‘Somebody else’ and Obama’s concept of how the world works

A pair of four-word phrases are proving unshakable for the Obama campaign.

The first is a line Obama actually spoke last month in Virginia: “You didn’t build that.” The second is the implication in a new advertisement by Obama’s super PAC that attacks Mitt Romney’s corporate past: Romney killed a lady.

Taken together, they reflect the president’s apparent belief that the good things as well as the bad things in our lives — success and failure, joy and tragedy, growth and death — are the products of forces beyond our control that only government can bring to heel. Unless you’re rich, in which case you didn’t do the good things in your life, just the bad things in others’.

“You didn’t build that” has been making the rounds for weeks now. The full line — “If you’ve got a business — you didn’t build that” — came amid a laundry list of ways in which, according to Obama, the successful should play down their own success. It wasn’t because you were smart or hard-working; Obama said “a lot of smart people,” a “whole bunch of hard-working people” weren’t so rewarded. Chalk it up to “a great teacher … this unbelievable American system … roads and bridges … government research [that] created the Internet.”

In short: “Somebody else made that happen.”

The speech resonated with the public, but not the way Obama intended. It resonated negatively, and not because successful people don’t acknowledge those who helped them along the way. Of course they do.

It resonated negatively because Obama focused exclusively on the collective. No acknowledgments of the ways successful people differentiate themselves, much less the government-imposed obstacles many of them overcome. Just a brief nod to “individual initiative” while bowing to the greater number of things “we do … together.”

It resonated negatively with a public that has become accustomed to hearing Obama talk about success almost always in the passive voice: It happens to people “who’ve been most fortunate” and who “have been incredibly blessed.” By, one can only guess, “somebody else.”

The attack on Romney is fresher. It arose in a video ad by Obama’s super PAC, in which a man who once worked for a company bought by Romney’s Bain Capital essentially blames Romney for his wife’s death from cancer.

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The man, Joe Soptic, worked for GST Steel in Kansas City, which Bain bought in 1993. In 1999, Romney left Bain. In 2001, GST Steel closed its doors and Soptic lost his job and his health insurance. “A short time ater that,” Soptic says in the video, his wife was diagnosed with late-stage cancer. She died within weeks.

It’s a tragic story, but the ad omits a few details. First, that Soptic’s wife still had a job and health insurance until 2002 or 2003. Second, that her diagnosis and death were in 2006, five years after Soptic lost his job.

Amazingly, the ad isn’t even an attempt to justify Obamacare. It’s just a crude attempt to put blood on Romney’s hands.

Although an Obama spokeswoman initially denied knowing Soptic’s story, claiming the campaign is insulated from the super PAC, a recording of a conference call from this spring reveals the very same spokeswoman talking with Soptic about his story. The Obama campaign has also run its own ad with Soptic, depicting him wearing the very same shirt (see photos on left).

But maybe we shouldn’t blame her or the campaign for that little fib. After all, in Obama’s America, only the super-successful could be responsible for something bad. Somebody else, I’m sure, made that happen.

– By Kyle Wingfield

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419 comments Add your comment

Vast Right Wing Conspiracy

August 10th, 2012
6:37 pm

When you can not run on your record, this is what you get.

F. Sinkwich

August 10th, 2012
6:39 pm

I just heard Romney was the one who killed Jon Benet.

Them Mormons like to do that stuff, doncha know…..

Beyond the Middle of the Road

August 10th, 2012
7:04 pm

I’m not all that impressed with the two commercials above. But as for how Obama’s “You didn’t build that” line has gone viral, it’s mainly because most folks never got to hear the entire speech. In context it really speaks to how great it is to be an American. Jon Stewart probably rebuffed this best, and Fox News perverted it the worst.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/07/26/jon-stewart-you-didnt-build-that_n_1705264.html

Pluto Animus

August 10th, 2012
7:08 pm

Romney will lose, thank heavens.

Myth Robme Is All Tangled Up In Blue

August 10th, 2012
7:10 pm

RECENT POLL

Barack Obama to be re-elected President in 2012 59.1%

Mitt Romney to be elected President in 2012 38.1%

POLLS

REUTERS

Obama 49%

Robme 42%

CNN

Obama 52%

Robme 45%

FOX

Obama 49%

Robme 40%

Beyond the Middle of the Road

August 10th, 2012
7:13 pm

And regarding the otherwise heavily slanted commercials, the best part was the response by Mitt Romney spokeswoman Andrea Saul. Saul said on Fox News that if the Soptics had lived in Massachusetts, they wouldn’t have lost their health insurance. “To that point, if people had been in Massachusetts, under Governor Romney’s healthcare plan, they would have had healthcare,” Nothing wrong with the statement, but it was amusing to see and hear the conservative backlash. Apparently reminding folks that Romneycare and by the transitive property Obamacare would actually help people and save lives is a taboo topic.

[...] Read More… [...]

TRUTH

August 10th, 2012
7:20 pm

Thank you, Beyond for pointing out the fact that the statement was completely pulled out of context. I’m surprised you didn’t research that, Kyle. What’s worst is it’s pretty obvious!!!

As for the death of Ms. Soptic, tragic. Now to attack the reasoning you righties are yapping about. There STILL is no proof to refute that Mitt was not serving as CEO of Bain. Plenty of documents, required legal filing, et al., showing Mitt as the head of Bain. Therefore, Bain’s closing of the plant, knocked the Soptics of the healthcare plan which was what was serving the now deceased Ms. Soptic. The rationale most Americans get, that would be working and now unemployed Americans, the current healthcare system is stacked against the common American. If you are not receiving medical benefits from your employer, it is rare that an individual could afford healthcare on their own. Its cost prohibitive. It’s the Hope and Pray Healthcare plan, I hope and pray NO ONE or I get sick!! That’s the reality. And since mr. Soptic lost his job and along with it his benefits, and retirement benefits. Something that he and millions of other AMERICANS work for to support and provide for their families. All that American ingenuity, OUTSOURCED. So as a result of NO BENEFITS, how the heck were they to pay? Guess this is an argument for single payer, too.

That commercial was in context, and in real time.

Oh, the (former?) aid to Mitt stated that if this had occurred in Massachusetts, she would probably still be alive because of ROMNEYCARE!!!

So why are you GOP’ers trippin’? HEALTHCARE SINGLEPAYER IS A GOOD THING FOR EVERYONE!!! That alone seals the fate of your Presidential run this cycle….

OBAMA 2012

HRPufnstuf

August 10th, 2012
7:28 pm

Speaking of lies by the Obama administration, I “heard” that Harry Reid was seen kissing Barney Frank at a Chick Fil A. I “heard” that Harry Reid still beats his wife. I “heard” that Harry Reid not only didn’t pay taxes, but filed fraudulent returns, and got huge refunds for the last 10 years.

No, I’m not going to reveal my sources. It’s now up to Harry Reid to refute them.

Sound familiar, Harry?

Just saying..

August 10th, 2012
7:31 pm

Gee, if only the Democrats would play fair…

F. Sinkwich

August 10th, 2012
7:31 pm

TRUTH said Romney is a murderer.

Must be true given his moniker.

Bruno

August 10th, 2012
7:43 pm

Greetings to all.

Thanks to TBS for the music dedication next door. It was JG’s birthday last week, and nice to see that he is still remembered fondly. A flawed person, for sure, but he brought a lot of joy to the world, more than most of us can say.

md

August 10th, 2012
7:49 pm

Well, to me the most damning comments on the Soptic saga are his own comments:

“JOE SOPTIC: Well, I guess the first thing I noticed after the company was bought out by GST, they became very union-non-friendly. I mean, they started looking for ways to eliminate jobs. In my case, in my department, they actually offered to buy our jobs out from underneath us.”

Isn’t that something……he obviously declined the buyout……and now it’s somebody else’s fault.

Sounds about right these days…..it’s always somebody else’s fault.

Myth Robme Is All Tangled Up In Blue

August 10th, 2012
7:50 pm

‘Somebody else’ said:

Barack vs. Romney polls: Obama dwarfs Mitt’s favorable rating.

The polls say Romney is “phony,” “caters to the rich,” and is “Republican.” Imagine that?

Mitt Romney has largely failed to connect with voters, who see him as a politician who flip-flops on issues and resorts to negative campaigning to get his message across.

This is how the world WORKS.

Bruno

August 10th, 2012
7:53 pm

If josef stops by, I wanted to mention that I’ve been doing some more studying about the story of Job. Most likely it is a composite story composed between the 7th and 4th centuries BC, although it has antecedents from other traditions dating all the way back to the 11th century BC. It still remains fascinating to us all these years later due to its core theodical question: If God is both righteous and all-powerful, why does He allow good people to suffer??

Myth Robme Is All Tangled Up In Blue

August 10th, 2012
7:53 pm

Myth Robme’s concept of how the world works:

Caters to the rich.

Bruno

August 10th, 2012
8:02 pm

One of the keys to understanding Job lies in the translation of a key phrase in Chapter 13, verse 15. which is traditionally rendered “”Though he kill me, yet I will trust in him”. Other Hebrew linguists have alternatively translated this passage to say “See, he will kill me, I have no hope.”, or “Yes, he may slay me; I shall not be quiet.”

Similarly, the New Oxford Annotated Bible renders chapter 19:25-26 as “I know that my redeemer lives, and that at the last he will stand upon the earth, and after my skin has been thus destroyed, then in my flesh I shall see God.” But, “redeemer” could also be translated as “vindicator”, “in my flesh” could read “without my flesh”, and the meaning of the traditionally translated Hebrew phrase “I shall see God” is uncertain.

Thus, in the end, the Story of Job raises more questions than it answers, which is perhaps how it should be.

Bruno

August 10th, 2012
8:05 pm

Bruno

August 10th, 2012
8:07 pm

Sounds about right these days…..it’s always somebody else’s fault.

md–I’m sure you’re taking full responsibility for not selling JASO when it hit $10. I tried to steer you that way, my friend. ;-)

I know, I know, you’re looking at the long-term………

getalife

August 10th, 2012
8:07 pm

Funny how corporate media said the same thing Kyle but even with corporate media, you are still going to lose.

corporate media took a dive for the gop and now they have no credibility.

The American people are smarter than that.

obozo

August 10th, 2012
8:11 pm

How can you tell if I’m lying?

My mouth is open, duh.

Myth Robme Is All Tangled Up In Blue

August 10th, 2012
8:14 pm

@Bruno

August 10th, 2012
7:53 pm
If God is both righteous and all-powerful, why does He allow good people to suffer??

_____________________________________________________________________________

God knows that there are hundreds of millions of people who, are in pain every day, be it physical, emotional, or mental. God sees the 800 million people who go to bed hungry every night, the millions of others who suffer from domestic violence, and the many parents who fret about the future and the welfare of their children. Have you ever wondered whether God will take action? Surely, since we want to help our loved ones, would not God want to help the human family, his creation?

God’s Kingdom will remedy any suffering we may have experienced

Scriptures That Point to a Bright Future

NO MORE WARS:
“Come, you people, behold the activities of Jehovah, how he has set astonishing events on the earth. He is making wars to cease to the extremity of the earth.”—Psalm 46:8, 9.

LOVED ONES RETURN:
“There is going to be a resurrection of both the righteous and the unrighteous.”—Acts 24:15.

FOOD FOR ALL:
“There will come to be plenty of grain on the earth; on the top of the mountains there will be an overflow.”—Psalm 72:16.

SICKNESS WILL BE NO MORE:
“No resident will say: ‘I am sick.’”—Isaiah 33:24.

WICKED PEOPLE WILL BE GONE:
“As regards the wicked, they will be cut off from the very earth; and as for the treacherous, they will be torn away from it.”—Proverbs 2:22.

JUSTICE WILL PREVAIL:
“Look! A king [Christ Jesus] will reign for righteousness itself; and as respects princes, they will rule as princes for justice itself.”—Isaiah 32:1.

md

August 10th, 2012
8:15 pm

“Something that he and millions of other AMERICANS work for to support and provide for their families. All that American ingenuity, OUTSOURCED.”

You are aware that it is those americans and their families that are buying the goods that are causing the outsourcing….right??

md

August 10th, 2012
8:19 pm

Bruno…..I’m not giving up on jaso, after all I’m a penny stock guy so it didn’t cost much to begin with. I’ll hold all my “pennys” until well into retirement and then see where they stand.

On another note, I did hit on human genome after reading up that Glaxo may have been looking to buy them………

The stock game is a win some lose some proposition…….but it keeps life interesting, and I might spend what the average Joe spends monthly on other various vices…….

getalife

August 10th, 2012
8:20 pm

Even with corporate media helping to sling that poo to see if something sticks, willie robme is the weakest candidate since dole.

willie can take over the viagra commercials but will never be President.

Four more years!

PlatinumBlack

August 10th, 2012
8:25 pm

New favorite song.

You show the lights that stop me turn to stone
You shine It when I’m alone
And so I tell myself that I’ll be strong
And dreaming when they’re gone

http://youtu.be/uqLGuRX_nLM

G Mare

August 10th, 2012
8:31 pm

Hi, Bruno. I highly recommend a book called WHEN BAD THINGS HAPPEN TO GOOD PEOPLE by Rabbi Kushner.

Get Real

August 10th, 2012
8:33 pm

I heard the entire speech and “you didn’t build that” is not that far off…”you were not smarter and you did not work harder”,the way he comes off it was pure luck, a roll of the dice that you were successful

A complete load of crap, when he gets off the teleprompter his true beliefs come to the surface and it is scary…

SheeshLouise

August 10th, 2012
8:37 pm

Oh well, I guess I have to…

“..somebody invested in ROADS and BRIDGES. If you got a business…THAT…you didn’t build that!”

But let’s not let the facts (and the context) get in the way. So let’s just all pretend it wasn’t said that way can we? But then again, that 4 letter word makes ALL the difference in the world, which is of course why it is so important for Kyle and people on his side to EXCLUDE it. It helps to keep people stupid doing it that way. Go ahead Kyle, be BOLD. Be BRAVE, put the four letter word into your article to correct it. Or are you simply trying to protect yourself from a “plagiarism” claim by making it TOTALLY ACCURATE???

Here is the link to the video to remind everyone ( :47 point):
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YKjPI6no5ng

obozo

August 10th, 2012
8:37 pm

There’s my boy getalife and, judging by the nonsense he spouts, he must be as high as a kite.

What do you say, get, let’s roll up the windows and go on a trip together.

Bruno

August 10th, 2012
8:40 pm

Have you ever wondered whether God will take action? Surely, since we want to help our loved ones, would not God want to help the human family, his creation?

Myth–I think the deepest revelation of “God’s Ways” is found in his return question to Job after Job challenges God’s actions: “Where were you when I laid the foundation for the earth??” This passage can be understood in a few ways. First and foremost, it highlights the fact that we, as insignificant humans, are too small to understand the ways of the Creator. Yet, it doesn’t completely clarify God’s position in the world either. There appears to be some implication that suffering is an unavoidable part of the Creation, that it is inevitable. Yet, if God is truly omnipotent, He could simply change the rules of the game. On the other hand, if God is all-powerful and permits undeserved suffering, then He is not just.

Scriptures That Point to a Bright Future

And while I’m glad your obviously cut-n-pasted Scriptural response points toward a bright future for us all, it’s kind of hard to ignore a few hundred thousand years of suffering up til now.

BTW, in case Kyle thinks I’m going off-topic too quickly, I will respond by saying that the Story of Job is a very appropriate answer to this Joe Soptic farce backed by Obama. Sometimes bad things happen to good people. Obama and the Dems aren’t God, though they apparently think themselves as being God-like with their false promises that they will cure all of society’s ills if we will simply give them unlimited power.

Bruno

August 10th, 2012
8:44 pm

Hi, Bruno. I highly recommend a book called WHEN BAD THINGS HAPPEN TO GOOD PEOPLE by Rabbi Kushner.

I’m fairly familiar with that book though I haven’t read it, GMare. Perhaps you would be kind enough to highlight some critical passages. Bible scholar Bart Ehrman wrote a similar book entitled “God’s Problem: How the Bible Fails to Answer Our Most Important Question — Why We Suffer”. As the title implies, Mr. Ehrman isn’t satisfied that the Bible gives us a good answer to this eternal question.

There’s my boy getalife and, judging by the nonsense he spouts, he must be as high as a kite.

Jealousy will get you nowhere, obozo. ;-)

getalife

August 10th, 2012
8:44 pm

The you did not build that speech was pretty good.

wolf desperately trying to make Americans believe the ad said robme killed her over and over was the death of cnn.

md

August 10th, 2012
8:45 pm

“..somebody invested in ROADS and BRIDGES. If you got a business…THAT…you didn’t build that!””

And in the real world, some other guy started a business that paid for that first batch of roads……that is where the left seems to have a comprehension problem…..

The private sector generates the majority of all capital in this country……those businesses that were not the result of gov’t…….

getalife

August 10th, 2012
8:46 pm

obozo,

I only do prescribed drugs but thanks for the offer.

Bruno

August 10th, 2012
8:48 pm

Bruno

August 10th, 2012
8:49 pm

I only do prescribed drugs but thanks for the offer.

It’s no big secret that prescription drugs kick the ass of the illegal kind any day of the week, get.

getalife

August 10th, 2012
8:50 pm

The shocker this cycle was Reid owning robme on his taxes.

Then willie saying trust me when there is no trust for politicians.

It is not too late to run a con cons.

PlatinumBlack

August 10th, 2012
8:56 pm

getalife

August 10th, 2012
8:57 pm

Bruno,

Not sure about that but I will take your word for it.

Bruno

August 10th, 2012
9:00 pm

I guess it’s kind of obvious that PB and I are from completely different generations…..

For my love:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bFKXGVtXq8s

getalife

August 10th, 2012
9:02 pm

md,

Yeah and they are paid by the government with your money.

You built that is what he was saying.

getalife

August 10th, 2012
9:03 pm

That is if you pay taxes so willie got upset because he does not pay taxes.

md

August 10th, 2012
9:04 pm

“Yeah and they are paid by the government with your money.”

Except my money was generated by the guy that paid me………..as was yours, by some guy that took the risk and opened his own business.

weetamoe

August 10th, 2012
9:05 pm

Those who keep saying that Obama’s Roanoke speech has been edited, distorted, or misinterpreted need to listen carefully to the entire speech.. His contempt for others is clear in his sneering charge that other people are smart, too, and other people work hard, too. He denigrates everyone who has struggled to be successful. He sounds jealous, spiteful, and vicious.

PlatinumBlack

August 10th, 2012
9:05 pm

I guess it’s kind of obvious that PB and I are from completely different generations…..

To my favorite old fart, my love, my Humbert Humbert, I dedicate this an Anderson Sisters song from the Lolita film soundtrack:

http://youtu.be/l7J4i8pNzbA

I Report (-: You Whine )-: mmm, mmmm, mmmmm! Just sayin...

August 10th, 2012
9:06 pm

After getting to know getalife, I swore off any prescription drugs in fear of roasting my brain like he did.

the red herring

August 10th, 2012
9:06 pm

hopefully the polls are being done inaccurately — if not the nation will fail over the next 3 to 5 yrs. we simply can’t continue down the road we are traveling. Socialism will not work and we can’t afford to keep paying people not to work and to allow illegals to come and stay while we feed, clothe, educate, and give them free healthcare. Regardless of obamacare the illegals are getting treated in emergency rooms, etc. The freebies have to stop and we must begin to run the country on a “work rather than freeload” basis again. If not we will fail as greece, spain, etc are failing. it’s happening but we will eventually get away from socialism as people will not want to live under it once they realize the trap they have fallen into.

Old timer

August 10th, 2012
9:08 pm

Romney needs to hire..Bortz, Cain, and Newt to help him run his campaign…his managers lack for sight and passion

Bruno

August 10th, 2012
9:12 pm

weetamoe–Good to see you hanging at Kyle’s. Someone tell josef next door to come on over along with Matti.

Some Luther for my baby:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KraIB1z0aac&feature=related