The Bayonet Industry Is Not Very Happy with President Obama

President Obama was on top of his game at Monday night's presidential debate. In their last primetime meeting before election day, Obama walked circles around his challenger Mitt Romney on everything from the government's progress in the war on terror...

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Oct 23 2012, 4:15pm

President Obama was on top of his game at Monday night’s presidential debate. In their last primetime meeting before election day, Obama walked circles around his challenger Mitt Romney on everything from the government’s progress in the war on terror to the best way to deal with Iran. The president also showed up with a pocket full of zingers for Mitt, but his best moment by far was off the cuff. After Romney made a remark about how the Navy has fewer ships than it did in 1916, Obama created a meme out of thin air.

“You mentioned the Navy, for example, and that we have fewer ships than we did in 1916,” said the president. “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. It’s not a game of Battleship where we’re counting ships, it’s ‘What are our priorities?’”

“Horses and bayonets” was an instant sensation. The fun people took the quote and turned it into all kinds of silly things like these two" parody Tumblrs, fake Twitter accounts and about a whole lotta laughs. The grumpy people immediately took offense at Obama’s slightly sloppy interpretation of the military’s penchant for classic transportation and weaponry. After all, the military does still issue bayonets to our soldiers. It’s an “effective” tool in hand-to-hand combat, though that happens rarely in wars these days.

Among those grumpy people, unsurprisingly, is the bayonet industry. Dusting off their rare political reporting chops, TMZ talked to a few folks in the bayonet business, who are all offended by Obama’s remarks. “[Bayonets] are still distributed to the military all the time,” said Dan Riker of Bayonet Inc., who called Obama “ignorant” for not knowing this. “He should get educated on it.”

To be fair, Obama did say that we use fewer horses and bayonets, not none at all. And if he hadn’t said it, bayonets wouldn’t have gotten any attention at all, and Americans might go on believing that they’d disappeared from our military arsenal. Furthermore, nobody’s talking about the horses. Thanks to Obama’s quotable quote, I now know that the United States used horses when we invaded Afghanistan. Those cavalry men probably had bayonets strapped to their belts, too. Because, God bless America.

Image via Flickr