R. Justin Shepherd | PART-TIME PUNDIT


Barack and Michelle: The Obamas? Or ObamaEs?
21.May.2008, 10.32 am
Filed under: politics | Tags: , , ,

Though I remember it only vaguely, in the late ’80s/early ’90s, Vice President Quayle was the butt of many, many jokes, all based around his perceived stupidity. This stupidity, meanwhile, was based on a few choice “gaffes”… But was that characterization fair? Yes, sez I… but what’s good for the goose is good for the gander. So, via a right-wing talking head whose opinions I’ve generally despised, is this important piece that shows Saint Barack might not be as pearly white as the gates he’ll surely enter long after all the ballots — supers, caucai, etc. — are cast

By Michelle Malkin

All it takes is one gaffe to taint a Republican for life. The political establishment never let Dan Quayle live down his fateful misspelling of “potatoe.” The New York Times distorted and misreported the first President Bush’s questions about new scanner technology at a grocers’ convention to brand him permanently as out of touch.

But what about Barack Obama? The guy’s a perpetual gaffe machine. Let us count the ways, large and small, that his tongue has betrayed him throughout the campaign:

Last May, he claimed that tornadoes in Kansas killed a whopping 10,000 people: “In case you missed it, this week, there was a tragedy in Kansas. Ten thousand people died — an entire town destroyed.” The actual death toll: 12.

Earlier this month in Oregon, he redrew the map of the United States: “Over the last 15 months, we’ve traveled to every corner of the United States. I’ve now been in 57 states? I think one left to go.”

Last week, in front of a roaring Sioux Falls, S.D., audience, Obama exulted: “Thank you, Sioux City. … I said it wrong. I’ve been in Iowa for too long. I’m sorry.”

Explaining last week why he was trailing Hillary Clinton in Kentucky, Obama again botched basic geography: “Sen. Clinton, I think, is much better known, coming from a nearby state of Arkansas. So it’s not surprising that she would have an advantage in some of those states in the middle.” On what map is Arkansas closer to Kentucky than Illinois?

Obama has as much trouble with numbers as he has with maps. Last March, on the anniversary of the Bloody Sunday march in Selma, Ala., he claimed his parents united as a direct result of the civil rights movement: “There was something stirring across the country because of what happened in Selma, Ala., because some folks are willing to march across a bridge. So they got together and Barack Obama Jr. was born.”

Obama was born in 1961. The Selma march took place in 1965. His spokesman, Bill Burton, later explained that Obama was “speaking metaphorically about the civil-rights movement as a whole.”

Earlier this month in Cape Girardeau, Mo., Obama showed off his knowledge of the war in Afghanistan by homing in on a lack of translators: “We only have a certain number of them, and if they are all in Iraq, then it’s harder for us to use them in Afghanistan.” The real reason it’s “harder for us to use them” in Afghanistan: Iraqis speak Arabic or Kurdish. The Afghanis speak Pashto, Farsi, or other non-Arabic languages.

Over the weekend in Oregon, Obama pleaded ignorance of the decades-old, multibillion-dollar massive Hanford nuclear-waste cleanup: “Here’s something that you will rarely hear from a politician, and that is that I’m not familiar with the Hanford, uuuuhh, site, so I don’t know exactly what’s going on there. (Applause.) Now, having said that, I promise you I’ll learn about it by the time I leave here on the ride back to the airport.”

I assume on that ride, a staffer reminded him that he’s voted on at least one defense-authorization bill that addressed the “costs, schedules, and technical issues” dealing with the nation’s most contaminated nuclear-waste site.

Last March, the Chicago Tribune reported this little-noticed nugget about a fake autobiographical detail in Obama’s Dreams from My Father: “Then, there’s the copy of Life magazine that Obama presents as his racial awakening at age 9. In it, he wrote, was an article and two accompanying photographs of an African-American man physically and mentally scarred by his efforts to lighten his skin. In fact, the Life article and the photographs don’t exist, say the magazine’s own historians.”

And in perhaps the most seriously troubling set of gaffes of them all, Obama told a Portland crowd over the weekend that Iran doesn’t “pose a serious threat to us” — cluelessly arguing that “tiny countries” with small defense budgets can’t do us harm — and then promptly flip-flopped the next day, claiming, “I’ve made it clear for years that the threat from Iran is grave.”

Barack Obama — promoted by the Left and the media as an all-knowing, articulate, transcendent Messiah — is a walking, talking gaffe machine. How many more passes does he get? How many more can we afford?

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7 Comments so far
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Ha, so only the Left runs the media? These gaffes should make bigger headlines from the “Hyper-right-wing”. Maybe they’re just restraining themselves?

This is further proof however that Obama is definitely not the Antichrist, but a man faced with an overwhelming position. However, someone you know and love apparently believes whole-heartedly that he is, indeed, the Antichrist, capital A.

Comment by Derek

Someone I know and love? Thinks he is the Antichrist? Who’s that? I don’t get it.

Anyway, I myself and in favor of making fun of everyone who runs for public office. I’m nonpartisan in that commitment.

Comment by rjustin

I’ve heard the “A” word attached to Obama on multiple occasions by my extended family and friends.

I have to interject this re: the Arkansas/Illinois geography. The Right has injected Illinois into his quote. He simply said Clinton is from AR–she is. He said it’s near KY. It is. He said she’s much better know. She is.

That’s his point. That, and Kentuckians identify with Bentonville A LOT more than they do Chicago.

Comment by cort

so long as the gaffe’s don’t wind up being howard deaned, I can laugh at it, too. But a lot of these “gaffes” are hardly that, and I think, given the source, the article refrains from mentioning some relevant context around said blunders.

For instance, the articles most impt. gaffe isn’t even a gaffe. Indeed, the candidate called Iran a “tiny” threat to the US — a word McCain later lambasted Obama for — but the word “tiny” was used in comparison to the threat that the USSR once posed to the US. The Soviets actually had nuclear weapons, and they were already pointed at us! Yet our administration still agreed to talk with them, which eventually led to peace, whereas the political etiquette of many today allows for no such effective tactic. Instead they endorse only a tactic that will eventually either take us to more war or leave a nation destitute (or both).

A few of these seem a little more legitimate, but given how petty most of them are (like those he misspeaks), and how false a few others are, I’m not sure what to make of those I think may actually mean something. I guess I’ll just have to keep looking them up.

Comment by Derek

“Petty” is right. But that’s the point of a “gaffe.” It’s not a “blunder” because it doesn’t really matter… and I would agree with you two tree-huggers that the author’s last paragraph is quite overdramatic. 🙂 But if we can devote entire calendars to Bush’s misunderstatements, certainly we can laugh at Obama’s sillier quotes too, eh? Anyone who speaks for hours on end, every day for a solid year or two, is going to make some mistakes.

That said, I do agree also with the overall thesis of some of these right-wingers, which is that Obama is being held to a much lower standard than a lot of other candidates. Anything that’s criticized, his reaction is to say, in essence, “It’s not fair to talk about THAT, let’s talk about ‘the issues’,” when that’s NEVER been the standard of politics and it’s ridiculous to assume that a junior senator should be able to singlehandedly rewrite the rules.

Cort, don’t discount Bill’s extraordinary popularity in this state, a state which is still way more Democrat than Republican (even if voters generally go Republican in national elections)… he won by big margins here in both his runs, and having been present at one of his re-election rallies, I know that a great many Kentuckians feel he’s “one of them,” and so will extend that feeling to his wife… but not to an “elite” from the big city. And he’s black, of course. 😦

Comment by R. Justin

Why’s that comment up there link back to my old blog? Dang it!

Comment by R. Justin

blah

Comment by rjustin




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