March 31st, 2009
03:45 PM ET
5 years ago

TX Republican calls for social media-led revolution

Rep. John Culberson spoke with conservative bloggers about social media Tuesday at the Heritage Foundation.
Rep. John Culberson spoke with conservative bloggers about social media Tuesday at the Heritage Foundation.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - One of the pioneers in the use of social media by Congress said Tuesday that the micro-blogging service Twitter might sometimes allow for a little too much transparency.

"Oh, sure, that's always possible," Texas Republican Rep. John Culberson said when asked by CNN whether members of Congress might come to regret thoughts tweeted in the heat of the moment.

"I remember Benjamin Franklin's admonition that... if you're really, really mad, to write it all down and then look at it and think about it and wad it up and throw it in the fireplace and let it burn. And, there's a few twitters that I get - I get really frustrated and angry because I am really concerned. For the first time, I'm really spooked about the financial solvency of America," he said.

While the Texas Republican is aware of the potential pitfalls of social media, he also believes social networking technologies can catalyze political organizing and advocacy.

"This is a horizontal revolution," Culberson said also Tuesday at the Heritage Foundation's weekly gathering of conservative bloggers. "Think of a flock of birds or a school of fish and how they move: absolute synchronization. That's possible using this technology."

Related: Congress wades through tweets


Filed under: Social Networking
soundoff (50 Responses)
  1. Vivian

    The Republicans are now trying anything and everything they can. Still, they have no viable solutions.

    March 31, 2009 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  2. No More Incumbents

    Instant term limits. Now that is social change I can believe in. Vote out all incumbents until these idiots realize they have to be accountable to the American people.

    March 31, 2009 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  3. Mark

    Just another Republican idiot among the ranks.

    March 31, 2009 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  4. Dawn

    May I ask were was all the people telling the American people that we should have a revolution under Bush 8 year tenure? Michelle Bachmann is a wack job, stating she wants her State to be armed and dangerous, just because there is a Democrat in the WH? We had Democrats in the WH before, is it only the Reepublican that can pull us out?

    Some one tell me, are we that far gone, that we are scared of our own shadow these days?

    March 31, 2009 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  5. EBC, Boyds MD

    Aren't these GOP Clowns tired of the media laughing at them?? They want to be clowned on twitter too!

    Republicans came out waving their "We have a Budget Flag" in front of a bunch of reporters who quickly SLAMMED them with their own numberless budget and was LAUGHED off the stage!!! Republicans had NO NUMBERS, no idea how MUCH their own budget was going to cost!!

    AND they have Rush Limbaugh, Ann Coulture as the GOP leaders. This doesn't get any better for the Democrats.

    March 31, 2009 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  6. Ben

    If republicans stop looking like copycats then they will be real!

    March 31, 2009 05:09 pm at 5:09 pm |
  7. arithmetic is liberal

    "Think of a flock of birds or a school of fish and how they move: absolute synchronization. That's possible using this technology."

    Looks to me as though he completely missed the point.
    Also, the great thing about technology is that it's always changing. By the time the GOP gets their act together on any technological scale their plan will already be obsolete.

    And network sites are the most fickle and changable of the bunch! First you had to have a livejournal. Then you had to have a myspace. Then myspace and livejournal weren't cool anymore so you had to get a Facebook. Then a Friendster, a Digg and a Xanga later, everyone is tweeting on Twitter.

    In 6 months everyone will have moved on to something else, and the Republicans have proved that they can't move fast enough (or hire the people who can move fast enough) to keep pace.

    March 31, 2009 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
  8. JL

    The "worry" he has over America's "financial solvency of America"...............so this just all started say January 20, 2009 RIGHT? WRONG, Bush and Cheney must had sent you some of the $$ they sold from America YO. Get real, republicans attempt to find something in there favor..........................................how about ya'll repent and start over, this time try HONESTY. So disgusting!

    March 31, 2009 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  9. Roland

    I believe that Jim Garrison was right in his closing argument in the assaination trial of President Kennedy in New Orleans. "The government believes that we are children that cannot be told the truth because the truth may be to disturbing to the common person and may not be able to handle it.

    March 31, 2009 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  10. william from oregon

    The GOP party of NO keep it up and the 75 % of America that backs the President WII VOTE YOU OUT.

    March 31, 2009 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
  11. Marcia, Marcia, Marcia in CA

    They losing control and they are running scared!

    March 31, 2009 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |
  12. Mississippi Mike

    "May I ask were was all the people telling the American people that we should have a revolution under Bush 8 year tenure?"

    The liberals were out in full force in DC during the reign of Bush. I worked in DC for a couple of years while he was in office and I can tell you that they were out there every day doing whatever they could to get attention. Everybody ignores them because they are total whack-jobs.

    We are already seeing the kind of revolution that is being suggested here. The tea parties that Michelle Malkin advertises are a sign of this. A lot of the "blue dog Democrats" I work with have already written Obama off as a socialist and are really mad that they were lied to during his campaign.

    March 31, 2009 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |
  13. THAT ONE/BIDEN 08

    Where was the Republican outrage about the deficit when Curious George was in?

    March 31, 2009 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  14. To RUSH and JINDAL: I do not want the levees in Louisiana or Florida to fail, just the policies of the Corp. of Engineers building them!!!

    Now the neo-cons will all be able to send tweets the same stale messages that say "tax breaks cure everything" and "socialism" in unison.

    You may be increasing the state of technology, but the message is still in era of the Pony Express!

    March 31, 2009 05:22 pm at 5:22 pm |
  15. Cindy

    God, they're slow. Flock of birds, school of fish moving in unison? That's like, online petitions. Mass mailings. Spam. Worthless.

    Tweets... didn't you guys know already? Think before pressing send? This is old stuff. You're only now, catching up to old stuff.

    March 31, 2009 05:25 pm at 5:25 pm |
  16. Osama bin Laden & Lush Limprick share the same vision for America - FAILURE!!!

    "The tea parties that Michelle Malkin advertises are a sign of this."

    Yeah the most recent two after weeks of advertising on the official mouthpiece of the repubs Fox, and there was one with 2000 attendees and one with 4000 attendees.

    You might want to Google Inaugrual Day 1/20/09 and take a look at a real "tea party" with over 2 million attendees.

    Come back when you catch up!

    March 31, 2009 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  17. Jack-NY

    Another chess player? I think they can not know what is wrong with their party because they keep chasing what Obama is doing......

    Oooh well!!

    March 31, 2009 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
  18. lynn in NM

    We need something other than the media we have now. The TV reporters are partly to blame for this mess. They were so intent on getting Obama elected that they bad mouthed the economy, until we started to believe it. Now, they can't say enough good about Obama to make him walk on water anymore. You get what you ask for folks.

    March 31, 2009 05:31 pm at 5:31 pm |
  19. John

    "JL March 31st, 2009 5:13 pm ET

    The "worry" he has over America's "financial solvency of America"……………so this just all started say January 20, 2009 RIGHT? WRONG, Bush and Cheney must had sent you some of the $$ they sold from America YO. Get real, republicans attempt to find something in there favor……………………………………how about ya'll repent and start over, this time try HONESTY. So disgusting!"
    **********************************************************************

    No this started long before Bush, but you forgot Dodd in your crticism... just to let you know.

    Also, support your local Tea party this 15th of April, Cincy had 4000 strong, let's try and reach several more.

    March 31, 2009 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
  20. frank thomas

    ;I know the repub,s in Texas and elsewhere in the southwest can start little fires of their old tired campaign slogans and use the smoke to send signals to each other about what to vote no on, if it has to do with what people do in their own bedrooms vote yes ,anything to actually help the people send a smole signal no.

    March 31, 2009 05:43 pm at 5:43 pm |
  21. Jackie in Dallas

    Culbertson wants us to behave like a school of fish? Duh. A flock of birds or a school of fish are programmed through their genetics and imprinting to follow each other without thinking. And that is a typical Republican thought: the GOP needs to get people to follow without thinking, and just react. Yep, the same old GOP with new toys.

    It is nice to see at least one legislator from my state who knows anything about newer technology, but please! He intent was so obvious.

    March 31, 2009 05:44 pm at 5:44 pm |
  22. Bill

    Experience sure comes in handy with a President. If only Obama had run something besides a campaign prior to being elected. I thought Bush looked inept at times but he makes Obama look pitiful. He has chosen most of the same foriegn policy that Bush had but renamed it and he is spending twice as much as Bush if we thought that possible. We got what we voted for a mid level manager in the highest executive position in the land.

    March 31, 2009 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  23. Enlightened Voter

    Republican mantra – tax cuts for the rich and no other solutions for our country. Check out their budget online – exactly what i said.

    March 31, 2009 05:48 pm at 5:48 pm |
  24. Jackie in Dallas

    Chris:

    Hate to break it to you, but Culbertson is a Republican. Unfortunately, we haven't had a Dem elected to Congress from Texas in a while. Makes me wish Ann Richards and Barbara Jordan were still around.

    March 31, 2009 05:50 pm at 5:50 pm |
  25. Flex

    "Absolute synchronization" These are two very good adjectives for the republican party. They are hateful absolutists, except for the Megan McCaine type, and they all don't have a different brain wave within a 100 mile radius.

    March 31, 2009 05:50 pm at 5:50 pm |
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