SCGOP's peddling a suck up to Senator Jim DeMint about how he's a social media "genius" in the US Senate. He ranks #2 behind John McCain, who's about to pound sand with Teabagger- and thus, presumed DeMint Arizona Mini-Me- J.D. Hayworth.
Several things are interesting about this rating.
One is L2- the enterprise that bestowed brilliancy- has a lot of data that's worth drilling down into. It's the sort of story most people will not give much thought, settling for the top-line data that suits their needs. The genius claim needs to be considered in the context of the rest of the data, which makes the claim seem a bit more ambiguous.
Thus SCGOP's lauding of DeMint, and not mentioning he's #2 behind a man who admitted in 2008 he had no idea how to use computers. But he somehow had a broad theoretical appreciation of the great issues underlying internet technology.
It's all in the context. Why's the SCGOP not also lauding SC Senator Lindsey Graham, who ranks 30th of 100 senators, between Arlen Spector (D-Out the Door) and Patty Murry (D-Maybe Out the Door)? He's a South Carolina Republican Senator, too.
More context: of the seven "geniuses", six are up for re-election this year. (Of the rest, 16 are "gifted"; 40 are "average"; 29 are "challenged"; and 8 are kinda feeble.)
What does that mean other than some smart young staffers- or consultants, like the out of state ones Congressman Jim Wilson hired to Twitter for him as he tried to rag his opponent for raising money out of state- see the Cotton Boll Conspiracy post about how much loot Wilson has hauled in from outside the borders) are looking to be kept on and showing off their ability to reduce campaign bromides to 140 characters. In DeMint's case, what's the point of being a genius when you've got the village idiot running against you and no one on the planet believes you will lose? You can't get SC voters to swing through Florida tomorrow to help prop up Marco Rubio, after all.
Is Twitter really the way Jim DeMint wants to communicate his views on complex issues? And to whom is he communicating them? With one of the nation's highest unemployment rates and poor education records to vote against doing anything about, it's hard to imagine how many independents or Democrats DeMint's trying to reach, much less win over- or who can afford a Twitter account.
Consultant Wesley Donehue, who knows which side his bread is buttered on, and by whom, says, he and his team just provide DeMint the platform and DeMint's protean genius fills in the message.
As Senator Mitch McConnell said of whether Americans believe the President is a secret Muslim this past weekend, as to how many Senators in the genius category actually know how to write for themselves in the social media sphere, "I take his word for it."
In the end, this study seems to be like the recent one by a phantom business group rabbiting on about how Boeing will make SC into Silicon Valley overnight. It'll probably get the company producing the study a lot of ink, but it really says nothing about how Senator DeMint actually uses social networks himself, who he reaches- South Carolinians who sign his paycheck or his Senate Conservatives Fund fan club in a bunch of other states?- and whether it has any demonstrable effect.
Come back to the top line- DeMint- a marketing guy- is trailing John McCain- who's sold his soul to get re-elected and also spent a bazillion dollars to slam his opponent on TV and radio. Old media, those.
Next to that, having no serious opposition- and getting at best middling approval ratings- doesn't make DeMint's geniusity seem to impressive on the data.
And why's the SCGOP ignoring Senator Graham on the same set of metrics?
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