The Tweet Heard ‘Round the World
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?
This 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!
Edmund Wright is a contributor at American Thinker, Breitbart, Newsmax TV, Talk Radio Network and author of Amazon best selling election book WTF? How Karl Rove and the Establishment Lost...Again