February 26, 2009

Disingenuity

Obama's speech was a welcome dose of optimism, and was an overall good offering.

I do agree with the criticism that we are going to be paying for this for a long time, but considering who was driving this bus when it went off the road, it is rather disingenuous for the Party of Hoover to be sniping.

Also disingenuous was Obama's assertion that the "the nation that invented the automobile cannot walk away from it." We Americans are bad about stealing the thunder of foreign inventors and claiming it for our own.

Take sewing machines. Isaac Singer did not invent the sewing machine. That credit goes to a German fellow almost a decade before. What Singer did was perfect the techniques of mass production and mass marketing. There is ongoing debate about the first heavier than air powered flight, with both the Brazilian Alberto Santos-Dumont and New Zealander Richard Pearse offering credible claims to the title prior to Orville and Wilbur's 12-second effort at Kitty Hawk.

The story of the American automobile is similar. Henry Ford gets credit for mass production and making the automobile available to the masses, but the first automobile was of German origin.

So why am I making a big deal about this? Ask yourself how this thinly veiled plea to emotion is any different than what we've endured over the past eight years. Just as the Shrub did over and over again, Obama offered rhetoric based on false premise, playing on ignorance or uninformed beliefs, and offers support for fantasies that override truth.

One must ask why politicians do this. Perhaps because it works. This offering by Obama is smoke and mirrors using positive rhetoric, and the same couched in negative terms works just as well (Ask Karl Rove how well it works).

But work or not, is this what we want from our leaders?
~~

10 Comments:

MiniKat said...

This is not what I want from a leader. My husband and I watched/listened to the address the other night. When I heard the line referring to the American auto industry and the invention of the automobile, I remember saying that it was the first thing I knew of that Obama was bull-****ing us on. I wonder if he knows he did it, or did it in ignorance? Either way, I still don't want it in a leader.

chuckr44 said...

I don't even listen to politics much anymore. It's the same thing, but has gotten worse the last 20 years.

It's a shame. NPR (radio) now has a whole article about checking several facts in Obama's speech. Of course they couldn't take hours to check every fact but they chose a few to see if 1) the fact was true 2) if it was "spun", or 3) if it was outright false, or the goal utterly unattainable.

Mule Breath, said...

Obama's speech was not impromptu, so I find it difficult to believe this might have been a mistake. Something off the cuff might be considered a simple gaffe, and therefore marginalized. We were told, however, that the President wrote his own speech, and Obama is an educated man. It is difficult to define this as anything less than an appeal to emotion, and therefore inexcusable.

I expected better.

jeg43 said...

It was an example of the move toward transparency - you can recognize the bull shit.

Mule Breath, said...

Chuck,

Since I missed the program on air, I Googled NPR fact check and found that this was not the only part of the speech lacking in veracity.

Jeg,

What is so troubling is that it would have been so easy to avoid the windy rhetoric and just talk plain truth. Like I said, I expected better.

jeg43 said...

MB,
I heard you loud and clear and agree. My comment was meant to be "tongue-in-cheek."

Rogue Medic said...

I had not paid any more attention to this than to previous addresses since about the time of President Carter. I would not have written anything about it, but White Coat's Call Room there was a post about Obama’s Speech - Healthcare Reform.

After reading that, I had to add my own perspective. President Obama's Speech on Health Care

Farm.Dad said...

"Just as the Shrub did over and over again, Obama offered rhetoric based on false premise, playing on ignorance or uninformed beliefs, and offers support for fantasies that override truth."

This is my one of my issues with Berry . He ran on a platform of hope and no substance . To be fair he cannot and will not do a total disconnect from the bush polices ( nor would Ron Paul for the segment out there that believe he could/would have done better had he been able to line up more than 4 voters ) . However comfortably inside 100 days in office ( the " honeymoon" for any new president ) Barry has managed to increase the deficit more than Bush did in 8 years . Now folks i am rather socially permissive , even liberal , but when you snort coke it has to be paid for . Barry is now robbing my grandkids to pay for his line . He is wanting to move the census to his control ( nuff said on that ? ) . He is going to tax me until we all make money ? And then Holder lips off at an inopportune time and lets the cat out of the bag , forcing Pelosi and Reid to back track and quote the NRA and such about enforcing existing gun laws when the history says they never seen a gun law that wasn't " common sense " . Folks we dont need laws , in fact we dont need " leaders " . We need a return to personal responsibility . I dont have a lot but what i have is paid for , i have exactly $ 0.00 in credit card debit . My total charge debit ( local accounts ) is less than one months wages for us . We save then buy as a rule . I may however have to incur some debt just because of the policys that i am seeing espoused nowadays . I seem to be too responsible in my financial dealings . Back on topic tho Berry wont wreck us , nor will he save us . The choice is ours as a nation and as a neighbor . Company bail outs aside ( we have little chance of changing that ), if i cannot afford it i do not buy it ( and if i bought less guns i could afford more toys such as new pickups ect.. ) . Sorry for the rant mule , but damm its the as a fella said " Deja view all over again " .

Mule Breath, said...

FD, I’m almost at a loss for how to answer your comment. Almost.

This is my one of my issues with Berry . He ran on a platform of hope and no substance

No substance that a McCain backer would care to recognize, but apparently a majority of voters found enough substance that he won.

To be fair he cannot and will not do a total disconnect from the bush polices ( nor would Ron Paul for the segment out there that believe he could/would have done better had he been able to line up more than 4 voters )

This is an illogical statement, and circular reasoning. It isn’t possible for *any* elected President to “do a total disconnect” from previous policies, and neither would it be wise.

However comfortably inside 100 days in office ( the " honeymoon" for any new president ) Barry has managed to increase the deficit more than Bush did in 8 years

Sorry, and I certainly don’t wish to sound disrespectful, but with only a single exception the this is the same claptrap that has been uttered by every defeated party for as long as I’ve been watching elections. That exception was when the shrub took over from Clinton. The fallacy in the statement is that it does not take into consideration the damage done by failed policies of the previous administration or the cost involved in repairing the damage.

Now folks i am rather socially permissive , even liberal , but when you snort coke it has to be paid for . Barry is now robbing my grandkids to pay for his line

This is that part of your rant with which I have the most trouble. I simply do not understand your analogy. The only part I can address is the “grandkids” line, to which I would say you should Spend your time scorching the advocates of deregulation instead of blaming the guy who is attempting to fix the mess left to him by his predecessors.

He is wanting to move the census to his control ( nuff said on that ? ) . He is going to tax me until we all make money ?

First I would ask just why this is such a problem for you? Next I would point out that Judd Gregg had no problem with it while he remained the nominee for Commerce Secretary, since he would have been the one responsible, and that since Gregg withdrew, nothing else has been said about the plan, other than by the right wingnut pundits.



And then Holder lips off at an inopportune time and lets the cat out of the bag , forcing Pelosi and Reid to back track and quote the NRA and such about enforcing existing gun laws when the history says they never seen a gun law that wasn't " common sense "

I was expecting the move, and I was expecting the reaction. I know you are a gun nut and that this means a whole bunch to you, but it means less to me even though I am a gun nut too. I can defend my rights to gun ownership so long as my right to free expression is not suppressed. No use covering this, as we’ve already been down that road.

Folks we dont need laws , in fact we dont need " leaders "

Yes, we do need laws and leaders. We are a nation of law, and were it not for leaders we would not be a nation at all.

We need a return to personal responsibility

Nice rhetoric, and seems like something I’ve heard from Obama, Bush, Clinton, Bush, Reagan, Carter, Ford, Nixon, Johnson, Kennedy, and Eisenhower.

Sorry for the rant mule , but damm its the as a fella said " Deja view all over again "

Rants are okay. AS you can see, they don’t bother me. I have a thicker skin than some of my right wingnut buddies. As far as déjà vu, isn’t it always that way? The political pendulum swings back and forth on fairly predictable frequency. It has swung really far left this time because Bush was so very wrong in his policies. Had he remained more moderate, the voters would have been more moderate as well. Only the radical right could stomach the totalitarianism Bush/Cheney represented.

BTW, when you refer to Barry, are you referencing Obama’s nickname while attending high school?

Mark said...

In answer to the last line of your blog post - no, it's not what I want. I've had a bellyful of rabble-rousing bullshit. The time for lies is done. Now's the time for truth - objective, empirical truth, as very much as we can find. No matter how much it hurts.

All the platitudes I want to type - "The truth will set you free" is first in brain - are kinda ashy-tasting. Not because I'm surprised or shocked by Obama coming out with a line of shit. Just disappointed.

May our disappointments be few. We can't afford them. We couldn't afford them under Dubya - that's why we're where we are now - and the whole point of voting Obama was to not just get more of the same.