Skip to comments.The Myth of Obama’s Rhetorical Brilliance
Posted on 07/21/2012 3:29:12 PM PDT by Kaslin
Checking for context before slamming someone for a single line in a speech is always a noble endeavor. But theres a point when the benefit of the doubt becomes ridiculous. A prime example is the liberal argument that President Obamas you didnt build that comment wasnt directed at businesses:
When he made the comment in Roanoke, Va. Friday, Obama was arguing that businesses needed infrastructure investment to succeed.
“If you were successful, somebody along the line gave you some help,” Obama said. “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 youve got a business, you didnt build that. Somebody else made that happen.”
The antecedent to “that” is not the business, but “roads and bridges,” as well as the “American system” as a whole.
To believe that Obama was talking about businesses, you only have to watch his speech in context and take it at its literal meaning. To believe Obama was talking about something else, you have to divine certain messages from his ambiguous body language, assume he mixed up his demonstrative pronouns, and concede that the context was structured oddly. Even then, it isnt clear what exactly hes referring to.
How could this be, considering he’s supposed to be one of the worlds most celebrated orators? The answer is, no teleprompter:
Judging from video and photos of the event, Obama wasnt using his teleprompter. According to the video footage posted below, Obama pulled a folded sheet of paper out of his front shirt pocket at the beginning of his speech, and slowly unfolded it. Throughout the speech, Obama glances down at his sheet of paper, rather than the usual mechanical side-to-side head turns from screen to screen.
Wide-angle photos of the event show no sign of the familiar twin-screens that typically follow Obama everywhere. Instead, a white sheet of paper is seen at the podium.
No wonder the speech was such a train wreck, and I’m not just talking about the most controversial line. Here’s a key excerpt:
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 own a business — that, you didnt build that. Somebody else made that happen. The Iternet didnt 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 dont do on our own. I mean, imagine if everybody had their own fire service. That would be a hard way to organize fighting fires.
Stilted, flat, unimaginative and full of banal observations. Imagine if everybody had their own fire service, he said at one point. That would be a hard way to organize fighting fires. Really? It actually sounds like firefighting would be pretty easy if America had 300 million fire services. Not that this is physically possible, or that anybody has ever proposed such a thing. Government research created the Internet so that all the companies could make money off the Internet, he added. The idea that the government created the Internet to help companies make money is so obviously inaccurate that its not even worth discussing. And what does any of this have to do with raising federal income taxes?
For the past four years, liberals have tried to sell us on the idea that Obama is one of the greatest speakers of all time. Now theyre complaining that conservatives are taking his words literally and not cutting him enough slack. Which one is it?
Fire service? Who uses that phrasing? A foreigner, that’s who. Fire department.
Now, ask a Conservative to recite some stupid things that they remember Obama saying, and you'd better pull up a chair -- there is a lot to talk about.
While I understand your point - it's wrong, lots of people use that term who are not foreigners. I live in an area that has only volunteer fire departments and we do make references to fire service.
With Obama, it's "blah blah blah BLAH, BLAH BLAH blah. blah blah BLAH, BLAH blah." His cadences make me cringe.
This is how he thinks. He believes in collective ownership. He believes that it PERMITS success, instead of aiding it.
Maybe it translates from Indonesian to fire service?
Can any man be rhetorically brilliant or eloquent if he makes you skin crawl when he talks?
Obama was arguing that businesses needed infrastructure investment to succeed.”
He was also clearly implying the The People collectively have a stake in all businesses that they “allowed” to thrive.
As to rescinding that allowance without committing suicide, I'm afraid we will have allowed them to try.
I wonder if BO knows any other terms for when the people (or the gov’t) own the means of production. Hmmm. I bet a smart guy like that could come up with a couple.
Liberals have often made speeches referring to wealthy people as "winners of life's lottery." The less credit given to individuals who succeed by dint of hard work, creativity, intelligence, and risk-taking, the easier it is to justify confiscating their wealth, since "they didn't really earn it."
Many of us have been around a friend who suddenly got a good deal of money that he actually didn't earn. Perhaps that 50-1 longshot came in, or maybe he had a long-lost relative who left him a bunch of dough. Often, the guy will say, "Hey--I caught a real break today--dinner's on me." If he doesn't offer, his friends might tease and cajole him into sharing a small portion of his serendipity.
That's a different story from a guy who breaks his butt doing heavy labor and gets his paycheck. His buddies are a lot less likely to expect him to share what he earned, as opposed to money he came by without the sweat of his brow.
Hence--the Obama speech. You didn't earn it, the government had a big part in your success--therefore, we can raise your taxes and take a lot of it away.
http://fireserviceinc.com/ ~ since 1991 there’s a company in St. John Indiana been using the name. In 2009 CNNMoney ranked it the 48th best place among the top 100 to live in America.
Its worse than that, Just seeing the Kenyon Punk and/or his sister Lousy and Bro Reid makes MY skin crawl.
How about "collective" or "commune?" Do you think he knows those words? We already know he knows "redistribution."
I always hated listening to George Bush speak. It was painful listening to him suffer through his speeches. With Obama, it’s painful listening to the pride and arrogance, not to mention his idiotic way of stressing the last of each sentence. It’s like the twinkie fag thinks inflection equals importance. Then again, he could be doing it to alert the teleprompter that it is time to move to the next sentence. Maybe he should do like Kerry, or maybe it was Gore, who had an earpiece telling him what to say.
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