Unlike my colleague Matt Compton, I haven’t, so far, been convinced that Twitter is a game-changing, awe-inspiring medium, and in terms of using it as a principal means of communication, I tend to rebel against the character limitations.
But hey, one thing you can definitely say for Twitter is that it can produce some inadvertent admissions by its users, since it really doesn’t give you much opportunity for euphemism or innuendo.
We’ve had a good example of that today, when Newt Gingrich tweeted from Europe:
White man racist nominee would be forced to withdraw. Latina woman racist should also withdraw.
I’m guessing that Newt, whose many sins do not include gross stupidity, would have probably preferred to make this a slightly less inflammatory statement, with references to “reverse discrimination” and “ethnocentrism” and “identity politics” and “multiculturalism” and so forth, much as other conservatives have done over the last day. And Lord knows Gingrich can talk just about any subject to death, at mind-numbing length.
But there he was overseas, dependent on his Twitter account to make his views on the news of the day known, and so he hastily typed the R-word, placing himself out there in the fever swamps with the similarly uninhibited Rush Limbaugh. And as Newt should know by now, it’s a fool’s errand for any Republican politician to get into a game of rhetoric one-upsmanship with Limbaugh, who will never have to face a single voter.
I think he should have kept his thumbs off that tiny keyboard on his phone, and taken the awful risk of letting Americans live in suspense for a day or two about his pithy thoughts.