Media's 'Smartest President' Fails History

Media's 'Smartest President' Fails History

Here is just one example of why many in this country look askance at President Obama. It is a minor issue, I guess, and in the scheme of things maybe not so important, but I do think it also speaks volumes about just who occupies the Oval Office and, just as important, those with whom he has surrounded himself.

Last week, during a Largo, MD speech about energy and the need for alternatives to fossil fuels, President Obama said the following of the 19th President (a Republican of course):

“One of my predecessors, President Rutherford B. Hayes, reportedly said about the telephone: ‘It’s a great invention, but who would ever want to use one?'” Obama said. “That’s why he’s not on Mt. Rushmore.”

“He’s looking backwards; he’s not looking forward. He’s explaining why we can’t do something instead of why we can do something,” Obama continued. “The point is, there will always be cynics and naysayers.”

I guess Obama’s speech-writers put this out there to show how forward-thinking is our 44th president compared to some of his (Republican) predecessors. There’s just one flaw in this approach: Hayes never said that

New York Magazine did an historical fact-check on the current president’s claim because, to anyone who actually knows American history, this seemed off-sides. This supposed quote is especially suspect when you consider that Hayes, a Civil War vet who no doubt observed how the telegraph transformed the battlefield and the nation, certainly would have appreciated the importance of such revolutionary communications technology as the telephone.

Nan Card, curator of manuscripts at the Rutherford B. Hayes Presidential Center in Fremont, Ohio rebuked Mr. Obama’s claim outright:  

“I’ve heard that before, and no one ever knows where it came from,” Card said of Hayes’s alleged phone remark, “but people just keep repeating it and repeating it, so it’s out there.” 

The article continues: 

In fact, Card noted, Hayes was not only the first president to have a telephone in the White House, but he was also the first to use the typewriter, and he had Thomas Edison come to the White House to demonstrate the phonograph. “So I think he was pretty much cutting edge,” Card insisted, “maybe just the opposite of what President Obama had to say there.”

And yet our current president offers this back-biting jab at one of his own as an historical fact?  What is more revealing — perhaps disconcerting is the better word — is that no one on his team caught this or even bothered to do a quick fact-check? And naturally the sheeple who follow this man guffaw in blind assent (as many are themselves historical ignoramuses) and think what a fool this character Hayes was — especially when juxtaposed against the blinding brilliance of their messiah Obama.

I am noticing a pattern of Mr. Obama reaching back to past leaders to justify his present policies. Yet it is becoming increasingly evident to me that this administration has little understanding of the history of the country it demands to lead for four more years. 

From Mr. Obama’s blatant misrepresentation of Washington’s 1796 Farwell Address, from which he somehow divined tacit support for his deficit spending run-amok and higher taxes on the “the rich” (it was nothing of the sort, as I have shown in past articles), to this slander against dead President Hayes; we seem to have an administration whose lever-pullers believe that the only U.S. history worth serious study, if they study it at all, began on radical college campuses in the 1960s. 

Seriously, if for political aims you’re going to cynically attack one of your own as a fool, make sure you know who the fool is first.  At least get your facts straight.  Perhaps Mr. Obama and his people should take some refresher courses about our nation’s past before offering themselves up as the wave of the future. 

I think either the President or someone in his camp owes an apology of sorts to the memory of President Rutherford B. Hayes…a man more adept at looking forward than is this administration at looking back.