Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Here's An Idea For The Ages

OK, I admit it: I laughed loudly at 3:30 AM at Dana Milbank's latest column. I also admit that I never expected snark of this calibre from Mr. Milbank, but I suppose the subject matter inspired him far more than even he expected.

Here's the skinny: the GOP has introduced a new web site for the November elections. There's nothing funny about that in and of itself, but it's how they set that web site up that pretty much ensured hilarity. I'll let Dana tell it:

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 in 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."

The technological sophistication allowed Rep. McCarthy to select a program which filters out naughty words. OK, that's good. Unfortunately, the web site doesn't come with any means to moderate the comments. Naturally, the comments have been astonishingly funny. I suspect some of the comments are a tribute to this country's current educational system. I suspect far more are the result of that grand internet tradition of trolling, something the technologically sophisticated McCarthy is apparently unaware of.

I suggest that you click on over and view some of those ideas being promoted by the visitors to the site, but you'd better hurry. As soon as enough Republican leaders read those comments or read Mr. Milbank's column, the site will be taken down, or at least modified with some safeguards, including registration.

In any event, other than being appalled at the laziness of the Republican party ("Um, the dog ate our agenda. Could you voters please help us out and give us one?"), I am mostly grateful that it gave me a reason to laugh. I haven't had too many of those moments lately.



Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anyone claiming that (admittedly absurd) website is evidence of a missing agenda is either being disingenuous or extraordinarily naïve. It is not an agenda which is being sought, but a suitably distracting wrapping for many. The search is sometimes painfully transparent, but hardly unique - among political parties or individuals.

9:04 PM  
Anonymous Winni said...


8:00 AM  

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