These two photos, I think capture the mood of the country, right now.
First via ABC’s Political Punch:
SIOUX CITY, Iowa — President Obama received a less than warm welcome and a warning upon arrival at the airport here on the second stop of his Iowa visit, which was aimed at recapturing some of the magic the state gave his run to the White House in 2008.
Greeting Air Force One as it touched down under sunny skies and sultry heat was a hand-painted banner draped across the top of an airplane hangar that reads, “Obama Welcome to SUX – We Did Build This.” “SUX” is the airport code for Sioux City.
The message appeared to be a response President Obama’s “you didn’t build that” remark from a July campaign rally, when he was trying to explain that government — not businesses — constructed public infrastructure on which the economy relies. Republicans have used the four words to attack Obama as out of touch with the realities of owning and operating a small business.
Very well played, Devon Dwyer of Political Punch, that banner does indeed “appear” to be a “response” to Obama’s “You didn’t build that” speech – and thank-you so much for providing us with your interpretation of what Lecturer in Chief, Obama was “trying to explain” without his teleprompter to guide him. But it’s always been pretty clear what he was trying to say, and it ain’t what you just said.
One more time, just for the fun of it, here is what Obama said “in context”:
“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.
This narrative is cribbed almost verbatim from the narrative of George Lakoff, a progressive linguistics activist and Professor at Berkeley. Like Warren, Lakoff was one of the academics who helped frame how the Occupy Wall Street movement presented itself. Lakoff’s writings and theories seek to transform progressive politics and he is a frequent speaker on how progressives can reframe the political debate.
Lakoff developed a linguistic narrative that progressives needed to counter conservatives by focusing on the role of government in enabling individual success, a narrative in which no person became successful on his or her own:
Read how Lakoff framed the issue in a publication several years ago, then listen to the Obama and Warren speeches, they are not identical but very close substantively and linguistically (emphasis mine):
There is no such thing as a self-made man. Every businessman has used the vast American infrastructure, which the taxpayers paid for, to make his money. He did not make his money alone. He used taxpayer infrastructure. He got rich on what other taxpayers had paid for: the banking system, the Federal Reserve, the Treasury and Commerce Departments, and the judicial system, where nine-tenths of cases involve corporate law. These taxpayer investments support companies and wealthy investors. There are no self-made men! The wealthy have gotten rich using what previous taxpayers have paid for. They owe the taxpayers of this country a great deal and should be paying it back.
But the American people are in no mood for this Marxist drivel, hence the backlash and constant dissembling from Team Obama and their useful allies in the media. Looks like all that media messaging is falling on deaf ears, though.
Remember a whole week ago when Hurricane Isaac was supposed to be proof that God hated Republicans?
Seems like such a long time ago, now, doesn’t it?
The Washington Times reports:
A torrential downpour that struck Charlotte Saturday afternoon damaged the Mount Rushmore-style sand sculpture bust of President Obama — an ominous beginning to what many fear is a plagued convention.
Workers were trying Saturday afternoon to reform the base of the sculpture, built from sand brought in from Myrtle Beach, S.C., pounding and smoothing out the sand that had washed off the facade of the waist-up rendering of the chief executive.
The sand sculpture was protected from above, and Mr. Obama’s face didn’t see too much damage. But the storm was so strong that its heavy winds blew the rain sideways, pelting the president’s right side and leaving the sand pockmarked and completely erasing his right elbow.
Who on Team O thought that after nearly four years of watching this guy destroy the country, what this we really needed now was more of this creepy, vintage 2008, cult of personality crapola?
The President’s doing more tough interviews with hard boiled journalists….
Hey, did you know that Republican voters “often agree” with Obama? That’s news to me, a Republican voter, but according to Obama, it’s true.
Obama was asked, “So how are you going to talk to Republicans differently if you are reelected?”
“Republican voters, if you ask them about my particular policy positions, often agree with me. So there’s a difference between Republicans in Washington and Republican and Republican-leaning voters around the country,” Obama said in a Parade Magazine reader question-and-answer session published on Friday.
Obama said the Republican Party has changed but he has not.
“When you look at the policies I’ve promoted, they used to be considered bipartisan, mainstream ideas. What’s changed is not me. What’s changed is where the Republican Party’s gone,” he said.