During his not-the-state-of-the-union speech last night, president Barack “givitaway” Obama said the following:
“I believe the nation that invented the automobile cannot walk away from it.”
Sorry, Prez, but while we did make the automobile an integral part of American life, while we did popularize the personal vehicle for the whole world, and while we certainly revolutionized its manufacture… we just didn’t invent the automobile.
Oh, we’ve done a lot of inventing in this wonderful country. It’s just that the auto wasn’t one of ours. Sure we have been unalterably linked to cars. But we just plain were not the first to make one.
As a short piece on Foxnews.com reminds us:
The credit for internal combustion engines generally is given to German engineer, Karl Benz, who designed and built the world’s first practical automobile in 1885. A steam-powered car was invented in 1769 by French inventor Nicolas Cugnot. Americans, on the other hand, are given credit for the mass production of cars.
So, Obama was just plain wrong.
Now, let us imagine what would be happening today if George Bush had said that Americans “invented the automobile,” shall we?
Had Bush said this he would have been smeared as historically illiterate.
He would have been attacked for the hubris of claiming America invented something it didn’t.
He would have been accused of shorting the credit due our allies endangering foreign relations.
Aaaaand, to top it all off he’d have been called an idiot once more.
So, now I’m going to sit patiently here and wait for the DailyKos types, the Huffyposters, and the wild-eyed denizens of the Democratic Underground to rip The One a new opening of dubious usage.