Free Markets, Free People

The Left


The left’s false moral equivalency concerning guns

Leave it to former White House Chief of Staff and current Mayor of Chicago Rham Emanuel to provide us with the example. George Will tells the sorry story:

Politics becomes amusing when liberalism becomes theatrical with high-minded gestures. Chicago’s government, which is not normally known for elevated thinking, is feeling so morally upright and financially flush that it proposes to rise above the banal business of maximizing the value of its employees’ and retirees’ pension fund assets. Although seven funds have cumulative unfunded liabilities of $25 billion, Chicago will sacrifice the growth of those assets to the striking of a political pose so pure it is untainted by practicality.

Emulating New York and California, two deep-blue states with mammoth unfunded pension liabilities, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel (D) has hectored a $5 billion pension fund into divesting its holdings in companies that manufacture firearms. Now he is urging two large banks to deny financing to such companies “that profit from gun violence.” TD Bank provides a $60 million credit line to Smith & Wesson, and Bank of America provides a $25 million line to Sturm, Ruger & Co.

Chicago’s current and retired public employees might wish the city had invested more in both companies. Barack Obama, for whom Emanuel was chief of staff, has become a potent gun salesman because of suspicions that he wants to make gun ownership more difficult. Since he was inaugurated four years ago, there have been 65 million requests for background checks of gun purchasers. Four years ago, the price of Smith & Wesson stock was $2.45. Last week it was $8.76, up 258 percent. Four years ago, the price of Sturm Ruger stock was $6.46. Last week it was $51.09, up 691 percent. The Wall Street Journal reports that even before “a $1.2 billion balloon payment for pensions comes due” in 2015, “Chicago’s pension funds, which are projected to run dry by the end of the decade, are scraping the bottoms of their barrels.”

So we have the Mayor of Chicago using, well, Chicago style “politics”, to make a “moral statement” that likely few of his citizens agree with and hurting an already failing retirement system by demanding stocks that are doing well be dropped. We call that “moral preening” and, of course, it’s no skin off his back – he’s not the one losing the money – retirees are.  Screw serving the public welfare – his job.  He’s all about hurting the public welfare to make a private moral statement.

As for the false moral equivalency? Here you go:

Nevertheless, liberals are feeling good about themselves — the usual point of liberalism — because New York state’s public pension fund and California’s fund for teachers have, the New York Times says, “frozen or divested” gun holdings, and Calpers, the fund for other California public employees, may join this gesture jamboree this month. All this is being compared to the use of divestment to pressure South Africa to dismantle apartheid in the 1980s.

Guns are as evil as “apartheid” and thus should be dealt with the same way. Because everyone knows that owning a gun is precisely the same as being an oppressive racist using the power of government to enforce your racism.  Or moralism.

Never mind the fact that:

Guns are legal products in America, legally sold under federal, state and local regulations. Most of the guns sold to Americans are made by Americans. Americans have a right — a constitutional right — to own guns, and 47 percent of U.S. households exercise that portion of the Bill of Rights by possessing at least one firearm.

The left, as it usually does, is going to demonize an industry just as they have the fossile fuel industry. Amusingly, that too is one of the left’s “apartheid divestment” moves.

Moral grandstanding, however, offers steady work, and the Chronicle of Higher Education reports a new front in “the battle against climate change”: “Student groups at almost 200 colleges and universities are calling on boards of trustees to divest their colleges’ holdings in large fossil-fuel companies.” Of course, not one share of those companies’ stock will go unsold because academia is so righteous. Others will profit handsomely from such holdings and from being complicit in supplying what the world needs. Fossil fuels, the basis of modern life, supply 82 percent of U.S. energy, and it is projected that they will supply 78 percent of the global increase in energy demand between 2009 and 2035, by which time the number of cars and trucks on the planet will have doubled to 1.7 billion.

Of course, that’s not a problem for fossile fuel companies because their stocks aren’t going to go without a buyer.  Institutional investors who actually are interested in helping build wealth in a portfolio will snap them up.  What will suffer? University endowment funds, that’s what. Most people would call that sort of moral preening a “self-inflicted wound”. It won’t change a thing, it’s moral relativisim at its worst and someone else will be happy to take the dividend income those boobs are foregoing.

Next up?

Institutions of higher education will, presumably, warn donors that their endowments will be wielded in support of the political agenda du jour, which might include divesting from any company having anything to do with corn, source of the sweetener in many of the sodas that make some people fat and New York’s mayor cranky. Or anything to do with red meat, sugar, salt, trans fats, chickens not lovingly raised . . . .

Bet on it.

~McQ


And this person votes …

Really, no words from me needed:

Chicago safer than anywhere?  C-section babies?  And that old inconvenient Constitution and stuff.  Yes indeed, let’s all go for this more “modern” way of living, okay?

You’d almost think it was a parody but it isn’t.  Just a “proud Democrat”.

So much for an informed (and semi-intelligent) electorate (and yeah, some Republicans don’t get off much easier – just ask a few running for office about rape).

~McQ


Gun grabbers: How extreme?

If you’ve ever wondered how extreme the gun grabbers can get, here’s a nice little example:

The thing missing from the debate so far is anger — anger that we live in a society where something like the Sandy Hook Elementary massacre can happen and our main concern is not offending the NRA’s sensibilities.

That’s obscene. Here, then, is my “madder-than-hell-and-I’m-not-going-to-take-it-anymore” program for ending gun violence in America:

• Repeal the Second Amendment, the part about guns anyway. It’s badly written, confusing and more trouble than it’s worth. It offers an absolute right to gun ownership, but it puts it in the context of the need for a “well-regulated militia.” We don’t make our militia bring their own guns to battles. And surely the Founders couldn’t have envisioned weapons like those used in the Newtown shooting when they guaranteed gun rights. Owning a gun should be a privilege, not a right.

• Declare the NRA a terrorist organization and make membership illegal. Hey! We did it to the Communist Party, and the NRA has led to the deaths of more of us than American Commies ever did. (I would also raze the organization’s headquarters, clear the rubble and salt the earth, but that’s optional.) Make ownership of unlicensed assault rifles a felony. If some people refused to give up their guns, that “prying the guns from their cold, dead hands” thing works for me.

• Then I would tie Mitch McConnell and John Boehner, our esteemed Republican leaders, to the back of a Chevy pickup truck and drag them around a parking lot until they saw the light on gun control.

And if that didn’t work, I’d adopt radical measures. None of that is going to happen, of course. But I’ll bet gun sales will rise.

Yes friends, they are out there. I’m sure if asked this yahoo would tell you that much of this is simply venting. You know the new “civility “.  What’s “obscene”, to use the writer’s language, is as profound and studied stupidity. Here’s a man who makes comparisons that are dubious at best, and if he weren’t  so serious, would be laughable. But he’s serious about comparing the NRA to the Communist Party. He thinks he’s clever. He thinks he has an argument.

And he is certainly serious about repealing the Second Amendment. The Constitution continues to get in the way of gun grabbers like this. So a simple, “let’s revoke the right and outlaw the organization that  guards it” is the sum total of his argument. And  he claims that it is the NRA that is like the Communist Party?

Yes, we call this “projection”.

~McQ


Gasp! Mr. “Hope and Change” more negative than Romney?

It must be true. None other than Politico has noticed:

A crabby, negative campaign that has been more about misleading and marginal controversies than the major challenges facing the country? Barack Obama and Mitt Romney can both claim parenthood of this ugly child.

But there is a particular category of the 2012 race to the low road in which the two sides are not competing on equal terms: Obama and his top campaign aides have engaged far more frequently in character attacks and personal insults than the Romney campaign.

Nice to see Obama has “changed politics as we know it”.

Another promise abandoned.

~McQ

Twitter: McQandO

Facebook: QandO


“The government is the only thing we belong too …”

A video that claims “the government is the only thing we all belong too” is being disowned by the Obama Campaign, saying it was a video produced by the host city committee and not the DNC.

But, of course, it carries a Democratic National Convention banner in the lower left corner (another case of incompetence or refusing to be held accountable).




However I’m not so much concerned with who did it than I am with the implication of the message. It serves as a reminder of the premise under which most of the left works.

I don’t belong to any government. Government is my employee. It works for me. It is supposed to do my bidding in a democratic system, and not the other way around.

Now I’m sure that there are those who will listen to this and claim that the speaker is talking about a unity of effort or the uniting effect of government. I.e. regardless of party or ideology we all work under the same government.

But that’s not what he said. “Belong” has a very specific meaning. While talking about why the meme “you didn’t build that” isn’t going away, Rachel Larimore tells us why:

Many moons ago, I spent a couple of years in a fiction-writing program at a local university. I never finished the novel I aspired to write, but I did learn some valuable lessons. The most important: “It doesn’t matter what you meant. What matters is what you conveyed.” In the context of class, that meant when we were sharing our work and listening to feedback, we couldn’t butt in and say that we’d meant something else. We needed to take ourselves out of our own head and try to understand what our readers had heard.

What was conveyed was a message that, to me, is anti-liberty. Sorry to blunt about it, but it reflects a belonging that I reject. I’m not an American because of my government. I don’t belong to any group because of my government. My government exits at my forbearance. It exists solely to serve mine and other American’s needs.

And while we might disagree on is what those needs are and how much government is necessary, I don’t “belong” to the government in any sense whatsoever?

None.

But what this short segment highlights is the very large philosophical gulf that exists between those who believe in individualism and those who are statists. The statement is a statement that glorifies the state while attempting to lump all of us as collectively “owned” by it. Whether or not that’s what the speaker meant, it is what he said and conveyed by using the word “belong”.

It might not be such a big deal if it wasn’t so obviously the usually unspoken belief of so many on the left. What we’re going to see in Charlotte is a celebration of big government and that sort of “belonging”.

I want no part of it.

~McQ

Twitter: McQandO

Facebook: QandO


Famous dumb ideas: Let’s have a maximum wage, shall we?

Sometimes the mask slips a little on the left and you get a peek at the real collectivist agenda at work there.  Other times a leftist will just take the mask off completely and show you the collectivist behind it.

It is one of the reasons I find the left to be the most potentially totalitarian side of the spectrum … because their basic premise, the premise that spawns all others, is indeed collectivism.

For instance, this Gawker screed by some nimrod named Hamilton Nolan:

Let’s have a maximum annual income of, oh, $5 million, pegged to inflation. All income above that would be taxed at 99 percent. Our precious national sports stars, celebrities, and corporate executives could still be fabulously wealthy. The daydreaming poor could still have a nice big number about which to hopelessly dream. Five million dollars a year. Five million! Anyone with $5 million can invest it conservatively enough to earn 5 percent a year and still be making $250K per year without lifting a finger. In other words, $5 million provides you with the means to live as a member of the one percent without ever touching the principal. It’s everything that any reasonable person could ask for, financially speaking.

A million and a quarter per year? Far more than anyone should be earning, in a world with so much poverty and want, but not so much that someone could consider themselves set for life. It’s a number at which the go-getting rich person is still aspirational. They hope to double or triple that salary before their earning days are done. So a hefty 75 percent tax, though completely just, will not only spook them enough to flee, but allow them to retain a modicum of dignity while doing so, at least among the more affluent segments of their peer group.

But $5 million? I defy the slickest PR firm in America to explain to a nation of struggling, underemployed working class people with a median household income of just over $50,000 why an already-wealthy person felt the need to leave the country—taking money out of the taxpayers’ pockets in a very literal sense—rather than donate, to the common good, earnings over one hundred times the nation’s median household income. This requires an already-wealthy person who is, by definition, being paid a wage that far outstrips any measure of fairness or good sense, to stand up in front of a nation (to which he has no doubt paid ample lip service during his rise to the top) of people far, far less fortunate than he and declare: "I have far more than I need. But I would rather abandon you all than help you."

If someone is willing to do that, let them take their shame and go. Good riddance.

You have to read the whole thing to ensure its not a spoof. It’s not.  This knucklehead is serious. 

Note how blithely he decides what is proper for you to have.  “It’s everything that any reasonable person could ask for, financially speaking”.

Is it?  What if you’re trying to build a business that requires, oh, I don’t know, 10 million?

Well, you can’t have that.  Because Hamilton Nolan has arbitrarily decided that 5 mil is it.  It’s a bit like the crowd that decides that at a minimum, labor is worth, oh I don’t know, how about $7.25 an hour?

Sound good?  Let’s go with it and prosecute anyone that tries pay below that.  What do you mean that causes unemployment because wage payers aren’t willing to pay more than what the labor on a job is worth?  Why would some of them rather automate than pay that wage to a real person?   How does a minimum wage kick up the price of a product?

See it’s these little niggling questions that are never entertained by economic rubes like Nolan that blow their little collectivist theories all to blazes.

Things like “well if I can only earn 5 mil in the US but I can earn 10 mil in Russia, I’ll just move to Russia”, also known as human nature, simply don’t register. 

Dingbat’s reaction to such a move?  “Good riddance”.

Really?  Good riddance? 

Someone ought to ask this economic idiot if he got his job at Gawker from a poor person?   And when he got that job did he believe he got it because:

America has provided all of the opportunity necessary for these people to earn their fortunes. That opportunity is paid for with tax dollars.

Because that’s what he wrote.  Seriously Mr. Nolan, did “America” provide all the opportunity necessary, paid for by the taxpayers, for you to land at Gawker?  Or did your work and effort perhaps ‘earn’ you the job (although reading this hash one might be led to believe that Gawker has very low standards of employment)?

How does our collectivist plan on “rewarding” the high earners who remain and government coercively fleeces, taking most of what they’ve produced (note that the word “produced” never is used in Nolan’s rant)?

Newspaper articles.  No.  Seriously.

The wealthy could still earn as much as they want. It’s not that they don’t get anything for their earnings above $5 million; they get the distinct privilege of making a huge and helpful contribution to their fellow countrymen. Give them awards. Lavish them with praise. Publish the names of the highest taxpayers in laudatory newspaper columns. Allow them to bask in civic pride. But take their money. They have plenty.

Because Mr. Nolan and the mob, er collective, believe they have first claim on the money anyone earns.  They just have to vote for it (“hey, that’s democracy!”).  And that my friends is the basic difference between the left and right in this country.  They believe it is“their” money or the government’s money.   They have no idea of how wealth is produced.  They have no idea of the concept of what it takes to earn something.  Instead, it’s real simple:  you get to keep what they deem appropriate, because wealth doesn’t belong to the producer, in their world it belongs to the collective.

Why?

This is not primarily about raising our total national tax revenue. That’s a far broader issue. This is about inequality. It’s about what type of nation we want to be—what level of inequality we are willing to tolerate in order to protect a vague and twisted notion of "freedom" that most people cannot even fully articulate, and that was created by the rich to serve themselves. This is a baby step. But it’s one that would make us, fundamentally, a better and more just country.

And if the rich people don’t like it, fine.

It’s not at all about “raising our total national tax revenue”.

It’s about nascent totalitarianism masquerading as “fairness”.  Fairness is one of those code words on the left that is used to rationalize removing choice, using coercion and claiming their actions are justified because otherwise the status quo is “unfair”.

There is no worse of a sin in the collective than being ‘unfair’.

And screw you if you don’t like it.

~McQ

Twitter: @McQandO


Quote of the day: Silly collectivist edition

Apparently Barack Obama was channeling Elizabeth “Fauxahontas” Warren the other day in a speech when he said:

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.

The natural angle of attack when one wants to demean accomplishment is to attempt to portray it as something you were given vs. something you earned.

In this case, where Obama denigrates the accomplishments of the successful (and my goodness when did success become something you attack?), he’s attempting to do just that.  Because, so the collectivist thinking (oxymoron alert) goes, if he and others helped the successful become successful then they can justify claiming a portion of the pie the successful have.

Of course that requires ignoring how the successful become successful.  We heard Elizabeth Warren talk about public works that she claims enabled businesses to succeed.  Like roads, power grids, etc.  What she would have you believe is everyone else paid for those things but apparently the entrepreneur was just a net beneficiary.  Silliness to the extreme.

Also always shunted aside are the sacrifices the “successful” made to reach the stage of success they enjoy.  I personally know “successful” people who mortgaged their house to the hilt, cashed in whatever they had in savings and borrowed the rest to start their business. 

They took all the risk, and yes, some of them failed.  But they didn’t have anyone holding their hand when they set out on their journey to success.  They simply worked harder than anyone else, made the additional sacrifices that had to be made (80 hour weeks, little time with the family, etc). to make that success a fact.

The focus for the collectivists starts at the big house the successful have now, not the risk, work and sacrifice they went through to build that house.

And now that they are a success, suddenly they have a bunch of leeches who want to claim a portion of it (remember about 50% of those in this country pay no income taxes at all).  It reminds me of the lottery winner who suddenly discovers he has cousins, nieces and nephews he’s never heard of all clamoring for some of the winnings.  But in this case, what Obama is trying to justify via this nonsense is not asking for money, but taking it “legally”. 

His is the same song the communists sang in 1917 Russia.  Those who worked hardest and achieved the most don’t “deserve” what they have accumulated because they did it on the backs of everyone else.  We’ve heard variations on the theme quite often from leftist politicians:  “It takes a village”, for instance  or claiming the successful are simply  “the winners of life’s lottery”, etc.

Naturally where Obama wants to strike is precisely where jobs are created.  Almost a million of those in the tax bracket he wants to hit with higher taxes are small businesses.  You’d think the guy who obviously thinks he’s a economic genius would know that.  You’d think a guy who said “the last thing you want to do in a recession is raise taxes” would actually follow through on something he got right.

But no, instead he plays the class warfare card and essentially parrots the communists. 

No, I’m not calling him a communist, I’m simply pointing out the irony of what he’s doing.  Draw your own conclusions about what he is, but one thing he isn’t is a friend of the free market.  He certainly isn’t the economic genius he thinks he is and frankly, he’s leading us down the same path Europe went down years before and we all know how that is turning out.

It is envy cloaked as “fairness”.  Class warfare designed empower government even while it cripples business and, in the end, would contribute to increasing our economic woes.

However, there is value in such quotes as his above.  When you hear him say things like this, it becomes much clearer as to his true ideological roots and what an additional 4 years would bring.  The press may not have done the job of vetting this president before he took office, but quotes like this do as much for that process as any vetting by the press would accomplish There’s no question of where he lives ideologically.   And it isn’t an ideology that belongs in the most powerful office in this land.

~McQ

Twitter: @McQandO


As Obama’s political troubles multiply, the “racism” excuse begins to emerge

Michael Barone notes something I’ve been watching happen over the past few months:

As Barack Obama’s lead over Mitt Romney in the polls narrows, and his presumed fundraising advantage seems about to become a disadvantage, it’s alibi time for some of his backers.

His problem, they say, is that some voters don’t like him because he’s black. Or they don’t like his policies because they don’t like having a black president.

Barone goes on to explain what that’s such a bankrupt excuse:

There’s an obvious problem with the racism alibi. Barack Obama has run for president before, and he won. Voters in 2008 knew he was black. Most of them voted for him. He carried 28 states and won 365 electoral votes.

Nationwide, he won 53 percent of the popular vote. That may not sound like a landslide, but it’s a higher percentage than any Democratic nominee except Andrew Jackson, Franklin Roosevelt and Lyndon Johnson.

Democratic national conventions have selected nominees 45 times since 1832. In seven cases, they won more than 53 percent of the vote. In 37 cases, they won less.

That means President Obama won a larger percentage of the vote than Martin Van Buren, James K. Polk, Franklin Pierce, James Buchanan, Grover Cleveland, Woodrow Wilson, Harry Truman, John Kennedy, Jimmy Carter and (though you probably don’t want to bring this up in conversation with him) Bill Clinton.

Those are facts.  Those that didn’t vote for him or support him, for whatever reason the last time, are even more unlikely to support him this time, given his record.  If race was the reason for not voting for him in 2008, you’re probably going to find 99% of those type people in this bloc of voters in 2012 as well.

So if he loses, he’s going to lose because his support eroded among those who put him over the top the last time.  Some aren’t going to vote for him this time and others are going to support the opposition candidate.

Is the left really going to try to sell that as a result of “racism”?

Yes.  That is a developing theme.  The fear, I suppose, is that the white guilt the race war lords have tried to instill and exploit for years has been assuaged by his election and thus can no longer be exploited for his re-election.

Thus the push to reestablish the meme.

It’s all over the place.  Joy Behar and Janeane Garofalo provide a typical example.

How absurd has it gotten.  Well, the Congressional Black Caucus is always a good place to go to figure that out:

Angela Rye, Executive Director of the Congressional Black Caucus, argued that President Obama has struggled during his first term due to racially-motivated opposition from conservatives who dislike having a black president.

"This is probably the toughest presidential term in my lifetime," Rye said during CSPAN’s Q&A yesterday. "I think that a lot of what the president has experienced is because he’s black. You know, whether it’s questioning his intellect or whether or not he’s Ivy League. It’s always either he’s not educated enough or he’s too educated; or he’s too black or he’s not black enough; he’s too Christian or not Christian enough. There are all these things where he has to walk this very fine line to even be successful."

She said that "a lot" of conservative opposition is racially-charged, citing the use of the word "cool" in an attack ad launched by Karl Rove’s Crossroads GPS superPAC.

"There’s an ad, talking about [how] the president is too cool, [asking] is he too cool? And there’s this music that reminds me of, you know, some of the blaxploitation films from the 70s playing in the background, him with his sunglasses," Rye said. "And to me it was just very racially-charged. They weren’t asking if Bush was too cool, but, yet, people say that that’s the number one person they’d love to have a beer with. So, if that’s not cool I don’t know what is.

She added that "even ‘cool,’ the term ‘cool,’ could in some ways be deemed racial [in this instance]."

“Cool” is racist?  Who knew?  They’re essentially making this stuff up on the fly.  Racism has become, for some, the tool of choice to stifle debate and muffle free speech.  Don’t like what you’re hearing?  Claim it’s racist and they’ll shut up.  How “cool” is that?

By the way, speaking of “blaxploitation”, what would you deem this ad?

More examples of racially charged words you never knew about?  Well, consult the ever knowledgeable Ed Shultz for the latest:

On his MSNBC program last night, Schultz referred to Sen. Jim DeMint (R-SC), someone Herman Cain would seriously consider as a running mate, as "the guy who used an old Southern, racist term when talking about defeating President Obama during the healthcare debate. Below is the offending statement:

DeMint (Audio, July 9, 2009): "If we’re able to stop Obama on this, it will be his Waterloo. It will break him."

“Break” = racism.  Of course Ed Shultz, “racism” authority, was also the guy who edited a tape by Governor Perry of Texas to make a perfectly innocent remark sound racist.  He later apologized for it.

Chris Matthews is not averse to making the racism excuse, or at least, interviewing those who will:

MSNBC’s Chris Matthews asked former San Francisco Mayor Willie Brown if House Chairman Darrell Issa’s treatment of Attorney General Eric Holder was "ethnic." Brown agreed, and Matthews said some Republicans "talk down to the president and his friends."

Because, you know, lying to Congress and the death of two federal agents as a result of a horrendous operation has nothing at all to do with Issa’s inquiry.

Finally there is this nonsensical “correlation is causation” study that the NYT saw fit to print.

Oh, yes, the racism charge is fully loaded and ready to be used, no question about it.

Obama’s possible failure to be re-elected couldn’t be because he’s been a dismal failure as president and a huge disappointment even to those who elected him could it?

Nope, it has to be because he’s black.

Back to Garafalo and Behar for a wrap up:

“And I don’t understand why so many people are reticent to discuss race in this country. We are not a post-racial society,” she added.

“No, not yet,” Behar said. “Not in our lifetime. There‘s no country in the world that’s post-racial yet, I don’t think.”

“Until the human condition changes, we won’t be,” she added …

Actually, it won’t change until some among us quit finding racism as the primary motive behind everything that happens when there are much more plausible reasons available.  The fixation on racism comes from the left and is its fall back position whenever it encounters political or electoral reverses.  It is convenient.

But racism is an excuse, not a reason. This goes back to the almost religious belief on the left that it isn’t their message (or performance) that is being rejected, so it must be something else.  The means of message delivery must be deficient or the race of the messenger is causing a racist public to reject it.

It couldn’t be because he has been a terrible president or that the message sucks.

Nope, it has to be racism.

~McQ

Twitter: @McQandO


MSNBC and “Wawa-gate”

As anyone who follows politics knows, MSNBC “leans forward” or, has all but publically announced it is the liberal news network.

Fine.  I have no problem with that.  In fact, I’m comfortable with it because it allows me to put into context anything they say or report.

However, a disturbing trend has emerged with the network.  It’s one thing to have a particular bias to your reporting.  It is another thing to report things dishonestly.  And MSNBC has been caught red handed doing that at least twice here fairly recently.  Ed Shultz edited a tape of Rick Perry in such a way as to make what he said sound like a racial slur.   Then there was the edited George Zimmerman tape.

Now we have the “Wawa” tape.  In it, Mitt Romney is made to appear “amazed” by some technology in the store with the obvious intent of recreating the George H. W. Bush grocery store scanner moment.  The point, of course, was to make Romney look like Bush who, the left contended, was so out of touch that he hadn’t been in a grocery store in so long he was unaware they used scanners.

Of course, as with most things, context is key.  In the case of Bush, he indeed hadn’t been in a grocery store and was indeed amazed by the scanner.  The “out-of-touch” claim had some validity.  And, politically, it also hurt him.

That last sentence is key.  And the MSNBC logic seems elementary as well as obviously transparent.  If that hurt Bush, let’s gin this up to hurt Romney.

But there were multiple problems with MSNBC’s attempt to smear the presumptive GOP presidential candidate.  First and foremost, what they were trying to portray wasn’t true.   Secondly, they seem to have forgotten that there are an army of watchdogs in the new media that inspect everything they say or do.  Third, they seem unaware they aren’t the only organization with video of the event in question.  And finally, they’re arrogant and believe they can pull off crap like this despite one through three.

So how did it go down?  Well, in a short clip shown by MSNBC, Romney, who had visited a convenience store named Wawa, talked about ordering a sandwich:

“It’s amazing," Romney said, as the Pennsylvania crowd appeared to laugh. Then viewers saw Romney say, "You have a touchtone keypad, and you touch that, touch this, go pay the cashier, there’s your sandwich.”

It was presented as a Bush moment with both Andrea Mitchell and Chris Cillizza laughing at how out-of-touch Romney was.  And, as expected:

Mitchell invoked an old perceived campaign stumble by George Bush, who supposedly marveled at a supermarket scanner at a grocers’ convention during his failed 1992 re-election bid.

But that wasn’t at all the context for Romney’s remark.  Here’s what he said prior to that line:

What viewers didn’t see or hear was nearly three minutes of Romney discussing the nightmare of paperwork faced by an optometrist he’d talked to in trying to get the post office to change his address. He expressed mock amazement at Wawa’s efficiency to underscore how the private sector often runs circles around the clumsy bureaucracy.

"We went to Wawas and it was instructive to me, because I saw the difference between the private sector and the governmental sector. People who work in government are good people and I respect what they do, but you see, the challenge with government is that it doesn’t have competition,” Romney said in a portion edited out of the segment.

Wow … that sort of context seems pretty important to the story if you’re actually a reporter and not a hack.

And that’s sort of the point of all this.  MSNBC continues to damage itself (self- inflicted wounds) to the point that no one is going to take them as a credible news source anymore (many of us already dismiss what they say unless vetted by a more reliable source).  Instead, they’ll be considered a propaganda outlet.  What they did with the Romney and Perry tapes certainly seem to be attempts at propaganda vs. news.

By the way, it’s not like other cable networks don’t have their own credibility issues (the left views Fox as the right views MSNBC).  But MSNBC seems to be the worst of the lot, at least at this point.   But, as someone recently said, as their viewership shrinks in the wake of these scandals, the only demographic that may be increasing for them is conservative and GOP viewers.  MSNBC has become an entertainment channel for them.

~McQ

Twitter: @McQandO


The left: It’s not the message that’s the problem …

Robert Redford again makes the point that the left simply won’t accept the fact that it is their message that most of the country rejects.  Instead, it is believed that the problem is the means, the messaging, the way they present their message, that’s the problem:

“It’s about storytelling,” Redford tells Abe Streep. “The Democratic Party has a good story to tell, but they don’t know how to tell it. And the other side has no story to tell and they tell it loud and clear. People listen to the loud barking dog more than the mewing cat. But one of the advantages of the GOP debate — I’m speaking personally now — as horrible as it is to watch, as horrible as it is to see, at least people who have any sense at all can see, ‘This is what we’re getting? This is what we’re going to get if we elect somebody from that mob? Whoa—’”

The left has a story to tell but doesn’t know how to tell it while the right has no story but somehow tells “it” loud and clear?

Brilliant. Keep on believing that, brother.

Sounds like a sound bite you might hear from, oh I don’t know, Joe Biden?

Forward.

~McQ

Twitter: @McQandO