has become an indispensable part of political dialogue in the U.S.,
opening the door for clever political humorists to gain --- and
potentially influence --- a large audience.
no shortage of sarcasm and wit on Twitter, but the social network is
particularly well-suited to parody, whose history of influence over
culture and politics stretches back well before the Internet age.
with their equal parts imitation and ridicule, can be very effective on
Twitter because of their proximity to what they're mocking. On
Twitter, users can assume names that have little or no relation to
their given names. In addition, Twitter has an established class of
politically-savvy and educated users who look to the site to provide
breaking news and analysis. They want real-time news, and they are happy
to have real-time humor too.
often get launched on a whim, sometimes within minutes of a ripe
statement or event. It only took a few minutes for an enterprising
convention-watcher to launch @InvisibleObama
in reaction to Clint Eastwood's speech/performance at the GOP meeting
in Tampa. Ditto for a flurry of "Big Bird" parody accounts that launched
during the first presidential debate, mere moments after Mitt Romney
mentioned the feathered fella.
accounts start slowly, then gain steam as events bring their subjects
into the limelight. The @GingrichIdeas account was "started in the midst
of the primary campaign, before Newt's first rise in the polls," said
the account's creator to OhMyGov. "There was a Washington Post article that described Newt Gingrich as an ‘ideas factory'... [The account] was as much a joke on DC media as on Newt himself."
We asked one of Twitter's most famous parody voices, the sometimes crass but always honest @Wise_Kaplan, what he thought about the use of political parody on Twitter. His answer, naturally: "It's Newt."
Here are 11 political parody accounts that we enjoy following:
Joe Biden (@VeepJoeBiden)
The well-meaning vice-president whose irrationality and fun-loving ways get in the way of stately conduct
Angela Merkel (@Queen_Europe)
A perpetually-exasperated and impatient female leader surrounded by unappreciative, weaker foreign countries
Dalai Parton (@DalaiParton)
A no-nonsense, heartbroken singer with an appreciation for global peace and equality
Kim Jong Il (@KimJongNumberUn)
A young dictator with double the amount of fervor than practicality
The president as empty chair. Consistent and still clever two months after its primetime RNC launch.
Clinton Arithmetic (@ClintonMath)
The wise elder politician who enjoys at-length discussions of poll numbers and economic data
El Bloombito (@ElBloombito)
The Spanglish-language mayor who struggles to overcome language barriers in a diverse metropolis
Senior White House Official (@SrWHOfficial)
An almost official voice of the White House.
Paul Ryan Gosling (@PaulRyanGosling)
The combination of Paul Ryan and Ryan Gosling, a romantic fiscal conservative with your best interests at heart / wallet
Romney Hood (@MittR0mney)
An affable, if offensive, former governor and 2012 presidential candidate
Gingrich Ideas (@GingrichIdeas)
Newt Gingrich's ideas, if they were wild animals caged in a zoo on the moon
Follow OhMyGov on Twitter at @ohmygov