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June 27, 2012

Words. They Have Meanings.

You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.

- Inigo Montoya

Perhaps if President Do As I Say, Not As I Do actually understood the meaning of the word "outsourcing", he would stop attacking American businesses for using the same cost-cutting methods as... the Obama Campaign!:

I’m not sure that either Obama or Biden has any clear idea what outsourcing means, and their application of the charge to Romney’s business career is dubious at best. But what makes this hilarious, rather than just futile, is that there is one organization we know for sure is a serial outsourcer: the Obama campaign! The Washington Free Beacon has the story:
The Obama campaign spent nearly $4,700 on telemarketing services from a Canadian telemarketing company called Pacific East between March and June, a Washington Free Beacon study of federal election filings shows.

Pacific East is not the only overseas telemarketing firm raking in cash from the president’s reelection campaign. Obama paid a call center in Manila, Philippines $78,314.10 for telemarketing services between the start of the campaign and March.

If outsourcing is a bad thing, why is the President's re-election campaign doing it? And if it's not a bad thing, why is the President trying to mislead voters and gin up outrage against American businesses?

Obama keeps telling us that Mitt Romney's business experience isn't relevant in Washington but unlike the Obama campaign, the Romney campaign actually appears to understand the meaning of big words like outsourcing and offshoring. And what's more, they can use them in a sentence!)

"Outsourcing is what the Obama campaign does when they hire an outside [foreign] telemarketing vendor to provide telemarketing services," Romney senior adviser Eric Fehrnstrom said on CBS' Face The Nation. "This is done by companies every day. They take functions and they allow vendors to do it instead of handling it in house."

He added: "Offshoring is the shipment of American jobs overseas. And in that Washington Post story, which the president is using now to attack American companies by name, there are no examples of jobs being taken from the United States and shipped overseas."

Here's another word the Obama campaign doesn't seem to understand. It's an ordinary, everyday word; a possessive pronoun commonly used to convey the idea that something belongs to someone. The word is "our" as in "our jobs", and the reference in question comes from a highly entertaining post by NRO's Kevin Williamson in which he also observes that the President doesn't seem to understand the difference between offshoring and outsourcing:

Could somebody please get Barack Obama to shut up about “outsourcing” until some undergraduate aide has explained to him what the word means?

...The Obama campaign, as you probably know, has been running ads denouncing Mitt Romney’s role at Bain Capital, in which Romney made various business deals that had the effect of making a whole lot of money for Bain’s customers while also allowing a lot of dirty foreigners to eat, and God knows the world would be better off if a billion-some Chinese were hungry and desperate, that being an obvious recipe for global stability.

Because the Obama campaign knows that one of its most important constituencies is economically illiterate yokels — a demographic to which the president himself apparently belongs — it is on the airwaves claiming “Romney’s never stood up to China — all he’s ever done is send them our jobs.’’ (emphasis added)

In what sense (moral, equitable, legal) can a job be said to "belong to" a worker? FDR definitely sought to create a legally defensible right to a job with a living wage, but even The Great Court Packer drew the line at implying ownership of specific jobs.

Surely Obama didn't mean to imply that companies that outsource are stealing "our" jobs when they exercise their legal right to hire who they please? If this is true, then isn't his own campaign stealing jobs from the very people he's asking to vote for him?

Perhaps more importantly, how dumb does he think we are? Voters may not all know the difference between terms like offshoring and outsourcing (and who can blame us when the Job Saver/Creator in Chief doesn't understand them either?). But I'm pretty sure that most of us understand the meaning of the word "our".

Posted by Cassandra at June 27, 2012 02:15 PM

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Comments

If Obama did not want to see American jobs outsourced, he could have issued an executive order outlawing the H1B and L1 Visa.

He never did that, so not only is he outsourcing jobs in his campaign, he's outsourcing jobs in the UNITED STATES.

Posted by: The Borg at June 27, 2012 03:38 PM

One of the obvious tactics employed by Obama and his shills is their ability to maintain plausible deniability by using surrogates to do the "bad thing" like outsourcing. If and when the word gets out about their blatant hypocrisy of "do as I say not as I do" the Obama bus runs over the hapless, useful idiot. This is life down the rabbit hole where everything means something else, depending on the requirements of the moment. It is predictable which is Obama's major weakness.

Posted by: vet66 at June 27, 2012 05:05 PM

Dear "Borg":

It's been too long since I or the vast number of apparatchiks I've shared your email address with last hit you up for a campaign donation. Where does the time go?

Oh well, let's try to move forward - past the stale, divisive rhetoric bequeathed to this great nation by my predecessor and his immoral, lawbreaking hooligans ... forward, to a place where we don't need to demonize each other for disagreeing about complicated public policy issues (or even continuing the policies I so harshly criticized back when I didn't know my tuckus from a hole in the ground).

I need your help. I will be the first president in modern history to be outspent in his re-election campaign, if things continue as they have so far.

I'm not just talking about the super PACs and anonymous outside groups -- I'm talking about the Romney campaign itself. The DNC and progressive leaning super PACS are not the problem here. When I reneged on my promise to accept public campaign funds and outraised John McCain, that was a spontaneous expression of democracy in action. But when "outside groups" do the same thing, they compound the underlying problem, which is that I need money.

Your money.

The Romney campaign raises more than we do. Now some people might view this as in some way indicative of public enthusiasm for his campaign, but they would be wrong. The math isn't hard to understand: Through the primaries, we raised almost three-quarters of our money from donors giving less than $1,000. These are "the good guys". Meanwhile, Mitt Romney's campaign raised more than three-quarters of its money from individuals giving $1,000 or more (aka, the bad guys, Wall Street, the Evil, Chinese toy-loving minions of the Richest 1%).

And, again, that's not including the massive outside spending by super PACs and front groups funneling up to an additional billion dollars into ads trashing me, you, and everything we believe in. Thankfully, George Soros has my back.

We can be outspent and still win -- but we can't be outspent 10 to 1 and still win. The math isn't hard to understand, even for a mindless, credible member of the Borg collective. Trust me.

More than 2.2 million Americans have already chipped in for us, and I'm so grateful for it. As we face this week's fundraising deadline, can you make a donation of $3 or more today?

Every donation you make today automatically enters you to join Michelle and me for one of the last grassroots dinners of this campaign -- today is your last chance to get your name in. Each dinner will feature genuine, "grassrooty" Obama supporters like George Clooney and Babs Streisand: you know, 99 percenters. People like you and me, not loathsome, Gaia-raping capitalist running pig-dogs.

These dinners represent how we do things differently. My opponent spent this past weekend at a secretive retreat for the biggest donors to both his campaign and the super PACs that support him.

I've got other responsibilities I'm attending to, like asking the good folks in NH to subsidize my re-election campaign, pestering you with annoying emails, and reaching into your wallet (and hopefully the wallets of your fellow Borg).

Donate today to stand for our kind of politics. Truly I say unto you, "It takes a Collective to re-elect The Most Transformational President Ever."

Posted by: The Obama Campaign at June 27, 2012 05:11 PM

"grassrooty" ?

(facepalm)

Maybe George Clooney and Barbra Streisand are "grassrooters"? Or just rich celebrities with exception facial symetry that makes them appealing to the masses.
George's father Nick used to be a newsreader on WCPO, channel 9 in Cincinnati, and he also had exceptional facial symetry, i.e. a handsome man.

Posted by: Don Brouhaha at June 27, 2012 05:32 PM

Because I am an enlightened and tolerant progressive, I do not expect a fawning capitalist enabler like yourself to grok our bad, authentically grassrootylicious selves.

Soon I shall cast off this flimsy disguise and dance nekkid in Zuccotti Park with my peeps to the fresh and funky beat of the spirit drum. Oh yes, I am down with whatever it is they are outraged about this week.

Posted by: George Soros, Now Occupying a 4 Star Hotel Near You at June 27, 2012 06:07 PM

What's your evidence for the idea that most Americans have any comprehension of what "our" means? I don't see it from the voting patterns, for instance. But maybe I'll be more convinced after this fall's elections.

Posted by: Texan99 at June 27, 2012 06:48 PM

"Every donation you make today automatically enters you to join Michelle and me for one of the last grassroots dinners of this campaign -- today is your last chance to get your name in."

Ju no El Presidente, ze last time ju had me and Conchita for denner, ju had jur peepol grope Conchita at the security checkjpoint. Che still has what I tink are bad dreems or maybe che now has a crush on de security persons, I no sure.

Eney whay, den as I whas eating my meal, ju had jur peepol take away my jutinsels before ju would come into ze room.

Now, ju want me to gib ju more pesos so you can humilate me and Conchita ageen? I teenk ju know can do wit da fork, Mr. El Presidente.

Posted by: Juan Valdez at June 27, 2012 06:58 PM

What's your evidence for the idea that most Americans have any comprehension of what "our" means?

Oh, I think they know quite well what they mean when they say "our": like the Occupy nitwits, they literally mean that they're asserting some kind of common ownership right to what you earn.

Whether they are factually or morally correct in this assertion is debatable, but I don't think there's any doubt in their minds that they really do think they have a right to your earnings... because that would be more "fair" :p

My question would be, though, did Obama seriously mean to suggest that American workers *own* jobs created by American employers? Because if he did mean that, he is one of those evil folks he's demonizing - after all, he gave American ("our") jobs to evil Canadians and Philipinos and Philippinas.

Posted by: Cass - Confirmation Bigot-in-Training at June 27, 2012 07:13 PM

I agree with you, of course. I just don't think the president is misreading most of his audience in making that kind of argument. I think it actually plays depressingly well.

Posted by: Texan99 at June 28, 2012 08:15 AM

"Our" is a nice sharing sort of way to say "my", or more bluntly "gimme that". An electorate of two-year-olds.
Can you outsource people? - "your job went to Jakarta - go catch up with it!"

Posted by: tomg51 at June 28, 2012 08:48 AM

"your job went to Jakarta - go catch up with it!"

The U. S. Constitution doesn't guarantee happiness, only the pursuit of it. You have to catch up with it yourself.
--Benjamin Franklin


Eric Hines

Posted by: E Hines at June 28, 2012 08:59 AM

My question would be, though, did Obama seriously mean to suggest that American workers *own* jobs created by American employers?

I think that, maybe, yes.

Once in a great while, people slip up and say in public what they seem to actually think.


During testimony of of a bill that would have drastically curtailed virtual charters in Wisconsin, an apparatchik from my state's Department of Education was testifying to committee, said 'my children' when she was referring to 'students enrolled in school, especially charter and home school students'.

Context made it clear she didn't think much of parents who home-schooled or enrolled their kids in charters and that she really did have a very personal interest in 'her' kids, and seeing they were educated to her task and standard.

I would have thought it was just me but every-single person in the room (two dozen parents, twice that many spectators, the committee) looked at each other: did she just say that? The room filled with an angry buzz. She stopped and walked back her statement, real quick.


If we 'own' jobs then we have a right to them, and the category of 'job' becomes a civil right, right up there with speech (except when it is unpopular) , firearms (for cops, soldiers, bodyguards), healthcare, privacy, and so on.

If you don't think this is going to happen, then you're not cynical enough, or you've not been paying attention the last few years.

Posted by: Brian Dunbar at June 28, 2012 03:46 PM

Perhaps more importantly, how dumb does he think we are?

A politician running for president does not need to convince a numerical majority of anything.

He only needs to convince enough people in the right places to win key districts that will win states that will put the electoral votes in the correct column.

Look at Wisconsin: it only takes people voting 'correctly' in Madison and Milwaukee to swing the state Blue. It doesn't matter what folks upstate think unless we _all_ get out and vote.

Posted by: Brian Dunbar at June 28, 2012 03:54 PM

If we 'own' jobs then we have a right to them, and the category of 'job' becomes a civil right, right up there with speech (except when it is unpopular) , firearms (for cops, soldiers, bodyguards), healthcare, privacy, and so on.
If you don't think this is going to happen, then you're not cynical enough, or you've not been paying attention the last few years.

MOM!!!!

Brian's scaring me AGAIN! :)

Seriously, I've been flogging the whole FDR/4 Freedoms/2nd Bill of Rights thing for years. When Obama was elected, those themes cropped up in several speeches, so yeah - we're going to go there.

*sigh*

Posted by: Cass at June 28, 2012 04:58 PM

Brian's scaring me AGAIN! :)

Hee.

I've had a good night's sleep on it.

A few months ago everyone in Wisconsin was told that Scott Walker was tearing the state apart, he was divisive, unpopular, he was a crook, and he probably had un-lawful relations with livestock on a regular basis.

And then we voted in our special recall election and he won a _bigger_ than he did in the regular election the first time. In spite of the guys in Madison and Milwaukee.

I think if everyone can do nationally what we did in Wisconsin it's going to be ok.

I'm not sure that Romney is the right cat for the job, that the Republican party is the right group to trust to turn it all around.

I am sure the Libertarian party, and Gary Johnson, are the right guys to stop this madness before it's too late.

Posted by: Brian Dunbar at June 29, 2012 10:59 AM

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