"In addition to Facebook, Boehner (above) often 'tweets' out comments or announcements, but the Speaker-designate will change his Twitter name to reflect his new position. That change is not expected to happen until later Tuesday night and Boehner's staff is not releasing what his new Twitter handle will be yet," reports CNN's politicalticker.
"Seems like John Boehner's been studying Sarah Palin's embrace of the full panoply of media, old & new," we just twittered: "Opening gavel tomorrow to livestream on Facebook":
According to a blog post that will be posted on Boehner's website this afternoon, the incoming speaker will direct people to visit the "Pledge to America" Facebook page to view the transition to the GOP-controlled House.
Nick Schaper, Boehner's director of digital media, tells CNN, "This kind of streaming and real-time interaction is not only unprecedented for the House, it's helping to set the tone for a new majority that will continue to find new ways to listen to and better represent the American people." Those watching on Facebook will be able to offer feedback and comment on the proceedings as they happen live.
We assume they'll be livestreaming the controversial reading of the Constitution on Friday, blogged here. Rube that we are, we have to admit we get goosebumps at the thought of this obvious "stunt," the "showy equivalent of wearing a flag pin" — We're still sporting our post-9/11 flag pin to this day! — as bitter dustbin-of-history opinionator David Corn scoffs. Sorry, David. Disintermediating the powers that be via the internet is where we're at. Been there since our first tea party/town hall in March of 2009 and never looked back. Republican vs Democrat are no longer the relevant categories. It's "them vs us," Angelo Codevilla's the Ruling Class vs the Country Class, the vested powers that be vs the Sons and Daughters of Liberty. Check out the cynical conventional "wisdom" of this item from the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette:
But the question being debated in legal and political circles is whether the constitutional rules are simply symbolic flourishes to satisfy an emboldened and watchful tea party base. "I think it's entirely cosmetic," said Western Connecticut State University history professor Kevin Gutzman, who said he is a conservative libertarian and sympathizes with the tea party.
"This is the way the establishment handles grass-roots movements," he said. "They humor people who are not expert, or not fully cognizant. And then once they've humored them, and those people go away, it's right back to business as usual. It looks like this will be business as usual — except for the half-hour, or however long it takes, to read the Constitution out loud."
"Not fully cognizant"? Harrumph! Thanks to the internet-facilitated freedom of assembly — both virtual and on the ground — we're not going away any time soon.
Update: Michelle Malkin Buzzworthy link!
Update II: "Boehner to livestream" trending on Memeorandum.