Barack Obama’s rap, “You Didn’t Build That” features cameos from Clint Eastwood, Stephen Colbert, Hulk Hogan, Julia Gillard, and Jennifer Granholm.
by Hugh Atkin
Sorry I’ve been somewhat AWOL for the past week – it’s been a very busy last few days for me, but life in the Nice Deb family is getting back to normal, and I should be back to a more aggressive blogging schedule by this Tuesday.
Thanks to those of you who emailed me with your concern. As I told those readers who emailed, all is well, I just don’t publicize family matters on my blog.
ONE MORE TIME:
In case some drones stumble upon this post: Why the pathetic “he was taken out of context” argument fails:
The GOP rapid response team immediately put out an ad showing Obama’s “You didn’t build that” speech in full 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.
Obama’s words were never taken out of context, obviously. People know exactly what he said, and why they object to it. The whole thing was repugnant Marxist claptrap.