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Monday, May 24, 2010

Republicans And The Internet

Seems that Republicans have a difficult time not only understanding how the internet works, but how to process criticism on the internet without turning it into a grand Glenn Beck style conspiracy.

Pennsylvania prosecutors are dropping their grand jury subpoena to Twitter demanding the identity of two account holders who used the microblogging service to criticize Attorney General Tom Corbett, a spokesman said Friday.

Corbett, the Republican candidate for governor, was seeking to unmask the account holders ahead of Friday’s sentencing of Brett Cott, whom Corbett targeted in a political corruption investigation.

Corbett wanted to know if Cott was the one anonymously disparaging Corbett and the ongoing probe, Corbett spokesman Kevin Harley said in a telephone interview. Prosecutors believed that linking Cott to one of the Twitter accounts criticizing Corbett would show the defendant had a bad attitude that should earn him a higher sentence, Harley said.

Maybe I'm reading this wrong, but doesn't this seem to be not only a blatantly hypocritial move on the part of Corbett but an egregious misuse of grand jury power?

Republicans are no strangers to whisper campaigns, smear tactics, and simply coming out in unblushing fashion in level all sorts of specious and outright false accusations against opponents. So why the righteous indignation on the part of Corbett?

With Republicans clamouring to misinform their constituency regarding a multitude of issues, the internet really isn't something they should be toying with in this fashion. After all, since freedom of speech is an alleged cornerstone of conservative thought, it really doesn't serve their cause well by attacking those that exercise it.

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