The Tweet Heard ‘Round the World

Trumpby C. Edmund Wright   2/5/16
The contrived furor over the Cruz Campaign tweet relaying a CNN Breaking News alert about Ben Carson is perhaps the intellectually unserious low point in all of Republican primary history. It’s so patently absurd that it’s hard to know where to start. The conversation around this from Donald Trump and Fox and on the internet is every bit as disingenuous as the “Gentle giant, hands up don’t shoot” narrative on Michael Brown. It’s parallel universe stuff.

This is what liberals do!

So with a promise to fully expose the silliness and irrelevance of this issue, I’ll start by diving in with the most obvious and important fact. It changed nothing. It’s a nonstory. Carson’s caucus percentage was almost identical to his polling numbers over the last month. In fact, he was closer to that than any other candidate. He was a distant third, meaning he would have had to have lost more than half his votes over this to have changed the order of the finish and impact delegate counts. Instead, his support was the steadiest of any candidate over the final months. It didn’t go up or down much.

Meanwhile, Cruz broke every Iowa Caucus record with his tally and was a comfortable first. The only close race was for second between Trump and Marco Rubio. Thus, even if it was a dirty trick — and it was not — and even if it was cheating — and it was not — then it still wouldn’t matter because it changed absolutely nothing. These guys have been in Iowa for a year and been on TV for many months so please don’t embarrass yourself and insult us by pretending to think that a tweet at 6:45 pm impacted an 18 month campaign that started at 7. It’s beyond absurd.

Hell, most people were already in their meeting place or on the way. Are we to believe that suddenly every car radio and smart phone suddenly went Drudge siren on us? Please. “Oh no Mildred, pull over. I just got a tweet. We gotta dump Ben and vote for Ted now.”

Trump is now saying that Cruz stole the Caucus, that his win is illegitimate, and that there should be a do-over. Maybe Mr. Trump might want to consider his weeks long strategy of attacking Cruz from the left while praising Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi as people he can do deals with. And reconsider doing all of this to amuse MSNBC and ABC, two arms of the Democratic Party. You know, maybe it was his actions over weeks, ramped up over the last four days, that were the problem.

If we are to believe that a single tweet can radically impact the Iowa Caucuses, then Twitter should charge about 600 million dollars per tweet and the staffer who was so powerful in 140 characters or less should be paid a million a month or more. This was one helluva dirty trick!

This is childish! Stop it! Seriously, just stop it! Obama and his counterparts in both parties are destroying the damned country. Grow up!

So what was it that happened exactly? This is sadly still a valid question, as there are a few candidates and apparently millions of Internet trolls who are obsessed over an event they know nothing about. CNN, a network that Republicans only watch in between TSA gropes in airports, had a breaking bulletin shortly before the Caucuses started. They talked about Carson leaving Iowa regardless of the result, heading to Florida to do laundry, and then going to D.C. to make a speech. Jake Tapper and Dana Bash went onto to speculate endlessly that this might indeed mean something big. You don’t show seriousness about Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina by going to Florida for laundry was their point.

So all the Cruz camp did was tweet out this report – and then ask people to…..wait for it…..caucus for Cruz. OMG, a campaign now is stooping to the level of asking you to support their man? Who knew?

WTFThis was not a dirty trick. It wasn’t a trick. It wasn’t dirty. This was a campaign staffer hired to do rapid response on social media doing his or her job as a result of a cable outlet’s reporting. And if it was a dirty trick, there is now evidence that it was promoted by Rubio staffers — not to mention the fact that if it were to have had an impact, it would seem to be Rubio and not Cruz who benefitted the most. Meanwhile brilliant Fox News, fair and balanced, is still unaware of this development. But at least Megyn has a crush on handsome and smooth Marco.

Speaking of campaign staffers, Carson’s entire team is in disarray — according to Cruz. No, wait, according to Carson himself! How did CNN even know about the Florida laundry run? Must have been from a Carson staffer. Why did Carson’s campaign not respond immediately? I mean, if this was so damned devastating, why did they let it go unchallenged? Why did the Carson Caucus goers not blunt the rumor at their meeting places?

Two possible reasons: A: Because they, like 99.99% of the universe, didn’t even know about it until after the Caucus; or B: his team is in disarray and spending all their money on raising more money and not hiring smart communications people. Or maybe it’s C: All of the above.

Did I mention it didn’t matter? And then show statistically that’s the case? Oh, and let’s not forget that the same Mr. Trump who is now so concerned with fairness to Carson is the same guy (doesn’t matter to his supporters) who weeks ago went on and on and on and on about Carson as a psychopath and compared him to a child molester. Here it is, on CNN of course!  Give Donald credit. He could indeed kill 5 people in Manhattan and wouldn’t lose a single supporter apparently. Ten minutes of a temper tantrump is nothing compared to a single Cruz staffer tweet.

Meanwhile, there is a Cruz staffer who should be fired, but it’s not the person who sent the tweet. It’s whatever consultant idiot convinced Cruz to apologize. (I bet I know who it is, and he and I do not get along all that well). All Cruz accomplished by this was giving the ignorant sharks some blood in the water to inebriate their minds with. And certainly Cruz is to blame for this blunder as well.

None of which changes the fact that this whole thing is a non-event that changed nothing. It doesn’t change the fact that Trump and Rubio and other candidates are being purposefully dishonest in their characterization of what happened — and that this is leading to an increase in ignorance among their supporters. It doesn’t change the possibility that maybe it was the Rubio camp which was involved. And it doesn’t change the fact that our alpha male super hero is all over whining and threatening yet another lawsuit. Nothing says tough guy like “I’ll sue!”

As stated on this site and several others many times, I prefer Trump to every single Democrat and most Republicans. If he wins the nomination, I’ll happily vote for him. Yet truth is more important to me than any single candidate. And the truth is, on this issue, Trump and many of his supporters – and others – are being ridiculously infantile. STOP IT!

CEdmundWrightC. Edmund Wright is contributor to StubbornThings, American Thinker, Breitbart, Newsmax TV, Talk Radio Network and author of WTF? How Karl Rove and the Establishment Lost…Again. • (1029 views)

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32 Responses to The Tweet Heard ‘Round the World

  1. Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

    Mr. Wright is right on when he writes:

    And it doesn’t change the fact that our alpha male super hero is all over whining and threatening yet another lawsuit. Nothing says tough guy like “I’ll sue!”

    Ned Barnett makes similar observations when he asks, Is the Donald Trump Big Bully Act Wearing Thin?

    Very soon, what voters once saw Trump as a refreshing voice of candor and independence might start viewing him as an entitled rich kid who’s used to getting his own way — petulant, perhaps even childish.

    On the other hand, Mark Steyn agrees with Karl Rove and thinks it was a very dirty trick by the Cruz campaign.

    Maybe so. But, goodness gracious, Ben Carson isn’t as smart as he makes himself out to be. If on the very eve of the Iowa caucus he is telling people he’s going home for a change of clothes instead of to New Hampshire, that’s a rookie mistake. You’ve got people in the trenches working hard for you. You don’t sell them out in the very midst of the caucus.

    Dirty trick or not, it’s hilarious to have Trump cry foul when he’s been about as abusively dishonest in his rhetoric of other candidates as if he were a Democrat….which he is, at heart. My younger brother still wonders if he is a plant by the Democrats. I don’t think that’s the case. But he functionally works that way, as do RINOs such as Rubio, for that matter.

    Dan Flynn also trumps in with some thoughts: Next Stop, The Political Twilight Zone:

    Not defeat, but rather how one responds to it, determines “winners” and “losers.” Winners say, “Congratulations.” Losers affirm their designation by barking, “You cheated. . .

    The loss also damages the aura of inevitability Trump built around his candidacy. Cruz’s victory announces that the emperor has no clothes. Never has a candidate relied on polls over plans as Trump has. Monday night instructed the neophyte politician that the counts conducted by Gallup matter less than the one taken on election night. Those require more from supporters than merely answering the phone.

    If this following comment by someone claiming to be from New Hampshire is even slightly representative of the Zeitgeist, Tuesday could prove interesting:

    I live in NH. I was favorable towards Trump at the first and gave him the benefit of the doubt. But he has proven that was a mistake. He said what we wanted to hear only to prove over time that it was all hot air and that he is the liberal his past record shows him to be. On top of that he has demonstrated a truly despicable side of his personality when he has exercised the politics of personal destruction. Ted Cruz will get my vote next Tuesday.

    • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

      On the other hand, Mark Steyn agrees with Karl Rove and thinks it was a very dirty trick by the Cruz campaign

      I think Steyn should read Tim’s post and stop following the crowd. Furthermore, he basically says he would like honorable men to run things and what Cruz’s campaign did was not honorable. If he is terribly disturbed by this whole affair then he is a much more sensitive soul than I gave him credit for.

      There is an old saying, “wish in one hand and s*@t in the other and see which one fills up first.” Politics, particularly democratic politics at the presidential level, is by nature a dishonorable calling as one must hedge, lie and pretend in order to get elected by a majority of the people. Numerous interests compete with each other vying for their share of the pie.

      I cut none of these politicians any slack as they are all POLITICIANS, even Trump and Carson. We must keep an eye on everyone of them, but not have foolish expectations of purity. In fact, I don’t want a “pure” politician for president. Does anybody seriously believe a saintly president could effectively function in the best interests of the United States? George Washington died in 1799. We need to get on with things.

      • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

        If he is terribly disturbed by this whole affair then he is a much more sensitive soul than I gave him credit for.

        Took the words right out of my mouth, Mr. Kung. I sort of agree with you that politics is a dishonorable calling. I have no foolish expecations of purity.

      • Bell Phillips says:

        Concurring in part and dissenting in part:

        No, you can’t expect any of these guys to be honorable. Nor can you find one who that you will always agree with.

        On the other hand, I don’t think you can excuse sleeze by saying it’s necessary. I would say that it’s more often counterproductive.

        There are certainly times when a low-blow on someones long past personal lapse can knock out an opponent, but in the big picture, how many good people has this deterred from throwing their hat in. How many times (Bill Clinton) has this not worked and served to normalize their abhorrent behavior. (Slick Willie is not a particularly good example here, as he had a long and continuing history of incidents that went beyond consensual, but certainly months and years of discussing blow jobs on mainstream news programs didn’t do anything to improve the culture.)

        Even aside from the big picture, it probably does more harm than good in the small. I think there is pretty good agreement among the sane that this tweet business made no difference in the outcome of the caucuses, but it has most certainly damaged Cruz’s reputation.

        If someone in New Hampshire was on the fence for Carson/Cruz, or really anyone/Cruz, which way do you think this pushed them?

        For me, I’ve been cautiously excited about the guy. There has been very little for me not to like, and very few legitimate points to criticize. Before this, I could talk him up to people around me, now I can only apologize.

        My excitement is gone. He’s gone from being a rare, near mythical, good guy to just another politician who happens to be the least unacceptable this year.

        Barring further unpleasant developments, I’m still going to go to the primaries and darken in the Cruz oval with my #2 pencil, but a lot of other people are going to throw up their hands in disgust with the whole process and stay home. Or they will come to the conclusion that maybe he’s no different from Eddie Haskell, and maybe Eddie would be more palatable to the democrats come fall.

        This didn’t help. It hurt. And to say that it is necessary behavior is almost always wrong.

        (I’m actually not all that worked up over the tweets. Consider them second-degree murder. Malicious, but not premeditated. I’m much more disgusted by the campaign mailer that was carefully planned and executed. I would have expected to get that trash in my mailbox from someone offering me a 28% APR car loan.)

        • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

          I don’t think you can excuse sleeze by saying it’s necessary. I would say that it’s more often counterproductive.

          I did not excuse sleeze at all. I simply acknowledge the way things are. Bad behavior is built into most such pursuits of power over others. It is a sad fact of life that the type of people who seek out national political office are not the people who would generally be considered the best morally or otherwise.

          Let me put it more simply, throughout history, those who have pursued and gained power have generally been immoral. That’s just the way of things. And if they weren’t immoral while seeking power, they became so after functioning in environments where power is wielded. “Sleeze” is part of the deal.

          As to incidents such as the Cruz/Carson kerfuffle, the damage done will depend very much on the amount of play and slant the media gives it.

          Frankly, I find the whole thing tremendously blown out of proportion. Nobody would have known anything about Carson going to Florida had someone in his campaign not put it out there in an inartful way. That people in both the Cruz and Rubio campaigns jumped on this is not surprising.

          Do you think the way Carson is reacting to this is honorable?

          His call for Cruz to fire someone is just as sneaky as the supposed faux-pas that the Cruz campaign is accused of. If Cruz follows what Carson says, then he is admitting that what was done is so bad that it is worthy of chopping off someone’s head. The admitting of such guilt would give the deed a greater weight than is actually warranted.

          If on the other hand Cruz does not fire someone, the implication is that Cruz is fine with scum-bags running his campaign and is probably a scum-bag himself. Nice of Dr. Carson.

          “But that’s just politics”, one might say. And I say, exactly!

          Frankly I tire of the public being so easily manipulated by even supposedly “honorable” politicians such as Carson. I wish the public would start paying attention to the bigger issues instead of having their attention deflected by political slight-of-hand.

          Of course a person’s character is important, but we are not going to find St. Francis among the participants in this game. To let oneself become overly excited about such a thing as the Cruz/Carson affair is a waste of time.

          I am not very familiar with the campaign mailer other than having heard that it was some type of get-out-the-vote scheme which used public information of some sort.

          • Timothy Lane says:

            As far as I could tell from reading about it last weekend in places such as Town Hall, the mailer was reporting whether or not the recipient had been voting regularly (as well as the neighborhood’s general record, it seems) in order to provide some pressure on the person to turn out. It was a bit of a hard sell, and some people reacted negatively to it, so it was probably counterproductive overall. It certainly wasn’t illegal, though it seemed dismayingly similar to Obama’s approach in 2012. On the other hand, that worked, after all.

            • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

              Well, the campaign has to make the decision and hope that it works out.

              On the other hand, people must know that the voting records are public, just like campaign contribution and criminal records.

          • Bell Phillips says:

            This I agree with:
            Politics, particularly democratic politics at the presidential level, is by nature a dishonorable calling

            This I don’t:
            as one must hedge, lie and pretend in order to get elected by a majority of the people.

            By acting sleezy, Ted “I won’t be responding in kind” has damaged his reputation as the only slightly honest politician in the race. By pretending to be harmed by it, Carson makes himself look like a naive idiot. And by claiming it has anything to do with him, Trump looks like a sore loser. Have any of them gained by it? The only one coming out ahead is Eddie, by virtue of having had nothing to do with it.

            I’ve long thought that anyone wanting to be a politician or policeman should be disqualified from the job. To want that kind of power over other people shows some deep seated anti-social personality traits. I sometimes think our legislators should be selected like jurors.

        • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

          but a lot of other people are going to throw up their hands in disgust with the whole process and stay home. Or they will come to the conclusion that maybe he’s no different from Eddie Haskell, and maybe Eddie would be more palatable to the democrats come fall

          Those who throw their hands up in disgust and stay at home, deserve what they get. Unfortunately, I don’t deserve what they get. When I hear of such people, I can almost sympathize with politicians. If people are too lazy or stupid to take part in something which will have profound effect on their and their children’s lives, well they are just asking to be sheared.

          As to the difference between Cruz and Eddie Haskell, perhaps people would be well advised to look more closely at what Eddie Haskell has actually done in the Senate instead of some trivial incident regarding Cruz. For example, what is worse, the Cruz/Carson incident, the Cruz mailer problem or the fact that Eddie Haskell lied to every voter’s face during his Senate run and then became a leading proponent of the Gang of Eight open borders bill? Furthermore, he is lying to us all now when he claims Cruz was with him on amnesty.

          Perhaps those self-righteous people who give up and stay at home should consider such things.

  2. rodander says:

    Memo to Ben Carson: If your caucus supporters don’t know whether you are still in the race, you’re not doing your job as a candidate.

    I was especially taken with Dr. Carson’s statement last night that the Cruz campaign should have checked with the Carson people before sending their note to their caucus chairs. You’d think that the burden would be on the Carson caucus chairs to check with the Carson people to see whether this is true before running over to Cruz.

    • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

      Yes, I think his communication skills are lacking.

      It’s apparent that Dr. Carson is a truly superb surgeon and a good man. But in regards to projecting a clear, positive, thoughtful political philosophy, he instead too often comes across as sort of a doddering old fool. And that’s unfortunate.

      Speaking of weaknesses, I like how Mark Steyn describes Rubio:

      Let me say that I personally don’t care for Rubio, who is the kind of canned over-disciplined on-message candidate that makes me despair of politics: in media interviews, his answers to almost any question are like modular furniture, with the same half-dozen stump-speech lines chopped up and re-assembled and invariably concluding with the ultimate banality of the hustings that “this election is about the future”.

      That’s what Mr. Kung refers to as the “Eddie Haskell Effect.”

      • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

        This is a link to a good article by Pat Buchanan. He calls Rubio, “Fast Eddie”, but it is another Eddie.

        • Timothy Lane says:

          Interesting piece. Comparing Rubio to Carter if vicious, but it may be fair. By the way, did you notice that Carter said he’d prefer Trump to Cruz because the former is malleable? So is Rubio, at least on globalization issues (which are crucial for the post-nationalist Establishment).

          • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

            By the way, did you notice that Carter said he’d prefer Trump to Cruz because the former is malleable?

            One wonders what this really means.

            It makes me think of the old joke where two Jewish clothing salesmen, Bernie and Mo, run into each other on a train from NYC traveling west.

            Bernie asks Mo, “Where are going to this trip?”

            To which Mo replies, “Cleveland.”

            Bernie makes a face showing his disgust and replies,
            “Who are you trying to fool? You told me Cleveland because you wanted to make me think you were going to Toledo, but I happen to know you are going to Cleveland. Don’t lie to me like that again.”

            • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

              “Malleable” equals liberal.

              • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

                But is Carter saying what he said because he hates Trump and wants to damage him, or because he hates Cruz and wants to damage him?

                OK, he probably hates them both, but which one does he want to hurt most?

        • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

          The party must be united. And it cannot lose the fire and energy that produced this turnout and brought out those astonishing crowds of tens of thousands.

          The remainderman, however, cannot reproduce that energy or those crowds. For Rubio is not a barn burner; he is a malleable man of maneuver.

          That’s very astute analysis by Buchanan. More great stuff:

          Now he is moving crabwise away from the TPP. Shiftiness, however, does not bother the establishment; it reassures the establishment.

          Rubio is “The Hustler,” the “Fast Eddie” Felson of 2016. And the Beltway is all in behind him.

          He is now the candidate of the Washington crowd that a majority of Republicans voted to reject in Iowa, the darling of the donor class and the last hope of a Beltway punditocracy that recoils whenever the pitchforks appear.

    • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:


      You are exactly correct. This is one reason why I say the claims being made by Carson and Trump are complete and utter nonsense.

      If a last-minute tweet caused anyone to vote for someone other than Carson (something which has yet to be proven) then that person was not terribly bright (they did not check if the tweet was true) or did not support Carson very strongly.

  3. Timothy Lane says:

    As best I can tell, the Cruz campaign sent a reasonable message based on reports from CNN. In essence, Jake Tapper and Dana Bash interpreted the original message as an indication that Carson was, at the least, taking a few days off from campaigning. So a message that he was going home for a change of clothes became a message that he might be dropping out. But Megyn Kelly admitted that they wondered much the same thing when they heard the news. Note that Cruz’s apology to Carson was not over the original message, but over failing to correct it when Carson promptly denied that he was dropping out. This, I suspect, is where it may have become a dirty trick.

    But as to the effects, as you pointed out, Carson’s 9% was about where he was polling — which in fact varied from 3% (no doubt an outlier) to 10% (perhaps also an outlier), averaging around 8%. So far no one has come forward to say that the claim led them to switch away from Carson. (I sent a message to Bill O’Reilly pointing this out. We shall see if he uses it in that segment of his show.)

    I notice that Fox News has had many people commenting on this — none of them from the Cruz campaign. Their estimate that it may have made a difference is based on a projection by Karl Rove (who strongly opposes Cruz) that 4 votes per precinct going to Cruz would have given him the victory. But Laura Ingraham said that she was at a couple of precincts and noticed no mention of the claim at all.

    • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

      Thanks for the further info.

      When you’ve got people busting their butts for you in the trenches in Iowa, you don’t announce that you’re returning home for a change of clothes instead of going to New Hampshire. Any damage was self-inflicted by Ben Carson.

      As for “dirty trick,” it may have been if the Cruz campaign continued to spread the word even after Carson’s people denied it. But this is coming from the man who has apparently misused eminent domain laws to oust people out of their houses in order to build commercial properties.

      The outcome of this is that a lot of people who saw Trump, despite his rough edges, as a fresh face and a fighter are now seeing more of a mercurial man.

    • Bell Phillips says:

      When evaluating Rove’s statement about 4 votes per precinct, keep in mind that Carson only got an average 10.3 votes per precinct. Four more votes is not a small change.

      Lies, damn lies, and statistics.

  4. pst4usa says:

    Wholly crap, one lying news outfit,(CNN) puts out a news story about a dumb candidate that told every one he needed to go home to change his pants and another evil candidate’s people tweeted what the lying news organization said trying to, oh my, to get more votes for that evil candidate, while the worst lying candidate of all, tries to make a big deal of the whole thing, there by trying to get more votes. What is this world coming to!

    • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

      Nothing, other than the specific candidate details and the 24/7 coverage, is new. Presidential politics have just about always been dirty. I wasn’t in country during the Reagan era, but I suspect even some of his operatives resorted to some less than honest methods.

      Expect more of the same, but perhaps even worse. We live in a country which is badly divided on cultural, racial and economic grounds. This is the “strength in diversity” which the Left has intentionally brought about. They have done a wonderful job of fracturing the nation.

    • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

      It doesn’t say much for Carson supporters if a mere Tweet during the actual caucuses would have them switch sides without checking with their candidate.

      Of course that Tweet had no effect on the election. Trump lost a lot of mojo when he revealed himself to be a small-minded whiner. The real dirty trick was Trump trying to make an issue out of this.

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