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Civility, 2012


Unlike those mean evil liberals, Republicans would NEVER EVER NEVER embrace a restaurant owner who denied service to a Democrat based on their politics, right?

The Republican ticket has embraced a new small-business hero. On Wednesday, the owner of a bakery who last week turned away Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. introduced Representative Paul D. Ryan at a rally in this city where President Obama uttered his “You didn’t build that” remark.

Chris McMurray, the owner of Crumb and Get It Cookie Company with his wife, told a crowd at another small business, a hardware store, “We are gathered here today to send a message to the Obama-Biden team that we did build it.’’

Mr. McMurray said the Biden campaign approached him to ask if the vice president could drop by his cookie shop while campaigning, and he replied, “Nothing personal, but I just happened to disagree with the president and the vice president on a few things.”

The story vaulted from local news to the Drudge Report and conservative blogs, and voilà, Mr. McMurray became the latest small-business owner spotlighted by the Romney-Ryan campaign in a monthlong hammering of Mr. Obama for supposed anti-business attitudes and policies.

Fact-checkers and the Obama campaign complain that Republicans are willfully twisting the president’s remark – he was referring to government investment in infrastructure, not denying entrepreneurs credit for their companies – but the line become just one of many yanked from context in an intensely heated political season.

Mr. Ryan’s account of Mr. Obama’s remarks continued the misrepresentation of what the president said on July 13 in front of a Roanoke firehouse. “He did say if you have a small business, you did not build that, someone else did,” Mr. Ryan said, after thanking Mr. McMurray for his spirited introduction, which had the crowd chanting “We built it! We built it!”

“He just gave my speech,’’ Mr. Ryan said. “I’m voting for that guy, for Chris.’’

Oh, so they invited him to a Ryan rally. Well, uh, I’m sure if we go to the archives, we will see all the civility concern trolling from Conor Friedersdorf and Fred Hiatt and Megan McArdle we have seen pointed at the left over the last few days, right?

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