You can't make this stuff up: Rep. Peter Hoekstra, a Republican from Michigan, set off a political-blog firestorm when he posted to his Twitter account on Wednesday that "Iranian twitter activity (is) similar to what we did in House last year when Republicans were shut down in the House."
Presumably he was talking about rallying in the face of adversity. But, um, really? The U.S. congressional elections might be rife with mildly nefarious characters on both sides of the party line, but the current upheaval in Iran deals with a totalitarian regime, media blackouts, and mass protests with casualties. Talk about a gaffe. Rep. Hoekstra has said he will not seek re-election and is reportedly considering a run for governor; I'm sure his potential opponents are taking note here.
Anyway, somebody brilliant (I learned this is, unsurprisingly, Ben Huh of I Can Has Cheezburger fame) seized the opportunity and created a hilarious blog called "Pete Hoekstra is a Meme," devoted to photo captions much like the perennial "lolcats" craze. "To Hoekstra is to whine using grandiose exaggerations and comparisons," the site explains. Each "Hoekstra is a Meme" caption illustrates a similar, though generally more offensive claim.
It gets better. This is the same Rep. Peter Hoekstra who, you might recall, Twittered his secret trip to Iraq back in February. This guy is just comedy gold. I'm sure he's a fine public servant to the good people of Michigan (Is he? Michiganders, please weigh in!), but when it comes to Twitter, you'd almost think he had been planted by the writers for The Daily Show.
And while some might say Rep. Hoekstra's staffers ought to gently prevent him from Twittering, in the future, I say keep 'em coming. It's been a while: Politicians have been getting awfully digital-savvy for the past few years. Back in 2006, we were guaranteed loads of hilarity whenever Ted Stevens tried to explain the Internet, Robert Wexler wasn't aware that his Colbert Report joke about being a cocaine fiend would be mixed and remixed all over the Web, or George Allen mouthed off in the presence of YouTube-ready cameras.
These days, however, we're stuck with far too many Beltway types who are woefully adept at Twittering, like former Bush strategist Karl Rove.
And honestly, that's just no fun.
This post was updated at 11:33 p.m. PT.