Obamateurism of the Day

posted at 8:05 am on April 25, 2011 by Ed Morrissey

When it comes to political history, our President must think it started when he graduated from high school. A Texas reporter asked Barack Obama why he thought he was so unpopular in Texas, to which Obama replied, “Well, look, Texas has always been a pretty Republican state, you know, for historic reasons.”

Always?  Only if you think history started 33 years ago, as Michael Laprarie explains at Wizbang.  Texas had been controlled by Democrats from Reconstruction until 1978, a span of over a century that included the rise of Lyndon Johnson to the White House.  In 1978, a combination of scandal and a move to the Left by Democrats sent Texans into the arms of the GOP:

Texas didn’t begin its political blue-red shift until 1978, when Bill Clements was elected as the state’s first Republican governor since Reconstruction (that’s a century of Democrat control of Texas state government, for those as ignorant of history as our Law Professor in Chief).  Clements’ predecessor, Dolph Briscoe, was a conservative Democrat who campaigned as a reformer, and won the governorship in 1972 based largely on his pledges to end corruption within his party and within the Texas state government.

Briscoe’s election was the result of the Sharpstown stock scandal, a shining example of the kind of corruption enabled by single-party dominance over state government.  Numerous state government officials, including then-lieutenant governor Ben Barnes, were implicated in the scandal.  Texas bank tycoon Frank Sharp secretly loaned hundreds of thousands of dollars to Texas politicos, which was used to purchase stock in one of Sharp’s insurance companies.  Sharp manipulated the company’s books in order to artificially inflate its value.  Sharp’s crony investors then sold their shares at the inflated price, paid back the secret loans, and pocketed a nice profit.

Unfortunately for the Texas Democrats, one of the patsies who got taken to the cleaners as a result of this little scam was the Strake Jesuit College Preparatory school, which lost $6 million after it invested in National Bankers Life at the height of its artificially inflated share value.  This proved to be a PR disaster of epic proportions, and the Texas Democratic political machine was dealt a heavy blow, from which it never fully recovered.  And even though he wasn’t directly involved in the Sharpstown trading scandal, the political career of Ben Barnes, who was considered to be the Democratic party’s ‘golden boy’ and heir-apparent to the governorship, was for all intents and purposes completely destroyed.

No one would expect Obama to have the details of this at the tip of his tongue, but to argue that Texas has “always been a pretty Republican state” is nothing less than pretty ignorant.

Got an Obamateurism of the Day? If you see a foul-up by Barack Obama, e-mail it to me at obamaisms@edmorrissey.com with the quote and the link to the Obamateurism. I’ll post the best Obamateurisms on a daily basis, depending on how many I receive. Include a link to your blog, and I’ll give some link love as well. And unlike Slate, I promise to end the feature when Barack Obama leaves office.

Illustrations by Chris Muir of Day by Day. Be sure to read the adventures of Sam, Zed, Damon, and Jan every day!


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Revisionist History at its finest.

kingsjester on April 25, 2011 at 8:08 AM

Is Texas the largest of the 57 states, Barry?

fossten on April 25, 2011 at 8:11 AM

Eh. He probably knows what he knows from the briefings he finds the time to attend. And maybe it’s fixed in his mind: Texas … Bush … Texas … Bush … I’d suspect that kinda Pavlovian association happens frequently on the left.

apostic on April 25, 2011 at 8:11 AM

Odamna: But enough about me… What do YOU think about me?

Crusader Rabbit on April 25, 2011 at 8:11 AM

“Well, what I really meant to say is they are RACIST!”

The answer that solves everything

DuctTapeMyBrain on April 25, 2011 at 8:13 AM

Well we gotta be fair to barry. Afterall, US History prior to him emerging from college doesn’t count. Afterall, he wasn’t even in the country during his formative years to LEARN about US History.

This guy is such a flipping idiot.

karenhasfreedom on April 25, 2011 at 8:15 AM

Revisionism is right. This is part of an intentional effort to scrub the KKK, Jim Crow, segregationist, slave holding history of the Democrat party. They want everyone to forget the “solid south”.

Hey, if they’ve managed to convince people that the collectivist/statist Nazis were “right wing”, there’s no intellectual fraud that’s too bold to attempt.

forest on April 25, 2011 at 8:17 AM

Donks: Everything that ails us.

AH_C on April 25, 2011 at 8:19 AM

I first moved to Texas in 1978. I lived in Phil Graham’s district up in Fort Worth. It was a piece carved OUT of Jim Wright’s district (house majority leader at the time) because it was a neighborhood full of conservative voters.

Remember, Phil Graham is the guy behind the graham rudman bill. The dems got mad at him, so he changed parties, resigned his seat, and got re-elected as a republican.

Meanwhile, Jim Wright was forced from office due to ethics problems. He wrote “books” which lobbyists bought by the case full and never distributed the books to anyone. At least that is what I remember.

So there was a lot of corruption there. It was very interesting being in Texas during the beginning of their change from Dem to R. I believe the last few election cycles completed their full majority party switch at the state level, including state wide offices.

karenhasfreedom on April 25, 2011 at 8:19 AM

if everything he says is about Obama all the time… then yes “always” fits…

mjbrooks3 on April 25, 2011 at 8:22 AM

Obama wonders. Who was Lyndon Johnson?

kringeesmom on April 25, 2011 at 8:23 AM

“Well, look, Texas has always been a pretty Republican state, you know, for historic reasons.”

That’s right Obama. And that is why Texans years ago elected a certified firebrand Democrat like Ann Richards to serve as Governor of the state; strictly for variety’s sake!

pilamaye on April 25, 2011 at 8:26 AM

They don’t teach U.S. History in Indonesia er, Hawaii.

ctmom on April 25, 2011 at 8:29 AM

Texas

JetBoy on April 25, 2011 at 8:29 AM

Thank goodness I’m not President. I grew up in Sharpstown and my Cub Scout Pack was chartered to Strake Jesuit HS in the early ’80s and I was only vaguely aware of this story. Thanks Ed and Michael.

rihar on April 25, 2011 at 8:30 AM

The Destroyer makes Dan Quayle look like Einstein more everyday!

PappyD61 on April 25, 2011 at 8:32 AM

Hey, give the guy a break. It’s not like he was born here.
/sarc off

Rocks on April 25, 2011 at 8:32 AM

And if you think the term “Destroyer” is too harsh for Obama……

http://www.marketwatch.com/story/imf-bombshell-age-of-america-about-to-end-2011-04-25?link=MW_home_latest_news

PappyD61 on April 25, 2011 at 8:34 AM

The Texas legislature is in session now.Thank God it is every 2 years.Guess which party introduced the soda tax?

docflash on April 25, 2011 at 8:36 AM

OT: Speaking of Texas, I got a blurb from Red State this morning reporting that a GOP Texas legislature is about to enact a redistricting scheme that is very favorable to…Democrats.

WTF?

BuckeyeSam on April 25, 2011 at 8:39 AM

Dolph Briscoe was a conservative Democrat who campaigned as a reformer, and won the governorship in 1972 based largely on his pledges to end corruption within his party and within the Texas state government.

I haven’t heard that name in decades. I was a teenager in the seventies and didn’t follow politics that much until Jimmy Carter lost control of Iran.

As a Palinista, I’m tempted to make a comparison since she also ran on a platform of cleaning up corruption and then actually did it.

Kafir on April 25, 2011 at 8:39 AM

Obama was raised a Communist by communists,he doesn’t know Amreican history.

darwin-t on April 25, 2011 at 8:42 AM

Comrade Barry says: “Ya know, history and such is really, really hard….not like presidentin’.”

joe btfsplk on April 25, 2011 at 8:43 AM

Texas…

JetBoy on April 25, 2011 at 8:29 AM

On a driving trip back from California in the seventies, we stopped at a pizza joint in Phoenix that featured a pipe organist who would take requests. We requested that song and the whole place joined in.

Kafir on April 25, 2011 at 8:44 AM

He’s not required to know anything or tell the truth. That should really bother people. Why doesn’t he have some stupid official duty while he is out on his campaign stops? Is his campaign paying for the the travel? I remember this being a big deal with W.

Cindy Munford on April 25, 2011 at 8:44 AM

By growing up in a culture you soak up a lot of ‘stuff’ about it, and its history, and its origins, and its customs, and its morés and whatnot. Even if that knowledge doesn’t always show up so well on history or civics tests.

This is pretty obvious to all of us; it is apparently not so obvious to our belovéd, but foreign-raised, President.

ss396 on April 25, 2011 at 8:45 AM

It’s not so much that didn’t know Texas political history, it’s that he assumed it had always been Republican. He makes too many assumptions and you know how that old saying goes about people making them.

Kissmygrits on April 25, 2011 at 8:51 AM

he doesn’t know Amreican history.

darwin-t on April 25, 2011 at 8:42 AM

He doesn’t know American history either.

darwin-t on April 25, 2011 at 8:55 AM

I only know about East Texas and Texas is a big state.
It would not be tough to turn East Texas back to Democrat, there are many classic yellow dogs (they’d vote for a yellow dog as long as it was a Democrat).
The problem is that Texans value their individual freedom above all. They want no one in their business or telling them what to do. They are going to go with the party that allows them that but they would prefer that party be the Democrat Party………….They are not stupid, Obama is completely incapable of faking it in Texas.

ORconservative on April 25, 2011 at 8:56 AM

Hey, give the guy a break. It’s not like he was born here.
/sarc off

Rocks on April 25, 2011 at 8:32 AM

Did you see that story last week about people who knew Obama as a boy recalling how he said he wanted to be the Prime Minister of Indonesia when he grew up?

Apparently it doesn’t make much difference to Barry what country he calls his own, as long as he gets to have the top job in it.

AZCoyote on April 25, 2011 at 8:57 AM

He’s

nothing less than pretty ignorant.

and a WHOLE lot more!

golfmann on April 25, 2011 at 9:05 AM

AZCoyote on April 25, 2011 at 8:57 AM

Well he must feel he hit the jackpot. Too bad about us and our prize.

Cindy Munford on April 25, 2011 at 9:05 AM

He doesn’t know American history either.

darwin-t on April 25, 2011 at 8:55 AM

He doesn’t know Armenian history either.

Rocks on April 25, 2011 at 9:06 AM

He doesn’t know Armenian history either.

Rocks on April 25, 2011 at 9:06 AM

I’d bet he knocks ‘em dead on the history of the Soviet Union.

darwin-t on April 25, 2011 at 9:08 AM

The Whine better keep ironing his pants. At this point the crease is all he has left.

rbj on April 25, 2011 at 9:10 AM

Other than in the big cities everyone ran as a dem…there was no GOP organization present. You had to really ‘know’ what the candidate stood for. I watched my mom start the republican party headquarters for our district…thanks mom..

Obama …. please resign, it would save our nation.

tinkerthinker on April 25, 2011 at 9:14 AM

In 1978 BO was on some island somewhere smok’n a bowl full…

jbh45 on April 25, 2011 at 9:24 AM

Now that we know the facts, would it be fair to say that Obama acted stupidly?

Ordinary American on April 25, 2011 at 9:24 AM

When it comes to political history, our President must thinks it started when he graduated from high school was born.

That’s pretty much all you need to know.

- pain train 25-April-49 A.O.

pain train on April 25, 2011 at 9:28 AM

OT: Speaking of Texas, I got a blurb from Red State this morning reporting that a GOP Texas legislature is about to enact a redistricting scheme that is very favorable to…Democrats.

WTF?

BuckeyeSam on April 25, 2011 at 8:39 AM

The Texas House Speaker is probably the most powerful official in Texas government since he sets the legislative agenda and personally appoints members to committees. The current speaker, Joe Straus, is a liberal Republican elected in the last session by all the Democrats and eleven liberal Republicans. Last July, he went around and got pledges from all the Republicans to support him for Speaker in this session. Everyone was surprised at how decisively the GOP swept the House in November and Straus called in all those pledges. A bunch of the conservatives did manage to get him to agree to a secret ballot, but he changed his mind at the last minute and held on open ballot. Because of his power, nobody stood up to him. I doubt this situation will occur again in 2012 but for now, we’re stuck with him.

The state Tea Parties have been pushing the conservative agenda very hard and we’re making progress. One of the items is opposition to this map.

Kafir on April 25, 2011 at 9:33 AM

Obama has created his own bullet-proof shield of protection. He can say anything, and the media will justify it, glorify it, and qualify it in their own narrative even if it’s a boldface lie. But even when he is challenged on any outright fabrication, he can blame his “miscalculation” on a Czar, Commission, or even his long list of sacrificial lambs waiting to be thrown under the bus. Remember, the press loved and adored Capone, even as they knew he was a first-class criminal. And Capone led the people to believe he was a modern-day Robin Hood—taking from the rich and giving to the poor—yet it was in the form of liquor. Today, we are experiencing the intoxification of a society that Obama and like-minded liberals have embraced through these similar practices of wealth distribution—promising the poor will get their “fair share”. Mr. Morrissey is correct that the President’s historic intelligence is limited to only the past thirty years or so. Anything beyond that is relegated to his party’s illusionist/revisionist. Al Capone would be proud of Obama’s accomplishments. “History” may prove they were not so far apart from their levels of intelligence—or abilities.

Rovin on April 25, 2011 at 9:34 AM

Let’s be honest here. He said that because he’s a racist. He said that because to him, his wife, their preacher, and the vast majority of their associates, the “South” is full of redneck racists which in their minds means Republican.

KMC1 on April 25, 2011 at 9:43 AM

He can say anything, and the media will justify it, glorify it, and qualify it in their own narrative even if it’s a boldface lie.

Rovin on April 25, 2011 at 9:34 AM

And that’s the facts folks. Why bother to get real facts when you can make up ANYTHING and no one will bother to hold your feet to the fire? This saves a lot of time which can be better spent on hoops, links and vacations.

katablog.com on April 25, 2011 at 10:27 AM

Sometimes I almost feel sorry for him. It must be exhausting to spend your life faking it. That is, trying to pretend you know a lot more than you do, and are a lot smarter than you are.

Alana on April 25, 2011 at 10:39 AM

Oh my, even Factcheck.org: FactCheck.Org: Obama Repeatedly Lied In Critique of Ryan Plan

slickwillie2001 on April 25, 2011 at 10:40 AM

Sometimes I almost feel sorry for him. It must be exhausting to spend your life faking it. That is, trying to pretend you know a lot more than you do, and are a lot smarter than you are.

Alana on April 25, 2011 at 10:39 AM

In his case I don’t think so, because until little Bammie unfortunately became president, no one called him on his stupidity, his laziness, or his lies. Much of that is because of that two-word term that can’t be mentioned here.

slickwillie2001 on April 25, 2011 at 10:42 AM

(er . . . I don’t know the two word term. I know the r-word can’t be mentioned here. Can you give me a hint?)

Alana on April 25, 2011 at 10:47 AM

No one would expect Obama to have the details of this at the tip of his tongue, but to argue that Texas has “always been a pretty Republican state” is nothing less than pretty ignorant

What does that also say for all those Ivy Leaguers that work for him. Go to an Ivy League School all Bucks no Bang.

chemman on April 25, 2011 at 10:47 AM

(er . . . I don’t know the two word term. I know the r-word can’t be mentioned here. Can you give me a hint?)

Alana on April 25, 2011 at 10:47 AM

The double-A program.

slickwillie2001 on April 25, 2011 at 10:54 AM

Criminally stupid. Doesn’t care to learn. Too lazy. Notice how Ernesto and crr6are never here?

betsyz on April 25, 2011 at 11:02 AM

Thanks, slick.

Alana on April 25, 2011 at 11:06 AM

I wish we had a link to a Hot Air FAQ, and that the FAQ would include all the terms that send a comment to moderation.

Al in St. Lou on April 25, 2011 at 1:11 PM

Obama makes ignorance indignant, several times each day.

The media cover his stupidity and die in the process.

May they suffocate of what they consume, what the dwell in, his caca.

Schadenfreude on April 25, 2011 at 1:32 PM

Nobody matters but meeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee !!

Tim_CA on April 25, 2011 at 1:38 PM

I’m surprised he didn’t say that Texas doesn’t like him because he’s black.

mizflame98 on April 25, 2011 at 2:12 PM

Sometimes I almost feel sorry for him. It must be exhausting to spend your life faking it. That is, trying to pretend you know a lot more than you do, and are a lot smarter than you are.

Alana on April 25, 2011 at 10:39 AM

You would think so, but by now he’s pretty much internalized how awesome he is, and doesn’t even notice his own shortcomings.

So, no, I think he really does believe he’s brilliant, and any critics are just racists.

tom on April 25, 2011 at 5:25 PM