I have to apologize for Tuesday's post (a post I would like to retroactively re-title as Cheap shots, part 1). In that post I criticized Mitt Romney for attacking President Obama's comment which seemed to suggest that entrepreneurs did not build their own businesses. I made the terrible mistake of taking Romney's argument somewhat seriously. (The argument being the standard conservative argument that people succeed by pulling themselves up by their own bootstraps, without much help from government or the community.) I wondered in my previous post why it is so hard for conservatives to acknowledge that business cannot succeed without a decent education system, a functioning legal system, and up-to-date infrastructure, much of which is funded by the government.
Now, after viewing the Romney campaign's latest video, I realize I was wrong in suggesting that the Romney campaign might be trying to make a coherent and respectable argument about the relative importance of private entrepreneurship as opposed to public investment. Instead, it appears that all they wanted to do was edit the president's remarks to make him say something that he never said. Nowhere did the president ever say that entrepreneurs did not build their own businesses. All he said was that they did not build the roads and bridges, the educational system, the legal system, and the other foundations of our economy that help their businesses succeed. We could have an honest and fair debate the about how much investment we need to continue to make in that infrastructure to build a solid foundation for the economy, or whether we think that business would do better if we stop repairing roads and bridges, and de-fund schools and courts and other public projects.
The Romney campaign's latest ad shows they are not interested in an honest and fair debate. All they want to do is play the game of stringing together a bunch of words the president used to make him say something that he never said. That makes the Romney campaign no different from the people who make those amusing videos where they string together a bunch of clips to make the president sing a popular song.
Here's the president singing "Call Me Maybe," for example:
We can't debate stuff like that. We just have to laugh at it.