Carnes: Me and @DevinNunesMom (column)

Richard Carnes
Richard's Rulings

I don’t tweet.

Sure, I set up an account back in 2014 to see what all the fuss was about, but other than two initial tweets that day in June to announce my participation (hooray for me?), I’ve never tweeted.

Never became a habit to so much as even glance at it once in a while.

To be honest, I thought it was kind of a narcissistic fad, like sharing pictures of a burrito right before it becomes your own in-house methane producer.

Speaking of cow farts, a member of the U.S. House of Representatives is suing not only his “cow,” but his “mom” and “step-mom” as well, along with Twitter, for a quarter of a billion (with a “B”) bucks for having his wittle feelings hurt.

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Yes, Congressman Devin Nunes (R-CA) filed a lawsuit against Dear Leader’s bully pulpit to stop anonymous Twitter users such as Devin Nunes’ Mom (@DevinNunesMom), Devin Nunes’ Alt-Mom (@NunesAlt) and Devin Nunes’ cow (@DevinCow) from poking fun at his expense. It seems to go directly against the White House policy machine of insulting anyone who dares insult them, especially dead war heroes, but hey, what do I know?

The day before filing his lawsuit, his cow’s account had about 1,200 followers. In a major endorsement of what’s known as the “Streisand effect,” as of Sunday night it had over 630,000 followers.

It’s like if the Town of Avon put out a press release tomorrow demanding voters NOT fill out their barn survey because they don’t want to be forced to abide by the inevitable results.

That’s silly, of course, as town leaders would never do such a thing, but if they did, one can only imagine the survey participation rate (by the way, they’re due a week from today).<picture an inserted sarcastic smiley face right here>

Anyhoo, what it all boils down to is a few folks made fun of Nunes on social media, Nunes’ feelings were hurt, so he did what most elected wealthy white guys do — he sued — and now hundreds of thousands are making fun on Nunes on social media.

What are the odds?

This son of a dairy farmer is an adult public figure, and if he doesn’t like snarky online comments pointed in his direction, he should simply stop looking that direction.

Ignore them, it’s what my wife says I do.

Other than that, understand parody is protected under the First Amendment, and although your boss whines like a little schoolgirl over parodies at his expense even though he alone greatly lowered the bar for tweets, the Bill of Rights applies to all within U.S. borders.

A safe assumption is that the actual goal of such a frivolous lawsuit concerns a long-term clarification as to whether social media is a publisher, thus making the comments a direct reflection of a company, or merely a platform for anyone to express opinions, like a bulletin board.

But I do look forward to new anonymous Twitter accounts such as @TownofAvonsBarn, @TownofVailsHousing, @RobKatzMom and perhaps @JohnMcCainsCadaver just to see what they have to say.

Either way, in the eternal words of Bart Simpson, “Don’t have a cow, man.”

Richard Carnes, of Avon, writes weekly. He can be reached at

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