What would Ronald Reagan tweet?
It's the sort of thing that might, on long nights, pop into the heads of traditional conservatives who long for Reagan's dignity, his restraint. People like Tom Powers, a semi-retired (but still regularly contributing) sportswriter for the St. Paul Pioneer Press.
Powers has made no secret, especially lately, about his admiration for Ronald Reagan. If the "Great Communicator" had lived to the present day, and was in fact on Twitter... he probably wouldn't have done any of the shit Tom Powers did last night.
The Twitter binge in question began when Powers replied to a tweet from editorial cartoonist Tom Tomorrow, who -- after Donald Trump again blamed violence in Charlottesville, Virginia on "both sides," including the "alt-left" -- called on Republicans to "own [their] fucking mess, and do something about it."
Powers' response, published at 10:36 p.m. (exactly seven hours after the original tweet) was reflexive, deflective, and clearly came as a shock to many of his 4,900-some followers.
It wouldn't have been a republican mess if the Dems hadn't run anybody other than Hilary Clinton, the devil incarnate. https://t.co/cbACLtFsXc— Tom Powers (@TomPowersPP) August 16, 2017
Powers, for his part, seemed ready to move on to things he's probably better suited to talk about. Like baseball players, and how swell it is to be Tom Powers.
Best fielding 3rd baseman I've ever seen. 1) Brooks Robinson 2) Aurelio Rodrigues 3) Mike Schmidt. Schmidt announced retirement to me. Scoop— Tom Powers (@TomPowersPP) August 16, 2017
But a few people didn't want to let Powers' earlier tweet go, and challenged him about his Trump/Clinton position. Having started at this very low point in political discourse, Powers happily dug deeper. A selection of lowlights from the tweets he penned over the next five hours:
You lost. Go fuck yourself, https://t.co/IUqy84fkzU— Tom Powers (@TomPowersPP)
Hey Democrats< you ran Hillary. Go fuck yourselves.— Tom Powers (@TomPowersPP) August 16, 2017
August 16, 2017
I'm tired of the liberal bullshit. And I'm retired from Pioneer Press, So bite me. https://t.co/Tp10Ku8kF8— Tom Powers (@TomPowersPP) August 16, 2017
I think Hillary Clinton is worse than Richard Speck and John Wayne Gacy, https://t.co/QFYOoODfa2— Tom Powers (@TomPowersPP) August 16, 2017
Furthermore, I think Dems are assholes for whining after nominating the most unlikable, untrustworthy candidate in the history of politics.— Tom Powers (@TomPowersPP) August 16, 2017
The word "liberal" is a hot button. I prefer asshole. https://t.co/jlvocILWPR— Tom Powers (@TomPowersPP) August 16, 2017
It's funny, every time I say something nice about Trump I lose about 500 followers. Which just goes to show how fucked liberal pussies are.— Tom Powers (@TomPowersPP) August 16, 2017
Yes, but seriously if there was a pussy poll, you don' think we're talking at least 80 percent?— Tom Powers (@TomPowersPP) August 16, 2017
you are a professional victim. Pull up your panties and pray.— Tom Powers (@TomPowersPP) August 16, 2017
At a couple points, Powers took what looks like the high road compared to the rest of his bomb-throwing. Here he is outlining the Tom Powers for president campaign platform.
What we need to do is create jobs, help people to get along, and quit the bullshit about people finding something to be offended about.— Tom Powers (@TomPowersPP) August 16, 2017
And here he is saying something nice about someone! (It's Ronald Reagan.)
Preface: Ronald Reagan is my political hero. Now: we wouldn't be dealing with Trump if Dems had run ANYBODY else. https://t.co/hJGwSD8Ej1— Tom Powers (@TomPowersPP) August 16, 2017
This magnanimity never lasted too long, though.
I'm going to bed now. In conclusion, Dems are against many things but stand or for nothing. Pussies. Fucking awful.— Tom Powers (@TomPowersPP) August 16, 2017
That last one, which hit the web at 3:17 a.m., was indeed Powers' final vomitous offering of the early morning hours. But we'd rather close on this tweet, something which Powers wrote almost 90 minutes earlier, sandwiching it neatly in between tweets about "pussies," "liberal pussies," "professional victim," the "devil incarnate," "assholes," and prolific serial killers.
Tonight stuff is coming from the fact that I'm tired of name calling, categorizing, finger pointing stereotyping. I want to move forward. https://t.co/ouHgoFrzlK— Tom Powers (@TomPowersPP) August 16, 2017
Amen to that, Tom. Speaking of good ideas: Maybe's it time you clicked a few buttons, so people could start calling you a "former Twitter user"?
UPDATE: In an interview after this story published, Dave Orrick, Pioneer Press outdoors editor and a spokesman for the Pioner Press newspaper guild, sought to distance the paper's guild employees from Powers' controversial social media behavior. (Powers' continued contributions to the paper come on a freelance basis, and he is not a member of the employee union.) Said Orrick: "The guild does not condone any of these tweets."
UPDATE: Around 5:00 p.m. Wednesday, the Pioneer Press responded to Tom Powers' tweet-storm with two of their own, updating readers about its relationship with the longtime sportswriter.
Tom Powers' opinions are his own. We don't condone his language on Twitter last night.— Pioneer Press (@PioneerPress) August 16, 2017
Today, Tom discontinued the freelance sports column he's been writing for us. He did fine work here for many years.— Pioneer Press (@PioneerPress) August 16, 2017