We’re not even three months into the year, but American politicians have already made a number of social media gaffes in 2013. Looking at some of these Tweets, it’s pretty obvious that certain politicians should deactivate their Twitter accounts… if not their political careers altogether.
Texas Representative Steve Stockman ruffled a lot of feathers by asserting that the best thing about our planet is that we can get oil and gas from it when we abuse it. Talk about taking a callous attitude toward the environment. If oil is legitimately your favorite thing about Earth, then you’re probably a crooked politician whose top donor is the oil industry. Oh wait!
If you think that’s dumb, Mother Jones has a compelling article detailing why Stockman might be the “nuttiest” federal politician around today.
After Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said he hopes to be the first Iranian in space, Senator John McCain took to Twitter to make a joke about he was already there, referencing Iran’s supposed space launch of a monkey. Whether or not the racist undertones were intentional, the comment was in poor taste and drew criticism from fellow politicians.
McCain’s response to the controversy? “Lighten up.”
Michigan’s Republican National Committeeman, Dave Agema, has been a consistently vocal – though inaccurate – Obama critic. (He hates prayer! He’s a secret Muslim!) So imagine how exciting it was for Agema to come across a story about Obama’s illegitimate son being kept out of the limelight. The only problem is that it’s not a real story – it’s a satirical article from The Onion. Armed with wishful thinking, Agema asked his Twitter followers to verify the piece.
After being called out, Agema later said he knew it was a joke. Although that’s a questionable assertion in itself, supposing he did know it wasn’t real, that would indicate he was willing to let his gullible followers (I mean, they buy his other crap) believe it as fact. Dumb or evil? I’ll let you decide.
On Lincoln’s birthday, New York Congresswoman Yvette Clarke commemorated by the day by declaring him our 14th President. If the sole point of your Tweet is to state a well-known, indisputable fact, you might want to make sure you’ve done your research first. The message didn’t last even ten minutes before it was deleted, but Politwoops, a website devoted to archiving politicians’ deleted tweets has stored the amusing error for posterity.
“Me likey Broke Girls” read Idaho Rep. Raul Labrador’s Twitter account as a provocative ad for the CBS show 2 Broke Girls aired during the Super Bowl.
Phil Hardy, Labrador’s now-fired staffer, took the heat for the Tweet. Apparently, he meant to post the comment to his personal account, not the Congressman’s, but this hormone-fueled comment quickly disgraced his boss. Let that be a lesson to all public figures: your social media accounts are only as clean as the people who operate it.