For the Next GOP Debate, Turn to Twitter, Not Your Television


The first GOP debate of the 2016 campaign cycle is behind us, but the buzz has hardly died down. Indeed, despite setting a record with 24 million viewers, Donald Trump notwithstanding, the exciting stuff seems mostly to have happened around, not in, the debate.

For example (and there is not room here to cover more than a fraction of the action), Bernie Sanders was the most re-tweeted candidate during the debate, and Hillary Clinton had a selfie taken with Kim Kardashian rather than gluing herself to a TV to watch a bunch of conservative males call her the devil.

All, no doubt, more interesting stuff than you saw at the debate itself, on a stage stocked with nine clueless nobodies and a bigoted loud mouth who talks about himself in the third person.

We have already looked at Donald Trump’s Twitter blitz aimed at Fox News co-moderator Megyn Kelly, promoting the idea that she was some bimbo who was out to get him. Following the debate, not only did Trump go on MSNBC of all places to bash Fox News, but he tweeted his unhappiness:


Fox News Radio host Todd Starnes launched a Twitter blitz of his own during the debate. Outraged by the questions being asked, he was like a football fan, who, instead of yelling at his TV, yelled at the world from his couch.

Here is a sampling:

Starnes, like Carson himself, desperately wanted Carson to be asked a question:

But when he was, Starnes didn’t like the question asked:

Bill Maher had a very different reaction to Ben Carson, who said during the debate he didn’t think Hillary would be the Democratic nominee:

Starnes didn’t like Megyn Kelly any more than did Trump, excoriating her for asking Scott Walker a perfectly legitimate question about abortion:

Megyn Kelly is in a tough spot. She asks soft questions and liberals are all over her, and she asks tough questions and conservatives suddenly become her biggest critics. Fortunately for her, CNN has the next debate and Trump will direct his Grumpy Trumpy Ire elsewhere.
Starnes even patted himself on the back when it was all over:

The second most re-tweeted tweet of debate night (and my personal favorite) was Hillary’s:

Not only did Republicans give the wrong answers to the questions that were asked – to the extent they bothered to answer them at all – but as Bernie Sanders said in the most retweeted tweet of the night,

Sitting down now and reflecting on all that has come to pass in the last two days, I think Bill Maher was on the right track when he tweeted:

The next #GOPDebate takes place September 16 at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, California, and will be hosted by CNN, you know, Fox News Lite. I would suggest changing the channel before the debate and keeping to this procedure for each subsequent debate, wherever it is televised.

Because, for me at least, all this makes clear that, at least where the Republicans are concerned, the best way to watch a GOP Debate, if you’re not joining the gang here at PoliticusUSA to chat about it, is via twitter (or do both). That’s where all the real action is, and the best responses to any question asked. Love it or hate it, this will be America’s first Twitter-focused presidential campaign.

And let’s face it, some of the people tweeting are not only more intelligent than the guys on stage (Bill Maher), more entertaining (Todd Starnes), but have thought a lot more than the candidates about the issues involved (almost anyone).

Why watch hours of regurgitated talking points when you can watch real analysis, live, as it happens? Competitive computer gaming is esports. Given all the p*ssing and moaning going on via Twitter, maybe we can call competitive politicking psports.

Or maybe not.

18 Replies to “For the Next GOP Debate, Turn to Twitter, Not Your Television”

  1. Next poll results- that twitter is deemed irrelevant by the majority of those polled.

    So many Spin Doctors during and after the debate- it’s a wonder that Tornadoes weren’t spawned…

  2. It’s as if they all have clap.
    After all, every one of them spent the night pissing & moaning at each other.

    It would have been a better setting had they actually pitched a bigtop as befits a circus.

    Since I recorded it, I used the FF a

    As I’m a veteran, had I sent in a question, it would have been;
    “Why do all of you gop types absolutely REFUSE to do anything FOR us veterans and continually vote down any and all support for us?”

    I doubt they would have used it and, if they did, it would have been smeared with the usual bullshit & lies.

  3. Twitter? who cares?? I guess I’m getting old?! I don’t really care about facebook, twitter, etc. I think it’s great, for people who like that kinda stuff but I don’t care about what people say on twitter. BTW the only winner in the FUX fake debates, was FUX! they made a killing in the ratings slots! listen, I post very blunt, sometimes overly emotional opinions here but FUX NEWS like 99.9% of any business, ONLY cares about the MONEY! and FUX made money off that BULL$HIT rigged up FREAK show they threw up there! lets be honest! NONE of those A$SHOLES are going to be president! The GOP painted it’s DUMB A$S into a corner, the oligarch’s INVENTED the tea party! AKA, the even DUMBER LILY WHITE psycho, to WIN the GOP nomination, you gotta win them over, you gotta speak clear and simple john birch, KKK lingo. Well GOP, if this were the 1850’s, you’d be peachy! SORRY, the country has moved on! so re-invent yourself and join NORMAL america! and purge your party of the racist!

  4. Last point, republicans can get as giddy as the want because the debate drew a large audience, NEWS FLASH, america as a whole LOVES watching a train wreck! republicans actually believe the RATINGS have anything to do with the majority of americans, all the sudden, LOVE them some GOP, NO! america loves BULL$HIT! any BULL$HIT! kardasian BULL$HIT, madonna BULL$HIT, dennis rodman BULL$HIT! house wives of atlanta BULL$HIT! if television could legally televise a public hanging, the ratings would go threw the roof! So all YOU RIGHTIES here, don’t start getting too hopeful, MOST americans weren’t cheering for you, they were laughing at YOU! I personally was hoping trump was going to BIT@H slap JEBBY!, ”literally!” I was praying for my favorite HOUSE NEGRO ”ben carson” to ask trump, could shine his shoes too? hey, if you’re gonna be a SELLOUT, don’t half A$S it!!

  5. how great is it that even that red meat state, and erick erickson, disinvited trump to their hatefest? meanwhile the rabid not so brightbrats, drudges, and the palin teabillys are going nuts. this is not going to end well for the gop. you know trump is going to go off on everyone, from the RNC, to rove, ailes, luntz, and the kochs. i dont see how unless trump decides he himself is fired, which wont happen, that this doesnt continue for the next few months. trumps ego wont let him i foresee….

  6. Eric son of Erikson has received his orders. Its time to excommunicate trump. Trump said if they didn’t play nice with him he will run as a third party candidate and the dumbass republicans will make that come true

  7. I have a question for you American vet.
    Why then do the Vet’s of our country keep on backing a party that sends you to war but will not take care of you when you come home wounded? Why are there ads on T.V. asking for 19.00m a month to give medical care for the Vet’s? If I were a Vet, there would be no way in hell I’d ever vote for a rethug. But then I’m Women and can not understand why a Women would ever vote for a rethug either.
    This party sure has the public bamboozled or know how to cheat and not get caught.

  8. Well, this honorably discharged Vet, chooses to continue to be honorable and NOT support the Repooplicans!

    Most of them are Armchair War-hawks. The only time they don’t like a war are the ones that Obama can be successful in- Libya. And why? Two fold- 1)No boots on the ground- no profits for the contractors. 2) It made him look good in comparison.

  9. Tornadoes? Aw come on…you know that’s impossible; only the g-a-y-s can make tornadoes! And, lard knows that the GOP are the only ones trying to stop those tornadoes, not make them!

    No wait! It’s the christian baby jesus, the one with the long blonde hair and blue eyes, who gets MAD because we’re not on board destroying the g-a-y-s, and, that’s why he “makes with the tornadoes”. (Besides, it’s good for big business…)

    Again, I continue to have nothin’ and, will continue to “have nothin'”, because, our political debates have been derailed from the reality track and are now side-shows (tweet phenomena) tied to the whims of beauty pageant “owner”.

    Yeah, let’s chew on the sick fact shall we? “He-witd-all-da-gold” owns the “legal” right to “judge” women based on his personal taste. Plus, he dictates the standard by which he defines “beauty” based on a persona, aka, the “trophy wife”; those women willing to be displayed and paid in exchange for their silence…or else.

  10. Where I work they have two television sets always on fox and its all I can do to get out of there as fast as I can because I have a very low threshold for them. Scanning various Lblogs for debate coverage was fun – getting different takes.

    Sad that fox gets to gloat about ratings and therein lies the rub: the focus on ratings to begin with. Great that lots of folks tuned in but it wasn’t for the civic aspects of choosing the next president – it was to see a train wreck.

    Glad I didn’t contribute to this national disgrace Thursday night by viewing fox news.

  11. The only thing that came out of this “debate” was that Fox gets the bragging rights of 24,000,000 viewers, and the most watched televised debate in history, and I would venture to say that half of them were liberals that contributed to that rating. I did not watch knowing full well, and I was correct, that following the debate there would be nothing but reports of the debate over, and over, and over again in newsprint, and on the MSM. I will refuse to give Fox any upticks in their ratings just for shit and giggles..It’s not in my DNA to watch Fox News or contribute to their bragging rights.

  12. @Gsb, you know the story, ”The truth will set you free! republicans love to dish it out! especially over the internet!! LMFAO but they sure can’t take it!!! they’re ALL LILY WHITE tough guys over the internet! that’s exactly why I post the heated, scolding opinions I do! LILY WHITE republicans need a REALITY CHECK! and I’m just ONE of the cashiers! hang in @Gsb, we got them on the run.

  13. I’ve never watched a political debate in my life. Normally they’re just a bunch of empty suits bloviating about why we should vote for them

    But I watched the Fox debate precisely because of the entertainment value of Trump, and I was not disappointed. He sucked all the air out of the room, and he is sucking all the air from the GOP. This whole affair is like watching a slow-motion trainwreck, and every way Fox tries to take him out backfires.

    I don’t care one whit that Fox got the best ratings, or blah blah blah. I care about watching the GOP self-destruct thanks to the war between Fox and Trump. He’s going to run third party, count on it. And all his followers will ensure a Democratic victory because they’re all too stupid not to understand why.

    And it’s delicious.

  14. Yeah, well this is a spot Megyn Kelly has put her own self in so you’ll have to pardon me while I don’t feel sorry for her.

    Trump should not have said what he did about her, that is clear, but let’s not forget the role Ms. Kelly and her cohorts at Fox have played in this whole debacle that is now the GOP.

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