Obamateurism of the Day

The tagline on today’s post means “Don’t know much about history”, translated into Spanish by my good friend Val Prieto of Babalu Blog, and for a reason.  Going back once again to Barack Obama’s speech to the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute, it turns out that El Presidente offered another Obamateurism other than rewriting the Declaration of Independence.  Here is the clip again, and this time let’s focus on the beginning:

Let me close by saying this. Long before America was even an idea, this land of plenty was home to many peoples. The British and French, the Dutch and Spanish, to Mexicans, to countless Indian tribes. We all shared the same land.

Obama even emphasized the word Mexicans in his speech.  There’s only one problem with that statement: Mexico didn’t exist in 1776, when the Declaration of Independence was written, the earliest recorded moment of America being an idea.  Mexico didn’t exist in 1788, when the US wrote its Constitution, or 1789, when George Washington became our first President.  In fact, Mexico didn’t exist at all until 1821, when the colony that had been known as New Spain declared its own independence.  Before that, the area was populated with … Spaniards and countless Indian tribes.

The White House may have wanted to lecture Americans on our history, but it would have more impact if we had a President that studied it and a White House that could properly research and fact-check a presidential speech.

Got an Obamateurism of the Day? If you see a foul-up by Barack Obama, e-mail it to me at[email protected] 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!