The House Republican Leadership certainly deserves some credit for trying something new. In a further bid to be seen as the party of the people, they announced yesterday that they had created a website called America’s Speaking Out where users can give their opinions on issues that they think Republicans should tackle in their quest to regain control this November. Unfortunately, while the idea is clever and well-intentioned, it’s also a little bit naive. As anyone who has ever been in a message board ever will tell you, the internet is full of crazy people. Lots and lots of crazy people.
In a post earlier today entitled “Republicans’ new Web site not exactly what they hoped it would be”, the Washington Post’s Dana Milbank points out that the comments posted on the site so far have mostly run the gamut all the way from moronic to even more moronic. While some of them are insightful and well thought out, the rest are racist, offensive, and just plain bizarre.
Here are a few samples from when I checked out the “American Values” section of the site earlier today, and sadly I wasn’t cherry-picking:
- “Consensual love is just that; consensual. There is no reason to forbid two intelligent consenting entities from engaging in relations, logically, because legislating a victimless crime on the basis of morality is against the American way. Therefore, the government should stop misusing Animal Abuse laws to convict zoophiles and remove them from their animalistic loved ones. Consensual bestiality should not be illegal. No, I am not joking. Everything I’ve said is logically sound.”
- “We should administer capital punishment to anyone who has an abortion. In order to cut costs that the death penalty normally entails, we will have lax gun laws that will allow people to obtain guns with greater ease. Then we would allow the “free-market” to dictate whose philosophy wins out – the liberals irrational philosophy or our logical and God following philosophy. Liberals who have abortions would be taken care of by a militia of the willing who will get rid of all liberals who take the life others irrationally and will allow us to remove all of our opponents to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”
- “End the LIBERAL mith of EVOLUSION. My gran-dady aint no monkey”
- “all leaders should proclaim faith in Jesus Christ. anyone who does not, like muslims and atheists should be removed from office.”
- “They need to do way instain mother> who k*ll thier babbys. becuse these babby cant frigth back? it was on the news this mroing a mother in ar who had k*ll her three kids. they are taking the three babby back to new york too lady to rest my pary are with the father who lost his children ; i am truley sorry for your lots”
- “Liberals constantly whine about how government $ is needed for roads, libraries, etc. Once you back down on that front, everything else follows! I own a Dodge Baby Ram that can pretty much cover any terrain in America. Let’s end taxes completely, let the roads go bad and see who comes out on top! Somehow I think liberals will find new things to whine about once they can’t read books on subsidy (library) or drive to their grocery store without a struggle! The easier you make these people’s lives, the more problems they cause for folks like me!”
- “What is real and what is just an illusion? Does all truth evaporate like a cloud of fog in the sun? If I email someone, how do I know it is really them responding to me, and not just some boilerplate automatic response, or their publicist? What about the private postal services? Where to they stand on the issue of reality vs. illusion?”
- “We should let gays love on goats while they are walking down the aisle. Freedom of expression, y’all!”
Yep, consider the country saved. Obviously, many of these are trolls just messing with the site, but how are the administrators going to tell them apart from people who are just, well, crazy. And how are the politicians going to get any real ideas from comments that are nearly entirely like the ones posted here? It’s really too bad because it was kind of a nifty idea and the Republicans had high hopes for it.
From the Washington Post:
“GOP leaders seemed to have something else in mind as they rolled out their new site. ‘I would expect the ideas that come out of this Web site and the involvement of our members will lead to ideas that we can attempt to implement today,’ House Minority Leader John Boehner (Ohio) proclaimed. ‘We want to continue to offer better solutions to address the problems that America is facing, and we see this as a giant step forward, directly engaging the American people in the development of those solutions.'”
Well, it appears the Republicans in the House were a little too optimistic about the kind of discourse one finds on the internet. That’s ok. There are some Democrats in the Senate who don’t even understand ATMs.
(h/t Washington Post)
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