Only in Washington would a political group host an online discussion and then spend the session lecturing the audience while ignoring questions.

That's what happened Tuesday afternoon when Senate Democrats hosted a Twitter town hall to talk about fixing the student loan interest rate hike crisis and blast the Republican solution.

"Burdened by student loan debt? Join us on Twitter at 3 pm ET to discuss our solution to keeping college affordable. #DontDoubleMyRate," @SenateDems tweeted at 11:02 a.m. Tuesday.

When 3 p.m. arrived, a flood of comments came from Senate Democrats bragging on their short-term fix. Some supporters added their personal stories of heavy student loan debt. But questions went unnoticed and unanswered--except for Republicans who crashed the party to air their views and push for a longer-term solution.

"It quickly became clear that this wasn't a discussion - or a town hall. They didn't take any questions and spent the entire hour broadcasting their talking points. Some Senate Democrats advertised the town hall, but didn't even join," said a GOP insider.

Even Speaker John Boehner and Republican Majority Leader Eric Cantor got in on the act. Boehner tweeted, "?@SpeakerBoehner @washingtonpost says Senate Dems #studentloans vote is a sham, urges them to work w/House."

Cantor tweeted a picture summing up the GOP plan and asked Twitter users to retweet his tweet.

"This is more phony engagement from those trying to pull and bait and switch on student loans," said a GOP aide.

Paul Bedard, The Washington Examiner's "Washington Secrets" columnist, can be contacted at