Political Animal

Blog

October 23, 2012 4:58 PM A SLAP IN THE FACE to the Bayonet Industry

By Ed Kilgore

When the president delivered his sardonic lines last night reminding Mitt Romney that we don’t have as many Navy ships as we used to because the military’s changed, he famously noted we have fewer “horses and bayonets” as well. I frivolously thought at the time: “Wonder if there is a bayonet factory in a battleground state?”

Still don’t know the answer to that, but via TMZ, we do know the Bayonet Industry is very upset:

TMZ spoke with multiple people in the bayonet industry who tell us they were shocked and even offended when Obama brought up the weapon during last night’s debate.

“Multiple people,” no less.

Seems some Marines, who still universally utilize bayonet training, were upset, too, presumably because if Obama disrespected bayonets, he might soon abolish them, along with, of course, horses.

Lord-a-mercy, I don’t know if people are just losing their sense of humor or their ability to distinguish between degrees in an argument by analogy, or are actually taking stupid pills. But we need this campaign to end.

Ed Kilgore is a contributing writer to the Washington Monthly. He is managing editor for The Democratic Strategist and a senior fellow at the Progressive Policy Institute. Find him on Twitter: @ed_kilgore.

Comments

  • David in NY on October 23, 2012 5:08 PM:

    I think they are confused because Obama used correct diction in saying the military has "fewer" bayonets. Had he used real 'Murican English and said "less" bayonets, they might have understood.

  • exlibra on October 23, 2012 5:10 PM:

    Civil War re-enactors ain't gonna vote for that thar 'bama, that's for damned sure.

    "ignDub ASST-Recept" That's rich, coming from you, Craptcha!

  • Kathryn on October 23, 2012 5:12 PM:

    Great last paragraph Ed, time for me to lose myself in a mystery in order to keep my head from exploding.

  • Kathryn on October 23, 2012 5:13 PM:

    Great last paragraph Ed, time for me to lose myself in a mystery in order to keep my head from exploding.

  • schtick on October 23, 2012 5:19 PM:

    You just don't understand. Teapubs don't mean what they say and dems don't say what they mean, but the teapubs know what dems are really saying.

  • Memekiller on October 23, 2012 5:30 PM:

    I, for one, am not looking forward to the endless bayonet and horse jingoism in store for us. Obama's traitorous lack of bayonet pin on his lapel is sure to be a future scandal.

    Romney has always been a patriot for the horse and ballet - proudly wearing a horse on his polo shirts at the dressage competition.

  • Mitch on October 23, 2012 5:37 PM:

    My money is on the stupid pills. Or maybe it's all that stuff the UN puts in our water to sterilize the white people.

    Crap. I should watch the snark. Some folks might think I'm being serious.

  • castanea on October 23, 2012 5:41 PM:

    "I donít know if people are just losing their sense of humor or their ability to distinguish between degrees in an argument by analogy, or are actually taking stupid pills."

    I've noticed over the past few years that many people are unable to follow any basic line of analogy when discussing an argument. It's like their higher reasoning skills have been removed, as have their abilities to make cogent arguments.

    I tend to blame the rise of fundamentalist, authoritarian religion for people's lack of reasoning skills, but then again that rise might be more of a symptom than a cause.

    Then again, it might just be the rightwing grasping for straws to support its claim that Obama is the worst, dumbest, preznit EVAR. I'm sure there are rightwing fundy relatives of mine who are forwarding emails attesting to "Obama's complete hatred of the Marines and their bayonets" at this very moment.

    A republic such as ours that contains so many idiots cannot stand much longer, I'm afraid.

  • Anonymous on October 23, 2012 5:52 PM:

    Some of these people must have reading comprehension problems. Obama didn't say he'd get rid of bayonets and horses. He just said we have fewer of them than in 1916.

    You're right- this long campaign has been humorless and people are getting a bit hypercritical of every little thing.

  • Andy Olsen on October 23, 2012 5:59 PM:

    The whole "Obama wants to take away your bayonet" thing has spread fairly fast in the internets. It's a remarkable display of deliberate obtuseness.

    I hope that's what is is, anyway.

  • Anonymous on October 23, 2012 6:04 PM:

    David in NY on October 23, 2012 5:08 PM: YES! They obviously don't know what 'fewer' even means, I guess.

  • TCinLA on October 23, 2012 6:41 PM:

    We do use fewer bayonets today, but that's a function of the fact that we no longer fight massed-infantry style wars (storming the beaches of Normandy and such). In fact though, 100% of infantrymen do still carry bayonets, because there are still moments in modern warfare where the ability to use a "pig-sticker" to stick a pig in a close combat situation can in fact still save one's life.

  • Peter on October 23, 2012 6:57 PM:

    They'll pry my Gatling Gun out of my cold, dead fingers . . .

  • boatboy_srq on October 23, 2012 7:27 PM:

    Fewer bayonets? What will all those 2nd-Amendment-loving NRA member affix to their muskets to hold off the thugs in the black helicopters?

    Honestly, between the Teahadists chomping at the bit for Reichwing orthodoxy, and the Libertarians all dreaming of a 19th-century agrotopia (complete with privately-owned labor), it's a marvel that the GOP hasn't demanded NASA develop a time machine to take the entire planet back 200 years.

    I guess it was Teh Stupid - not the fluoride - in the water, that we needed to worry about.

    Captcha: sodsio Theatre, - oh if only this election season WERE a play. I've walked out of less bad shows.

  • buddy66 on October 23, 2012 7:37 PM:

    I wonder if the new movie about the Abbotabad raid shows Seal Team 6 storming bin Laden's compound with bayonets flashing in the sun?

    As a former rifleman, I recall bayonets were famously noted for accidentally sticking a friend in the ass.

  • cmdicely on October 23, 2012 7:51 PM:

    We do use fewer bayonets today, but that's a function of the fact that we no longer fight massed-infantry style wars (storming the beaches of Normandy and such).

    I don't know why there is a "but" in that sentence: that's the precise point of the analogy. We have fewer bayonets -- and fewer infantrymen -- in the US army than in 1916 because the way we fight wars on land has changed, and not because we are weaker -- in fact, we were just one of many significant powers in 1916 and unquestionably the world's most powerful military in 2012.

    Just like we have fewer ships than in 1916 (which Romney complained about as if it was a sign of weakness), but that's because the way we fight naval wars has changed, and the US Navy of 2012 -- unlike in 1916 where, again, the US was one of many significant powers -- outclassess the navies of the rest of the world combined in most measures of combat power and, particularly, in the ability to project force overseas (which, in naval terms, is almost entirely a factor of aircraft carriers, where the US has all the large deck and virtually all of the medium deck carriers operational on the planet.)

  • T2 on October 23, 2012 8:15 PM:

    I'll just say it ......Dems... Please nominate a white man next time.

  • bcinaz on October 23, 2012 8:40 PM:

    Can a nation be this dumb about it's civic responsibility and still be considered a 'Superpower'?

  • Cranky Observer on October 23, 2012 9:09 PM:

    = = = We do use fewer bayonets today, but that's a function of the fact that we no longer fight massed-infantry style wars (storming the beaches of Normandy and such). = = =

    3/4 of the film (still and movie) taken on D-Day was lost, but I've seen quite a bit of the remainder over the years and I can't remember a single image of a soldier on any of the five beaches with a bayonet fixed. Can you link to any such? Thanks.

    Cranky

    oneyick bis - 1st try
    DFORD lifitio - 2nd try

  • pol on October 23, 2012 9:22 PM:

    Now, you guys know as well as I what is going on. This is an appeal to the base... this time to the military. Heck, the GOP chair in my county is a retired Marine. This is right down his alley.

  • mellowjohn on October 23, 2012 9:38 PM:

    don't think they really need stupid pills.

    p.s. i've decided that if Rmoney wins, i'm investing all my money in the manufacture of cavalry sabers.

  • Renai on October 23, 2012 9:43 PM:

    What! Obama said something? I'm offended!!!

    What! Happy Holidays! I'm offended!!!

    What! Equal pay for equal work? I'm offended!!

    What! Health insurance coverage for everyone? I'm offended!!

    Ect, ect, ect...Repubican ad nauseum.

    What! Still using Captcha? I am offended. /sn/

  • Pat in Michigan on October 23, 2012 10:57 PM:

    Okay, I am a Conservative and this is one of the funniest postings on this subject.

    *snicker*

    http://www.thoughtsandrantings.com

  • CRA on October 24, 2012 2:19 AM:

    A bayonet is just a blade fixed to the end of a gun, and its uses are not too hard to grasp, even for non-soldiers and military buffs (sorry, guys);

    But leave it to the wingnuts to po-facedly behave as if this pea-sized sphere of knowledge is as wide and mysterious as the heavens. Obama don't get it! Or he does, cause he's an evil mastermind, and his sheep won't even know what he's destroyin!

  • Shivas on October 24, 2012 4:05 AM:

    I dunno, how far can you shoot a bayonet? The type of warfare these days is "killing from a distance", whether it is 50 caliber sniper rifles that can take out a person a mile away, or Predator drones that can take out an entire wedding party without any need for bayonets. Trench warfare and massive infantry attacks are a thing of the past. Sure soldiers are still trained in bayonet and other close combat skills, but the idea these days is to avoid those types of encounters. Even the bad guys are phoning in the war using IED's and cellphones.

    Obama is right, the nature or warfare is changing and the idea of having massive battleships is antiquated. Give me carriers and subs any day.

  • 14All on October 24, 2012 8:17 AM:

    Personally, I attribute misunderstandings like these to the deliberate gutting of our educational system by the right over the last thirty years or so.

    An educated public figure makes a perfectly clear statement, a pundit deliberately attempts to obfuscate it, and the vast majority, who have not been taught reading comprehension or critical thinking skills, fall for it. There are numerous examples of such a phenomenon occurring regarding some of the President's statements.

  • stratplayer on October 24, 2012 9:00 AM:

    Honest to Pete, if Obama had instead said "fewer petards and blunderbusses" we'd suddenly start hearing of the crack 55th Petardiers, currently blasting their way through enemy fortifications in Afghanistan, whose job is so dangerous that, sadly, many have themselves been hoist by their own weapons.

  • Robb on October 24, 2012 9:10 AM:

    These people were already voting for Romney.
    Just looking for new angles of faux outrage.

  • G.Kerby on October 24, 2012 11:33 AM:

    boatboy_srq on October 23, 2012 7:27 PM:
    I guess it was Teh Stupid - not the fluoride - in the water, that we needed to worry about.


    I vote for home-schooling.

  • BJ smith on October 24, 2012 1:22 PM:

    Anybody who isn't worried about the future of this country shoud be. The only thing learned from the Bush fiasco is we appear to be even more stupid, not less.