Horses and Bayonets

This is total gold, sledging at its best:

The exchange started with Romney challenging his Democratic opponent by saying the Navy is too small and has fewer ships than it did in World War I.

Obama’s response: “Well, governor, we also have fewer horses and bayonets. … We have these things called aircraft carriers, where planes land on them. We have these ships that go underwater, nuclear submarines. And so the question is not a game of Battleship, where we’re counting ships.”

The online reaction was swift.

On Twitter, the hashtag “horsesandbayonets” immediately began trending in the United States and became the top trend in the country and third worldwide, even an hour after the debate ended.

On Facebook, users created more than 50 pages named “Horses and Bayonets.” The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee also pounced, posting a meme declaring “Obama just sank Romney’s battleship” that generated more than 84,000 likes and was shared more than 16,000 times in an hour.


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  • I don’t get why you are always so ready to buy into left wing media memes regarding this election.

    This is so obviously a strategy initiated by the left wing media, and any real right winger would be countering the propaganda and the false premises that underpin it, rather than buying so enthusiastically into it.

    That’s the problem with NZ politics. A so called “right wing” that is in actuality further left than the left wing of the Democrats.

    • farmgirl

      Most cheap and ignorant Chicago thugs are not, however, rumoured to have been originally picked out for politics by a bunch of old men in a Chicago gay club (see Wayne Madsen Report), or rumoured to be getting told what to do by Soros, the famous currency manipulator.

  • bristol

    Obama’s ill-thought-out jibe, “we also
    have fewer horses and bayonets”, was yet another a clumsy attempt to
    deflect the truth, which Obama’s socialist Muppet supporters, now gleefully
    clogging the blogosphere, have failed to detect. Romney clearly recognises, at
    this time of heightened world tensions, that an expanded naval capacity will much
    better serve and protect America’s interests, not the military cutbacks as
    proposed by Obama. Giving Obama four more years to further trash the economy,
    and the military, will weaken the US beyond repair. How the enemies of the West
    must be rubbing their hands in anticipation.

    • andrewo

      bristol, you’re living in a dream world. The US already spends more on its military than ALL OTHER NATIONS COMBINED including several leading nations which also happen to be its allies.
      At the same time it is massively in debt and the federal govt has a collapsing tax base, as do many states. Entire towns have already declared Bankruptcy. Regional banks continue to fail on a weekly basis and it is likely a lage swath of American retirees won’t see their pensions as corporations and local goverments use bankruptcy as a means of avoiding meeting pension commitments.
      It simply cannot afford the current military spending!

      • bristol
      • bristol

        Desperate Obama’s proposal to save a few dollars by reducing the
        military budget is akin to the office manager suggesting we fire half the
        company sales force so as we can afford to hire more admin staff.

  • Alloytoo

    A defining moment.
    We forget that Obama is the US president who watched the take down of Bin Ladin live on telly.

  • Jman

    It would have been an amusing line except that bayonets still play a role in Iraq and Afghanistan:

    British officer wins two gallantry awards for fending off Taliban attack with bayonet

    ” In the southern Iraqi town of Amara, 20 men from Scotland’s Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders came under attack from 100 or so of Muqtada al-Sadr’s ”insurgents.” So they fixed bayonets and charged.

    It was the first British bayonet charge since the Falklands War 20 years ago. And at the end of it some 35 of the enemy were dead in return for three minor wounds on the Argylls’ side.”

    • conwaycaptain

      The British Army has always used the bayonet charge as a decisive method of attack. You get a pack of screaming Jocks coming at you with bayonets fixed then you aint going to hang around.
      Mad Mitch of the Argylls went into the Crater district of Aden with his Jocks with bayonets fixed and that sorted the bastards out.

    • kowtow

      jman ,thanks for the reminder on that action,I remember reading that at the time.The bit where the soldier relates back to the officer what he said in the heat of the fight….”Have some of that”.
      Pity that shit Salmond might take the Jocks out of the British army,hopefully won’t happen.
      Bayonets? I love Cpl Jones from Dad’s Army ” They don’t like it up em”.

      • conwaycaptain

        The Scottish Regts will get a say in whether they go with the Brit army or Salmonds mob. Most will go with the British army

        • kowtow

          Not so sure. When Ireland went (and it was still a Dominion)the southern regiments all were disbanded. Pity, some marvellous history lost.

    • Bunswalla

      So what? Obama didn’t say they don’t use bayonets or don’t have any. He said they have fewer than they did in 1917, because the nature of modern warfare has changed. Do try and keep up.

      • farmgirl

        You won’t persuade this bunch of men on that one. They are lost in glorious memories. Happily wheezing away on their park benches and smiling into the clouds.

        Chaps, sorry, not only are bayonets over, soldiers are pretty much over.

  • CoNZervative

    This is actually a backfire and own goal for Obama. Like the Big Bird meme, Obama has appropriated a Romney comment and embellished it making it say something Romney never did. Classic weak assassination. But the main point it, Obama is trivialising a very serious pt that Romney makes, that Americans feel strongly about (weak foreign policy and the key difference between the two: military spending).

  • CoNZervative

    Bythe way, TRUMP is claiming the Obamas are divorced and is going public Wed (Thurs NZ time). here’s the story…

    • andrewo

      He’s also made some ludicrous Birther statements this last year. He’s a lunatic

  • Dr Wang

    Obama’s reposte is hinting that the US Navy is becoming less and less relevant, down-scaling and heading towards obsolescence (like soldiers on horseback and bayonets) – I can’t see that winning him many extra votes from the brave sailors and others in his armed forces.

    At least the prickly issue of US Navy ship visits into New Zealand’s precious pristine ports will gradually disappear, so every cloud…

    • 2ndAmendment

      US Navy is becoming less and less relevant, down-scaling and heading towards obsolescence

      Well that’s true, along with the Air Force. Do what Obama does, not what he says: buy Drones.

      Now – John Bolton, thankfully, is something totally different. He’ll be secretary of state for war, and it’s airbursts over Tehran!

      • farmgirl

        Why isn’t NZ making drones? Some of our amateur model aircraft people are already using all the sophisticated technology needed. There are heaps of peaceful uses for them, and massive economic potential in commercial uses.

        People in Canterbury, go visit amateur operations near Ferrymead, usually Sunday morning.

  • 2ndAmendment

    A so called “right wing” that is in actuality further left than the left wing of the Democrats.

    Hell yeah – ACT, the Conservatives and even the Leftertarianz are far, far to the left of Osama bin Kenya.

    For example, it’s sobering to think how ObK would have dealt with Tame’s army – sent in a couple of Predators and Hellfired the lot of ’em

  • 2ndAmendment

    But Rmoney is now ahead in every major poll nationwide, ahead in the Electoral college even according to RCP, ahead in the Senate.
    Obama’s only hope – indeed the communists only hope of keeping their one-vote majority on the supremes – is once again massive electoral fraud

    The OathKeepers, at least, are sworn not to accept a “president” elected by fraud!

  • This is such a beat up. The bit about Romney quoting the Navy themselves as saying they needed more ships is just brushed away as irrelevant.

  • Classic. Regardless of what a tiny country like NZ thinks, the mood in America seems to be that Obama is ahead in the race. Will be interesting to see how close it is in the end. I reckon if I lived in America I would vote democratic – the fact that they dont have a welfare state to speak of and you can sue dickheads as opposed to paying a fortune in levies for a no fault BS policy like ACC (and never getting anything back) makes their leftwing all very palatable.

    • 2ndAmendment

      The mood in the US, in Florida, Ohio, & PA is that Romney will wipe the floor with Obama. The US economy is tanking – there’s no way they want Osama back in again.

  • Redneck

    “the fact that they dont have a welfare state to speak of”

    甚麼 ?

    it stands, there are 185 means tested welfare programs on the books
    with an annual cost of $700 billion. If you add in state welfare
    programs, the total cost of US welfare ratchets up to $900 billion. By
    2010, federal spending on the Food And Nutrition Assistance Program
    alone had approached $100 billiiion annually by 2010.

    . . . and correct me if I’m wrong, but I don’t think this includes Medicare, Medicaid sCHIP spending.

    • But it’s not really the same as the DPB, UB, IB, SB, DA, free health & education system, ACC & Working for Families (Family Assistance, In Work Tax Credit, Accom supp, Childcare & OSCAR subsidies) etc is it? Quoting the billions means nothing when you are referring to 250 odd million people.

      Proportionately it’s nothing compared to the $2.7 billion in welfare, $13.7 billion in health & $12.4 billion in education for a population of merely 4.4 million….

      • Redneck

        In the 2012 fiscal year the US federal government spent $3.538 trillion dollars.
        Welfare, education and health spending accounted for 44% of that budget . . and that excludes social security – another 17%.

      • farmgirl

        Welfare is around $11 billion.

        • 2ndAmendment

          Actually NZ treasury says direct financial welfare is $26 BILLION

          NZ’s total welfare bill is about $52 BILLION, ONE BILLION A WEEK and all borrowed from China.

          I see state schooling induced its usual level of numeracy…

        • Actually we are both well out. My figure related to WFF only (just quickly looked it up so grabbed the first figure I found – oops!)

          2011 welfare in various forms was $22 billion. $10 billion for NZ Super, $2.7 billion is for WFF and about $5 billion is for the main working age benefits.

  • AnonWgtn

    New Zealand should just send in Dotcon – he would frighten anybody.

    • farmgirl

      Somebody commented some months ago (not this blog) they presumed we were holding on to him and looking after him because he was our secret weapon, that we could threaten to explode over China.

  • JC


    The last successful US horseback military operation was Afghanistan 2001/02. The last bayonet charge was Iraq 2004 and there are now hundreds of thousands more bayonets in the US military than in 1913.. the date Romney was talking about. Also ships don’t cruise underwater.. thats “boats” aka submarines.

    So Barry was substantially wrong on every point and he just lost Virginia with his sneering belittlement of Virginia’s oldest and largest Navy owned shipbuilding facility. All these points will feature in Romney ads over the next few days.

    What the silly man did was expose his total lack of knowledge, empathy and history of the military he controls.. he’s toast.


    • Bunswalla

      Hmm, interesting take on it, JC. In fact, what the man did is point out to Rmoney, in as many words, that he knows nothing about the nature of modern warfare. He didn’t say “we have no horses and don’t use any bayonets” he said they had FEWER horse and bayonets than they did in 1917. Which is perfectly true. Rmoney failed miserably, again, by pointing out something totally irrelevant and getting his arse handed to him.

      • JC

        This is what Obama said:

        “I think Governor Romney maybe hasn’t spent enough time looking at how our military works.
        You mentioned the Navy, for example, and that we
        have fewer ships than we did in 1916. Well, Governor, we also have
        fewer horses and bayonets, because the nature of our military’s changed.
        We have these things called aircraft carriers, where planes land on
        them. We have these ships that go underwater, nuclear submarines.”
        So yes, he’s right that there’s fewer horses but wrong to imply that they are of no use to the US military as proved in Afghanistan. On bayonets he’s hopelessly wrong.. in 1916 the US army and National guard was just around 200,000, which naturally means thats about the number of bayonets that *might* have been available.. today the US military including the Marine Corps have something like 700-800,000 bayonets.
        On ships, the US Navy has about half what it had 25 years ago and its fully committed. For all the technical brilliance of this diminishing asset it cannot be in two places at once and cannot implement Obama’s developing doctrine of “The Pivot To Asia” in which he is promising defence alignments with a number of Asian nations.
        On subs he’s also got a problem, China has more in the Pacific than he does.
        Romney’s statement(s) on the navy are correct and supported by the Congressional Record on US Navy statements on how it is struggling to meet current requirements let alone The Pivot To Asia.

        • Bunswalla

          Way to consistently miss the point.

        • Kimbo

          “Explaining is losing”

  • Beans

    Trending on Twatter!!!!! Like!!!! xD

    Fuck, journalism is decrepit.

  • blazer

    Obama backed by Wall St or Romney backed by Wall ST….what a ‘choice’!