Obama the historian attacked Republicans as Luddites:
Obama Mangles U.S., World History In Energy Speech
Benjy Sarlin-March 15, 2012
President Obama got a laugh out of a Maryland audience on Thursday when he mocked the Republican Party in a speech, comparing their skepticism of alternative energy to the “Flat Earth Society” in Christopher Columbus’ day and President Rutherford B. Hayes’ apparent dismissal of the telephone. But while Obama thinks the GOP is in need of a science lesson, he may need to bone up on history himself.
In mocking the GOP, Obama cited an anecdote about Hayes in which, upon using the telephone for the first time, he said, “It’s a great invention, but who would ever want to use one?”
“That’s why he’s not on Mount Rushmore,” Obama said. “He’s explaining why we can’t do something instead of why we can do something.”
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.”
As for why he’s not on Mt. Rushmore, Card noted that popular history tends to favor wartime presidents in the long run. To be fair, modern historians aren’t too hot on Hayes either in their rankings.
Obama’s invocation of the “flat earth” theory in the context of Christopher Columbus’ journey across the ocean also contained some dubious (if incredibly widespread) history.
“If some of these folks were around when Columbus set sail, they must have been founding members of the Flat Earth Society,” Obama said. “They would not have believed that the world was round.”
In fact, historians have long contended that the notion Europeans widely believed the Earth was flat, let alone 15th century Spanish scholars, is a myth developed centuries later. From the late Harvard paleontologist Stephen Jay Gould’s 1995 book “Dinosaur In a Haystack”:
There never was a period of “ﬂat earth darkness” among scholars (regardless of how many uneducated people may have conceptualized our planet both then and now). Greek knowledge of sphericity never faded, and all major medieval scholars accepted the earth’s roundness as an established fact of cosmology. Ferdinand and Isabella did refer Columbus’s plans to a royal commission headed by Hernando de Talavera, Isabella’s confessor and, following defeat of the Moors, Archbishop of Granada. This commission, composed of both clerical and lay advisers, did meet, at Salamanca among other places. They did pose some sharp intellectual objections to Columbus, but all assumed the earth’s roundness. As a major critique, they argued that Columbus could not reach the Indies in his own allotted time, because the earth’s circumference was too great. Moreover, his critics were entirely right. Columbus had “cooked” his figures to favor a much smaller earth, and an attainable Indies. Needless to say, he did not and could not reach Asia, and Native Americans are still called Indians as a legacy of his error.
As far as muddled historic references go, Obama’s hardly the first presidential candidate to screw things up on the trail. But for an address specifically going after his opponents for their ignorance, it’s probably not great to have a “citation needed” banner on top of his speech.
I’m only wondering if Obama knows which of the fifty-eight states Rutherford B. Hayes came from:
Which is to say that given Obama’s own documented past ignorance, he ought to do a lot less arrogant smack talking and a lot more shutting the hell up.
So Obama opened up his fool mouth again and literally travelled back in time to unfairly demonize Republicans, and proceeded to compare them to a flat-earth belief system that never even existed in the first place.
Even famous atheist Stephen Jay Gould openly acknowledged that the Catholic Church not only realized that the earth was in fact quite round, but that Columbus was wrong because he didn’t understand that the earth was bigger than he was alleging. And only the most contemptible religious bigot would have claimed what Obama claimed.
But ignorance and bigotry never stopped Obama from demagoguing before, so why should it now???
But Obama isn’t just ignorant and he isn’t just a bigot and he isn’t even just a demagogue; he is a liar without shame:
Government data undercut Obama’s energy claims
By Dave Boyer – The Washington Times
Thursday, March 15, 2012
Countering President Obama’s claim that he’s doing everything he can to increase domestic oil production, a top House Republican Thursday released data from the Energy Department showing that fossil fuel production on federal lands has fallen since Mr. Obama took office.
The information compiled by the Energy Information Administration shows that total fossil fuel production on federal lands has dropped 7 percent since 2009 and 13 percent since 2003. From 2010 to 2011, total oil production on federal lands is down 14 percent and gas production dropped 11 percent.
House Natural Resources Chairman Doc Hastings, Washington Republican, said the new data show that President Obama’s “anti-energy policies” are taking the country in the wrong direction.
“These nonpartisan statistics show federal oil and natural gas productions are declining as President Obama’s anti-energy policies catch up with him,” Mr. Hastings said in a statement. “President Obama has been more than happy to take credit for his predecessors’ actions to advance energy production on federal lands, however, we know that while bringing federal oil and natural gas production online can take the better part of a decade, slowing production can happen relatively quickly.”
Interior Department spokesman Adam Fetcher said the data shows that oil production on federal lands has increased 13 percent since 2006, and natural gas production has risen 6 percent in the same period, despite declines in both categories from 2009 to 2011.
“The Obama administration continues to take steps to expand domestic production safely and responsibly as part of an all-of-the-above approach to American energy,” Mr. Fetcher said. “Nationwide, domestic oil and gas production has increased each year of this administration, and is the highest that it’s been in eight years. This report confirms that under the Obama administration, we’ve seen an overall expansion of oil production on federal lands and waters, and we also continue to encourage industry to develop the thousands of leases they already own and have access to but are currently sitting idle.”
Mr. Hastings called attention to the data on the same day that Mr. Obama held another event, this time in suburban Maryland, to deflect political blame for rising gas prices.
The White House released its own report on Monday saying that overall U.S. crude oil production is at its highest level since 2003, at 5.6 million barrels per day. The administration’s interagency report said domestic oil production increased by an estimated 120,000 barrels a day last year over 2010.
But Republicans argue that Mr. Obama isn’t doing enough to increase energy production on federal lands, action that is directly in his control.
Mr. Hastings said the EIA data reveals that America is relying increasingly on oil and natural gas production on state and private lands. He said that’s due to “regulations, red tape and President Obama’s policies that are driving production off of federal lands.”
“House Republicans have passed a bipartisan all-of-the-above energy plan that opens federal waters with the most known oil and natural gas resources to increase American energy production, create jobs, lower gasoline prices and make America more energy secure,” Mr. Hastings said. “If President Obama is truly interested in an all-of-the-above energy plan, he should abandon his policies that are strangling American energy production and embrace this bipartisan plan to help ease the pain at the pump that more American families are feeling every day.”
The administration’s report said the U.S. reduced net imports of crude oil last year by 10 percent, or about 1 million barrels a day. The U.S. now imports 45 percent of its petroleum, down from 57 percent in 2008.
Mr. Obama has said repeatedly that he is putting the U.S. on a path to energy independence through an “all of the above” strategy that promotes domestic fossil fuel production as well as renewable energy.
Obama demonized George Bush for gas when it was $3.50 a gallon. It is now much higher than that and very likely to get even higher but suddenly it’s unfair to attack Obama the way Obama attacked Bush.
There’s just one more thing: I wrote an article titled, “Obama Promise To Transcend Political Divide His Signature Failure And Lie.” I begin with a New York Times article that begins:
WASHINGTON — At the core of Senator Barack Obama’s presidential campaign is a promise that he can transcend the starkly red-and-blue politics of the last 15 years, end the partisan and ideological wars and build a new governing majority.
To achieve the change the country wants, he says, “we need a leader who can finally move beyond the divisive politics of Washington and bring Democrats, independents and Republicans together to get things done.”
That article that I wrote records the fact of history that when Obama was elected, Republicans came to him expecting him to work with them. And rather than work with them in any way, shape or form, Obama said, “I won.” Now understand: Obama promised that if he won, he would reach out to Republicans; but instead, after he won, he said instead that his winning meant that he didn’t need to reach out to Republicans. Which is to say that when he made his “core promise” to America, he was in fact lying from the very start.
And I would like to ask, how does Obama constantly demagoguing and demonizing Republicans not just make Obama an abject liar right at the heart of what the New York Times reported as “the core of Senator Barack Obama’s presidential campaign???
All Barack Obama has done since getting elected has been to try to create the largest political and cultural divide that he could and then try to exploit that spirit of division he has created to cynically benefit politically.
Even according to the very liberal New York Times, at his very core, President Obama is a pure liar and a pure demagogue for whom promises mean nothing and truth means even less.
Here are a few articles I passed by while using a word search – “political divide” – to find the one that cited the New York Times above. I wish liberals would read all of them and then explain just how each one of them doesn’t document my thesis that Obama is a naked partisan demagogue of the worst kind in direct opposition to his promise “to rise above the political divide”:
We need to get this lying weasel out of office while there is still a United States to be the president of.