Speaking through social media: a former Northwest Georgia representative weighs in on how Congress has changed - Rome News-Tribune

Former U.S. Rep. Tom Graves says Congress has the ability to fix itself — and some of the mechanisms are already in the works.

The Ranger Republican represented Northwest Georgia from 2010 to 2020, when he decided against running for another term. In an interview last week, Graves talked about how the dynamics in the House of Representatives shifted while he was in office.

“One of the biggest changes over the last decade is the rise of social media,” he said. “It has its positives … but unfortunately it has created some barriers.”

He gave as an example the recent blowup between Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia and his fellow Democrat Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York. After AOC tweeted that Manchin is too close to oil lobbyists, he took her to task on CNN’s “State of the Union.”

“Members of Congress are now speaking to each other over social media or through the talk shows,” Graves said.

And that’s a recipe for dysfunction.

Graves declined to comment on the current GA-14 office holder, the controversial U.S. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Rome, who has focused major resources on building a social media following. However, he repeatedly circled back to the value of face-to-face interactions.

“It’s really hard to criticize somebody you have a relationship with, even if you disagree with them, when you have dinner together, when your families know each other,” he said.

Graves came to office as a right-wing Tea Party conservative, and it’s difficult to determine if...

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