In response to Comments from Burr Deming's You Didn't Do That
T. Paine says:
“OH! Now I see what your semantic argument is! I admittedly did not realize that 'That' is the infrastructure, and not the businesses themselves. (Never mind that we Americans did build 'that' too via our taxpayer dollars).
That said, your position does make some sense now. It is kind of like what the definition of 'is' is.”
Mr. Deming says:
“Actually, the meaning is manifestly clear without any splitting of semantic hairs. All that is needed is to go past the Republican re-edits and take a brief look at what President Obama actually said.”
Mr. Paine, I am sorry for the ad hominem that will follow. I don’t mean to direct it toward you, per se. It just seems like the GOP is deciding that they get to choose what Obama meant and Obama does not have a say, and it seems unfair. It reminds me of the age of the S & P downgrade where the GOP decided it happened for reasons other than the reasons published by S & P and it turned out they got their sources from FOX, which had lied about the reason, and no one had actually read the SS & P&S & PP published explanation, presumably because they considered it irrelevant to the understanding of what the S & P intended.
“The sentence has not been taken out of context. 'Somebody invested in roads and bridges. If you’ve got a business — you didn’t build that.'
'That' is singular and clearly refers to the object of the sentence, 'a business.'”
The only way I know this quote is intended to support T. Paine’s position over Burr Deming’s is by reading what you said after. Just reading the quotes you provided, I would have assumed you were on Burr’s side. To then try to use grammar as your “proof,” is absurd. I am sure Obama would be honored that you assume that he is above grammatical deviation, even though the rest of humanity is not.
“Normally you're an honest guy, Burr, so why are you fighting this battle?”
I don’t know about the first part of the statement. There are many kinds of honesty. I think he normally tries to be truthful to everyone other than perhaps himself. However, in this case, I kind of had the same question for you, but I was too much of gentlemen to ask. I doubt that you believe that Obama meant something other than he claims. It is possible that you think it is possible that he meant something else, but if so, it is emotion, not reason, that primarily convinces you.
“'If you’ve got a business. you didn’t build that. Somebody else made that happen.'
Those who quote this without the context distort Obama's meaning. It is really that simple.
Liberals do not have to perform a 'charitable reading' to understand the point, which is explicitly stated in his own speech:
'The point is, is that when we succeed, we succeed because of our individual initiative, but also because we do things together.'
Those who misinterpret his quote when they know the full context either have a strong bias against Obama or seek to dishonestly discredit him with gotcha journalism.”
The thesis of this part of the speech, which you quote, is not useful to the GOP. They cannot consider the thesis, as it undoes a point they allege is obvious (with all due respect to the GOP. You know I love you to death, GOP).
John Myste also writes for his own site, where only rarely is a thesis ignored, and all are loved to death.
Please visit John Myste Responds.
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I think Paine would like to frustrate and wear you down, personally, over this. And, I think he'd rather you busy yourself wrangling with him over this in comments and replies than for you to write more posts not helpful to his favored candidate, party and ideology.
Can I prove what's in your antagonist's mind and heart? No. Is the possibility of what I'm suggesting worth your consideration? I think it is.
This post was actually the first thing I wrote about the topic at all. I wrote it in response to a long thread that I read late. The more I read, the more absurd the GOP (blogging) position on this seemed, so I wanted to summarize what I had learned.
Most of what I wrote was just summarizing the thread. The only thing I really added is that it is unfair for Mr. Paine to get to decide what the President intended to say, and that his decision about the president's intentions does not really make sense as a conclusion. One could hypothesize that the President intended to state what Mr. Paine says he did, but that hypothesis only works without the context, as Burr Deming point out.
I agree that an 11 year old would have understood. However, I have no problem keeping the issue alive. The more positions the GOP takes on issues like this, the more foolish they appear. They do have some really powerful arguments (right or wrong), on some things. I would rather them characterize themselves based on arguments such as these. I like it when they lose credibility. We are at war, after all.
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