The Washington Post

Amid stalemate in debt-limit talks, Americans take their frustrations to Twitter


And now, there is a hashtag.

Journalism professor and media watcher Jeff Jarvis took to Twitter on Saturday night amid the latest breakdown in the negotiations on raising the country’s debt ceiling and expressed his frustration with Washington politics.

In the hours since, his #f***youwashington hashtag has gone viral as Twitter users across the country have used it to vent their anger at politicians in the nation’s capital.

Jarvis explained his thinking in a blog post Sunday afternoon (he didn’t use the asterisks):

So I was angry. Watching TV news over dinner — turning my attention from scandals in the UK to those here and frankly welcoming the distraction from the tragedies in Norway — I listened to the latest from Washington about negotiations over the debt ceiling. It pissed me off. I’d had enough. After dinner, I tweeted: “Hey, Washington a**holes, it’s our country, our economy, our money. Stop f***ing with it.” It was the pinot talking (sounding more like a zinfandel). . . . And then it exploded as I never could have predicted. . . .

The tweets that keep streaming in — hundreds an hour still — restore my faith not in government but in society, in us. Oh, yes, there are idiots, extremists, and angry conspiracy theorists and just plain jerks among them. But here, that noise was being drowned out by the voices of disappointed Americans — disappointed because they do indeed give a s***.

Many of those tweets centered on the debt-limit negotiations:

@andrewbrust: Dear House of Reps: if you’re trying to school us in the evils of gerrymandered districts, we get it. Now sign the deal.

@Shelviswv: I was taught that an honorable person repays their debts. Where is your honor?

@kevinboyd1984: I’m sick of a party that has not produced a budget in two years bitching about obstructionism

@halleysocean: #f***youwashington for threatening seniors with their SS checks they spent a lifetime paying in while working and building this country.

Some touched on other political topics:

@adastra45: #f***youwashington for making the healthcare reform law not worth the paper it is printed on

And others entered the realm of the meta:

@observacious: I wish a spirit of compromise could spread as easily as a vulgar hash tag

You can follow all the hashtag results here.


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