UPDATE: Check out the follow-up HERE.
Politicians are often viewed as out of touch. A bunch of old (mostly) men with gray hair in a big room wondering how they can solve people’s problem, whether that means less government, more government, or less salt.
One thing you can count on is that, no matter the issue or political party, they’re thinking of the children. They always think of the children. Always.
But it’s not every day (or every Tweet, in this case) you get politicians who are both out of touch and act like children.
I’m referring to the Twitter account of the South Dakota House Democrats–all 19 of them.
And I mean it when I say childish. Yes, the seemingly official account of the S.D. House Democrats is full of grammar mistakes, misspellings, name-calling and political hackery.
Let’s take a look at some examples.
Twitter, of course, only allows 140 characters, and this one was exactly 140. The sad part is they could have spelled out “would” had they used the correct “to” instead of “too.”
Again with the “wuld” thing? Well, they must have needed to shorten it to come in at 140 characters then. Nope. They’ve got six characters to spare. Also, what’s “the SD?”
More abbreviations here, too, with 27 unused characters.
Why do it when there’s plenty of room? Maybe they think abbreviations are hip with the kids. I understand the need to shorten words to make things fit (even though I think it should be avoided lest the Tweeter wants to look unprofessional).
Alright, maybe pointing out abbreviations, grammar and spelling is not worthy of a column . But what about name-calling?
Tea Bagger, meaning a supporter of the Tea Party movement. However, Tea Bagging is used in a derogatory way here, referring to the sexual act of inserting one’s scrotum into another person’s mouth. This has been a common insult used by many left and liberal pundits to make fun of the Tea Party. I’m not offended by name-calling in itself. I just am shocked the Democratic members of the House would officially use Twitter to do this.
I’ve found these Tweets quite entertaining until quite recently.
Pierre, Dakota Dunes, and other South Dakota communities faced and are facing a huge crisis. The flooding of the Missouri river. Read any coverage from the state’s news outlets, and you’ll read stories of communities pulling together.
Keloland teased and later posted a story that was about the Dakota Dunes community using the golf course to build a levees to stop the flood waters. The story talks about homes near the edge of the course and how the fairways helped the town’s economic growth.
And now this course that has nurtured the growth of the community, is doing its best to protect it from the rising waters of the Missouri River.
Earth movers nimbly motor through Dakota Dunes like golf carts. But these groundskeepers have to plow up fairways and greens to build a levee for protection against the ultimate water hazard.
“The golf course provided us the best line of defense for this event,” Jeff Dooley of the Dakota Dunes Community Improvement District said.
Here’s what @SDHouseDems had to say about the story before they had even read it. They had simply read the teaser:
They wasted no time at all trying to politicize the flooding. Yes, @SDHouseDems jumped to the only logical conclusion they could–that the richie riches cared more about their golf course than trying to save the real Americans!
Trying to play to some sort of class warfare? Is a golf course not considered a legitimate business worth trying to save in the eyes of @SDHouseDems? I’m not sure, but it doesn’t matter; the actual story was about using the golf course to save the community.
When the full story was posted, they retracted nothing, only Tweeting this:
R U aware that u have a ful 140 characters 2 use?
Social media, when it comes to an organization, is all about public relations. It’s a direct connection between you and your audience, or in this case, constituency. Social media should be managed as delicately as any other public relations, if not more, which is why I’m so shocked to see the examples above coming from a political party.
This is not a critique on policy or politics; it’s message to the South Dakota House Democrats (or whoever they let Tweet for them).
This Twitter account is not doing your party any favors. In a Red State like South Dakota, you can’t Tweet like you’re Rachel Maddow and expect to get elected.
@SDHouseDems, you’d be wise to take a lesson or two in public relations.
This column originally appeared on Tony Gorder’s blog Cool & Unusual Punishment.