we still remember mitch hedberg

A severed foot is the ultimate stocking stuffer.

Jun 18th 2014

Do I live in ‘US America’ or ‘US Weekly’*?

Originally written November 7, 2012. Previously unpublished.

I wrote this the day after the 2012 presidential election. Like one of those angry emails you’re supposed to sleep on, I didn’t post it, thinking I might reconsider. I haven’t. Eighteen months later, recalling Mitt’s loss still makes me shake my head.

*(US Weekly is a celebrity gossip magazine, heavy on glossy photos and fluff, but without any substance.)

Obama was not reelected on his record. He was elected because people wanted to have a beer with him. He aggressively and unfairly slandered Romney and ran out the clock on any exposure of his own failures over the last four years. And the media was unbelievably complicit in all of this.

Just look at a few examples.

Any of the problems surrounding (before, during, or after) the Benghazi Libya terrorist attack on September 11, 2012 were more explosive than President Nixon’s famous scandal at the Watergate Hotel (Watergate death count: zero).

In Benghazi, our consulate was vulnerable because requests for increased security were repeatedly denied. Four brave Americans died because the administration didn’t want to create an incident by sending in backup to repel the terrorist attack. Then the administration lied about the nature of the attack for the next two months. This was because the President’s foreign policy reelection argument was based on his (false) claim that al Qaida was “decimated” and “on the run.”

Obama Foreign Policy Disaster: ‘On The Run’ Al Qaeda Now Controls More Territory Than Ever

CBS held, until November 5th (Election Day was November 6th), a taped Obama interview from September 12th in which he said the previous day’s attack was not planned terrorism. This would have been useful after the fireworks of the second debate in which CNN’s Candy Crowley unbelievably and incorrectly fact-checked Mitt Romney (and bolstered Obama) on the topic. Wow, I mean, just think of the sheer newsworthiness of that information in CBS’ possession! You would think that would be important to a news organization. But they held it until it couldn’t do any damage to Obama. The story was overlooked and completely buried by election coverage on the day before the vote. I think CBS had to know that would happen.

The “Fast and Furious” gun walking program that gave American weapons to Mexican drug cartels was more explosive than Watergate (again, death toll: zero). At least one American border agent and hundreds of innocent Mexicans died in Obama’s gun scandal. The Obama administration has claimed it wasn’t involved, but has cited “executive privilege” to protect DOJ documents from disclosure to Congressional investigators. What in the world could be the purpose of giving guns to Mexican drug cartels? We don’t know and we might never know.

In almost countless instances, Obama has failed to comply with laws that apply to the executive branch and failed to fulfill basic, clear promises he himself has made.

I will list a few below. Almost any one of these is worse than George HW Bush’s “read my lips no new taxes” pledge that he violated and that many historians agree got him voted out:

Obama promised the most transparent administration ever. He’s had one of the least transparent.

Obama promised bills would be online for five days prior to a vote and that Obamacare negotiations would all be broadcast on CSPAN. It didn’t happen.

Obama promised reduced unemployment by Election Day (5.4%). He has missed that number by a mile.

Obama promised no lobbyists in his administration, but he has granted waivers to dozens.

Obama promised improved American standing in the Muslim world. Then 9/11/12 happened and we saw they hate us just as much as before — maybe more. And maybe some of that is due to Obama spiking the football over killing bin Laden.

Obama promised to lower taxes, told us Obamacare would cut costs, and that it merely contained a penalty, not a tax. Obamacare has drastically increased costs, is being enforced by the IRS, and the Supreme Court ruled that it is a tax.


When Obama was making all his promises about Obamacare the sad reality is that he was just making stuff up. Whatever he wanted us to believe


Obama promised to cut the deficit in half, but he doubled it. He promised he would not include a mandate in any federal healthcare bill. Yet he did. He promised to close Guantanamo in his first year. It is still open. These are just some of his failed promises and scandals.

By law, Obama was required, but failed, to timely disclose information so that employers could comply with the WARN Act. He violated this law for political purposes (layoffs would have been announced in October, days before the election).

His congress is required to pass an annual budget (but has not for three years). Obama submitted his and it was voted on three times, never garnering a single vote from any member of the house or senate of any political party any of the three times. Think about that.

Obama committed US troops to fighting a war in Libya in violation of the War Powers Act.

Obama gave hundreds of millions of dollars of borrowed stimulus money (our children’s debt) to donors of his 2008 campaign whose companies have failed and gone bankrupt in droves without providing hardly any jobs (the original, stated purpose of the stimulus was to provide “shovel ready jobs, but it was passed after the recession has already ended).

Obama has reduced drilling for oil on federal lands, said anyone who opens a coal plant in the US will go bankrupt if he has his way, and has delayed (and essentially rejected) the Keystone pipeline.

With all of the above, and with GDP growing at 1/2 or 1/3 of the rate it should be growing, unemployment above 8% for over 3.5 years, and gas prices doubled, the case against Obama’s reelection was so clear. It’s like I am taking crazy pills knowing he did not lose last night by a landslide.

But it wasn’t just Romney who couldn’t beat Obama. Conservatives received an absolute beatdown all across the country yesterday. By, I would argue, largely uninformed voters.

I mean, a Democrat who was shown to have cravenly lied about being a Native American in order to advance her legal teaching career won a senate seat in Massachusetts for goodness sake.

Uninformed Obama voters, Exhibit A:

Exhibit B (Language advisory):

The Obama-Biden-Axelrod-Cutter strategy in this election was clearly to play the low information voters by distorting the facts and relying on the media to cover for them.

Recall how many times at the debates, in response to a factually true statement from Romney or Ryan, the incumbent’s first response would be “that’s not true!” Ninety-plus percent of the time it was true. But the low information voters didn’t see that and the media didn’t care to bring it to their attention.

Even despite the painfulness of the beatdown, it was still relatively close in many races. I don’t blame Romney or any of the conservative candidates for losing this time.

But imagine if journalists were unbiased.

I hope our country rebounds, but I fear that the recovery under this administration may not be as good as it could be. Lest we think, “ah, then everyone will see once and for all that liberal ideas have failed and we need to return to conservative principles,” that didn’t work this time. Obama blamed his conservative predecessor for “failed policies” (even though the mortgage crisis that crashed our economy was almost entirely initiated, enabled, and mismanaged by democrats); blamed “gridlock” in Congress for why he couldn’t fix the economy during his first term (even though he had huge majorities in both the house and senate for two full years; and let’s not forget…the “headwinds.”

Journalists let Obama get away with those excuses this time and they will let Democrats do it again in four years.

It is a tragedy that Mitt lost this one. In terms of leadership and ideas, he was miles and miles beyond the incumbent.

Going forward, I have these concerns: Are conservatives going to be able to defeat the corrupt media and are they going to be able to woo the growing segment of “US Weekly” voters? If so, how?


Here’s an updated list of Obama’s failures 18 months into his second term.

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