Obama calls out his real rival — UPDATED: Obama whiffs US History

**Posted by Phineas

Yo! Why you pickin on me, O-dog?

The one, the only, Rutherford B. Hayes!

Speaking about the need to develop new sources of American energy in Largo, Md., Obama used our 19th president as a failure of forward-thinking leadership.

“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. “The point is there will always be cynics and naysayers.”

Okay, I can see the point he was trying to make –“Reactionary Republicans, far-sighted Democrats”– but I think the message will be somewhat lost amongst all the people scratching their heads and saying “Who?” Hayes is a bit obscure… (1)

But hearing this president call anyone “backward-looking” and implying they’re reactionary is a bit rich. I mean, who’s the guy who revived the failed Keynesian policies of the New Deal and the Great Society? Which president said technological advances caused unemployment? And, remind me here, I’m a bit stuck. Just which among our 44 presidents was obsessed with the national security problems of 30 years before his time, from nations that no longer exist?

President Hayes may not have seen the worth of the telephone, Mr. President, but at least he did no great harm to his country.

Can you say as much?

(1) Hayes is most known for the Compromise of 1877, the deal that allowed him to assume the presidency after a very close, hotly disputed election. (And, previewing 2000, Florida’s electoral votes were at the center of it.) He’s also the president who ended the last vestiges of Reconstruction, mostly because the Democrat-controlled House refused to fund the needed expenditures.

UPDATE: Just beautiful. The lefty Talking Points Memo corrects Obama about his “backward-looking” predecessor:

But Nan Card, curator of manuscripts at the Rutherford B. Hayes Presidential Center in Ohio, told TPM that the nation’s 19th president was being unfairly tagged as a Luddite.

“He really was the opposite,” she said. “He had the first telephone in the White House. He also had the first typewriter in the White House. Thomas Edison came to the White House as well and displayed the phonograph. Photographing people who came to the White House and visited at dinners and receptions was also very important to him.”

While often cited, Card said Obama’s cited quote had never been confirmed by contemporary sources and is likely apocryphal. A contemporary newspaper account of his first experience with telephone in 1877 from the Providence Journal records a smiling Hayes repeatedly responding to the voice on the other line with the phrase, “That is wonderful.” You can read the full story here.

“He was pretty technology-oriented for the time,” Card said. “Between the telephone, the telegraph, the phonograph and photography, I think he was pretty much on the cutting edge.”

Be sure to read the rest, including the comments section where the Obamabots start whining like babies. And enjoy. (h/t Moe Lane)

(Crossposted at Public Secrets)

14 thoughts on “Obama calls out his real rival — UPDATED: Obama whiffs US History

  1. The king of straw men strikes again.
    He makes it sound like we conservatives are holding up a crucifix to the vampire of alternative energy.
    Let’s take one of the most conservative, oil rich states in the union – Texas – and check some quick facts:

    Texas has the most installed wind power capacity of any U.S. state, with wind generation capacity of over 10,000 MW, accounting for 27 percent of the national total.
    Texas’ current wind energy production is enough to power about 1 million homes in the state.
    Unfortunately, the intermittent nature of wind energy means that it cannot be relied upon as a primary source of electricity and must be supplemented by more reliable sources, such as coal, natural gas or nuclear power plants.

    Obama wants to just “turn off the switch” of known, established sources of energy (and jobs) and transfer the entire energy grid overnight.
    He’s not a “forward thinker”, he’s a naive disaster.

  2. But Nan Card, curator of manuscripts at the Rutherford B. Hayes Presidential Center in Ohio, told TPM that the nation’s 19th president was being unfairly tagged as a Luddite.

    For schooling the Divider In Chief, Ms. Card can expect to be audited sometime soon.

  3. The next words we can expect from Obama:

    “Those darn speech writers are not checking the facts and THEY are making me look bad! Why, did Joey get all those great class warfare remarks?”

    …Oh, I forgot to add the requisite Umms and uhhs.

  4. Funny how he disses everyone every time he gets a chance. I would have to say, since he has so many tags to choose from (for instance, Sefton used “The king of straw men,” others have called him “Apologizer-in-Chief,” Narcissist-in-Chief, etc.

    But my personal favorite is Barry the Destroyer, because everything he touches is destroyed (except his pals’ bank accounts.) He just might be the evil twin brother of Conan.

  5. Were Hayes alive today I doubt seriously he would be so stupid as to think you could run a car off a windmill. For BO to denigrate a deceased predecessor in such an irrelevant comparison speaks volumes about his lack of class and character.

  6. I forgot to mention in Hayes’ day, jelly-spined jackwads like Obhammud knew to STFU since duelling was a legal and accepted way men settled differences.

  7. Reagan on the Iran-Contra affair: “This happened on my watch.”
    Obama time and time again: “Yes, but I inherited a mess.”
    Never mind that he campaigned for it and spent hundreds of millions to get it. Therefore, This was Obama’s baby from day one and he has nobody to blame but himself.

  8. Kate you forgot it was really Bush’s fault not the speech writers. But then he doesn’t know our history anyway. They don’t teach American history in Indonesia. He still thinks we have 57 states.

  9. You guys crack me up! The talking head needs to fire the speech writer, because we all know Obama is a master at memorizing what is handed to him, and NOT a master of American history.

  10. Heck, based upon his performance as president for the last three-plus years, Liz, he’s not a master of constitutional law, either, although he supposedly taught it for a while in college. Matter of fact, I seriously doubt if he’s master of any subject, but then, why would anyone expect that of an affirmative action student anyway?

  11. What did you expect? He’s a Hollywood President. He reads the scripts that are prepared for him, errors and all. When he gets up in the morning, he doesn’t know what he is going to say until he reads the notes that were prepared for him by Soros. Sometimes, Soros doesn’t trust his ability to read the notes, so he just loads it directly into the teleprompter. That way, it appears extemporaneous.

  12. President Obama is just jealous because a city in Paraguay is named after Hayes. He’ll be lucky to get a housing project named after him in Chicago.

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