As President Obama addressed the American people tonight on the administration's plans to "degrade and ultimately destroy" ISIS, he repeatedly mentioned that he wants Congress's support for his plans. On Twitter, Congress's reaction during and immediately after the speech was either disparaging, supportive, or completely off-topic. Here's a classification of the most common congressional responses:
At one point, Obama noted that "tomorrow marks 13 years since our country was attacked." But he didn't mention that tomorrow is also the anniversary of the Benghazi attack:
Mr. President, tomorrow also marks two years since we lost four brave Americans in #Benghazi.— Randy Weber (@TXRandy14) September 11, 2014
Tomorrow is also a painful anniversary for the families of those lost on Sept. 11, 2001 and on Sept. 11, 2012.— Rep. Steve Stockman (@SteveWorks4You) September 11, 2014
Quotes and observations related to the speech
Joe Biden is a good Vice President (and President of the Senate) in the way a good wingman talks you up to potential dates:
"We will hunt down terrorists who threaten our country, wherever they are." —President Obama on #ISIL— Vice President Biden (@VP) September 11, 2014
Rep. Steve Stockman noted that Christian charities are also assisting refugees:
Many great Christian charities are also assisting refugees victimized by ISIS terrorists.— Rep. Steve Stockman (@SteveWorks4You) September 11, 2014
Criticisms of completely unrelated policy issues
Here we have the scheduled manual tweets that possibly should have been scheduled for another time. Or maybe this evening really was a good time to also talk about net neutrality:
Obamacare's bill for small businesses? Big bucks, fewer jobs http://t.co/BgaqXyGW5t— RepKevinBrady (@RepKevinBrady) September 11, 2014
Here is a statement on what Obama just said
As soon as the president finished speaking, Congressional offices released a massive wave of statements about the need for [insert vague description of a strategy here]. Many of these statements were filled with "but"s. For example, Rep. Linda Sanchez supports heightened aggression against ISIS, but "I have reservations about expanding airstrikes into Syria." Speaker John Boehner supports training and equipping Iraqi forces, "but I remain concerned that those measures could take years to fully implement at a time when ISIL’s momentum and territorial gains need to be immediately halted and reversed."
House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy supports pretty much everything Obama wants to do, but... "But more must be done ... We must recognize ISIL is but a symptom of a broader terrorist threat that has been ignored for too long by this Administration."
What do you think?
Some members of Congress know that the best way to engage with your followers is to start a conversation:
Now that the President has addressed the country, what are your thoughts on his plan to take on ISIS?— Rep. Bob Gibbs (@RepBobGibbs) September 11, 2014
What do you think about the chances of success of POTUS's plan for destroying ISIS? Yes or No?— JohnCornyn (@JohnCornyn) September 11, 2014
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.