AGAIN WITH THE TWITTERING…. About a month ago, then-RNC Chairman Mike Duncan said Republicans could appeal to younger voters with, among other things, “the Twittering.”

Perhaps, but the party hasn’t quite mastered the medium yet.

We talked the other day about Rep. Pete Hoekstra (R-Mich.), the ranking member of the House Intelligence Committee, revealing secret details about a trip to Iraq through his Twitter account.

This Republican-related Twitter error wasn’t as dramatic, but it’s just as embarrassing.

Yesterday the Virginia GOP came very close to taking control of the state Senate, nearly luring a Democratic Senator to switch parties and put them at a 20-20 tie, which would have been broken by the Republican Lt. Governor. Then Jeff Frederick, a state legislator and the party chairman, ruined it all by Twittering this:

“Big news coming out of Senate: Apparently one dem is either switching or leaving the dem caucus. Negotiations for power sharing underway.”

The Dems then read the message, quickly mobilized to talk the renegade out of it, and stopped the GOP coup before it could happen.

We usually don’t cover state-level politics, but this is just too much. Really, Mr. Frederick, you don’t live-blog about ongoing secret negotiations!

It’s a fairly new online application; I get that. And if Republicans want to embrace it, that’s great. But they really should get a sense of how it works before using it.

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Follow Steve on Twitter @stevebenen. Steve Benen is a producer at MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show. He was the principal contributor to the Washington Monthly's Political Animal blog from August 2008 until January 2012.