Thursday, February 26, 2009

O mais non, mon Prez!

From President Obama's speech the other night:

As for our auto industry, everyone recognizes that years of bad decision-making and a global recession have pushed our automakers to the brink. We should not, and will not, protect them from their own bad practices. But we are committed to the goal of a re-tooled, re-imagined auto industry that can compete and win. Millions of jobs depend on it. Scores of communities depend on it. And I believe the nation that invented the automobile cannot walk away from it (my em).

That implies that the automobile was invented in the United States. It was not.

I typed 'history of the automobile' into the Google and the very first of 367,000,000 responses was at Wiki, surprise, surprise. Fascinating stuff, but even if we limit 'automobile' to Internal Combustion Engine-powered rigs, we get:

Early experimenters using gasses included in 1806, Swiss engineer François Isaac de Rivaz who built an internal combustion engine powered by a hydrogen and oxygen mixture and in 1826, Samuel Brown who tested his hydrogen-fuelled internal combustion engine by using it to propel a vehicle up Shooter's Hill in south east London.

A few responses farther along came the question, "Who invented the automobile?". They came up with the same answer Mrs. G did:

If we had to give credit to one inventor, it would probably be Karl Benz from Germany.

A Kraut. Figures.

Here in the U.S. we developed the automobile certainly, such things as the assembly line, intermittent windshield wipers, and the easily-removable back seat pour l'amour, but we didn't invent the damn things.

Am I the only one who picked up on this absolute factual error by Obama? You'd think the wingnuts would be all over it like the itchy unsightly rash they are and use it as a talking point to try to negate Obama's whole speech, vision, agenda, his legitimacy as President, and yea, his entire existence.

Mrs. G says they're not as bright as they used to be. She's right again. And, yes, we're old enough to remember smart Repugs.

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