Enjoy Yourself — It’s Later Than You Think
In a speech to Prince George’s Community College on The Ides Of March, King Barack The Unready remarked at one point:
We’ve heard this kind of thinking before. Let me tell you something. If some of these folks were around when Columbus set sail — (laughter) — they must have been founding members of the Flat Earth Society. (Laughter.) They would not have believed that the world was round. (Applause.) We’ve heard these folks in the past. They probably would have agreed with one of the pioneers of the radio who said, “Television won’t last. It’s a flash in the pan.” (Laughter.) One of Henry Ford’s advisors was quoted as saying, “The horse is here to stay but the automobile is only a fad.” (Laughter.)
There have always been folks like that. There always have been folks who are the naysayers and don’t believe in the future, and don’t believe in trying to do things differently. One of my predecessors, Rutherford B. Hayes, reportedly said about the telephone, “It’s a great invention, but who would ever want to use one?” (Laughter.) That’s why he’s not on Mt. Rushmore — (laughter and applause) — because he’s looking backwards. He’s not looking forwards. (Applause.) He’s explaining why we can’t do something, instead of why we can do something.
Over at Michelle Malkin’s joint, Doug Powers gives us some background that helps us put these remarks in context:
Quick factoid before we get started: Not many people know this, but the Nina, Pinta and Santa Maria didn’t rely on sails but were instead pushed to the New World by algae.
He doesn’t mention this, but it is worth noting: the crews also ate organic.
As to the historical facts our President of the fifty-seven states blathers on about accompanied by the laughter of his minions: as Mark Steyn and others have pointed out:
-Admiral Columbus was not derided for believing the world was flat because, since the days of the Greeks, most educated people believed it to be round, but because they thought he was taking the long way to reach the East Indies.
-The quote attributed to President Hayes is probably apocryphal — all the evidence points to this.
-The fellow who said that the horse would stick around and that the automobile wouldn’t was actually on of the great forward-thinking people who helped launch Henry Ford on his career.
-The lady who put down television was talking about it as an educational tool and was a pioneer in broadcast learning.
I was interested in the rest of Obama’s yukfest of history’s biggest idiots. Considering that he is (in the words of historian Michael Beschloss) “the smartest guy ever to become president,” the entire passage sounded as if it was plucked straight from one of those “Top Twenty Useful Quotes for Forward-Looking Inspirational Speakers” websites. And whaddayaknow? Rutherford B. Hayes, the TV flash in the pan, the horse is here to stay — they’re all at the Wikiquote page on “Incorrect Predictions.” Fancy that! You can also find his selected examples at the web page “Some Really Really Bad Predictions About the Future” and a bazillion others.
So let’s see. The president sneers at the ignorance of 15th-century Spaniards, when in fact he is the one entirely ignorant of them. A man who has enjoyed a million dollars of elite education yet has never created a dime of wealth in his life sneers at a crippled farm boy with an eighth-grade schooling who establishes a successful business and introduces electrical distribution across Michigan all the way up to Sault Ste. Marie. A man who sneers at one of the pioneering women in broadcasting, a lady who brought the voices of T. S. Eliot, G. K. Chesterton, and others into the farthest-flung classrooms and would surely have rejected Obama’s own dismal speech as being too obviously reliant on “Half-a-Dozen Surefire Cheap Cracks for Lazy Public Speakers.” A man whose own budget officials predict the collapse of the entire U.S. economy by 2027 sneers at a solvent predecessor for being insufficiently “forward-looking.”
A great nation needs successful self-made businessmen like George Peck, and purveyors of scholarly excellence like Mary Somerville. It’s not clear why it needs a smug over-credentialed President Solyndra to recycle Crowd-Pleasing for Dummies as a keynote address.
What we witnessed in Obama’s speech was something we’ve seen in our dealings with people in our daily lives: a know-it-all gasbag who is actually ignorant bloviating on things he doesn’t know a thing about in any depth, blissfully unaware that he is an embarrassment to his friends and family.
Forgive us Lord…
Big tip of the fedora to that classy broad Pundette, who manages to make this foolishness all go down a bit easier with some Francis Albert.
SIDENOTE: It seems to me that our Educator-In-Chief has been doing a lot of speeches at community / state colleges lately. It is well-known that the majority of young people who attend these schools do so because they could not get into more ‘prestigious’ universities or they couldn’t afford to. Many are not from the middle class, or if they are they come from the lower economic section of that group. In other words, a good portion of the youths who attend such institutions of ‘higher’ learning come from families that are more dependent on government ‘entitlements’ than those who attend private colleges.
We also do know that it has been a cornerstone strategy of the Obama Campaign to target impressionable and idealistic youth, figuring they can be bamboozled by the voodoo that he do so well.
Methinks that Axelrod and Company are playing a very Machiavellian game here, and a classic Leftist one: they are trying to play the proletariat, as it were, against the bourgeoise. This is classic Marxism.