The dumb thing here isn’t that Jay Carney isn’t aware that “The Lord helps those who help themselves” is a folksaying, not a Bible verse. That’s certainly a dumb thing. But the dumb thing is that he quotes that line to justify the President acting without Congressional approval to “help the American people.” The saying is one that justifies self-reliance and self-interested action; I can’t think of a less appropriate application of the saying than to use it to justify government intervention in the lives of citizens.
So let’s follow out the logical implications: Obama is helping himself to the power to “help the American people” without Congressional assistance. In this formulation, the Lord will help: Obama. The Lord will not help: the American people, and Congress. Gee, thanks, Mr. President.
Perhaps it’s not a dumb statement after all, but a strangely upfront acceptance of the conservative critique that this administration is persuing its own self-aggrandizing policies, regardless of mounting evidence that those policies are utter failures? Doubtful. I don’t give Carney credit for being that smart.
Posted by Apollo in Politics and the English Language