Archive - Jul 2011

July 21st

Good Luck Finding A 140 IQ.

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Memo to the Twitter Debaters: TECHNICALLY, YOU'RE ALL LOSERS.

Yesterday, TheTeaParty.Net, one of the hundreds of 20-member teabagger groups out there, I guess, held an entire GOP primary debate on Twitter. This isn't like those other times, when the questions come over Twitter and the answers can be as long as they need or want to be, no. Everyone who participated participated in 140-character chunks. I know what you're thinking. Isn't 140 characters an incredible extravagance for expressing ideas the Teabagger Nation would understand? And you would be right.

But some people use Twitter better than others, which is why, as someone who uses Twitter exceptionally well, I feel I'm fit to judge this debate. Not on policy, but on the criteria I think are important when tweeting. Keep in mind that Mitt Romney didn't participate because he still has to pretend he's above all this, and Tim Pawlenty didn't participate because, well, why should he start now? Ron Paul declined because Twitter doesn't run on the gold standard.

CRITERIA ONE: AVOIDANCE OF EXCESSIVE ABBREVIATION.

When you're dealing with only 140 characters - or, in the case of this debate, 126 characters because they had to address the comments to the host, there is a great temptation to just abbreviate and shorten words, text-message style, rather than trying to get your thoughts across using actual words. This is, of course, frowned upon by all right-thinking people, but apparently embraced with great gusto by these right-non-thinking-people.

We'll be judging this one on the opening statements alone - everyone got three tweets to start. This one was VERY close. We have Gary "Who?" Johnson, who used his three tweets to tell everyone he was Gary Johnson and to watch his YouTube video "Who Is Gary Johnson" to find out who the fuck Gary Johnson is. Total abbreviations? One "&" instead of "and". Of course, in that tweet, he finished with eight characters to spare, meaning he could have spelled it out.

And then there's Herman Cain, who also got through three tweets with only one "&" replacing "and", all while sucking up to the Tea Party, giving a very abbreviated version of his resume, working in the phrase "America's CEO", and sucking up to the moderators. And while he also could have spelled out "and" if he'd wanted to, it would have brought him right to the 140 limit if he had. So here's something you'll never hear again: HERMAN CAIN WINS!

The big loser in this category? Batshit Bachmann, or, in keeping with the theme of the category, Btsh Bchm. In just three tweets, she used one TY (thank you), one 4 (for), one POTUS (President), one 2 (to), one $ (dollars), two &'s (and), a ltd (limited), a govt (government), one ur (your), and one WH (White House). She even TWEETS just like Palin.

CRITERIA TWO: FUCKING UP.

Fucking up means any number of things. Abandoning an idea mid-tweet and starting over, screwing up hashtagging, screwing up links, talking out of turn, whatever. We'll be handling this one by single elimination. Whoever's the last to fuck up wins.

Newt Gingrich is out with his first tweet, which is really a metaphor for his entire campaign. ACTUAL TWEET TIME!

"We don’t need Obama’s 'balanced approach' (code for raise taxes). We need a balanced @140townhalltownhall" Man, that's brutal. Not only does he just stop at "balanced", and no, he doesn't pick it up again in his next tweet, but he also adds an extra "townhall" on the end of the moderator's name. If a horse did that out of the gate, they'd take him to a trailer and shoot him.

Gingrich (again), Cain, and Santorum then all get eliminated for answering the first question after the time limit ended. Sorry, but if you can't pay attention to the moderators, you're out of luck. It only takes a second to not hit "send".

Thaddeus McCotter was looking strong (another sentence you'll never hear again), but ends a tweet mid-word talking about how the left's "peace dividend" is a myth and a lie. So it's down to Gary Johnson and Btsh Bchm. It's neck and neck. It's down to the wire...

Oh, and Johnson trips up! He drops a short tweet demanding immediate withdrawal from Iraq, Afghanistan, and Libya right after the moderator called "time". Which is a shame, because I would have liked to see Herman Cain rebut by asking if "Johnson" was French.

CATEGORY THREE: CRAZIEST FUCKING THING IN A SINGLE TWEET.

This is a Tea Party debate, so while I personally don't approve of crazy-ass wingnuttery, being able to pack the most of it in a single tweet IS a criteria for victory here. The nominees!

Herman Cain: "I support personalization accounts as an alternative for younger works to invest in. It worked in Chile and Galveston, Texas."

Thaddeus McCotter: "I reject the premise of the question,4 it's a corollary 2 the Left's inane "peace dividend" trope of the 90s. The current fisc"

Newt Gingrich: "(cont.) Audit & reform Fed Reserve; repeal Dodd-Frank, Sarbanes Oxley, Comm Reinvestment Act; break up Freddie and Fannie"

Btsh Bchm: "I will not rest until Obamacare is repealed. You can take it to the bank."

Rick Santorum: "The Tea Party is now the backbone of the conservative movement. It will help elect a principled conservative leader for 2012."

Gary Johnson disqualified himself by not really trying in this category.

This is a tough call to make. I mean, Bachmann has clearly been resting, and doing all kinds of other things, even though Obamacare is still the law of the land. McCotter was clearly the craziest over the course of the entire debate, just rambling like a drunken Ron Paul and hitting ENTER every 140, mid-word or otherwise. Rick Santorum thinks there's a principled conservative anywhere near this race. And who can deny that Newt Gingrich is an epic cont?

But I think this has to go to Herman Cain for the most bizarre non-sequitur in what was otherwise, for Cain, a restrained performance. Privatizing social security worked "in Chile and Galveston, Texas"? Even assuming those two locales have something akin to Social Security, and even assuming he's right that it worked there, those are not two data points anyone should be comfortable using to dismantle the New Deal.

So, with two points to her one, Herman Cain edges out Btsh Bchm as the winner of the first-ever Tea Party Twitter Debate! Doesn't that make you feel all warm and fuzzy about democracy?