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Ray Haynes

Big Buts….

I posted this on another website I blog for during the presidential election ( I don’t usually comment on national politics here, because that is not what my role in this blog is usually about, but I liked this article, and wanted to share it with as many people as possible. Enjoy.

I have to say that, after this second debate between Mitt Romney and Barack Obama, that President Obama has nothing on Sir Mix-a-Lot. You remember him? He had a famous rap song in the 1990’s “Baby Got Back”, talking about what he appreciates about women. In a way, like Sir Mix-a-Lot, President Obama, in his debate performance, showed that he likes big buts…
“I believe in free enterprise as the greatest job creator in history, but…..”
“I believe in the second amendment, but…..”
“I believe in curbing illegal immigration, but….”
“I believe in a balanced budget, but…..”
“I believe in developing new energy sources, but…”
“My policies have grown this economy, but…..”
“I believe in creating jobs in the private sector, but……”
The unfortunate part of these big “buts” is that, if you listen to his “buts”, the qualifiers of his position, they completely undermine the policy he claims to believe in.
I spent the whole debate trying to figure out the theme of this article, and it hit me at the end when he was talking about how everyone thinks he believes government creates jobs as the biggest misconception about him. Of course everyone believes that he thinks government creates jobs. However, if that is a misconception, it is a misconception he created by the policies he pursued. Most of his stimulus was government jobs. He has expanded the federal government at the fastest rate in history. He engineered the largest government takeover of an industry. He, at every turn, has taken steps to grow government. How could anyone think that he believes anything other than government creates jobs.
He takes 30 seconds saying how he believes in free enterprise, and then he stuck a big but on his belief. “But,” he says, “I think it out to be fair, I think everyone should have an even shot, I think we have to be sure that there is a level playing field.” How would he accomplish that? By having government interfere in the marketplace. The policies he described would do just that.
He said the same about guns. “I believe in the Second Amendment, but we have to keep assault weapons out of the hands of people.” Immigration. “I believe we have to secure our border, but not deport those who are here illegally.” Size of Government. “I believe that we need to balance the budget, but not cut Planned Parenthood, Big Bird, Social Security, Medicare, welfare benefits,” or any other government program.” Job Creation. “I think we need to create more jobs, but we should raise the taxes of the people who would actually create those jobs.” (okay, he didn’t say those exact words, but when he talked about increasing taxes on the rich, he talked about taxing job creators. When was the last time a poor person, or even someone in the middle class, hired a full time, high paid employee).
In the case of this debate, the devil in Obama’s details are in the buts… Every time he used the word “but,” he spent the next minute or two completely contradicting his opening phrase “I believe in [state conservative policy here], but….” It’s a great rhetorical device, but it is inherently deceptive. That was the Obama tactic in this debate.
Romney on the other hand was assertive, clear, consistent, and stated his positions without qualifiers. His strengths came through again. I am biased, to be sure, but once again, I would count this a Romney win, because he spoke without “buts…”
Debate score — 40 – Love Republicans