#FutureMittJokes: We Built That

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When Mitt Romney had his birther moment this morning, some defenders tried an age-old tactic to shift attention off the candidate’s remarks: react to the reaction to the remarks. In this case, the conservatives in question worked at Michelle Malkin’s website, the Twitchy, and their outrage was directed at a hashtag meme that had taken off on Twitter:

When you’ve been dealt a bad hand, you can still play the race card. At least that’s the strategy liberals subscribe to. After Mitt Romney cracked a birth certificate joke earlier today, the Left experienced nothing short of a major meltdown. Bereft of any rational thought, they decided to birth a ludicrous hashtag game, #FutureMittJokes.

Actually, Twitchers, there’s no need to blame liberals for spotlighting the presidential candidate’s racial blindspot with some pointed tweets: You can just blame us. #FutureMittJokes was the brainchild of MoJo‘s Adam Serwer, who spontaneously tweeted:

He got it warmed up with:

From there, it just sort of took off. With writers from:

The American Prospect:

Wired:

Gawker:

Here’s my personal favorite, because it sounds like the kind of joke I could really hear Romney saying:

So, yeah, we built that. (We can take no credit, however, for American Bridge, a liberal-connected super PAC, taking the ball and sticking one of their campaign plugs on the hashtag’s search page as a “sponsored tweet.” Way to piggyback on a good thing, dudes.)

Apparently, this is all outrageous! and shocking! to conservatives—who, as quick as they were to condemn Rep. Todd Akin’s luddite notions of female assault and reproduction earlier this week, quietly dismissed Romney’s birther shoutout as a cute, banal, not-at-all-racially-coded joke. Apparently the only thing that’s more offensive than racial pandering is being accused of racial pandering. “Those are fighting tweets, sir!”

But, whoops, a couple folks didn’t get the memo and tried to highjack the hashtag and use it to dump some anti-Obama barbs:

 

“Pretty sure that’s a win, right there,” the Twitchy’s anonymous blogger wrote of the attempted highjacking. Hmm… Depends on what your definition of “win” is.

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THE TRUTH...

is the first thing despots go after. An unwavering commitment to it is probably what draws you to Mother Jones' journalism. And as we're seeing in the US and the world around, authoritarians seek to poison the discourse and the way we relate to each other because they can't stand people coming together around a shared sense of the truth—it's a huge threat to them.

Which is also a pretty great way to describe Mother Jones' mission: People coming together around the truth to hold power accountable.

And right now, we need to raise about $400,000 from our online readers over the next two months to hit our annual goal and make good on that mission. Read more about the information war we find ourselves in and how people-powered, independent reporting can and must rise to the challenge—and please support our team's truth-telling journalism with a donation if you can right now.

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