The amusing hashtag, “Things That Work Better Than Congress,” trended on Twitter for most of the day on Sunday (and is still trending in the top three at the time of this writing), which made for plenty of LULZ (Twitter slang for cyber laughs) with such Tweets as “Tom Cruise as Jack Reacher,” or “dead batteries.” We at Addicting Info thought we’d join in the fun. Following is our countdown of things of a political nature that worked better (or rather just as badly) as the 2012 Congress:
10. Mitt Romney’s spray-on tan
When Mitt Romney appeared on the Spanish-language television network Univision in an attempt to appeal to Latino voters, there was something rather odd about his appearance. He looked more, well, orange, than usual. Many accused Romney of attempting to ‘look more Latino’ for his Univision appearance, but according to Buzzfeed, while the Romney campaign insisted his unique look was just a bit of overly harsh makeup, Buzzfeed’s “knowledgeable source” said yeah, it was a spray-on tan.
9. Slashing your political opponent’s tires
Just a few days ago, Republican congressional candidate for New Mexico, Gary Smith, was arrested for slashing the tires of opponent and fellow Republican, Janice Arnold-Jones (see coverage here). The incident was captured on surveillance video, but Smith is denying, denying, denying. Smith was earlier thrown off the ballot for invalid voter petitions.
8. The war on drugs
According to “My Two Dollars,” a whopping $9 billion of our tax dollars are spent dealing with marijuana laws each year. To what avail? Marijuana use has become such an acceptable activity that two states, Colorado and Washington, recently legalized it for recreational use. And, according to Rolling Stone, many more are likely to follow.
7. Aspirin-between-the-knees birth control
It’s a rare thing to see MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell lose her composure, but when conservative Christian activist billionaire, Foster Friess, appeared on “Andrea Mitchell Reports” to support his then-chosen pick for the presidency, Rick Santorum, the discussion turned to the hot topic of insurance-covered contraception. Friess said, “And this contraceptive thing – my gosh, it’s so – it’s such – inexpensive. You know, back in my days, they used Bayer Aspirin for contraception. The gals put it between their knees and it wasn’t that costly.” If you haven’t seen it, you must watch the video for Mitchell’s response.
6. Fox News’ fact-checking system
It’s no secret that the amount of facts Fox News distorts or gets outright wrong could fill volumes. The latest much-publicized flub came with a story run on Fox News’ website about California’s budget deficit. On December 22, Fox News ran a story reporting that the budget was $28 billion. However, California’s Legislative Analyst’s Office insisted it was only $1.9 billion. On the same day as the story ran, California Governor Jerry Brown politely asked Fox News to fix their error. They didn’t. He then asked less politely, again, to no avail (see his emails at SF Weekly) Jerry Brown then began a social networking campaign to get Fox News to fix their error, and this past Friday, they finally did. The budget numbers were corrected in the article, and at the end is the following Editor’s Note: “An earlier version of this article misstated California’s latest deficit projections. The article has also been updated to clarify who is affected by the new tax increase.”
5. Clint Eastwood’s empty chair skit
Who could forget the image of the icon star stammering, rambling, and railing at an empty chair during the Republican National Convention? The painful skit actually started out well, but quickly went south as Eastwood began addressing a ‘sitting and invisible’ President Obama. “What do you want me to tell Romney?” Eastwood inquired of the empty chair. “I can’t tell him to do that to himself!” After the speech, Twitter went wild (one of the more humorous Tweets came from University of Virginia’s Center for Politics, Larry Sabato, who wrote, “I’d feel better if I knew for sure that Clint doesn’t see anyone in the chair.”) Overall, the speech was considered a political backfire. See video of it here.
4. Spending nearly $100 Million to win a Senate Seat
Linda McMahon, the pro-wrestling mogul married to fellow pro-wrestling mogul, Vince McMahon, desperately wants to be a politician. She’s run twice to represent Connecticut in the U.S. Senate, but lost both times to Democratic challengers. Most striking about Linda’s campaigns were the gross amounts of personal money she spent on them. According to the New York Times, Linda spent nearly $100 million on both Senate campaigns – that’s a whole lotta’ money for nothing. But if there’s one thing voters learned from the 2012 election results, it’s that money can’t buy love for even the wealthiest political hopefuls. And that leads us to…
3. Donating to Karl Rove’s American Crossroads Super Pac
As it turned out, it’s not much different than just throwing your money in the garbage (if your garbage gave you back a 1% return on your investment). According to the Sunlight Foundation, American Crossroads spent $103.5 million in the general election, and yet all of the candidates the group supported lost, while most of the candidates it opposed won. See Addicting Info’s full coverage here.
2. Abstinence-only education
…because we all know how effective it is to simply tell a teenager not to do something. Despite the many, many studies showing how abstinence-only education is completely ineffective at preventing teen pregnancy or the spread of sexually transmitted disease, conservatives continue to push this education in their schools, rather than more comprehensive and clinically successful sex-ed programs. Why? Because the Bible says sex before marriage is a sin, and that’s all these young ’uns need to know. (Er, except nowhere in the Bible does it say sex before marriage is a sin.) Maybe it’s just because conservative parents don’t like to blush too much. See the great Justin Rosario’s coverage on abstinence-only education here.
1. Mitt Romney’s Project ORCA
And last but not least, the infamous Project ORCA which, while a failure, still worked better than Congress in 2012! ORCA was a sophisticated poll-monitoring system meant to send resources to low-voter-turnout areas and get would-be Republican voters to the polls. Romney campaign spokewoman, Andrea Saul, bragged to the Huffington Post that the system would provide “an enormous advantage on election day.” To make a long story short, ORCA beached itself with a resounding crash. The hacker movement Anonymous took credit for the tech issues (see Addicting Info’s coverage here), but while the failed app was purported to cost Romney “thousands of votes,” Romney actually lost the election by millions of votes.
If you can think of things that worked better than Congress in 2012 (and pretty much anything you think of will do), join the fun and share your thoughts on Twitter with the hashtag #ThingsThatWorkBetterThanCongress.