GOP To Discover Masterplan On The Internet

Republicans want to take over the House in the fall, but there’s a problem: They don’t have an agenda.

So on Tuesday, they set out to resolve that shortcoming. They announced that they would solicit suggestions on the Internet, then have members of the public give the ideas a thumbs-up or a thumbs-down. Call it the “Dancing With the Stars” model of public policy.

Republicans were very pleased with their technological sophistication as they introduced the Web site, America Speaking Out a ceremony at the Newseum. Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), who created the program, said that to get software for the site, “I personally traveled to Washington state and discovered a Microsoft program that helped NASA map the moon.”

Using lunar software is appropriate, because the early responses to the Republicans’ request for ideas are pretty far out: …

No spoilers. Read it for yourself.

I wondered what the GOP would do when they ran out of dumb ideas. Turns out that isn’t going to be a concern.

Before you laugh too hard, remember that a significant portion of these suggestions weren’t jokes, and those are actual real human people. I need some kind of picture that indicates that at first I was all LOL and then I was all “We’re d0med!”

Yes how dare elected officials attempt to listen to the ideas of the voters, the road to destruction of a republic that is. This must be stopped at any cost!!!

We need to ensure that the Republicans never give us up, let us down, run around, or desert us.

Hahahaha this is awesome.

This is obviously a washington post hit piece that is cherrypicking the nutjob responses to make fun of the Republican initiative. I think everyone reading this thread is Internet savvy enough to know that it’s not at all unique to this Republican website, it’s the kind of shit one gets anywhere on the internet. This is the same crap the comments section of my local newspaper’s website gets every day.

The bottom line here is that political parties embracing modern technology to try and get more in tune with the rank and file members is a good thing. Using it as a pretext for LOLing at Republicans is pretty classless.

That thing about the dolphins is genius.

Yeah, because large segments of the public never believe anything stupid.

“Hey, yeah, so we don’t really know what to do here so if you guys could tell us what the issues are that will get us the most votes, that’d be awesome. Just fill out the web form there and we’ll be your willing puppets in congress if you vote us in. Thanks everyone!”

Agreed. Even TPM had a more even article about this.

I can’t imagine any excuse for laughing at Republicans being a bad thing at this point. But then I may be teh bias.

Balanced or not, the reason why we elect representatives instead of doing everything through direct democracy is, in brief, because the public at large is a seething mass of stupid dumb shitheads. We already have a method by which we can determine what people generally care about - polling, and it works pretty okay for figuring out what’s on everybody’s mind. What we DON’T need are people who don’t know their ass from a hole in the ground making policy suggestions about stuff they don’t understand. The site is at best a waste of time and at worst a megaphone for stupidity. I mean, have you seen those BP commercials where random dipshits on the street offer their educated opinions of what our national energy policy should be? That’s what this is, but worse, and those commercials made me want to choke a puppy before those dumbasses hat their little goo carnival.

What a terrible idea. The whole point of running to represent the people (in theory if not practice) is that you put forth your views and let people express theirs by electing you (or not). Party policy positions aren’t supposed to be customizable based on a Web 2.0 framework!

Edit: After reading more about this, I want to scale back my above comments. It’s always good to have politicians keeping an ear open to their constituents even if they disagree. My home state of Maine is a moderate state with two Republican Senators. But I’ve called both of the senators before on certain issues and talked to very friendly staffers who have made note of what I had to say. And in a couple of those cases, Snowe and/or Collins have listened to me and other constituents who don’t share their party and altered their positions. So I shouldn’t begrudge Republicans for seeking feedback. That said, this kind of thing is at risk of becoming an echo chamber. But yeah, that WP article is pretty biased.

They should be making fun of the Republican initiative because it’s entirely mockable.

I can’t think of many worse ways to pick public policy than this - perhaps cutting words out of a dictionary and rearranging them at random might do it. I would add ‘just saying no to whatever the other side says’ too but as I recall they’ve already tried that.

Being more in touch with your rank and file is certainly a good thing but this is the worst way possible of achieving that.


The Web site not only “has cutting-edge technology,” asserted Rep. Peter Roskam (Ill.), “but a winsome design that is easy for people to interact with.”

Lest you think Republicans are just discovering the Internet, Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (Wash.) let it be known that “House Republicans have tweeted five times as many as the House Democrats. Leader Boehner has almost five times as many Facebook fans as Speaker Pelosi.” Boehner grinned and gave a double thumbs-up.

That’s precious!

I think it’s a step in the right direction. Whether it’s stupid people or not, having to write and articulate their ideas forces more meaningful discussion than those town halls do. And polls don’t really help. I’d say this is more useful for the population than it is the politicians - our country isn’t going to get any smarter and informed by not participating in political dialogue. Would it be awful for them to listen to say, the opinions of this forum? I don’t consider these politicians the sharpest tools in the shed that do what’s best for us, so I’m not willing to put them above everyone on the internet. Yea, you’re going to get stupid ideas, but you’re going to get those regardless.

I don’t want to elect a politician that changes his views based on what the public believes. In other words, I’m not a fan of populists. I am though in favor of greater dialogue between politicians and citizens, and of the increased role of technology in allowing people to communicate.

You’re assuming that something like this would spark a discussion between people with different ideas. I don’t really see how that’s going to happen. People don’t know dick about various and sundry important issues these days because it takes a lot of work and it’s just plain easier to let somebody else tell you what to think that fits into your preconceptions. The entire reason why Fox News exists these days is because people don’t like to be challenged on things they believe - why would you think that this would change that? Maybe I’m just entirely too disgusted with people at this point in my life, but this honestly seems to me to be little more than a great way to make me feel worse about the species as a whole.

I hope the Colbert Nation can take advantage of this.

I agree with Brian Seiler entirely. We elect people to make informed decisions for us. Unfortunately not all elected officials are capable of doing this (Michelle Bachmann) and occasionally the masses will actually have a good idea (I can’t think of one right now but I’m sure they are out there; no sarcasm meant). Republicans follow the rich and powerful and I doubt if Steve Ballmer or any other CEO of a Fortune 500 company will be completing this form, so I’m not getting the motivation to do this. Republicans have not been a ‘people’s’ party during any time in my lifetime so I don’t understand why they would try to be one now. I guess they are really trying to find more fodder to justify their following of the Tea Party’ers but whatever.