In it, but not of it. TPM DC

Top Conservatives On Twitter FAIL

Following on the advice of former RNC chair Mike Duncan, who recently told his party faithful to "do it in the Facebook, with the Twittering," famous tweeters--including, you may recall, Rep. Joe Barton (R-TX)--soon began appending their messages with the #tcot hashtag. Some even thought that this little convention would reignite the conservative movement, and, predictably, a website--topconservativesontwitter.com--became a central hub for twitter's top conservatives.

But, alas, a national (or formerly national) political party can't organize around a tic-tac-toe sign. Just look at the record: #tcot didn't bring us the tea parties. FreedomWorks did. And just when the #tcot juggernaut seemed unstoppable, Norm Coleman lost his legal challenge, Jim Tedisco lost his New York congressional race, and Arlen Specter became a Democrat.

And it is with this record in mind, that we report, more in sadness than in laughter, the demise of #tcot. Or, perhaps more accurately, the divorce of #tcot's chief stewards.

The #tcot movement is (or was) the brainchild of conservative activists Rob Neppell and Michael Patrick Leahy. Together, the two created #tcot-themed websites, and when the idea went viral, it seemed like they had a good thing going. But, as is predictable when there's too much teabagging going on, it didn't take long for tensions to arise.

And then today, everything came to a head. "I do not feel comfortable continuing to operate...with a partner who deliberately refuses to communicate with me on fundamental issues," a scorned Neppel wrote an his now defunct website.

I am shutting down those aspects of TCOT which are under my control [and] asking Mike to in turn shut down http://tcotreport.com--or to relaunch it without using our group TCOT's name--and stating publicly that as co-founder of TCOT, that site does not have my approval or endorsement....

I regret that it has come to this, but here we are. I do not rule out re-activating TCOT should the situation change, but for now: we go dark.

Breaking up is hard to do. What a bummer. Anyhow, we wish them both the best, and will monitor the situation with bated breath. #tcot

About The Author

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Brian Beutler is TPM's senior congressional reporter. Since 2009, he's led coverage of health care reform, Wall Street reform, taxes, the GOP budget, the government shutdown fight and the debt limit fight. He can be reached at brian@talkingpointsmemo.com