As the House prepared for a too-close-to-call vote on Speaker John Boehner’s debt ceiling solution on Thursday, congressmen have found social media can be a two-edged sword.
Members love to get their messages across using Facebook or Twitter, but the public responses from members of the public can be embarrassing.
Now congressmen on both the left and right have found their “walls” filled with comments from voters fed up with the Washington logjam.
Florida Rep. Allen West got grief from people upset that he agreed with the Boehner plan. Messages on the tea party favorite’s wall included, “Soo, you sold out to Boehner and Obama. And I liked you!!!” from Facebook user Grace Dycus Desnoyers.
Democrat Rep. Dale Kildee of Michigan got the message, “Please think of your Country 1st and not your party and vote for the Boehner. We can’t keep spend money we don’t have,” from Rick Szankin.
Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, the chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee, was called a “lying disgrace” and a “dishonest hack,” by Mads Cassini, who added, “Stop taking advantage of the morons who believe your b.s.”
Meanwhile, South Dakota Republican Rep. Kristi Noem got the message, “Tell me how you can pass this bill and not cause everyone in this country more heartache. I believe we need to balance the budget over time, not all at once,” from Brian Moore.
During a primetime television address to the nation on Monday, President Barack Obama urged members of the public to contact their representatives and urge them to compromise on the deficit question. The following day the Congress switchboard was deluged with calls and many members’ websites crashed under the deluge of responses.
Many of the Facebook messages were positive, but it was the negative ones that gained most attention. Ryan Giar wrote on Obama’s wall “quit being an incompotent (sic) wimp and invoke the 14th amendment already,” a reference to the clause in the Constitution that says government debt must not be questioned.
And Boehner, who on Wednesday told fellow Republicans to “get their a** in line” and vote for his plan got a similar message back from Alfred Hernandez. “Mr. Boehner, YOU need to get YOU’RE A** in line with what the majority of Americans are telling YOU . . . NO MORE DEBT! Prioritize your payments like any NORMAL household must do when they live in REALITY! . . . you know, where money CAN'T be printed!”
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