The Republican Party, apparently devoid of ideas themselves, have launched a website called "America Speaking Out". It's an election-year gimmick intended to help give the GOP a policy platform to run on, except that you, Mr. and Mrs. America, get to set the policy platform. It's all designed to show that Republicans are "of the people" and they hear you.
This is how Rep. Mike Spence described the website:
"This is a state of the art – what my kids would say 'really cool' – social networking site where people can put up ideas, other people can rate them, score them, thumbs up, thumbs down, it's really going to be a lot of fun for people and it's going to help us develop the governing agenda for this Congress," added Pence, chairman of the Republican Conference and a possible contender for the 2012 GOP presidential nomination.
You know, the GOP is like an elderly person who has just discovered the wonders of the Internet. It's really "cool", but you have to take it worth a grain of salt, especially when it comes to what people say and think. The Internet is ground zero for the tin foil hat people.
i think they're beginning to find that out. One of the first proposals from regular Americans, apparently promoted by a Rand Paul fan, was to eliminate provisions of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Republican officials monitoring the submissions removed it from their site.
So I guess they kind of want to hear from you.
Dana Milbank has highlighted some other "early responses to the Republicans' request for ideas."
"End Child Labor Laws," suggests one helpful participant. "We coddle children too much. They need to spend their youth in the factories."
"How about if Congress actually do thier job and VET or Usurper in Chief, Obama is NOT a Natural Born Citizen in any way," recommends another. "That fake so called birth certificate is useless."
"A 'teacher' told my child in class that dolphins were mammals and not fish!" a third complains. "And the same thing about whales! We need TRADITIONAL VALUES in all areas of education. If it swims in the water, it is a FISH. Period! End of Story."
"Build a castle-style wall along the border, there is plenty of stone laying around about there." That was in the "national security" section of the new site.
"Legalize Marijuana, cause, like, alcohol is legal. Man. Also." That was in the "traditional values" section.
"I say, repeal all the amendments to the Constitution." ("American prosperity" section.)
"Don't let the illegals run out of Arizona and hide. . . . I think that we should do something to identify them in case they try to come back over. Like maybe tattoo a big scarlet 'I' on their chests — for 'illegal'!!!" (Filed under "job creation.")
"Let kids vote!" recommended one. "Let's make a 'Social Security Lotto,' " proposed another. "What dope came up with the idea of criminalizing a parent's right to administer corporal punishment?" a third demanded.
Some contributors demanded action to uncover conspiracies involving the 9/11 attacks and the "NEW WORLD ORDER." One forward thinker recommended that we "build the city of the future somewhere in a non-inhabit part of the United States, preferably the desert."
Some of the uglier forces of the Internet found their way to the House Republican site. "I oppose the Hispanicization of America," said one. "These are not patriotic people." Another contributor had parody in mind (we hope): "English is are official langauge. Anybody who ain't speak it the RIGHT way should kicked out."
Now, some of these suggestions may be progressives getting on the site and trying to make Republicans look stupid. And some of them, no doubt, actually are stupid Republicans.
I can't tell the difference.