Memo to @ScottBrownMA: Don’t respond to people who are just picking a fight. After the recently defeated Republican senator posted a cryptic message on Twitter Friday evening that declared, “Yes. Get ready,” many readers took it as a hint that he would run for the seat being vacated by John Kerry. Critics pounced; one on the left called him an “errand boy” for Wall Street, while another on the right tarred Brown as a “gun grabber” and told him to switch parties. In the wee hours of Saturday morning, Brown threw attitude back at them: “whatever bud,” “whatever michael,” “your brilliant Matt,” and — now infamously — “Bqhatevwr.”
These exchanges weren’t exactly lofty, but they were amusing and harmless — and lined up, in a weird way, with Brown’s carefully cultivated image of bipartisanship. But after Democrats began pushing the hashtag “#Bqhatevwr,” Brown, disappointingly, took the offending tweets down. It wasn’t just an overreaction to an overreaction; it was also futile, given that his account has more than 57,000 followers. Yes, politicians should probably think before they tweet — or at least look to make sure their fingers are hitting the right keys. But the Bqhatevwr kerfuffle makes it likely that Brown will never again say anything interesting on Twitter — a loss for voters who, in assessing their politicians, would prefer to see the unvarnished version.