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

Last updated on September 25th, 2023 at 01:45 pm


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.

Hrafnkell Haraldsson, a social liberal with leanings toward centrist politics has degrees in history and philosophy. His interests include, besides history and philosophy, human rights issues, freedom of choice, religion, and the precarious dichotomy of freedom of speech and intolerance. He brings a slightly different perspective to his writing, being that he is neither a follower of an Abrahamic faith nor an atheist but a polytheist, a modern-day Heathen who follows the customs and traditions of his Norse ancestors. He maintains his own blog, A Heathen's Day, which deals with Heathen and Pagan matters, and Mos Maiorum Foundation, dedicated to ethnic religion. He has also contributed to NewsJunkiePost, GodsOwnParty and Pagan+Politics.

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