The Corner

You Didn’t Build That Redux

Some commenters on my prior post, blinded by what is an admirable disdain for anything Obamish, may have missed (or at least minimized) my greater point: Even giving the president the benefit of the doubt, the whole speech is a train wreck. 

Perhaps it was a tactical error by the Romney campaign to focus its firepower on a single, ambiguous (charitably speaking) sentence, when there is so much about the speech that offends anyone who believes in meritocracy. Obama scoffed at “people who think, well, it must be because I was just so smart. There are a lot of smart people out there. It must be because I worked harder than everybody else. Let me tell you something — there are a whole bunch of hardworking people out there.” No doubt true, but what of it? Not every hardworking person invents a working light bulb, but we celebrate Edison’s hard work and ingenuity in doing so, and well we should. Americans don’t begrudge such achievements but are happy to realize their benefits. But to Obama, that individual achievement and the effort that goes into it runs counter to his collectivist goals and is thus the subject of mockery.  

Romney could well be making a half-dozen ads based on the speech — it is rich fodder for ridicule. Its faults go well beyond the sentence that Obama is currently crying foul on. And that might be the reason that it wasn’t a tactical error at all. Having the president continue to talk about this train wreck — even if it is to defend what he “really said” — may not be such a bad thing after all. 

Most Popular

Politics & Policy

Broward’s Cowards

It is impossible to imagine circumstances under which Broward County sheriff Scott Israel could attempt to perform his duties with the confidence of the public. He should resign immediately, and if, as he promises, he refuses to go quietly, then he should be shown the door by the people he professes to ... Read More

Courage: The Greatest of Virtues

EDITOR’S NOTE: The following is Jonah Goldberg’s weekly “news”letter, the G-File. Subscribe here to get the G-File delivered to your inbox on Fridays. Dear Reader (Or Listener), As the reporter assigned the job of writing the article about all of Sidney Blumenthal’s friends and supporters told his ... Read More

My American Dream

This morning, at 8 a.m., I did something I’ve wanted to do for as long as I can remember: I became an American. I first applied for a visa in early 2011, and since then I have slowly worked my way through the system — first as a visa-holder, then as a permanent resident (green card), and, finally, as a ... Read More
Politics & Policy

CNN’s Shameful Town Hall

CNN recently hosted an anti-gun town hall featuring a number of grieving children and parents from Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., who aimed their ire at the National Rifle Association, politicians peripherally associated with the NRA, and anyone who didn’t say exactly what they wanted to hear. ... Read More

The Gun-Control Debate Could Break America

Last night, the nation witnessed what looked a lot like an extended version of the famous “two minutes hate” from George Orwell’s novel 1984. During a CNN town hall on gun control, a furious crowd of Americans jeered at two conservatives, Marco Rubio and Dana Loesch, who stood in defense of the Second ... Read More