January 28th, 2011

Barack Obama, in his State of the Union Speech:

What we can do — what America does better than anyone else — is spark the creativity and imagination of our people. … America still has the largest, most prosperous economy in the world. No workers are more productive than ours. No country has more successful companies, or grants more patents to inventors and entrepreneurs. We’re the home to the world’s best colleges and universities, where more students come to study than any place on Earth. …

I know there isn’t a person here who would trade places with any other nation on Earth. …

[W]e believe in the same dream that says this is a country where anything is possible. … That dream is why [John Boehner] can preside as Speaker of the House in the greatest nation on Earth.

John Boehner, the next day, said:

[Obama and others on the left] have refused to talk about America exceptionalism. We are different than the rest of the world. … We’ve got more innovators, more entrepreneurs, and that is exceptional but you can’t get the left to talk about it. They don’t — they reject that notion.

Dude, you were sitting right behind him. He was talking about you just before saying America was the greatest nation on Earth. Weren’t you listening? Or were you too absorbed in thinking of useless, grandstanding stunts to get rid of budget-reducing health care reform that would cover tens of millions more people?

Categories: Republican Stupidity, Right-Wing Lies Tags: by
  1. Troy
    January 28th, 2011 at 11:41 | #1

    Republicans don’t like it when Democrats triangulate on their ass.

    It marginalizes and requires them to say increasingly stupid things to remain to the right of them.

  2. January 28th, 2011 at 16:27 | #2

    Paraphrasing Boehner:

    You can’t get the right to listen to the left. They don’t — they reject that notion.

  3. January 28th, 2011 at 16:59 | #3

    Hey, wait a minute:

    PARKER: You know one of the words that I listened out for in his speech last night was the word exceptional. I heard him use it when — in Tucson. In Tucson, of course, it’s been this horrific event for the whole country.

    But I didn’t hear him say it and I thought at a time when you’re building a speech around sort of defining the common purpose of America, that seemed to me a rather — you know, a simple direct line, fairly — pretty much a no-brainer, but he didn’t say it.

    BOEHNER: Well, they — they’ve refused to talk about America exceptionalism. We are different than the rest of the world. Why? Because Americans have — the country was built on an idea that ordinary people could decide what their government looked like and ordinary people could elect their own leaders.

    And 235 years ago that was a pretty novel idea. And so we are different. Why is our economy still 20 times the size of China’s? Because Americans have had their freedom to succeed, the freedom to fail. We’ve got more innovators, more entrepreneurs, and that is exceptional but you can’t get the left to talk about it. They don’t — they reject that notion.

    PARKER: Why do you think that is?

    BOEHNER: I don’t know. I don’t know. I don’t know if they’re afraid of it, whether they don’t believe it. I don’t know.

    It was Parker who blatantly said that she was listening out for the word exceptional but haven’t heard it. Boehner should’ve reacted to that, but I think he was in mode of agreeing with the interviewer and when he agreed he wouldn’t change his mind 😛

    But Parker? Pullitzer prize winner journalist didn’t heard what she was listening out for when president was droning about it? That’s preposterous. I’m not in the zone here, first heard of Parker (and Boehner for that matter) in this post…

    Luis – can you make a commentary for someone out of the field, putting some revealing light into this little snippet of talk I’ve quoted above?
    Like – Who is Parker and Boehner, what they strive for/ what their agenda is?

    You wrote that Boehner wants to bomb the Medicare, he says he wants cuts in taxes (I assume he wants cuts in taxes for the rich 😛 ) to make the US economy running.

    What is Parker after? CNN Pullitzer journalist for christ sake – she ought to be objective but obviously she can’t listen objectively. What’s the matter with her?

  4. Troy
    January 28th, 2011 at 18:10 | #4

    who blatantly said that she was listening out for the word exceptional but haven’t heard it. Boehner should’ve reacted to that

    No, that was the script they had agreed on beforehand.

    Did Boehner really say: “Why is our economy still 20 times the size of China’s”???

    And the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor too!

    1 European Union $15,150,667
    2 United States $14,624,184
    3 People’s Republic of China $10,084,369

    Maybe he meant per-capita:

    1 Qatar 88,232
    2 Luxembourg 80,304
    3 Singapore 57,238
    4 Norway 52,238
    5 Brunei 47,200
    6 United States 47,123
    . . .
    25 European Union $30,300
    . . .
    93 China, People’s Republic of $7,518

    Seems like the US of A isn’t so exceptional after all!

    This whole exceptionalism thing is just telling people what they want to hear.

    It is bullshit. This country was made on the broken backs of immigrant labor and half a continent of riches free for the taking.

    We started to get our act together during the Progressive Era 1905-1915, made some strides with civil equality in the 1920s, made more in the 1940s ~ 60s.

  5. Luis
    January 29th, 2011 at 03:42 | #5


    I’m afraid I can’t really say much about Kathleen Parker–I haven’t really seen her or read her stuff before. But it doesn’t shock me that she describes herself as “slightly to the right of center” who is “a big fan of Obama” and then does something so unabashedly throw Boehner such a softball he could then use to bash the president–especially when the softball as as contrived as it is false.

    I mean, she hears “America does better,” “the largest, most prosperous economy in the world,” “No workers are more productive,” “successful companies,” “grants more patents to inventors and entrepreneurs,” “the world’s best colleges and universities,” and “the greatest nation on Earth”…. and somehow she does not get “exceptionalism” from that.

    This woman won a pulitzer? How?

    Looking back at her columns, she has been pretty conservative over the years. She wrote a scathing attack on Janet “Rambo” Reno, said the NAACP had “lost its mind” because it didn’t like the Confederate flag, enjoyed bashing liberal liberal liberal Hollywood liberals, mocked Jesse Jackson for his intervening to get kidnaped people released–well, that’s just halfway into 2002. She often bashed black leaders, and criticized Bush for not being stronger against those damned liberals. She was stridently for the Iraq war and defended not finding WMD. She attacked liberals often and harshly (black leaders, Democratic leaders) and just as often sided with, defended, and praised Bush–and she apparently despised Clinton. She fought the “War on Christmas” before it was stylish.

    Much of her commentary was in the objective range, but it all had a rather noticeable right-leaning tilt; for someone who identified herself as an “independent,” she sure seemed to come out for conservatives and against liberals pretty much all the time, as if her objectivity was an air, an assumed persona lending credibility to a right-winger.

    That said, she at least had the sense to object to Sarah Palin, recognizing her as not qualified, and saying so–but still scathed Obama when she had the chance, and certainly blasted Pelosi now and then. But going against Palin earned her credentials as being more objective, which she crowed about. Look, I’m so centrist that I don’t like Sarah Palin! Um, well, you kinda can be pretty far on the right and still not be enamored of Palin. But many think it’s this anti-Palin stance that helped win her the Pulitzer. I don’t know, as I said, I never noticed Parker before and I could be wrong.

    In the interview with Boehner, she spent the first half decently, pressing Boehner (though not excessively hard) about things like the possible necessity of raising taxes and his ability to reign in the Tea Party and people like Michele Bachmann. However, in the second half, she turned on the softball machine:

    Speaker Boehner, despite your new position in life, your new elevated place, you seem to me to be a little shy nonetheless. Maybe a bit of an introvert like me. You don’t like to go to parties much. You don’t even like to go to state dinners. … I know you wanted to restore honor to the House as you see it. Tell us about that. … I watched you and you have a poker face. It’s very hard to read what’s going on. … I’ve heard that you have kind of a coach’s approach to running the House. You’re very happy to delegate and let other people have the limelight? … Do you feel like you have a good relationship with the president?

    Essentially, she handed Boehner questions that amounted to “tell me a what a nice guy and a good leader you are.”

    Then she lobbed the “exceptionalism” softball, the biggest one of the night.

    If anyone else has a clearer picture of Parker, please chime in. The thing is, that “exceptionalism” question, in my mind, revealed quite a bit about her thinking.

  6. Luis
    January 29th, 2011 at 03:45 | #6

    P.S.–the <bq> tag, for the time being, only works on single paragraphs. More than that, you should use the regular <blockquote> tag.

    Anyone know how to make a custom CSS-element tag apply to multiple paragraphs without resorting to classes?

  7. Troy
    January 29th, 2011 at 04:59 | #7

    If the CIA is still paying people in the US media, KP is on the take with that.

  8. January 30th, 2011 at 00:00 | #8

    When I heard that part of the speech: “I know there isn’t a person who would trade places with any other nation on Earth,” I was sort of offended. I raised my hand, shouting, “Me, me, me, I would! I would!” I now live in a country (Japan) where I can walk around after dark without fearing for my life or my virtue because I’m female. Can’t do that without taking a chance even in the nicest neighborhoods in the States, period. This is freedom, freedom from fear. Plus the other things like national health care — I’d rather be Scandinavian, would trade in a second. They have nice sweaters too.

  9. Tim Kane
    January 30th, 2011 at 10:25 | #9

    I thought of about 20 countries I’d rather live in:
    New Zealand
    Czech Republic

    Not necessaily in that order.

    Am I’m willing to consider:
    Slovakia, Poland, Latvia, Lithuania, Hungary, Romnia, Turkey, Singapore, Israel, Chile, Argentina.

  10. Troy
    January 30th, 2011 at 11:12 | #10

    Actually, I’d rather live in the U S of A.

    As I’ve said before, I think our socio-economic problems are solvable, but our politics are preventing this.

    The right has erected a very effective propaganda machine to defend its wealth interests against lefty social-democratic initiatives.

    Conservatives have captured the 25% Christianist bloc — the “values voters” quite effectively, and are willing to pay lip service to defending the interests of the elderly, which were 20% of the vote last year, and growing quickly now that the baby boom is starting to turn 65. ~20% of the electorate makes over $100,000.

    There’s a lot of overlap, so there’s not a 65% bloc here, and the split within this block is only 70%/30%, so the effective core bloc of conservatism is 30-40%, but these people are going to be a very tough nut to crack this decade.

    95% of the electorate doesn’t have the first clue what is going down now so it’s easy for the conservatives to grab votes from the muddled middle.

    I think Obama is going to follow GHWB as a one-termer, since BHO inherited a frangible situation much like the first George did.

    Republicans are probably also going to take the Senate, if the 2010 election is anything to go on.

    Not sure Japan is that great a bug-out place any more. Australia looks more livable than Canada. Singapore has its attractions, but also its minuses. NZ is probably too isolated, but it’s a nice place to be isolated at least.

    I don’t think I want to move to latitudes of Norway or Sweden, or even Germany really.

    I like being an American. My main plan is to just get a doomstead away from it all and not worry about what I can’t change.

  11. Tim Kane
    January 31st, 2011 at 01:27 | #11

    The things I missed most living outside the U.S. were thanksgiving holiday, apparently I set my circadian clock by it, and sports: Football, Baseball, hockey, march madness, and getting stupid on mardi grass and St. Patrick’s day.

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