McCaskill's defense of Twitter

Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) is coming to Twitter's defense.

Last week, Matt Bai wrote a piece for the NY Times indicting Twitter as a political tool. Too many politicians, Bai says, use Twitter to share the trivial aspects of their daily lives:
The clear leader in this field is Claire McCaskill, Missouri's junior senator, who took up Twitter just before the inauguration. "I get old style crunchy taco, and a chicken burrito supreme & Diet Coke at Taco Bell," McCaskill recently tweeted. "Miss those tostados." Then: "Ok, ok, brain freeze. I know you can only get Diet Pepsi at Taco Bell." Give McCaskill credit: she clearly does the tweeting herself, and she shares both her policy positions and the details of her daily life in a way that can be informative and oddly endearing. And yet at times McCaskill, like just about all devoted tweeters, can sound like Tom Hanks in that movie on the island, jabbering to his battered volleyball so as not to lose touch with his own existence.

Ouch. McCaskill, probably the Senate's most prolific tweeter, defended herself today. She tweeted (of course) a link to her blog, where she posted a justification of Twitter as a tool for political outreach.
After reading Matt Bai's piece in the New York Times Magazine yesterday, I'd like to explain why I tweet and post here on Tumblr. His thesis is that twitter is banal and superficial and therefore not a good fit within the context of politics and Congressional activity. Of the 100's of tweets that my thumbs are responsible for, he chose to highlight a reply I made to someone who had asked about my favorite meal at Taco Bell. Admittedly, this is definitely not important stuff.

But--like many in Washington--he misses the point.

First, through Twitter, on a daily basis I post information on a public bulletin board about serious public policy issues. Short and sweet, these messages are intended to drive thought and discussion rather than provide a thorough analysis of the issue.

Read the rest of McCaskill's post here.

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