Free Markets, Free People

Trashing the left on Twitter

John Hinderaker at Powerline discusses what Dale, Michael and I talked about briefly on the podcast last night – i.e. how the left (particularly the Obama campaign) continues to get “clobbered” on Twitter.

If you’re not a denizen of Twitter, you may be unaware of the “streams” represented by hashtags.  Twitter followers know to follow certain streams to keep up on particular conversations/events even if they don’t follow everyone participating in that convo.

Literally thousands will watch a particular Twitter stream represented by a hashtagged word.  Think #Olympics2012 for instance.  Or #WorldSeries2012.  Dancing with the Stars has its own #DWTS hashtags. And fans flock to read what is said in that stream.  Hashtags are added to the end of Twitter messages and direct them to those particular streams for everyone to read.

That’s what the Obama administration and the left in general has been trying to use for some time to use to establish narratives or conversations they think will be beneficial to them.  And for the vast majority of them, it has blown up in their faces because almost immediately, the hashtag they publish becomes a target of the right and, frankly, it ends up being highjacked.

The most recent examples are given by John:

Maybe it’s because Twitter puts a premium on brevity and cleverness. I don’t know. But for some reason, it seems to be a natural medium for conservatives. We saw it when the Hilary Rosen interview (“Ann Romney never worked a day in her life”) prompted a Twitterstorm. We saw it again when #ObamaEatsDogs exploded, and when #Julia blew up in the White House’s face like an exploding cigar. Currently, the White House is promoting #AskMichelle, where loyal Democrats can go to ask the First Lady a question. Only nearly all of the questions have come from conservatives. A sampling:

-When you vacation in Hawaii, can you see the rise of the oceans beginning to slow?
-What’s up this week for the @BarackObama campaign and “Operation Change the Subject” (to anything except the economy)?
-Do you still exchange May Day cards with Bill and Bernadette?
-Do you think your daughters should request affirmative actions preferences?
-Do you still get Christmas cards from the Rezkos and Blagojeviches?
-So who succeeded you at that critical, highly important $300k/year community outreach job at UC hospital?
-I have several friends who specialize in relocation. Shall I give them your number so they can help you relocate in January?

You have to know that such attempts and the result must really frustrate the on-line types at the Obama Campaign headquarters.  It is like they set them up on a tee for the right.

One of the things I asked last night was how such a supposedly net savvy campaign staff could repeatedly do these sorts of things and expect different results?   How many times do you have to see the same thing happen before you figure out that the strategy is fatally flawed?

The answer?  When you figure out it isn’t 2008 anymore.  I’m not sure his staff has figured that out yet.  In 2008, they likely could have gotten away with this.  But 2012 brings us what?  Oh, yeah, a president with a record, something he lacked 4 years ago.

And, as we’ve seen, he’s reluctant to talk about it, certainly isn’t touting it and provides few venues for others to question him about it.

Except with his clueless Twitter gang.

Long may they continue to flail away trying to find some hashtag that won’t provide the usual .  They at least provide some comic relief to this travesty.

Forward.

~McQ

Twitter: @McQandO

28 Responses to Trashing the left on Twitter

  • It is the echo chamber effect.  When you’re surrounded with like minded people you never get a taste for what it is going to be like for people who disagree.  The left is notorious for this.  It is much like the ivory tower.  They don’t have a clue as to what is going on down on main street.  So when they come down with their pronouncements on what is good for Joe sixpack and Joe sixpack doesn’t like it then the elite left gets blindsided by the opposition.

  • Bruce:
    When I saw Hinderaker’s post I laughed out loud, and I was very surprised that a smart righty like you who I respect and read when you pop up on memeorandum would buy in.
    Bill Clinton, Eliot Spitzer and John Hinderaker walk into a bar. The talk turns to sex, and as guys do, they boast. Clinton says, “I got a great blow job from Monica.” Spitzer says, “Ashley was a great lay.” Hinderaker says, “I can top that. I jerk off more than the both of you combined.”
    That’s Hinderaker’s Twitter argument. If you righties want to amuse yourself on Twitter and delude yourself into thinking it’s a salient metric, go for it. Moreover, the “left” can probably “win” some Twitter battles by nut-picking the flood you’re bragging on. You remember, Grenell had to delete 800 tweets the left was trumpeting before he decided to spend more time with his family for other reasons

    • Please tell us more about how it doesn’t matter. ;)

    • “If you righties want to amuse yourself on Twitter and delude yourself into thinking it’s a salient metric, go for it.”  Really?  The hipster cool toy doesn’t matter so it’s okay if the righty bullies might take it away?   But by the end of the same paragraph you’re citing Grenell dropping out to spend more time with his family after deleting his Twitter based naughtiness?  Which is it, Twitter matters, or it doesn’t?  Or is this like an Obama thing trying to butter the bread on both sides just in case.

      • looker:
         
        Were you paying attention? Grennell dropped out because the gay-bashers in the GOP hated his guts, not because of his Twitter nonsense.
         
        In any event. To clarify, even IF the Twitter Wars have something like the salience Hinderaker attributes to it, which I seriously doubt, the result is just as likely to damage the right as to strengthen it because it will offer lots of opportunity for the left to go nut-picking.
         
        A bunch of anonymous right-wingers with high-school literacy and a junior-high sense of humor Tweeting away at the First Lady is a prospect I as an Obot rather savor.

        • The Michelle thing is an example, one of many. But what you have to understand is the fact that whatever he has attempted (or his campaign attempts) gets highjacked and ends up being abandoned. Why? Because it gives a forum to the right to question his record. And that’s not the sort of opportunity this administration ought to be offering up. Whether or not you like Twitter or not, or whether you participate or not, millions of others do – and it does have a political impact.

          • Bruce:
             
            Sorry. Still can’t get a handle on your commenting system. I’ll try the blockquote again:
             
            Because it gives a forum to the right to question his record.

            You have GOT to be kidding. I’m as happy and committed an Obot as you’re likely to meet and I myself could “question his record” better than that. What I see on that hashtag, and what Hinderaker quoted above, isn’t record-questioning, it’s junior-high heckling about vacations. Clever? It’s not smart enough yet to qualify as stupid.

            Classic example of Tallyrand’s (or whoever’s) quote about the ancien regime: They have forgotten nothing, and learned nothing.

          • Heckling to one man is facetious questioning to another. It is certainly questioning though. The fact that it is pointed and irreverent is without dispute which is something the Obamites can’t stand. More importantly, and I’m apparently not getting this across, the hijacking kills the attempt by the campaign to engage their constituency in what they see as political outreach. That’s a win in most political spheres.

          • Shallow? Childish? So then how does it differ in ay way from everything the left says now in days?

        • “In any event. To clarify, even IF the Twitter Wars have something like the salience Hinderaker attributes to it, which I seriously doubt, the result is just as likely to damage the right as to strengthen it because it will offer lots of opportunity for the left to go nut-picking.”
           
          Okay, tell that to Grennell – only he could delete his Tweets (twits) and he seemed to think he had to do that, unless it was the gay-basher’s in the GOP that made him do it.  Unlikely, right?  So Grennell thought it was important, and those using his own words on him thought they were important.
           
          The ‘new media’ is no longer the provenience of the left, as it tended to be in ’08, and what’s more, the right in the last few months, has adequately demonstrated they can, and will, negate the effects of both new media, and old media narratives when the left fails to do due diligence on them.  So even if it’s merely a slugfest and no side dominates the field, what matters is this time around the left is not going unchallenged in an area where they WERE dominant last time around.  That probably is going to matter.
           
          If they didn’t think it was effective, why are they still creating hashtags at Obama HQ?  #readytogo, #40Dollars, #dontdoublemyrent, #forward, #Gen44, #IlikeObamaCare, #askobama, #WhatisRomneyHiding
           
          http://www.pbs.org/newshour/bb/politics/jan-june12/dailydownload_05-03.html
          Even old media thinks it’s as least worthy of a story.

          • The ‘new media’ is no longer the provenience of the left, as it tended to be in ’08, and what’s more, the right in the last few months, has adequately demonstrated they can, and will, negate the effects of both new media, and old media narratives when the left fails to do due diligence on them.  So even if it’s merely a slugfest and no side dominates the field, what matters is this time around the left is not going unchallenged in an area where they WERE dominant last time around.  That probably is going to matter.

            >>>> WINNAH!

        • Did you know Obama ate dog?

    • Twitter is the “feet on the ground” of the social media, Jf … and that’s the reason the Obama campaign tries to use it. Getting it turned on them at every attempt is not only hilarious, it’s news. These were the supposedly savvy new media types who brought us this abomination of an administration by manipulating the media system so adroitly. Or that’s the myth anyway.

      To see them so inept is pretty interesting. To see them so consistently inept is, again, news.

      The question becomes “why?” And the why goes to the reasons I mentioned. They’re not selling a “fill in your dream of what ‘hope and change’ means to you” candidate, they’re running a guy with a lousy record 4 years later. I’m convinced that for some reason they still think it is 2008 and they can pull this BS off again. I’m constantly amused that they still don’t get that’s not going to happen … and the trashing they take on Twitter simply points out that nothing has changed in that regard.

      • Bruce:
         
        Thanks for responding. This:
         
        Twitter is the “feet on the ground” of the social media,
         
        Is something of a circular argument, i.e., that’s the very premise I’m disputing. I think in the political sphere it’s a toy for adolescents play-acting at political engagement. The fact that a bunch of frat boys have a venue in which to act like frat-boys proves merely that frat-boys will be frat boys.
         
        Do you REALLY think the Obama campaign isn’t aware that the internet is brimming with trolls? All they have to do is, well, you know, not feed them. And do you REALLY think they “abandon” their little hashtag ideas because they got hijacked rather than because, well, how long does ANY hashtag last before it’s played out?
        I nut-picked something just for you. How come Hinderaker isn’t quoting that one?
         

        • Really, it’s not … not if you’ve spent anytime at all watching what goes on. It is a organizing tool par excellence. Adjustments made on the fly. Exceptional and very quick crowd sourcing. It is means of quickly spreading information and directing it that is unmatched in any other sphere. It is hardly a toy anymore. Anyone that hasn’t realized that is way behind the power curve.

          Of course he’s aware of the existence of trolls, but he’s also seemingly impervious to the fact that he isn’t helping himself with these lame attempts to engage. Hashtags can last as long as you’d like, months or longer in fact. In the case of his, they die at birth.

          As for your pick … you said it first … “the internet is brimming with trolls”. But it isn’t the trolls trying to get that hashtag off the ground is it? And one assumes there’s a reason, a strategy behind the hashtag – and yet, unless it is to prove your point about trolls, it isn’t being accomplished is it?

        • You’re downplaying it by demonstrating there are idiots loose on the net and twitter….who knew?   :)   And you’re right.
           
          So, now explain the raft of hashtags from the campaign.
           
          Were they hoping for the juvenile right wing idiots to get on to keep them occupied?  What was the point of creating the hashtags?  If they’re intended to be useful, how do people trying to use them go through the chaff put out by the idiots without, uh, going through the chaff put out by the idiots?  If they’re potentially useful, and fail at that because they are buried in a load of juvenile manure, doesn’t that cede one formerly useful mechanism to the juvenile Republicans?

  • Pres. Dog Breath seems snake-bite of late.  NOTHING the Collective has tried has worked for them, and an army of Breitbarts have successfully applied the mockage.

  • It’s the age of pushback. The left got away with blood libel after the Giffords shooting but that’s the last one they get. Your narrative will be thrown back in your face, bank on it.
     
    Be Breitbart

  • “-Do you think your daughters should request affirmative actions preferences?”
    What I can say is that the Obamas make more now than when they went to college.  With an AGI over $180,000, which even with their reduced income from his books the Obamas did manage to exceed this past year, they will be excluded from any tuition tax credits from their daughters college costs.
    This is the unseen “rich taxes” that Obama often forgets about .. not only to the “rich” pay more, they get nothing in return.

    • Now now, it’s not ALL the rich that we’re trying to punish, only those that might contribute to someone other than Obama (their actual votes don’t count much).  There are very clearly a large number of very rich people who think they aren’t going to be caught up in this punish the 1% (evil conservatives) thing.

  • Several reasons I can think of why this is good.

    1. It’s practically free, costing only time (and a cell/net connection that you’d have anyway).

    2. It’s fun getting your snark on.

    3. It’s bubble-bursting. For too long, leftists have been able to sit in their little enclaves, rl and virtual, and never hear a dissenting voice. Time to get in their faces with some reality.

    4. It gets the word out. There are a lot of young people on twitter, most of whom have been fed a steady and exclusive diet of leftist propaganda. They don’t know any better because they’ve never heard any different.

    5. It’s empowering. Some of those young people are secretly conservative, but have kept their mouths shut because they think they’re the only ones. Let them know they’re not alone.

    6. It puts the lie to the stereotype that conservatives are a bunch of prudish, out-of-touch Luddites who don’t even know how to use email.

    Maybe it’s juvenile, but if juveniles are who you’re trying to reach, that’s not a bug, it’s a feature. I’d actually love to see this expanded to tumblr, as well. Tumblr’s a much more visual medium (twitpics notwithstanding), so it would take a little more work and technical skill to do graphics and videos, but images have more impact.

  • As if this post needed any illustrating….some stupid twit from Newsweek compared Ann Romney to Hitler and Stalin, and thanks to twitter pushback, is in full hiding mode.
     
    You don’t get this battlefield ceeded to you anymore. Sorry. If that means nobody gets it…..then fine. Strategy of denial is perfectly valid at times.

    • Better even a draw than what we got last time around.  One trick pony is out of tricks.