in the past few years -- knows full well how laughable Rubio's spin truly was.

But, for me, the one thing that stood out more than anything else was the hypocrisy of "playing the victim card" on those mean, mean Democrats who "falsely attack" Republicans on their motives -- while heaping up a big helping of such attacks on President Obama in the same speech. If you want to whine about how your opponent is attacking your motives, it might behoove you to refrain from suggesting that the President of the United States, deep down in his heart of hearts, believes the free market is evil and the cause of all of America's problems.

Who knows? Maybe if you had resisted the Republican knee-jerk urge to do so, the words wouldn't have stuck in your throat, Senator Rubio.

-- Chris Weigant

 

Cross-posted at The Huffington Post

Follow Chris on Twitter: @ChrisWeigant

 

48 Comments on “Rubio Turns Water To Whine”

  1. [1] 
    LewDan wrote:

    I seriously doubt the Republican practice of trotting out whichever of the one one or two brown faces that are in the party to deliver their "response" to the SOTU will actually convince anyone other than "old white men" that Republicans believe in diversity. But there's no reason to tell them that.

  2. [2] 
    LewDan wrote:

    And regarding student loans,

    Before public education people had to pay for their own educations. My great grandfather established both a church and a school. Every family contributed to share the costs of hiring and maintaining a teacher. Prior to that there was no teacher. These were ordinary workers. They hadn't the wealth to hire private tutors for each family like the rich did.

    Public education was established because its in the interest of everyone that everyone be educated. The effect on the whole community's economy, of having an educated, more productive, and more profitable, worker class is just one of many ways in which it more than pays for itself.

    Our problem is twofold, the exorbitant cost of higher education puts such an economic drain on the educated workers it produces that it negates much of what would otherwise be the economic benefit of education. And second, since "higher education" is necessary in the 21st century just to achieve a basic educational level, our policy of only publicly funding K-12 education essentially puts us back to where we were before we instituted public education. And our declining economy reflects it.

    We should be looking at ways to publicly fund education through, at least, graduate school. Not looking to help students manage their debt. And we should face the reality that while a broad-based undergraduate education is desirable, it isn't necessary. What's necessary is a narrower targeted education more like trade schools. The broader education can be acquired as time and money allow. There's no reason to run up crippling education bills and be kept out of the workforce just to acquire a more rounded education. The benefits aren't worth it.

  3. [3] 
    Michale wrote:

    But any time anyone opposes the President's agenda, he and his allies usually respond by falsely attacking their motives.

    Isn't that a true and valid statement??

    By all means, attack the tone. I didn't witness it so I can't say either way. I'll accept your analysis of the tone..

    But you simply CANNOT dispute the validity, the factual nature of the accusation..

    There is OVERWHELMING factual evidence that supports the claim..

    I know this because if Obama had ever said anything along the lines of "America's free enterprise economy is the root cause of all our problems!" I believe I would have heard about it. Many, many times, in fact. From Fox News, at the very least. In fact, such a clip would have been at the heart of the last presidential campaign. But it wasn't.

    "If you have a successful business, you didn't build that."
    -President Barack Obama

    If that's not an attack on the free enterprise economy, what is??

    Like I said, I didn't watch either speech so I can's speak to tone, body language or if Rubio panted like a rabid dog dying of thirst..

    But just looking at the words themselves....

    Well, there's a lot of facts in there...

    And thank you for ignoring the Infamous Watergate of 2013..

    We have real and serious problems in this country.

    Seeing the Left go all hysterically apeshit over a damn sip of water???

    Well, that's just ridiculousum et extremus..

    Michale

  4. [4] 
    Michale wrote:

    As far as long waits to vote which was mentioned in the Quick Speech Reaction commentary???

    According to a study by MIT, 87% of Americans waited less than 30 mins to vote..

    Nationally the average wait time was 14 mins. In Florida (yea, I know.. We suck :D) the average wait time was 45 mins...

    So, there IS no issue of "long voting lines"...

    There is no HUGE Republicans conspiracy to disenfranchise Dem voters..

    It's much ado about nothing.

    Which describes MANY of the "urgent" issues our government wants to address. :^/

    Michale

  5. [5] 
    akadjian wrote:

    The first was to get rid of the middleman and loan students money directly -- which cut the amount they'll have to repay and denied the banks money for doing essentially nothing. The second was to create a federal agency which has as part of its core mission the power to force "more information" on loans -- not just for students but for all consumers borrowing money.

    Yep.

    But I'm sure they'll keep trying to say they're "pro student"

    Or pro freedom ...

    Or America ... yay!

    Or more likely it will be that Democrats are anti-capitalist un-American socialists.

    I don't know if their new approach is kinder or softer. It simply seems more devious.

    -David

  6. [6] 
    akadjian wrote:

    If that's not an attack on the free enterprise economy, what is?

    Look. An out of context quote used to label Obama as a socialist. I am so surprised ...

    -David

  7. [7] 
    Michale wrote:

    Look. An out of context quote used to label Obama as a socialist.

    As has already been established, the CONTEXT makes it even worse of a statement..

    But hay.. I'll be your huckleberry...

    How, EXACTLY, was the comment "out of context"...???

    Hmmmmmmm??? :D

    Michale

  8. [8] 
    Michale wrote:

    Look. An out of context quote used to label Obama as a socialist.

    Besides.. *I* never claimed Obama was a socialist.

    Never... EVER.... Not once..

    But it's obvious that Obama has a problem with those who succeed at business....

    Why else would he try to denigrate those who built up businesses from scratch??

    Michale....

  9. [9] 
    akadjian wrote:

    *I* never claimed Obama was a socialist.

    My apologies. To be more exact ...

    An out of context quote used to claim "Obama has a problem with those who succeed at business" and that he is trying "to denigrate those who built up businesses from scratch" :)

    Full quote:

    "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."

    What he is saying is that part of success is individual, but part of success is being in an amazing country which has great infrastructure and allowed you to develop your talents to the fullest.

    All the brains and hard work in the world won't matter if you don't have access to the opportunity.

    He never denigrated anyone.

    That's why right-wing media has to take it out of context and make all these ridiculous claims.

    -David

  10. [10] 
    Michale wrote:

    What he is saying is that part of success is individual, but part of success is being in an amazing country which has great infrastructure and allowed you to develop your talents to the fullest.

    Maybe that's what you HEAR, but that's not what he said.

    What he said is that Gates is not smart enough to build a business on his own... He had to have help...

    The "THAT" that Obama is referring to is THE BUSINESS, not the bridges and roads...

    You see, the problem with your theory is that the people who "helped" Bill Gates build their business already got PAID for doing THEIR business...

    They have absolutely ZERO claim on the fruits of Gates' success..

    NONE ZERO ZILCH NADA

    Michale

  11. [11] 
    michty6 wrote:

    Like I said yesterday, Rubio might as well have called himself Mitt Romney and played Obama's 'you didn't build that clip' given his speech was basically a continuation of the Republican nonsense propaganda election message that was decisively shot down by the people (62%-38%). Heck why not go no a rant about the 47% of moochers in America while you're at it...

    That Republicans have learnt nothing is pathetic.

  12. [12] 
    akadjian wrote:

    That Republicans have learnt nothing is pathetic.

    Correction. The lesson they took away from this is to hide what they actually believe and rely on heavier spin.

    They have also realized that they are dying out. So they trot out their one Hispanic to try to create broader appeal.

    I don't think it's fooling anyone. (However, given the amount of money they poor into propaganda time will tell)

    -David

  13. [13] 
    akadjian wrote:

    BTW Michale ... Happy Socialist Valentine's Day!

    http://tpc.pc2.netdna-cdn.com/images/various_uploads/Socialist_Valentine.jpg

    Because it made me laugh. And it's ok for men to give other men Valentine's, right? Doesn't mean I'm like ... err, yunno.

    -David

  14. [14] 
    michty6 wrote:

    I'm surprised Rubio didn't mention Benghazi! It was like being warped back 4 months!

    Speaking of which, another present for you Michale: http://ct.politicomments.com/ol/pc/sw/i57/2/11/6/pc_edab09a9087c964f50d749db1fd46bb9.jpg

  15. [15] 
    Chris Weigant wrote:

    Michale [10] -

    You're guilty of "pulling a Rubio" here yourself. You are absolutely certain what Obama meant when he said "that." But Obama's explained that the "that" in question meant the roads, bridges, teachers, and the rest of the stuff he had been talking about.

    So you are falsely attacking the president's motives, because you refuse to take him at his word as to what he meant. You rely instead on divination -- reading his mind.

    Sorry, but that bird won't fly.

    -CW

  16. [16] 
    Michale wrote:

    You're guilty of "pulling a Rubio" here yourself. You are absolutely certain what Obama meant when he said "that." But Obama's explained that the "that" in question meant the roads, bridges, teachers, and the rest of the stuff he had been talking about.

    So you are falsely attacking the president's motives, because you refuse to take him at his word as to what he meant. You rely instead on divination -- reading his mind.

    Nope.. I am relying on what he SAID not what I wanted to hear.. :D

    Our own Secretary Of Education here in Wegantia already signed off on that grammar exercise :D

    To whit,

    Which is more grammatically accurate?

    "If you have a business, you didn't build that."

    or

    "If you have a business and used the roads and bridges, you didn't build that."

    The "that" is singular and refers to the business..

    If Obama meant the bridges and roads, he would have said...

    "Somebody invested in roads and bridges. If you’ve got a business—you didn’t build THEM."

    The fact that Obama said "that" proves that Obama was talking about the business and NOT about the bridges and roads.

    Michale

  17. [17] 
    LewDan wrote:

    Michle,

    Taking one sentence out of a paragraph and parsing it entirely on its own is the definition of "out of context." Its the rest of the paragraph that provides the context. Grammar has nothing to do with it. There is no grammatical rule that you must fully express a concept in a single sentence. That's why we have paragraphs.

  18. [18] 
    LewDan wrote:

    Michale,

    Your "that" versus "them" argument is a matter of style not grammar. The English language is notoriously imprecise. There is simply no way you can ignore the context and "prove" your personal misinterpretation on grammatical technicalities.

  19. [19] 
    Michale wrote:

    The fact that Obama said "that" proves that Obama was talking about the business and NOT about the bridges and roads.

    But this does pose an interesting question..

    If you are arguing AGAINST Obama saying "If you have a business, you didn't build that business" does that mean you agree that Obama saying that IS counter to the free enterprise ideology??

    In other words, you appear to be arguing that Obama DIDN'T mean the business because you agree that saying that someone didn't build their business is a bad thing to say..

    Michale...

  20. [20] 
    Michale wrote:

    Your "that" versus "them" argument is a matter of style not grammar. The English language is notoriously imprecise. There is simply no way you can ignore the context and "prove" your personal misinterpretation on grammatical technicalities.

    Sure I can...

    Obama's oratory skills are legendary and celebrated far and wide...

    Obama speaks with precision...

    Are you trying to convince me this ONE time he resorted to eubonics style grammar when ALL OTHER TIMES in his political life he has spoken precisely and said EXACTLY what he meant???

    Employing Occams Razor, which is the most likely possibility?

    But I guess that, like CW, you agree that if Obama DID mean to say that a person didn't build their business, then it IS a bad thing to say..

    Or is your argument, "Obama didn't say that and, even if he did, there is nothing wrong with it!!"

    Is THAT your argument?? :D

    Michale

  21. [21] 
    Michale wrote:

    Taking one sentence out of a paragraph and parsing it entirely on its own is the definition of "out of context." Its the rest of the paragraph that provides the context.

    Agreed..

    And the context is that rich people are not responsible for their success and because of that they should pay more than their fair share in taxes..

    THAT is the EXACT context of that entire speech..

    And it dovetails in quite nicely with Obama's statement that a person didn't build their business... The roads and the bridges built their business..

    Which is actually ironic because it was the AMERICAN TAXPAYERS that built the frakin' roads and bridges!!!

    :D

    Michale

  22. [22] 
    LewDan wrote:

    Michale,

    Since you've got me started I may as well go whole hog. Since the entire paragraph was about the concept of individual achievement not being isolated and completely independent of everyone else your contention that the last sentence is different from all the preceding sentences, in that it introduces the new concept that you didn't build your business, is what violates the rules of style. Because each paragraph should only expound on a single concept.

    As a result, the interpretation that best fits all the facts, and not just the ones that you cherry-pick, is that Obama was not saying you didn't build your business.

    And, on a personal note, I doubt that its possible to "build a business" all on your own in America. Every business I know of uses little things like indoor plumbing, water and electric utilities, property registration, and uses legal tender or credit instruments, in addition to things like roads and bridges. So, IMHO, you're bending over backwards to "prove" an absurdity.

  23. [23] 
    LewDan wrote:

    "And the context is that rich people are not responsible for their success and because of that they should pay more than their fair share in taxes.."

    No, the context is that the rich should pay taxes to help pay for all the other things that went into building their business, not just the ones under their exclusive control.

  24. [24] 
    Michale wrote:

    And, on a personal note, I doubt that its possible to "build a business" all on your own in America.

    You would be wrong..

    I have done it..

    Twice....

    The first time, I grossed 3.8 million my first year..

    The second time, we live comfortably where money is never a problem..

    My success is in SPITE of people like Obama.....

    Not BECAUSE of them...

    No, the context is that the rich should pay taxes to help pay for all the other things that went into building their business, not just the ones under their exclusive control.

    The TAXPAYERS paid for those things..

    And the PEOPLE (not government, but PEOPLE) who built those things were paid for their labors..

    Then problem is you and Obama want them to be paid for MY labors..

    I don't expect to be paid when THEY build a bridge...

    Why should THEY get paid if I have a successful business???

    Michale

  25. [25] 
    LewDan wrote:

    And, on a personal note, I doubt that its possible to "build a business" all on your own in America.

    "You would be wrong..

    I have done it..

    Twice....

    The first time, I grossed 3.8 million my first year.."

    3.8 million what? You couldn't mean dollars. Because if you printed your own then you are a criminal. And if you used ours then other people designed your currency, printed, distributed it, guard it against counterfiting, protect it against devaluation, and we pay for it.

    But, since you didn't have any help from anyone and made 3.8 million somethings, I'm curious--3.8 million what?! What would that be worth in dollars? And, what did you do with all of it?

  26. [26] 
    LewDan wrote:

    "The TAXPAYERS paid for those things.."

    Yes. We did. And, you will surely be shocked to know, the rich consume more than the poor. I think, perhaps, they spend more money, because they have more money. But, in doing so, they also use more of those resources the TAXPAYERS pay for. For example, those who can afford to own a car for each member of the family put far more wear and tear on the "roads and bridges" than those who can only afford a single car, or have to use public transportation. Two, three, maybe four times as much—minimum!

    So, while you (you freeloader!) may think its "fair" for the rich to pay the same taxes as the middle-class. We think the rich should pay their fair share. Which is considerably more than than middle-class pays.

    "And the PEOPLE (not government, but PEOPLE) who built those things were paid for their labors.."

    Interesting point. Whatever happened to the people with the money being the "job creators," the "producers?" When its the government, acting as the people's representative, spending the people's money, suddenly, "we didn't build that?!" LOL

  27. [27] 
    Michale wrote:

    But, since you didn't have any help from anyone and made 3.8 million somethings, I'm curious--3.8 million what?! What would that be worth in dollars? And, what did you do with all of it?

    Seriously!???

    THAT's your argument..

    I used US currency so that means I didn't build those businesses my self!???

    WOW...

    Don't you see how de-humanizing such an attitude is??

    It's like saying that god is responsible for everything and anything you have done in your life is GOD'S doing, not yours..

    Is THAT really the argument you want to make???

    So, while you (you freeloader!) may think its "fair" for the rich to pay the same taxes as the middle-class.

    The Rich pay more than 80% of all the taxes...

    Interesting point. Whatever happened to the people with the money being the "job creators," the "producers?" When its the government, acting as the people's representative, spending the people's money, suddenly, "we didn't build that?!" LOL

    So, you are saying the government built the bridges and roads??

    Not true.. The government hired companies and contractors to do the work...

    This country was the success it was in SPITE of government, not BECAUSE of it..

    You seem to view the government as some mythical god being who is responsible for everything we are and everything we do..

    Sorry.. I'll have to bail from THAT discussion..

    It's never a wise idea to trample on someone's religion... :D

    Michale

  28. [28] 
    Michale wrote:

    It's like saying that god is responsible for everything and anything you have done in your life is GOD'S doing, not yours..

    OK, that was a little convoluted... :D

    But I think you get the idea of my point..

    Michale

  29. [29] 
    akadjian wrote:

    The first time, I grossed 3.8 million my first year..
    The second time, we live comfortably where money is never a problem..

    Good for you! Seriously. Hard work and initiative are absolutely keys to success. All I would add is they're not the only keys to success.

    What was the difference between #1 and #2?

    Where I'm going with this is that I'm guessing #1 happened during the dotcom years where there was a lot more opportunity. The Internet was a Greenfield situation where innovation and capital to fund it existed.

    Since the Internet has matured, these situations don't exist as much anymore. Is this any one person's fault? Nah. Would working harder change it? Nah.

    What's that next big opportunity though? How do we find it if there's not investment from the government?

    The private sector is great, but the private sector is notoriously fearful of risk. Government has long been the driver of research.

    So what's the next thing? Why are we defunding NASA? Why are people wanting to 'cut' rather than invest?

    -David

  30. [30] 
    Michale wrote:

    So what's the next thing? Why are we defunding NASA? Why are people wanting to 'cut' rather than invest?

    I am not attempting to take anything away from the government. At least, that is not my intent..

    To do so would be hypocritical because what I am bitching about is that it is GOVERNMENT (or more accurately Obama and the Democrats) who are trying to mitigate or extenuate the success of small business people who are the REAL contributors to the society..

    But let's clear the air about one point..

    Assume, for the sake of the discussion, that Obama was saying EXACTLY what I am saying he was saying. Obama stated unequivocally that business owners didn't build their business...

    Can we agree that such a statement is a BAD thing to say, an unfair thing to say, a completely inaccurate thing to say.

    Can we at least agree on that much??

    Michale

  31. [31] 
    Michale wrote:

    So, it's ya'alls claim that the people who built the roads 50 or 60 years ago shares the credit for my business success AND SHOULD BE COMPENSATED FROM MY BUSINESS SUCCESS because I use the roads in the here and now..

    And, since they are likely dead, THEIR DESCENDANTS should be compensated because their mom or dad built the roads that I use to create a successful business..

    But why stop there!??

    George Washington, John Adams, Thomas Jefferson etc etc created this great country so THEY are partially responsible for my business success.. And THEIR descendants should be compensated from my business success...

    Let's go to the next logical progression. I live in St Augustine, FL.. Nations oldest city. Established 1534.. The settlers of St Augustine FL deserve credit for my successful business because THEY created the city that my business is in..

    Do you see how ABSURD the argument is???

    You replace 'god' with 'government' and ya'alls argument is EXACTLY the same argument that fanatical religious fundamentalists makes...

    That no single person is responsible for their success... It's god/government that deserves the credit..

    And, to be perfectly frank, that's a bullshit argument...

    Michale

  32. [32] 
    akadjian wrote:

    Can we agree that such a statement is a BAD thing to say, an unfair thing to say, a completely inaccurate thing to say.

    Absolutely. I don't think anyone would argue that.

    Why do you think we protest when you say liberals are saying that?

    No liberal I know would ever say that. Including Obama.

    it is GOVERNMENT (or more accurately Obama and the Democrats) who are trying to mitigate or extenuate the success of small business people who are the REAL contributors to the society.

    This is simply not true though.

    At all.

    This is more how certain pundits try to get you riled. They take something everyone agrees with (let's say 'hard work').

    Then they say "We're pro hard work" and those people over there want handouts.

    They say "Those people over there are trying to take your money"

    They turn people against each other when there is no fundamental disagreement.

    This is politics. This is what I dislike.

    Because when it comes down to it Michale we agree completely on the value of small business and hard work.

    I don't think anyone disagrees with hard work. In fact, the argument isn't even about hard work.

    How can I argue it with you when I completely agree?

    All I'm trying to say (and this is the economic argument), is that in addition to people working hard, the role of government is to help create the conditions necessary for hard work to pay off. It's to create the conditions where business can be successful. It's to invest at a time when private sector business isn't.

    -David

  33. [33] 
    akadjian wrote:

    Do you see how ABSURD the argument is?

    I do.

    That's why I'm not arguing it.

    That's why no one is arguing it.

    The only place it exists in fact is when right wing pundits try to tell you that this is what liberals are arguing.

    -David

  34. [34] 
    LewDan wrote:

    "So, it's ya'alls claim that the people who built the roads 50 or 60 years ago shares the credit for my business success AND SHOULD BE COMPENSATED FROM MY BUSINESS SUCCESS because I use the roads in the here and now.."

    No.I'm saying that the cost of those roads didn't end 50 to 60 years ago. The we have to pay to maintain and police those roads and bridges everyday.That since your business uses them its "fair" that your business help pay for them. That since supporting your business' use of them costs us move than individual taxpayers individual use its fair for you to pay more than simple taxpayers without businesses.

    If we stop paying for those roads and bridges and allow them to decay to the point they're unusable what will your business do then? Will you pay for your own bridges and roads? Or do you think you'd be unaffected since your business didn't get any help from anyone and doesn't need help from anyone?

    There is nothing unreasonable about my questioning your using our currency. Take a look at the Treasury Department budget. All the things you take for granted in your business someone has to pay for. You think you have a right to profit from all the things taxpayers have to pay for, but that its "unfair" to expect that you pay for them.

    You insist on claiming you built your business all by yourself without any help from anyone in a patently absurd lie. You simply ignore all the other things society has to do to make your business possible. And you certainly take no responsibility for them! If roads and bridges are important to your business then you should be making sure they're adequately maintained.

    You seem to think that you're entitled to public welfare. That if someone else paid for the roads and bridges 50 to 60 years ago you have a right to the free use of them. That maintaining them isn't your problem. All so you can "justify" your short-sighted selfish greed as "fair."

    You don't have a "right" to anything you haven't paid for entirely by yourself. Unless you intend to pay the full costs yourself you do need the help of others to build your business, and exactly how much of that cost burden is yours is negotiable. But sitting on your high horse and simply declaring that you have no obligations is not acceptable; and it certainly isn't true.

  35. [35] 
    LewDan wrote:

    "Are you trying to convince me this ONE time he resorted to eubonics style grammar when ALL OTHER TIMES in his political life he has spoken precisely and said EXACTLY what he meant???"

    Eubonics style grammar?! Your racist bigotry aside, "style" and "grammar" are two entirely separate components of communication. Obama's use of the word "that" was a verbal shortcut, common among English speakers. Instead of saying "you didn't build that part of your business" he simply said you didn't build that" and relied upon the context to fill in the rest. Your insistence on ignoring the context of Obama's remarks and pretending that the final sentence introduced and entirely new concept is simply your willfully misinterpreting his remarks.

    Occum's Razor would support that Obama's final statement was simply one more supporting sentence on the concept all the other sentences were supporting, not the introduction of a new concept. Occum's Razor postulates that the simplest answer that fits all the facts is true. Not the simplest answer that supports your prejudice.

  36. [36] 
    LewDan wrote:

    "This country was the success it was in SPITE of government, not BECAUSE of it.."

    That's the entire problem with the "conservative" viewpoint. Anyone who believes that is a fool. Their are about 200 countries in the world and yet we are the only "superpower." If you think this country's success is not do to its government but instead to the innate superiority of its business people then I'll have to radically revise my impression of you. I only thought you were a racist, I never "dreamed" you were a white supremacist too.

  37. [37] 
    Michale wrote:

    Your racist bigotry aside, "style" and "grammar" are two entirely separate components of communication.

    Once we take this turn, it's time to stop the discussion..

    Suffice it to say, Obama said what he said. If you want to believe he didn't mean it, that is your choice.

    But you simply CANNOT deny that Obama said what he said..

    And the apparent meaning is consistent with Obama's entire outlook towards "the rich", IE successful business people...

    So argue racism and metaphysics til the cows come home...

    But you simply CANNOT argue that Obama said,

    "If you have a successful business, you didn't build that"

    And such a statement *IS* an assault on the free market economy...

    These are the facts.. And they are indisputable...

    Michale

  38. [38] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    I only thought you were a racist, I never "dreamed" you were a white supremacist too.

    LD,

    while i'm certain michale has his biases, as we all do, i think that's way over the line. part of what makes this community work is that we operate on the assumption that people who do go to those places do so by accident or miscommunication, not because we actually harbor some deep-seated malice.

    my personal take on obama's "that" is that obama PROBABLY did intend "that" to mean the business. the part michale is not seeing is that the implication wasn't that the business owner was somehow not the driving FORCE behind the business being built, just that the person did not do so ALONE. society is a system that if it's healthy allows a business to sink or swim on the effort, intelligence and luck of its owners AND employees, AND the public that supports it both with infrastructure and patronage. it is a complex system, and no individual built THAT.

    ~joshua

  39. [39] 
    Chris Weigant wrote:

    Michale [37] -

    I agree this comment thread has run its course.

    But you're still pulling a Rubio. You are stating, in essence: "MY interpretation of what Obama said is absolutely correct, because I can read his mind and therefore know exactly what he was thinking as a precedent when he used the word 'that'. I know what he MEANT, and everyone else (including him) are wrong when they say he meant something different. Therefore, I am justified in attacking his motive -- the meaning behind his words."

    Exactly what Rubio was doing, exactly what Rubio was complaining about vis-a-vis Obama and the Dems, and the whole point of the article. We've come full circle.

    -CW

  40. [40] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    And such a statement *IS* an assault on the free market economy...

    michale,

    this is the part of the interpretation where you and i part ways. building anything in industrial and post-industrial society has always been a collaboration between entrepreneurs, labor and resources. his mis-quote of liz warren was no assault, it was a valid point, just uncharacteristically poorly stated. it's also highly inconsistent with obama policies, which on the whole have been nauseatingly pro-wallstreet. considering the amount of money his campaign received from those quarters, i'd call such a statement more ironic vis-a-vis his policy, as opposed to being consistent with it.

    joshua

  41. [41] 
    Michale wrote:

    CW,

    I am just going by what Obama unequivocally STATED..

    No mind reading whatsoever..

    It's ya'all that are saying that what he SAID is not what he MEANT..

    Fine. I understand your argument and it DOES have merit..

    BUT...

    It simply does NOT erase what Obama SAID..

    Further, there is ample evidence to support that what Obama SAID is exactly what he MEANT as I interpret it....

    But regardless of all that, one simple fact simple CANNOT be denied..

    "If you have a successful business, you didn't build that"
    -President Barack Obama

    We are all free to interpret that as our own biases (mine included) dictate..

    But the FACT simply cannot be argued..

    Michale

  42. [42] 
    Michale wrote:

    this is the part of the interpretation where you and i part ways. building anything in industrial and post-industrial society has always been a collaboration between entrepreneurs, labor and resources. his mis-quote of liz warren was no assault, it was a valid point, just uncharacteristically poorly stated. it's also highly inconsistent with obama policies, which on the whole have been nauseatingly pro-wallstreet. considering the amount of money his campaign received from those quarters, i'd call such a statement more ironic vis-a-vis his policy, as opposed to being consistent with it..

    I would agree that Obama's ACTIONS have been very Pro-Business...

    At least to the businesses that give him money...

    But the STATEMENT "You didn't build that" is entirely consistent with Obama's "Stick It To The Rich" rhetoric that he engages in time and time again since his election....

    So, I guess I would have to amend my statement to say Obama attacks the part of the free enterprise market that doesn't actively support him with $$$$$..

    IN other words, Obama sure can talk the talk... He just has a problem with walking the walk..

    Michale

  43. [43] 
    Michale wrote:

    If we accept the notion that No Man Is An Island, that NO business person has EVER done anything completely on their own, where does it end??? Do I have to pay the descendents of Pedro Menéndez de Avilés because he had the wisdom to establish the nation's oldest city??

    Further, what is it that Obama and the Democrats are looking for??

    Do they want simply an acknowledgement from the successful business owner that he or she had help building the business??

    Of course not. They are trying to SHAME the successful business owner into giving MORE of their hard earned money to the government..

    "You didn't build that business. You had help.. So now you should take the money you have and give it to those who have less because they (or their ancestors) MIGHT have made some small contribution to the success of your business"

    THAT is where all the rhetoric is leading...

    Michale

  44. [44] 
    Michale wrote:

    Joshua,

    Thanx for that..

    I can honestly say that I do not have a racist bone in my body.

    I don't dislike Obama because he is black.. I dislike him because he is a hypocrite, he is dishonest, he is a coward and he is a crappy leader..

    The color of his skin (or ANYONE's skin, for that matter) means absolutely NOTHING to me..

    Michale

  45. [45] 
    LewDan wrote:

    Michale,

    I apologize.

  46. [46] 
    Michale wrote:

    LD,

    No need.. I am a royal pain in the ass and sometimes my mouth (fingers) engage w/o thinking it all the way thru...

    If anything I posted could have been construed as racist it is I who owe you the apology...

    As us old warriors can attest to, in the heat of "battle" (debate or otherwise).... shit happens..

    "In war, all things are pre-forgiven"

    The same could certaintly be said of blogging.. :D

    No worries whatsoever...

    Michale

  47. [47] 
    LewDan wrote:

    Thanks,

    I sometimes forget the added meaning attached to certain words and phrases. I tend to be a much more literal thinker. I hadn't intended to attack your character, or, indeed, to attack you at all.

    Lew

  48. [48] 
    Chris Weigant wrote:

    Michale and LewDan -

    Well, I thought I was going to have to send out some warning emails for going over the line, but I am happy to see the situation resolving itself.

    Just getting the FTP column up, which will have all sorts of new subjects to wrangle over, never fear...

    -CW

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