Lessons from “Twittergate”

If you’ve had any exposure at all to right-wingers lately, you’ve probably heard about “Twittergate”. If’ you’ve spent any time on Twitter itself, you most certainly have. (But I repeat myself.) And what you’ve no doubt heard is something on the order of “Twittergate” being the most shocking political scandal in the history of the known universe.

In the event that you’re so fortunate as not to have heard about it, “Twittergate” refers to the policy of Twitter under its former ownership of placing restrictions on tweets promoting disinformation — the bread and butter of the MAGA cult. It began with the revelation that Twitter had flagged a report about (ominous drumroll, please) Hunter Biden’s laptop. And then, the New Sheriff of Twittertown dumped a bunch of company files into the public arena (heavily filtered by three hand-picked partisan journalists) which showed that the social media giant had… brace yourself… editorial policies in effect. And some of those policies were shaped with the aid of consultation with — this will really make your head spin — government officials. Just as a great many other businesses do.

Musk seems blissfully ignorant — or he just doesn’t care — that it’s actually vital for intelligence agencies to monitor channels of (mis)information to be alert for potential threats.

Mistakes were made, to be sure. But to right-wingers, there’s no such thing as a mistake. Or a coincidence. There is only a Deep State George Soros Communist Conspiracy to Cancel Free Speech, Impose Wokeism, Steal Elections and Kill America. And the command center, of course, is Hunter’s laptop, buzzing away in the basement of a basement-less pizza parlor from which Democrats operate a global satanic pedophilia ring.

Contrary to all the hyperventilating hype, Elon’s dumps contained no new revelations; the files mostly just rehashed things that were already public knowledge for some time. Nor did they contain anything of any significance. At least not about the matter in question. But the reaction to them — the spawning of “Twittergate” — does reveal some significant things about right-wingers themselves.

1. They are relentless and exhaustive in their quest for power.

Power is the one thing they care about above all else. And there is absolutely nothing they won’t do to acquire it, solidify it, and extend it. Even stage a coup.

2. They are utterly shameless.

Hunter Biden has had a troubled life, and the Biden family has experienced more than its share of tragedy and trauma. Republicans have absolutely no qualms about making political fodder out of such pain. Just as they have no qualms about falsely branding people as pedophiles and “groomers” when in fact they have so many of these in their own ranks. And they delightfully ridiculed Alec Baldwin after he accidentally caused a death. These people literally have no bottom.

3. They believe they can manufacture a scandal out of anything by adding “gate”.

Pizzagate. Climategate. Benghazigate. Russiagate. Emailgate. During the Clinton years, they even came up with Wampumgate.

4. They love to play victim.

The underlying premise of Twittergate is that Twitter, like the rest of the world, was/ is out to get them. They’ve repeatedly and consistently made the patently false claim that social media discriminates against “conservatives” even though the evidence shows just the opposite. At the time Twitter was supposedly censoring the hell out of them, their tweets were dominating the forum. Including those like this.

5. They feel supremely entitled.

They feel they have a right to win all elections, to be 100 percent in power 100 percent of the time. When they lose, they demand that the election be redone, or simply nullified or “de-certified” — even though there’s no such thing. They believe the rules of conduct should not apply to them, and if they are penalized, they are being persecuted and oppressed. They believe they should be given preferential treatment (which they are on social media), and once they are, they should be given even further preferential treatment.

6. They don’t understand the Constitution.

You hear them rail a great deal about the First Amendment. Almost as much as about the Second Amendment. Neither of which they have a clue about. Whenever they get “censored” on social media, they wail that their First Amendment rights are being violated. But the First Amendment deals with (among other things) government regulation of expression. It has nothing to do with a private company’s content moderation policies. Even if a media outlet did conspire to influence an election, that wouldn’t automatically make it illegal. In fact, it happens all the time. (See “News”, Fox.) Trying to stop Twitter from getting involved in politics would be, itself, a violation of the First Amendment. The GOPers themselves, with their new point man Elon, are trying to do exactly what they are accusing Democrats of doing: colluding with Big Tech to influence elections.

7. They don’t understand much of anything else, either.

After owning Twitter for a while already, Musk still seems clueless about how such a business functions. He just expects it to function as he commands it to, that’s all. And even though his dumped tech dirt clearly spells out that both Democrats and Republicans had Twitter’s ear, he and his newfound cult are zeroing in only on the former. One of the things they’re howling about is “shadow banning”, which they claim to have been the target of. They even want to prosecute former Twitter head Jack Dorsey for “lying to Congress” when he stated under oath that his company did not shadow ban; and the newly unloaded files clearly show that it did engage in “de-amplifying”. But that’s not the same as shadow banning.

8. They’re blaringly hypocritical.

One of the hacks whom Musk chose to spread his dumps, Bari Weiss, has been doing some feverish pearl clutching over Old Twitter’s de-amplification practices — and totally ignoring that New Twitter is doing exactly the same thing. Meanwhile, Elon declared on his new Nazi playground that he is for “total transparency”. And in almost the same breath, he threatened to sue his drones who leak anything to the media about what goes on behind the scenes.

9. They can’t live without their conspiracies.

No matter how much the conspiracies refuse to add up.

10. They are irredeemably prone to Front Yard Syndrome.

If they’re just now finding out about something that happened, they assume nobody else knew about it either. Their world extends only the length of their own noses.

11. Their fantasies are unshakeable.

“We were right about climate change. And masks. And vaccines. And Benghazi. And emails. And Pizzagate. And the laptop. And social media. And election fraud.” Fantasy is their opiate.

12. They’re addicted to revenge.

Usually for imaginary injuries. They can’t tell you exactly what Biden has done to them — or Obama, or Hillary. But by god, they’re all going to pay.

13. They pick the narrative first.

When those on the left conduct an investigation, they try to answer a question. Did Former Guy collude with Russia during his campaign? What really happened on Jan. 6? When those on the right conduct an “investigation”, whether real or fanciful, they begin with an answer, and try to find facts that fit it, ignoring those that contradict it. If they can’t find the facts they seek, no problem — they’ll just invent them.

14. They can’t stop outdoing themselves in the hyperbole department.

“This is worse than Watergate.” “This is the worst political scandal in history.” So say they after every single “scandal” they gin up.

None of this is news, of course. — it’s been demonstrated many times over. Musk undoubtedly knew what a delusional orgy he was unleashing when he undertook this project. While he’s maintained a straight face protesting that he’s neutral, he’s embraced the Q with arms lustily thrown wide, and even tweeted things like : “My pronouns are: Prosecute Fauci”. Indeed, the biggest lesson of “Twittergate” is that his whole purpose in taking control of this platform was to further the spread of fascist lunacy — and, of course, to acquire more power and influence for himself.

It’s only a matter of time until he declares his candidacy. For something.



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  1. And there’s Musk’s turd of hypocrisy to add to #8:
    “I hope that even my worst critics remain on Twitter, because that is what free speech means.”
    If not for double standards, they’d have none at all.

  2. I saw Musk’s tweet about his favorite pronouns and thought he was trying to turn tables by attacking Democrats, and that obviously his hyped explanation of matters like Fauci’s supposed lies, are just one more way to spread propaganda. So thank you for this post. It confirms that Musk’s actions are being used to attack the first amendment i.e that anything at all can be said about anybody (even bald faced lies) as long as it serves Musk’s agenda.

    Musk and Repubs in general, know what kind of comments they can use to mislead Americans and make them believe almost anything Musk desires. And why do they do so?–because Trump refused to accept a fair election and has done so many odious things in the last 2 and a half years, that the only way to defend him is to disseminate as many hateful fake facts as they can, while calling out democrats for being immoral in everything we think, say, and do. Thus, they will never stop spreading accusatory propaganda about us –even though every time I open Twitter there is a new negative lie being circulated by MAGA in order to discredit Dems by filling social media with Trumper’s lies– which are primarily intended to vilify the left, even though Dr. Fauci has been exemplary each time he is badgered by Repubs like Ted Cruz, and Laura Ingrahamson, both of whom Republicans who are so eager to make a name for themselves, that they will not even let him completely finish even one response?

    All of this is extremely dangerous, since many Jews who survived living in Hitler’s Germany describe how each time the Nazis made new accusations and new rule for everyone, they would look at notices on the wall and in what was reported in Gov. controlled newspapers. And these good-hearted German citizens would shake their heads in disbelief and tell themselves that it won’t be long until the Nazis stop spreading hateful diatribes about Jews. They, like us, were complacent at the beginning, until Hitler, Like Trump, sought to divide them by continuing to spread outrageous lies about the scapegoat’s that the Nazis created, until Jews were actually being reported by next door neighbors whom they had been friendly to them prior to the third Reich’s successful power grab.

    Speaking out about Trump’s lies is not easy, since his followers have already been conditioned to think that everything the left says and does represents lies spread by Dems, who (as you say) are accused of persecuting Trumpers. So how do you challenge false facts with truth when Trump has vilified the mainstream media and spread the notion that, “all Democrats are lying and guilty of falsely protesting Repubicans’ truth? Poetic ideas about justice and unity tell us that all of us are brothers, and that, “whenever the funeral bell tolls, it tolls for us.” But with dozens of right wing think tanks and legions of biased journalists at their command , the GOP’s primary work is now spreading outrageous lies, because (as you have pointed out), Trump and his ilk don’t “need no stinking facts,” and they don’t need to provide proof because they just know that whatever they are told IS the truth.

    All we can do is keep on telling the truth and hope that enough Americans with enough education and decency, will vote against this shameless Repubican lying machine because they know the truth and want to express the truth at the polls.

    It’s also disconcerting to know that if I were to post this article on Twitter it would probably be removed or relegated to my screen name section in a few minutes, where I can see it, but no one else can. And when the power of maga and propaganda is being used to set all of us against each other, then Trump will step in, and once again assure us that only he can save our country. what a crock!

  3. Nice summary of the state of conservative political philosophy today.

    The thing that continually strikes me, a non-Tweeter, about this whole bru-ha-ha is the depth of feeling Twitter users have for the platform, though of course “the platform” is really the user communities that have self-assembled on the platform. Whether and how those communities re-assemble elsewhere will be interesting for the future of social media.

  4. So how did all the “Hope this blows over soon, and my neighbors realize that embracing fascism is wrong” work out for the Jews, liberals, gays, handicapped, Roma, intellectuals and academics in 1937 Germany?

    If you were a member of one of those groups in 1937, what would you have done (if you couldn’t leave) to change the inevitable slide into madness?

    This time we know what’s coming. History is, if nothing else, very good at showing us how people behave in similar situations.
    My fear is that the rational, intelligent people, who are always natural targets of fascists, will once again reprise their historical role of “the passive victims of slaughter who were caught by surprise when naive civil dialogue inevitably failed”

  5. I share that concern. The survivors of Nazi Germany, although they are now quite old, can help by by assuring us that any autocratic or dictator run state, can become a reality no matter where we live, or whatever we think we have learned about our political past. Nothing we believe about our country can assure us that someone who is clever at manipulating the facts and the free press, will be able to do–not our laws, not our religions, and not even our sense of decency, or the knowledge of what is utterly absurd (Like QAnon).

    There are some good programs on Netflix and other online TV and movie outlets, that describe why non-Jews as well as Jews, kept thinking that Hitler would change his tune eventually, or else that the people could politically protect themselves, by opposing him! I think one of them is titled “At the End,” and another is titled “How to be a dictator,”–in addition to several historical documentaries that describe what happened in detail as the second World War dragged on. Some of these contain footage that is so graphic, and portray the infamy of completely disregarding human dignity, that you will feel tears roling down your cheeks or else you will feel the urge turn to those programs off.

    As a child in the 1950s (when WWII was not to far in the past) one of my sisters bought a book called “the Scourge of the Swastika” which contained graphic photos of people who looked like living skeletons or those were very nearly starved and worked to death. In my young untroubled mind such atrocities were not even known, or even that they had nothing to do with my own relatively kushy life in the US. So I remember being aghast at how easily ordinary people could become so completely evil!

    And this kind of mass murdering has not happen only a few times in human history, in fact, it has flourished in places like Rwanda, and in Maoist China where the so-called cultural revolution resulted in hundreds of thousands of people who were killed or tortured. In fact, during the 100 years of the 20th century more than a million people have been the victims of genocide at least 100 times, or on average, one millon per year! Survivors of those Holocausts describe in disbelief how the neighbors they had once befriended and whose children had played with their children, began to be considered enemies to fear, and even to kill, as the result of pervasive and continuous propaganda!

    Thus, even if we think it can’t happen here, it can! And it has already happened, in regards to various wars in our our own domestic history! Genocide of African American slaves, genocide of Native Americans who had their land, their lives, and their cultures killed and trampled on by self-righteous military and/or vigilante groups, groups who indiscriminately separated families and forced their “inferiors,” to labor as they were considered nothing little more than cattle who could be first milked and then slaughtered for food! It is absolutely true that no amount of reason or facts, could have prevented the idea that certain races, religions or ethnic backgrounds which are not like others and could rightfully be considered mere property that is bought and sold like sheep or cows!

    Perhaps the best solution is to avoid becoming complacent in a land where hamburgers can be bought in minutes at drive ins, and where many people who are considered poor, are able to afford IPhones and Smart TVs anyway, and also where we all must exercise to keep ourselves from being hopelessly fat!

    Once we no longer care what goes on in DC, or if wealth needs to endure little of no taxes, and where even now many of us can live with the food stamps we have been given. What I try to do now, is not to curse or be needlessly aggressive on social media and state my case simply, sometimes by merely providing links to articles that debunk the many outrageous and petty complaints that motivate 45’s henchmen!

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