Skip to main content

The Heritage Foundation’s political action spinoff, Heritage Action, didn’t waste any time getting its reaction to President Obama’s reelection out.  In fact, its video, Stand With Us, was published on Youtube on November 6, Election Day.  Romney didn’t concede until after midnight but the folks at Heritage Action must have indulged in too many buttershots and occasional beer chasers to care because Youtube’s video statistics says they didn’t wait for him.  

It’s not like Heritage Action threw their video together hastily as the results were coming in on election night.   It was produced in advance because Heritage knew like everyone else that there was at least a 50/50 chance that Romney would lose.   I take stories about Romney's shell shock the same way I take everything Republicans say.  It’s a lie told for a reason.

Heritage Action’s video continues the rightwing’s familiar strategy of all lying all the time.    Out of carelessness or bravado, the video puts its lies right on the screen.  Let’s have a look.

Michael Needham, Heritage Action’s CEO narrates the video with the dead seriousness of a three-year old whose rattle has just been stolen from his hands.  President Obama’s reelection is “a devastating blow” he tells his audience.  At the exact point in his tantrum when he warns that Obama will, in the next four years “continue exploding federal spending” a graphic appears, briefly, and it contradicts Needham’s script.

Did you catch it?   Let me slow that way down for you.

Images used in Heritage Action's video contradict the story told by the narrator.
The screenshots on the right were captured from the video at 0:18 – 0:19.  They show the US Debt Clock ticking a set of numbers that reflect US fiscal policy.  The numbers are continually updating in real time.  

Focus your attention on the three numbers on the left edge of the clock:
•  US Public Debt Subject to Limit
•  US National Debt
•  US Federal Spending

From the first frame to the last, the number for the US Public Debt Subject to Limit advances from $16,037,495,161,227 to $16,037,495,168,474 an increase of $ 7,247.

Similarly, from the first frame to the last, the number for the US National Debt advances from $16,218,543,294,584 to $16,218,543,301,512 an increase of $6,948.

Look at the number for US Federal Spending.  From the first frame to the last, it decreased, from, $3,550,412,688,196 to $3,550,412,687,539, or $657.

The US Debt Clock continues to register a decrease in the amount of US Federal Spending so that today it shows  $3,548,328,881,096 as I write this diary.  That’s a drop of $2,083,807,100 from the amount shown in Heritage Action’s video.  
The number for the US Federal Budget Deficit has been dropping too.  The CBO wrote about the shrinking numbers a month before the video was posted and also the day after it was posted.

Heritage Action uses a similar deception 25 seconds later in the video.  Overlapping sounds and images are supposed to reinforce the sense of ominous doom the video tries to create.  In the jumble of faces and voices that come and go quickly there’s a female newscaster who reports that “the Dow dropped nearly a thousand points.”  Let’s stop there and have a look.

This doesn’t pass the smell test because the stock market, in general, has performed remarkably well since Obama took office.  From Inauguration Day in 2009 until November 6, when the video was posted, the Dow increased 67% but the video intends to attribute a drop of nearly a thousand points to Obama.  

In the May 6, 2010, "Flash Crash," the Dow dropped suddenly due to an electronic trading glitch.
Were there ever any trading days during Obama’s first term when such news could have been reported?  It turns out that there was only one such day, on May 6, 2010, the date of the "Flash Crash."  Since Obama took office, there has been no other instance of an intraday low that fell far enough from the previous day’s close so that a newscaster could say “the Dow dropped nearly a thousand points.”  

There’s irony here that shouldn’t go unnoticed.   In trying to fabricate a sense of economic disaster caused by the President’s policies, Heritage Action references an infamous episode that only proves the unmitigated risk Wall Street imposes on the rest of America.  The "Flash Crash" was a unique glitch that began when electronic program trading triggered a runaway sell off that somehow evaded control to allow intervention by humans.  It occurred during a normal trading day when, without warning, the Dow dropped nearly a thousand points in a half hour.  When the problem was corrected, the Dow recovered almost as quickly as it had fallen.  If you listen closely to the video, after “the Dow dropped nearly a thousand points,” you can hear the newscaster’s voice trailing off with “in a half hour.”

It may seem like I’m nitpicking when there are more inflammatory and even alarming statements in Heritage Action’s video.  Obama’s victory in the election is gratifying.   There’s satisfaction in winning.  At the same time, organizations like the Heritage Foundation help to shape conservative opinions and they have no gripes unless they lie.  That isn’t going to change.  

EMAIL TO A FRIEND X
Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags

?

More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site