Reporting on Politics and Policy.
Jan. 29 2013 9:22 AM


A picture taken on October 23, 2012 shows the screen of a blackberry phone featuring the logo of micro-blogging site Twitter.

Photo by FRED TANNEAU/AFP/Getty Images

One shouldn't take a hashtag campaign by a political group too seriously. But in the minds of some Republicans, hashtags have been helping out the party ever since they shamed the Democratic majorities in 2008 for taking summer recess before passing a drilling bill, using the hashtag #DontGo. (Republicans lost congressional seats in that election, but whatever.) Reince Priebus played technology — simple, open-source technology — awfully high in his re-election speech.

And now the National Republican Congressional Committee, tasked with the relatively easy task of holding the gerrymandered House majority, wants supporters to tweet #GetToWork. The pitch:

With the election now over, President Obama has put fixing the economy on the back burner. Instead of taking real action, like renewing his Jobs Council or approving the Keystone Pipeline, President Obama has moved on to his second-term liberal agenda. But with 12 million Americans unemployed and a national debt over $16 trillion, shouldn’t President Obama keep his eye on the ball and work to find real solutions to create jobs and tackle our out-of-control spending?

If you wanted to really rile up people about something that might cost them jobs, you'd yammer about the possibility of legalizing undocumented workers. But the Keystone Pipeline? Unless you want to swallow and spit out TransCanada's own estimates, that could create jobs in the mid-five-figures. The Jobs Council? That didn't create any jobs, for anybody. It might have hurt the economy by giving Jeffrey Immelt's press shop more busywork. Blame the president for creating such a transparently silly election-year gimmick, not the gimmick for being useless. Or don't blame anybody. When you can count on winning 191 seats (according to committee chairman Greg Walden) without lifting a finger, you don't need to drink deep of populism. You can probably even afford to remind them that the House isn't really doing anything right now.

Correction, Jan. 29, 2013: This post originally misidentified the National Republican Congressional Committee as the National Congressional Campaign Committee.

David Weigel is a Slate political reporter. 


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