Martyrdom is a powerful political force, a resource that Rep. Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn., has used to jump start her campaign for Senate courtesy of the bumbling censorship of Silicon Valley.
On Monday the self-described "hardcore, card-carrying Tennessee conservative" announced her bid for the seat of retiring Republican Sen. Bob Corker in a rather unremarkable two-minute clip. But what might've been overlooked quickly went viral when Twitter pulled the ad from its website deeming Blackburn's rhetoric about abortion "inflammatory."
The political equivalent of nitrous-oxide, that censorship just supercharged Blackburn's campaign. Overnight Twitter achieved at least two things for the Tennessee conservative free of charge. First, they helped wipe away charges that the eight-term congresswoman is a career politician who is part of the problem. How can she be a swamp creature, voters will ask, when big liberal corporations target her because of her viewpoints. Second, they re-upped her work as chairman of the select investigative committee probing the sale of aborted baby parts.
Making the most of the opportunity, Blackburn quickly capitalized.
"This is urgent. I'm being censored for telling the truth," Blackburn wrote in a fundraising letter. "Twitter has shut down my announcement video advertising. Silicon Valley elites are trying to impose their values on us. When I talked about our legislative accomplishments to stop the sale of baby body parts, they responded by calling our ad ‘inflammatory' and ‘negative.'"
In a state Trump won by 26 points, that's the type of credibility and positive coverage that voters will find irresistible. Thanks to Twitter, Blackburn just got a huge leg up in the GOP primary.
Philip Wegmann is a commentary writer for the Washington Examiner.