GOP Congressman’s SOTU Live-Tweet: “Mr. President….You Believe In Socialism”

Georgia Congressman Paul Broun took to Twitter last night while watching the President from his seat on the House floor:

GOP Rep. Paul Broun (Ga.) rebuked President Obama using perhaps the sharpest language among his Republican colleagues following the State of the Union address Tuesday night.

Broun took to Twitter during the address, accusing the president of believing in socialism. Obama touched on several economic themes during his address, emphasizing the need for the U.S. to be competitive in the global marketplace.

“Mr. President, you don’t believe in the Constitution. You believe in socialism,” the tweet reads.

So much for that New Tone.

FILED UNDER: Barack Obama, Congress, Politicians, Quick Takes, US Politics
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug Mataconis held a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010 and contributed a staggering 16,483 posts before his retirement in January 2020. He passed far too young in July 2021.


  1. legion says:

    And every single Republican Congressman doesn’t believe in Capitalism – they believe in Corporatism.

  2. john personna says:

    Well that raises things to a high intellectual level, doesn’t it?

  3. john personna says:

    (You know, I was talking on another blog about how we can’t embrace good workable solutions because we have this strange immune reaction. Say Danish Mortgages work, and don’t cause a banking crisis. Fine. We just can’t pick up that solution, which creates a tradable market in mortgage bonds because it’s “socialist.”

    Broun provides today’s illustration. This isn’t some BS ‘diverse society’ effect. This is basic bull-headed stupidity.)

  4. Dave C says:

    The new tone was gone when Rep. Cohen called Republicans ‘Nazis’ on the floor of the House.

  5. Herb says:

    Actually, I hear Broun tweeted this from his office as he watched the SOTU on the telly.

    Let’s not attribute this guy some courage he doesn’t possess.

    PS. All statements that start with “You believe….” are hereby declared false. The chances of this statement being an accurate description of another’s belief is nil.

  6. mantis says:

    There never was a new tone.

    Rep. Broun, you don’t believe in the Constitution. You believe in killing puppies.

    Hey, it’s got about as much basis in fact, if no moreso.

    Oh, btw:

    Broun said, “That’s exactly what Hitler did in Nazi Germany and it’s exactly what the Soviet Union did. When he’s proposing to have a national security force that’s answering to him, that is as strong as the U.S. military, he’s showing me signs of being Marxist.” Broun later clarified his statement by saying, “We can’t be lulled into complacency. You have to remember that Adolf Hitler was elected in a democratic Germany. I’m not comparing him to Adolf Hitler. What I’m saying is there is the potential of going down that road.”

    Broun decided Obama was Hitler and Stalin combined only a week after he was elected.

    Another shining light of the Republican Party.

  7. reid says:

    The tone represented here backed up by reality and facts would be unfortunate. The tone combined with a lack of any basis in reality is tragic. This is one thing that separates Cohen’s statements (note that he didn’t call anyone Nazis) from this idiocy.

  8. Dave C says:

    Right.. Cohen compared them to Goebbels..


  9. An Interested Party says:


    Indeed, unless you would care to explain what about “death panels” and “government takeover” aren’t part of a big lie…

  10. reid says:

    As I said, any kind of reference to Nazis is unfortunate these days, but there was truth to Cohen’s comments. Any truth is drowned out by gasps and indignation over a Nazi reference, sadly.

  11. reid says:

    Of course, indignation is easier to drum up when you twist his words into “he called Republicans Nazis”. Well done.

  12. Dave C says:

    Of course, indignation is easier to drum up when you twist his words into “he called Republicans Nazis”. Well done.

    Pardon me all to hell for remembering the exact quote from more than two weeks ago.

    Cohen’s quote happened right after the ‘new tone’ was called for, where he compared Republicans (Mike Pence, in particular, I believe) to Goebbels instead. . . Who was a Nazi at the time..

    Like I said, nuance.

    I was pointing out that there was no such thing as a “New Tone”.

  13. sam says:

    “Right.. Cohen compared them to Goebbels..


    He has apologized. You want to give me odds that Broun will apologize?

  14. Dave C says:

    Heh… that boiled down to “I’m sorry you were offended”.

  15. sam says:

    Heh, yourself. Let me know when Broun comes up with anything even approaching your anemic condensation of what Cohen said.

  16. reid says:

    I think it says a lot that your memory of what he said was distilled down to “he called Republicans Nazis”, which is false and buying into the right’s indignation. What he actually said isn’t as hurtful to the Tone.

    I think it’s more important that we address taking propaganda technique to new heights, thanks to people like Luntz and Rove (and to a lesser degree people on the left too, admittedly). The truth isn’t as important as getting people angry and fearful. You’re right that there’s no “New Tone”, but there are more important things to fix than eliminating any references to Nazis. Which is why his reference was unfortunate, but the bigger picture (including apparent morons like Broun) is tragic.

  17. Gustopher says:

    Who was sitting next to Broun, and why did they not admonish him that it is impolite to tweet while the President is speaking?

    Isn’t that what the mixed seating was supposed to be about? Which Democrat failed? When will that Democrat apologize?

  18. IanY77 says:

    Dave C,

    Cohen said that propagandists on the right will repeat a lie in unison (“Government takeover of health care!”) just like Nazi propagandists did in relation to the Jews. Given that you repeated the “Cohen called us Nazis!!” lie, you haven’t exactly invalidated his point. It’s now gospel on the right that Cohen called conservatives Nazis, when in fact he said that they use Nazi-like tactics. You don’t have to shove Jews into ovens for Nazi analogies to be at least somewhat apt.

  19. legion says:

    So, you “remember the exact quote from two weeks ago”, and then add your own completely subjective interpretations onto the end of it. I see what you did there. It’s called “projection”.

  20. matt bernius says:

    Leaving issues of propaganda and apologies aside for a sec, the statement that Cohen called the Republican’s Nazi’s by invoking Gobels is a fair charge. Via the simile in that sentence the association is made plain and simple. In fact, if the Simile wasn’t effective then the statement wouldn’t have any value (ie. saying shame on you as you are behaving like/becoming the embodiment of evil).

    You can argue that because Broun directly liked Obama with a socialist, his is “worse.” That’s a by-degrees distinction. In each case these men were consciously making a connection. At best, we could say Cohen just did it a *bit* more artfully.

    What’s really worth noting, is that each side (left/right) tends to simultaneously argue for and against the effect of these types of linkages (putting crosshairs on a map is/isn’t just crosshairs on a map vs. Referencing Gobels is/isn’t calling Republicans Nazis). Pretty much it’s an flip back and forth of the same arguements.

  21. reid says:

    matt, one glaring difference is that Obama isn’t anything close to a socialist. The dishonesty of many of the right’s arguments puts them in a different league.