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Posted by on Nov 18, 2011 in Politics | 6 comments

Crazy Lazy Politics (Guest Voice)

Crazy, Lazy Politics
by Peter Funt

First, President Obama accused Americans of being “soft.” Then, he said we’re “lazy.” How dare he!

If you’re a undisciplined campaigner who’s willing to take unrelated quotes out of context and combine them in one thoroughly bastardized attack, you come up with: President Obama thinks we’re all soft and lazy!

On the GOP campaign circuit, “lazy” and “soft” have quickly become the go-to words for 2012.

It’s the latest example of how unprincipled political behavior in an age of instant communications is wrecking government as well as the process of electing people to run it.

Here’s exactly what President Obama said in Honolulu the other day during a conference on international business:

“I think it’s important to remember that The United States is still the largest recipient of foreign investment in the world. And there are a lot of things that make foreign investors see the U.S. as a great opportunity — our stability, our openness, our innovative free market culture. But we’ve been a little bit lazy, I think, over the last couple of decades. We’ve kind of taken for granted, well, people will want to come here and we aren’t out there hungry, selling America and trying to attract new business into America.”

It’s a statement with which no reasonable person, Democrat or Republican, would disagree.

Yet, within hours Rick Perry issued a TV commercial in which he rants, “Can you believe that? That’s what our president thinks is wrong with America? That Americans are lazy?” Then, smirking to camera, Perry adds: “That’s pathetic.”

Mitt Romney was also quick to distort, telling a campaign audience, “Sometimes, I just don’t think that President Obama understands America.”

Several other GOP hopefuls, including Heather Wilson of New Mexico and George Allen of Virginia, are already using the “lazy” line in their Senate campaigns.

Allen wrote on Facebook: “President Obama said that Americans have been ‘lazy’ over the last couple decades. Mr. President, it is not the quality of the American people that is holding back our economic growth — it’s Washington and its failed policies.”

Actually, the president’s pronouncement is as spot-on as the statement he made earlier when he observed that Americans had gotten “a little soft.” Speaking to an audience in San Francisco he noted, “we have lost our ambition, our imagination, and our willingness to do the things that built the Golden Gate Bridge and Hoover Dam.”

He was chiding Republicans in Congress for continually blocking the most basic measures that would create jobs and fix infrastructure.

The president returned to the theme in a TV interview in Florida. Speaking specifically about the younger generation he said:

“The way I think about it is, this is a great, great country that had gotten a little soft and we didn’t have that same competitive edge that we needed over the last couple of decades. We need to get back on track.”

The president added that he wouldn’t trade the position of the U.S. with any country on earth, since “we still have the best universities, the best scientists, and best workers in the world; we still have the most dynamic economic system in the world. So we just need to bring all those things together.”

It takes quite a bit of partisan gymnastics to turn these honest observations into charges that Mr. Obama thinks we’re all soft and lazy. Yet, that’s what the president’s rivals are attempting.

In truth, some of us are soft and lazy, and a few are also desperate.

Peter Funt is a writer and speaker and can be reached at ©2011 Peter Funt. Columns distributed exclusively by: Cagle Cartoons, Inc., newspaper syndicate. His column is licensed to run on TMV in full.

  • dduck

    Yes, soft, lazy and getting fatter. Show Obama: Get off your keyboards, limit yourself to only meaningful cell phone calls, stoop to pet a dog, help your neighbor carry his empty beer cans to the recycle center, take a shower with your partner, jog don’t drive to Taco Bell, put a generator on a stationary bike like the OWS folks do (er, did), make signs for the 1% to carry to their banks Xmas (oops, holiday) party, and use some of your unused brain cells to say something nice about the other guy’s political party (try real hard, it’s good for you).

  • slamfu

    Thats one of my biggest turn offs to conservative arguments. So many seem to be based on either a)bad assumptions b) willful misinterpretations or c) completely made up cause/effect or statistics

  • Rcoutme

    I will try to same something nice about a (perceived) political opponent. Dduck has a point when he says we should try to say something nice about political opponents. 😀

  • dduck

    Here, I will start. Obama is often misquoted and his views distorted for no other reason than to score quick, cheap sound bites.

  • JSpencer

    OK, I’ll say something nice about republicans: They had some of the best presidents going; Abraham Lincoln, Teddy Roosevelt, Dwight Eisenhower (for his military industrial complex speech alone). They must be about due for another good candidate by now.

  • dduck

    I sorta thought current times would be nice.
    I’ll try again: Obama is doing the brave thing in following SOME of Bush’s paths, even though he may not please some of his liberal flank.

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