Free Markets, Free People

OMG! Rutherford B. Hayes, call your PR agent

Some seriously screwed up history today from the One.  President Obama was pitching hard, trying to again cast Republicans as backward looking types who were a problem for the county because they wanted to exploit fossil fuel (read the whole speech for that context).  He decided to use the way-back machine and take us back to the 19th President of the US who was, surprise, a Republican.

Said Obama:

“One of my predecessors, President Rutherford B. Hayes, reportedly said about the telephone: ‘It’s a great invention but who would ever want to use one?’" Obama said. "That’s why he’s not on Mt. Rushmore."

"He’s looking backwards, he’s not looking forward. He’s explaining why we can’t do something instead of why we can do something," Obama said.

Uh, “that’s why he’s not on Mt. Rushmore?”

My goodness.  Actually in that short statement, Mr. Obama got everything wrong.

Point 1 – Hayes never said that:

So we called up the Rutherford B. Hayes Presidential Center in Fremont, Ohio, where Nan Card, the curator of manuscripts, was plenty willing to correct Obama’s ignorance of White House history. Just as soon as she finished chuckling.

"I’ve heard that before, and no one ever knows where it came from," Card said of Hayes’s alleged phone remark, "but people just keep repeating it and repeating it, so it’s out there."

Wait, so Hayes didn’t even say the quote that Obama is mocking him for? "No, no," Card confirmed.

Point 2 – Hayes was a fan of the telephone:

She then read aloud a newspaper article from June 29, 1877, which describes Hayes’s delight upon first experiencing the magic of the telephone. TheProvidence Journal story reported that as Hayes listened on the phone, "a gradually increasing smile wreathe[d] his lips and wonder shone in his eyes more and more.” Hayes took the phone from his ear, "looked at it a moment in surprise and remarked, ‘That is wonderful.’"

Point 3 – Hayes was a forward thinking President who had quite a few firsts to include the first President with … wait for it … a telephone:

In fact, Card noted, Hayes was not only the first president to have a telephone in the White House, but he was also the first to use the typewriter, and he had Thomas Edison come to the White House to demonstrate the phonograph. "So I think he was pretty much cutting edge," Card insisted, "maybe just the opposite of what President Obama had to say there."

But hey, don’t let the truth get in the way of a boffo rhetorical point.

0 for 3. By the way, Mr. Obama – this is one reason why you’ll never be on Mt. Rushmore either.  And I assume your speech writer or researcher or both, are presently seeking new employment?

Accountability?  This administration?  Is Eric Holder still AG?

What am I thinking?


Twitter: @McQandO

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22 Responses to OMG! Rutherford B. Hayes, call your PR agent

  • “He’s looking backwards, he’s not looking forward.” This from the fool who has decided he will oversee American decline. Really, is there ANYTHING this guy knows squat about…besides Alinskite Collectivism and piping other people’s money to his crony’s accounts…???

  • Obama is screaming for all the distain normally set aside for Dan Qualye

  • Obama is screaming for all the distain normally set aside for Dan Quayle

  • I also am insulted and dismayed by Obama’s continuous snarky, condescending and dismissive tone in all of his speeches.
    What a douchebag!
    At least Hayes was in the military .. was wounded in the Civil War. Which is a hell of a lot more than Pre**sent “Gutsy Call” will ever do in terms of putting “some skin in the game.”

  • Ignoring the attack on 19th Century thinking by someone born and raised in the 20th Century and now supposedly progressing in progressive 21st Century thinking by using fake quotes… erm, ignoring all that. What is Obama actually thinking he is being forward-thinking about? Wind energy? That predates petroleum by a long way. Solar energy? Been around for a long time. Bio-fuels? Well, we’ve all been eating since the dawn of time, and burning wood etc. Using food and some slime to make expensive gas is hardly a stroke of genius. The rest is all just ways of making expensive, intermittent, low-density electricity which means the progess has to be in batteries and other storage systems. But batteries have been around for a long time too. So just what Obama is crowing about… I don’t really know. Progress would be throwing all that money (if you must throw money) wasted on wind, sun and slime at thorium reactors, pebble-bed reactors, fusion reactors etc. Something that would actually give us centuries worth of high-density, reliable and comparatively safe power.

    • @DocD OR letting the market determine where the next “coming thing” will be. A cloud decision mechanism…which is supposed to be a “coming thing”, right?

  • Hey, we’re kinda busy watching the President’s dog run around on the lawn, if you guys could keep it down below a dull roar the rest of us would appreciate it.
    Awwwwwww in’t he cute? Look at him run! wow.

    • @looker You DID read about the reporter asking Bo how he felt about using oil from the strategeric petroleum reserve, right? Really, no spit.

      • @Ragspierre yeah, cracked me up. They’re probably trying to figure out which smart ass it was right now, and working on banning his ass from access to the White House. They’re very open there you know.

  • I wonder if Mucho Pomposo thinks he qualifies to be on Mount Rushmore. Probably not, more than likely he thinks he’s entitled to his own private mountain.

    • @looker I propose a monument of a different kind. A giant hot-air balloon, moored permently over Harvard so as to blot out all sun, and kept aloft by burning old copies of CRT law review articles, supplemented by methane from the sewers. It would be dubbed the B.O. monument.

    • @Ragspierre They’ll be after the lead in your pencil next…

      • @DocD They can have my “gun” when they pry it from my cold, dead… Wait. That isn’t coming out right…

  • Let’s assume that the quote by Hayes was true. What of it then? So some President did not see any particular need for the telephone. Let us compare to people who did not think there would ever be a need for more than, like, 5 computers in the whole world. Or someone who thought no one would ever need more than 640kb of RAM in their computer. Or the guy who thought no one would want to hear actors talk. Or the mediocre physicist who thought heavier-than-air flight was impossible. Or… etc. Fact of the matter is, some very bright people have at one time or another been stunningly wrong about the future. Now your wonderful President is pretending that all you need to get the future right is to be “forward thinking” and thinks he can prove this by cherry-picking faulty examples from the past? Someone page Erb, Obama is stealing his shtick again.

    • @DocD Well, forward thinking, and his usual “10 years from now” plans. I’m surprised he hasn’t gotten around to claiming credit for some mechanism created in the distant future that will ensure virtual immortality because of some ‘forward thinking’ mishigas he’s promoting today. As is ever the case with Baracka, he thinks talking about something is identical to doing it.

      • @looker “He’s looking backwards, he’s not looking forward. He’s explaining why we can’t do something instead of why we can do something,” Again, even if it was a true quote, Obama’s extension here is just bollocks. If Hayes had said that, it would mean he thought it was great but saw no need for it… not that he was looking back and refusing to go forward. I am put in mind of the invention of the laser, which for many a long year was considered an answer looking for a question. It didn’t really find its many and varied uses for a long time and remained just a cool thing which could produce coherent light.

        • @DocD “…a cool thing which could produce coherent light.” Gee, it would be nice to have a President like that…even occasionally.