Oh my! Should I wear it as a badge of honor? Lt. Gov. John Fetterman of the Commonwealth of PA has blocked moi on Twitter. My first ever gubernatorial blockage!!!
Yes, really. And honestly? I tweet at Donald Trump and Real Housewives significantly more than him which isn’t saying much because I don’t tweet at any of those folks or Trump much. Mostly where Big Orange is concerned, I try to pretend he isn’t on Twitter. (Keeps the blood pressure down.)
But even Big Orange hasn’t blocked me on Twitter. But John Fetterman has apparently. It’s like he wants me to write a blog post about it. Especially amusing since there seems to be some legal precedent stating elected officials cannot block constituents on social media, especially if they use social media to inform constituents? And Lt. Gov. Lurch might not like my Tweets, but I am a constituent, yes? Something about that pesky thing known as the First Amendment, perhaps?
I do not know precisely when I was blocked (I discovered it today) because I don’t include him in tweets very often. I think he is like an empty paper bag with even less substance. I never even wrote a blog post about before about our Lieutenant Governor because he has always seemed a little creepy to me.
I have no problem with ink but his date and numeric tattoos are utterly creepy to look at. And I am fascinated and always slightly puzzled how the man can never get a shirt that fits properly at the collar. Or how a politician can look so uncomfortable in a suit, or even as a politician.
I remember when he first came onto the political scene that I took note of him. It was that 2016 U.S. Senate attempt. Then I promptly forgot about him until Tom Wolf starting trotting him out for his last election.
Wolf is a true Rendell Democrat and we’ll leave it at that.
Now what had I tweeted and how often at John Fetterman? The answer is not much and it was mostly pipeline related. Those pipelines are ruining where I call home and in my humble opinion are too problematic and too damn dangerous. And for what all this risk to residents? So people a few miles up the road can get sinkholes, the people in East Goshen suffer from inadvertent returns on Boot Road, other people can get their water wells ruined, miles and miles of countryside get raped and pillaged and for what? So a company that should not have PUC utility status can ship gas and “other hydrocarbons” overseas to make plastics in places like Scotland? And don’t forget exploding refineries that then immediately go out of business, right? Or property values that go down due to pipeline syndrome, right?
Compared to a lot of what I see on Twitter, I barely nipped at Big John’s ankles. I pulled as many tweets as I could find, and like I said, there weren’t many. I have screen shots so you can see:
John Fetterman did kind of make campaign promises about pipelines to people in Chester County and elsewhere. Once he got elected, what has he done? Here are some pipeline and Fetterman things I found on Facebook:
Here is what the ACLU had to say in January of this year:
Court Rules Public Officials Can’t Block Critics on Facebook
By Vera Eidelman, Staff Attorney, ACLU Speech, Privacy, and Technology Project
JANUARY 9, 2019 | 12:00 PM
One of the core purposes of the First Amendment is to allow people, regardless of their views, to hold the government accountable through expression. So, if your elected representative has an official Facebook page where she invites comments, can she block you from commenting because you criticize her work?
According to a federal appeals court, the answer is a resounding no.
On Monday, the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the interactive portion of a public official’s Facebook page is a “public forum,” so an official cannot block people from it because of the opinions they hold.
And then this happened today ironically:
Wall Street Journal: President Trump Can’t Block Twitter Users, Federal Appeals Court Rules
Practice of blocking users violates free-speech protections, judges say
By Corinne Ramey
Updated July 9, 2019 4:03 pm ET
A federal appeals court in New York ruled President Trump’s practice of blocking some users on Twitter violates the free-speech protections of the First Amendment.
Tuesday’s ruling stems from a 2017 lawsuit filed by Columbia University’s Knight First Amendment Institute on behalf of seven people who had been blocked by the president’s @realDonaldTrump account.
Here is a report also from NPR:
NPR: U.S. Appeals Court Rules Trump Violated First Amendment By Blocking Twitter Followers
July 9, 20193:38 PM ET
A federal appeals court in Manhattan says President Trump cannot block critics from his Twitter account, calling it “unconstitutional viewpoint discrimination.”
In a 29-page ruling on Tuesday, a three-judge panel of the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals unanimously upheld a lower court’s decision that found that Trump violated the First Amendment when he blocked certain Twitter users, because he uses his Twitter account “to conduct official business and to interact with the public.” By preventing critics from accessing his feed, the president is barring them from participating in what the judges deemed a public forum.
“[The] First Amendment does not permit a public official who utilizes a social media account for all manner of official purposes to exclude persons from an otherwise-open online dialogue because they expressed views with which the official disagrees,” the judges wrote.
So I guess Pennsylvania Lt. Gov. John Fetterman is more special than the sitting President? (However, I can’t say either would honestly win any popularity contests, can you?)
Now mind you, the reaction from some Twitter-vomitors was amusing. One guy said to me he would block me too and I was a “conservative big oil hater.” Oh how that made me giggle. I am an independent and a moderate but I’m not anti-oil, I’m anti-pipeline in Pennsylvania, there’s a difference. Above all else I am an independent thinker and I’m proud of that. But to the intellectually limited who haunt Twitter I am either that or an evil Liberal or a former RINO (Republican in Name Only).
Seriously, Twitter is the last bastion for total freaking craziness. That is why over the years I have been active then not active on Twitter. Twitter is like a weird free for all where grown men seem to think it’s OK to call women a Facist C-U- Next-Tuesdays. Yes, someone did actually do that.
Do I really, really care if John Fetterman blocked me on Twitter?
No. Because in the stratosphere of politics in PA, he’s temporarily trendy at best. He’s like that dress you know you shouldn’t have bothered buying that will be out of fashion before you even get to wear it enough.
But there is the principle of the thing here. The First Amendment allows freedom of speech and the ability to address your government. It’s not selective or subjective.
First Amendment: Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
At the end of the day I know I did not do anything so terribly awful or profanity laced that I deserved to be blocked. I am a resident of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, therefore one of his constituents whether he likes it or not. And whether I like him or not, which I really do not on principle. He’s a phony baloney. And he sucks up to that Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing so often people probably actually do throw up a little every time they see him fawning.
And am I so powerful he decided to block me? Oh hell no. I actually just think it’s because he doesn’t like to be reminded of things he said he would do and hasn’t, and he must hate being reminded about his pandering to Chester County residents devastated by the pipelines just so they would vote Wolf-Fetterman last election, right? besides, I am a blogger which is always an easy target for politicians because everyone knows bloggers are really Cyborgs, right?
So John Fetterman, I am not so politically naiive and honey have I got your proverbial number. You keep on going on your “listening tours” with your selective politically male hearing. We’ll remember the truth come the next time you want to run for something.
Meanwhile, I will continue to look at the little plastic troll dolls many friend got at a tag sale and marvel how they all sort of resemble John Fetterman.
This post was brought to all of you courtesy of the First Amendment and to all a good night.